The progressive grassroots organization Netroots recently staged a conference in Phoenix, Arizona—ground zero on the immigration debate—that was hijacked by a lesbian and “black lives matter” group, attempting to deny the two Democratic presidential candidates who showed up an opportunity to speak on the issues. They managed to successfully drown out former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, but less so Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose supporters were in sufficient numbers to outlast the rudeness. The “activists” claimed that they were being taken for “granted” by Democrats, and they wanted their “voices” heard, as if we haven’t been hearing it loud and clear for quite some time now, with extensive media support and even a U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming gay marriage.
“We’ve been silent for too long. We’ve been polite for too long. And our silence and our politeness is killing us,” a Ms. Peoples claimed to the New York Times. She and her cohorts are probably the only people who have that impression; at least they have been receiving “positive” press, more so than immigrants who are the targets of rationalized hate (even from them). According to the Times, “Ms. Peoples said that the group would have ceased chanting had they felt the candidates were giving substantive, authentic responses, rather than ‘cookie cutter generalities’” or at least that is how they rationalized their irrational behavior.
Actually, people who feel the way they do who are the ones “out of touch,” just like those who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. For the vast majority of people on the bottom of the economic ladder, race is an ancillary issue to the question of economic justice; but these people just use it to justify their single-issue agenda, just like pro-abortion activists. Sen. Sanders understands that everyone’s lives matter which is why his big issue is economic inequality—which should be everyone’s “big issue.”
Sen. Sanders actually came off well despite the efforts to discredit him, although some in the audience only suggested that his “purpose” was to drive the candidate who was not there closer to the left; I doubt that was accomplished. So now who wouldn’t be there to face the wrath of the fringe groups? Why, Hillary Clinton. According to the Times, “Mrs. Clinton elected instead to speak at the Arkansas Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Saturday, after a brief swing through Iowa where she joined fellow Democrats seeking the nomination for a banquet put on by the state party in Cedar Rapids.”
One of the participants of the Netroots’ conference, Jenni Siri, a supporter of Sen. Sanders, was quoted “Her not being here almost looks like she’s thumbing her nose at the event. She’s acting like it’s not a big deal.”
No, she wasn’t “thumbing her nose” and the event, or believing that it wasn’t a “big deal.” It was a “big deal” for her. I suspect that Hillary was forewarned of the hi-jack by her supporters, and in fact those who caused the ruckus did so because they were Hillary supporters who wanted to discredit her rivals. Conspiracy theory? Maybe, but Clinton has a history of fanatical supporters who will do anything for her—remember Harriet Christian of “inadequate black male” infamy, or feminist commentator Bonnie Erbe’s demand that Barack Obama give up the nomination he had already won because “whites will not vote for you”?
The whole episode appears to me to be a deliberate effort to ambush those who would dare to challenge Clinton, who when it comes right down to it is little more than “image” than substance. For some people, the image is all that matters.