So it's Obama, apparently and finally, please-Jesus-hopefully bringing the Democratic nominating process to a close, letting us snort awake from a restless series of disturbing images just long enough to roll over and fall into the nice deep nightmare of the next five months. The primaries were soaked in a distressing amount of sexism and racism, exposing America yet again as a place where racism is not Tony Snow's distant memory but an active enough force for one in five Kentucky voters to tell pollsters that they're voting against Obama solely because he's black, a place where young women claim they're not feminists because feminism is no longer either required or useful while another woman stands up in public to ask John McCain how he's going to "beat the bitch" and the only response is raucous laughter.
Now we get to see a bunch of collective head explosions as Clinton supporters who swore they'd either vote for McCain or stay home should Obama get the nomination begin to weigh the relative merits of clinging to principle and choosing political expediency. I understand the frustration at feeling undercut, of having been undercut by the patriarchy one more damn time, but at the same time I would hope that the specter of a John McCain presidency would be enough to outweigh any compulsion to cast a fuck-you vote for the opposition. Just as I would expect Obama supporters to vote for Clinton were the situation reversed. Hey, I was an Edwards girl, so I'm equally disillusioned by certain things that have emanated from both the Obama and Clinton camps, was equally optimistic about others, and have always been firmly committed to keeping McCain out of the White House. There may be a time to take your ball and go home, but this ain't it.
Here we go, then, with the general election. You think the primaries were ugly? The Repubs have been biding their time, sharpening two sets of knives. The dick-handled sexism knives are going back into the box under the bed, for now; you can be certain the hood-handled racism knives are getting an extra kiss from the stone, the dog whistles getting a final tuning. How far have we come as a nation since July 9, 1868? We get to find out this summer. I'm not optimistic.