Perception is reality in the realm of amateur political analysis and punditry, even if it hasn't any basis in fact.
Time honored traditions such as hate mongering, disinformation to cull personal biases, and self-aggrandizement are in no short supply. And there is no more a polarizing figure to activate these demons than Hillary Rodham Clinton, particularly here on HuffPo.
Arianna Huffington has in no way been shy of her disdain for the 'body politic' that she perceives Clinton encapsulates. The 'top-down' approach in her campaign left deep impressions as to Hillary's lust for total dominance not only with the party nomination, but to the attempt at political ascension by proxy of Bill's legacy. That argument is substantial in relevance (at least partially), and a solidly debatable point.
HuffPo itself has been unabashedly pro-Obama, right up to the completion of the primaries. As it claims no neutrality, this is to be expected from an opinion blog whose creator has always been rather a fan of the Illinois Senator since his speech at the Democratic Convention in 2004. It is 'left leaning', pure and simple, and doesn't purport to be anything else in regards to its politicos.
The Hillary Hating that is ridiculously rampant on HP isn't so much a product of the platform from which it's conveyed, nor to its regular contributors (including Arianna), as it is the participating audience itself: The ones who post comments about what they read. Obama's primary victory has done little to quell the vitriol and lambaste amongst the anti-Clintons that inhabit HuffPo. Quite the opposite: it has flourished.
What makes this noteworthy, even ironic, is several things: Firstly, Obama, having won the primary, is currently embarrassing the hell out of Camp McCaveMan, as the Republican nominee keeps gifting Obama with his constant missteps and message gaffs. This has been a primrose waltz for Barrack thus far, despite his minor message tweaks made in his own campaign (which is to be expected in a general election). Recent interviews with him show his growing irritation when repeatedly asked by the MSM about the distraction that resulted from Clinton's recently surfaced video and her use of the word 'catharsis' in regard to the nomination process -- agitation not with Hillary but with the dust being kicked up about something that isn't really an issue at all.
Secondly: Clinton has been completely on-message with her ardent alignment with Obama since conceding in June, and has not wavered in any truly visible fashion as to who is the chosen representative of the Democrats. She has campaigned on his behalf, both with him and separately, and has made no obvious allusions or suggestive rhetoric that she herself should be the presumptive nominee. Even in the YouTube where she addresses core members of PUMA in Nevada and where she uses the word "catharsis," her point was to simply to share her feeling that official acknowledgment of their strong feelings would help unify the party and she stressed it as a way to support Obama's campaign.
The gathering itself wasn't even a planned media event. It was shot entirely with someone's personal video cam.
Lastly, if there's a Clinton who seems reticent, even aloof about supporting of Obama, it's the former president, not Hillary. In a recent interview when asked if the Senator from Illinois was ready to be president, Bill Clinton gave a rather luke-warm endorsement that no one is really 'ready' for that position, and must learn as they go, further stating that Obama was certainly 'capable' and 'whip smart', but never rendering an affirmative answer in full confidence of Obama's ablilty. Whereas Hillary has been more staunchly definitive on a consistent level her support of her former opponent, Bill has been more withheld, even indifferent to Barrack in this regard. Why not an emphatic 'yes' to the question as a show of support? Why the subdued response, laced in nuance?
The former President is still mad as hell at being portrayed as a racist during the Primaries, a portrayal he feels the Obama campaign saddled him with unfairly. It is safe to say he is still not over it, as demonstrated in his recent remarks. If it is any of the Clintons that still pouting and crying to the media, drawing any thunder away from Obama's campaign, it is William Jefferson, not Hillary Rodham, who is guilty of this.
Bill could stand to be more open and unyielding with his alignment to the Obama campaign, and so far has not been as forthcoming. He needs to follow his wife's lead a lot more closely, not the other way around.
But one wouldn't get that impression on the threads posted here. Below is a random sampling I took from the latest news article about Clinton's chat with PUMA entitled Hillary Looks For Way To Be Heard At Convention by Steven K. Paulson (originally titled 'Hillary Looks For Strategy' when first released):
"Well, Hillary, don't SEEK too long! Take a $h!t and get over it!
We are getting very tired of your antics & drama!
Your reputation & Bill's Legacy depend upon your BEHAVIOUR!
This is BARACK OBAMA's MOMENT in TIME! Not the Clinton's."
"She is / was the WRONG WOMAN. She showed big fat cajones, remember ? & a total lack of decency, ethics, truth, class, fairness etc. etc. (the list we all know all too well, is too damned long & I'm tired of having to explain it to irrational obsessive disorder types)"
"So if the tables were turned, would you all be such staunch supporters of "the rules"? Highly unlikely.Get off your soap boxes and be for real. All this jargon about Clinton and her supporters being respected, where the hell is/was the respect for Obama and his supporters and not to mention the Democratic party as a whole?
