Republicans have relentlessly bashed anything and everything President Obama has said or done since before he was even elected in 2008. I can still remember right after he announced that we had found and killed Osama bin Ladin, a moment that would have normally galvanized Americans, many Republicans instantly began claiming that he didn’t deserve any credit because he didn’t personally pull the trigger. For the first time in American history, a president wasn’t getting credit for something historic that happened during his presidency because he didn’t personally do it.
It was absurd.
On issues like raising the debt ceiling, something Republicans did seven times during George W. Bush’s eight years in office, suddenly this was a “controversial issue” about “out of control spending.” No matter how many ways you showed conservatives what the debt ceiling was and that Republicans had no problem raising it for Bush — it simply didn’t matter. Their media was telling them this was all about “out of control spending” and “giving Obama a blank check” (even though none of that was factual, whatsoever) so that’s what they believed. Even as President Obama reduced deficits by $1 trillion, many on the right still believe to this day that he’s made spending worse.
Then there’s the economy.
Right now unemployment hovers around 5 percent, we’re in the midst of the longest streak of private sector job growth in history and we’ve created over 14 million jobs — yet nearly every Republican in this country will come up with all sorts of conspiracy theories as to why all none of that’s true.
Then any source that doesn’t tell Republicans what they want to hear is usually dismissed as part of the “liberal media” that has a “pro-Obama/Democrat agenda.”
So, why does this happen?
Simple: Because they want to hate him – they’re told to hate him – and they surround themselves with a seemingly endless supply of “news” and information sources that come up with all sorts of reasons why they’re justified for hating him.
Well, the same goes for many of the more hostile pro-Bernie Sanders/anti-Hillary Clinton folks.
It doesn’t matter what Clinton says or does, they want to hate her so they’re going to. Any facts you might use to debunk whatever talking point they’re trying to sell will simply be dismissed as “bias pro-Clinton media.”
Just in this last week I’ve seen individuals from this particular group of Sanders supporters accuse FiveThirtyEight.com and Politifact, two sites that have always been highly respected by liberals and loathed by conservatives because they deal in the world of factual information, of being “in the tank/shills” for Hillary Clinton because they dared to report on realities that contradicted what they want to believe concerning the Democratic primary.
To say nothing about CNN, Politico, MSNBC, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News that are all clearly on Clinton’s payroll.
Then again, practically anyone that reports on anything other than “Sanders is amazing and Clinton is the next coming of Satan” is, apparently, a “paid shill by the Clinton campaign.” It’s obvious that the she-devil Hillary Clinton’s tentacles have reached tens of millions of people via DNC campaign checks funneled through dark money Wall Street subsidiaries that were discussed during the speech she gave to Goldman Sachs. We all then gleefully sold our souls to the “establishment” because it’s obvious no one would ever support her unless they were being paid to do so.
Or something like that.
Yes, that was a bit overly sarcastic, but I’ve reached my limit with this nonsense. Literally on a daily basis I get accused of being paid by her campaign simply because I have a different opinion than these particular Sanders people.
The truth is, many of these “Bernie or bust”/more aggressive Sanders supporters (not all, the vast majority of Sanders people are great, awesome people who understand the Republican party is the enemy – not fellow Democrats) simply want to hate Hillary Clinton just like Republicans want to hate President Obama.
They’ll say she’s “no better than a Republican/Republican light” – then ignore the fact that, as senator, she was ranked the 11th most liberal member of the Senate (more liberal than both Obama and Biden).
Many will say she’s not a “real progressive,” just a “conservative” pretending to be a Democrat and that Bernie Sanders is the only liberal running for president – then ignore the indisputable fact that when the two served together in the Senate, they voted on the same side of the issues 93 percent of the time.
She’s branded a “shill for Wall Street” – yet aside from one bankruptcy bill they saw Elizabeth Warren talk about in a video from over a decade ago, they can’t point to really anything else during her eight years as a senator that “exposes her as a puppet for the big banks” (even Sanders couldn’t cite an example when he was asked to do so during a debate). Usually when you bring this up they’ll just go on about speech transcripts which have nothing to do with her voting record. Even when you show them where she called for tighter regulations on Wall Street right at the start of the 2008 crash, it won’t change their minds one bit.
Obviously they’ll hold her vote on Iraq over her head relentlessly while praising Sanders as the “anti-war” candidate – while ignoring the fact that he did vote for the war in Afghanistan which is still going on, has been just as pointless and seemingly has no end in sight. If we do leave, like in Iraq, terrorist groups will take over the country and we’ll end up right back there having to deal with it all over again.
Show them where FiveThirtyEight.com broke down the numbers from all the states thus far and showed that, even if Sanders got everything he’s demanding and claims is “rigging the primary” against him, he would still be losing to Clinton by a substainal margin, perhaps even more than he is now – and they’ll just say, as I alluded to earlier, that they’re “in the tank for/shills” for Clinton and the primary is “rigged.”
Provide ample amounts of evidence proving where she’s been very liberal on issues such as the minimum wage, education, climate change, campaign finance reform, women’s rights, paid maternity leave, immigration reform and gay rights – and they’ll ignore every bit of it, often claiming she’s no different than a Republican on all of those issues.
Even though many of these individuals are still big fans of President Obama, if you point out that nearly all of the key attacks Sanders has been using against her could just as easily be used against Obama – they’ll continue to relentlessly bash and attack her while still being fans of Obama.
Point out that President Obama set records when it came to raising campaign money (especially from Wall Street) and had a huge super PAC, yet still went on to pass Dodd-Frank and has been a fairly progressive president who most of them proudly support – and they’ll continue to claim her Wall Street donations are a sign that she’s a “shill for Wall Street” and can’t be trusted.
Pull up Politifact’s scorecards on each candidate and show them that, over the years, they’ve found Clinton and Sanders to both be equally as honest/dishonest – and they’ll accuse Politifact of having bias toward Clinton, claim she’s untrustworthy and continue to believe anything and everything Sanders says.
Look, is Hillary Clinton perfect? No, she’s not. But guess what? Neither is Bernie Sanders, President Obama, Sen. Elizabeth Warren or anyone for that matter — especially politicians.
But to dislike someone just because you want to dislike them doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
That’s what I’ve seen a lot of this past year. Many “liberals” (though I get the feeling a good chunk of these people are libertarians/conservatives just trying to cause friction between legitimate Clinton and Sanders supporters) who have been acting toward Hillary Clinton the same way Republicans have been acting toward President Obama. And nothing you say – no amount of facts you use – is likely ever going to change their mind.
This particular group of Bernie Sanders supporters wants to hate Hillary Clinton, just like most Republicans want to hate President Obama.
*Sidenote: For those who I’m sure are going to claim that I didn’t use facts to back up anything I said, those blue words with lines underneath them are called links to sources that support what’s been said. I’m not sure why I need to explain this, but every time I write something like this, I get inundated with people claiming I made a bunch of claims without providing any sources — when there were numerous linked sources in the article.
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