Hillary is an OK Goliath, but Sanders a very improbable David. Still, there’s a reason why these old stories come repeatedly to mind.
As one who has remained pretty much on the sidelines during this dogfight — though I admit to a sneaking hope that Sanders will put a serious monkeywrench into the gears of Hillary’s triumphal Juggernaut — one has the luxury of examining the rhetoric on both sides dispassionately. A thing which has struck me very forcefully: Clinton backers are extraordinarily abusive and insulting toward Sanders’ folks, as persons, in a personal way. But the converse is not the case.
Locutions like “Bernie bros” and “Bern victims” and “Bernbots” drop thick and fast from the lips of Hillary’s remaining admirers, along with the usual baloney about ‘purism’ versus ‘realism’.
As far as I can tell, Bernie fans don’t operate this way. They don’t abuse Hillary’s backers. Naturally, they do abuse Hillary. But that’s fair. Slinging brickbats at the other candidate is quite in order. Pissing on his or her supporters is another matter.
Of course this is a larger pattern, and one of long standing. I think it may be a specifically liberal vice. Anyone to the left of a given liberal is by definition a wild-eyed loon, probably mentally defective, certainly a menace to the Republic. This tendency, as we all know, took very concrete form in the US during the postwar witch hunts, when liberals busied themselves putting their former Popular Front comrades in jail.
The stakes aren’t so high now, of course — sadly, it’s more a matter of the narcissism of minor differences. So it seems unlikely that Hillary, once she scrapes into the White House, widely loathed and nowhere really liked, will start rounding up Bernie Bros on terrorism charges. Although, frankly, I wouldn’t put anything past a Clinton.
Do right-wingers do this? One really knows very little about that weird world and its inner life. Do ‘moderate’ Republicans raise their tails and spray the same kind of skunk-oil at Teabaggers that Hillarites do at Bernites? (Or Gorites did — and still do! — at Naderites, or pick your own example.)