I mean seriously, I dont get it. If Clinton had won and Obama were half as UNGRACIOUS as she had been there'd be hell on earth. The lot of you are a bunch of HYPOCRITES!"
"SHAME ON YOU HILLARY CLINTON, everybody must remember that before Hillary was a democrat she was a republician, she never intended to help unify the party. This is just a gimmick and she has been planning this every since she lost the primaries, if you recall she said some very bad things about Obama during the primaries and those very things that she said is being used by the Mccain against Obama.
She is using her supporters to get her on the ticket as VP, and if she is not VP it's their plan to overthrow Obama in the convention. The Clinton's have never been known to lose and they are not going to lose now.
This is a ploy to make Obama pick her and she's telling the DNC and Obama either you bow down to me and do as I want you to do I will reck the entire convention and the Democratic election.
I want somebody to tell me if the tables was turned and she was the Nominee do you think all of this hell raising would be going on? NO, she would have OBAMA hanging from a ROPE."
"Hillary's not really out of the race---She's Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!
Anyone surprised? When she said she "suspended" her campaign, what she really meant was, 'I ain't through with you people yet. Just wait for Denver!'"
Remember: this was random. I didn't have to dig too far beyond the first page on the day I started this article (August 9th). These comments do represent by-and-large some of the derisive, acidic and unfounded claptrap directed at Clinton even now. Were it based in any discernible truth, I could appreciate and respect the passion these posts contain. These diatribes are characterized by lack of focus and errant hatred of a person who hasn't done the things the commenters allege.
To put it bluntly, it's mental masturbation with hate as the aphrodisiac. Obama's message of reconciliation and change among these posts is non-existent among his supporters. One could almost take Hillary's name off these rants and put McCain's in its place, the hatred of both being so equal in vitriol one could use the same content and direct it to the Republican Party damn near seamlessly.
And that's tragic. This is not to say that the majority of Obama supporters have this kind of acrimony towards Clinton. It is to say that the 'HRC BashClub' is alive and well on HuffPo -- and elsewhere; most of the "members" of which are Obama supporters. Most of whom, from what I have read, do not themselves embody the very premise their candidate built his campaign on: reconciliation and change. It does raise the question as to how divided the Democrats are amongst themselves in regards to Clinton: how much of this reflects the reality of how fragmented the party really is? The underlying dismissiveness of these posts and others like it in regards to Clinton supporters is appalling, even embarrassing, for it is without merit. Or fact.
It also begs the question for the DNC on just how to prevent an acrimonious split between the two camps by the time the Convention descends on Denver. Remember, Obama won the popular vote by 46,000+ votes: the narrowest victory in any primary in U.S. history: 35 million votes were cast. If what's taking place here on HuffPo in regards to Clinton and her supporters is any indication of what's happening in this country during this election cycle, then we're all seriously in deep shit.
This is just one example of The 'HRC BashClub'. You can go to any news article related to Clinton throughout HP and find this sort of adolescent and baseless ad hominem randomly, and in great quantities. I'm not suggesting those who have acrimony against Hillary cease and desist rendering their opinion. What I am suggesting is maybe keep your unadulterated hatred of Hillary in check unless you've got fact to parlay as part of your passionate distrust in regards to the election and upcoming convention. So far as I can tell, there isn't any. It's just hate for Clinton purely for the hate itself.
How very Republican.
I participated in a thread where a poster was being personally attacked for a similar comment he made about the status of the Party in reference to the Hillary bashing, calling it a 'shambles'. He summarily got peppered with insults to his intelligence and grammatical errors. (Yes, it gets that dumb). Understanding his point, I finally responded to the Bashers with this:
If you go back and read your own diatribes for a quick review, and take your goggles off, you'll be able to view with great clarity where the 'shambles' is. It's all of YOU! Jesus, even Obama is steadfast to preach unity within the Party, and Hillary is only acknowledging to her own base how pissed they are. (I)t was a close and contentious race, and you best believe it, her core is livid.
Far as I can tell, she is doing and saying everything RIGHT: She's backed Obama... fervently. She has been UN-assuming in her being considered for the role of VP. She could walk on water with Christ himself, and you(r) self-polluting, ad hominem-addicted verbal pugilists would STILL knock her.
I think all [the earlier poster] meant is that the PEOPLE within the Party (YOU lot) are the 'shambles'. And you really don't know what you're on about. All you know is that you hate Hillary.
Sorry, THAT doesn't qualify as knowledge. (I)t's so bad Barrack HIMSELF would probably tell you to put the lid on it.
One poster, whom I will simply call 'PUMA', put it much more succinctly on the whole issue:
"And the Hillary Hate continues. So does the divisiveness."