A lot of people would like to believe that the world — and politics — is a fairly rational place outside of the crazies. Crazy is, though, a definitional problem — by definition, crazy is defined as "outside the norm." So what is the norm? How many non-normals can there be until "crazy" is its own norm? Is irrationality the norm and — if it is — then is irrationality rational and rationality irrational these days? These are the questions that run through my mind when I read articles like this one on Politico which says "About one in five voters who supported Clinton in the Democratic primaries tell pollsters that they are not voting for Obama."Am I supposed to believe that these are Republicans and conservative independents who crossed over to vote for Clinton despite the polls at the time showing that Obama had the lead in self-identified independents? Or am I supposed to believe that they include the likes of Geraldine Ferraro, New York NOW Chapter President Marcia Pappas (she of the "psychological gang bang" statement), Missouri NARAL Chapter President Pamela Sumners and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, who are all quoted within stating their opposition to anyone but Clinton for VP? One would think that if anyone could look gimlet-eyed at the political situation in this country — especially in regards to the candidates and reproductive rights, where Obama and McCain sharply disagree — it would be the likes of women who head state-level reproductive rights organizations, a former Democratic governor nearly excommunicated from his Church over his stance on choice issues or the first female candidate for the Vice Presidency. But is the irrationality of continuing to insist that Hillary Clinton be the Vice President the new rationality for twenty percent of Clinton voters? Is insisting on combating sexism in the media by electing the male Republican candidate the new normative behavior? It begins to get disheartening when the same people who insisted 6 months ago that people, if they looked at the issues, would nominate Clinton would now ignore the issues to express their disappointment that she didn't get the nomination. And it's even worse to me when you have a potential First Lady - Michelle Obama - who isn't talking about cookie recipes or standing by her man or the other potential First Lady's patriotism, but about juggling work and family and how to have difficult conversations with your children on issues like racism, slavery and sexism. She even talks about those thousands of Hillary Clinton supporters that haven't yet come around in a far more rational and conciliatory way that I've yet been able to manage:
For me, it's not personal. The way I see it? There are a lot of people like me, like how I am about my husband, my candidate. They invested their hearts and souls into Hillary Clinton, and many of them did this for years. They have to figure out how they want to leverage their political power. I understand that. Politics is a patience game. You can't do this unless you have patience.
That's rationality, and attributing to Clinton supporters some sort of minimally-irrational rationality that, in some cases, I'm not sure is actually there. So, maybe if we're all going to be irrational and ignore the issues we used to pretend mattered to us and vote based on who is taller, or not-too-thin, or more handsome, or didn't beat Hillary Clinton in the primaries or whatever, maybe we can be perfectly irrational and just choose who we'd rather see as First Lady. Michelle's got my vote either way. But it might just be because she always looks so stylish and didn't put a silent "H" in her daughter's name VP Pick May Chafe Hillary Supporters [Politico] Obama's Independent Edge [RealClearPolitics] NOW Head Described Treatment Of Clinton A "Gang Bang" [HuffPo] Michelle Obama: I'm Still Me [Creators.com]