Reading through the nearly 300 comments of the "Important Announcement" post at Shakesville, and viewing comments elsewhere regarding said post, one word has come up repeatedly - spite.

While going to a definition is trite and usually of little value, I find it interesting that the definition of spite, according to Merriam-Webster is "Petty ill will or hatred with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart."

Because at a dedicated progressive and feminist blog where numerous voices and perspectives are presented, I find the accusation that individuals that have not leaped aboard the Barack Obama bandwagon are doing so out of spite to be spiteful in their own way.

The United States of America is 232 year old. And in those 232 years, this great experiment in democracy has become thus - you have one choice for President. I understand the primary season is supposed to be a time to vet out the best candidate for your party, but many struggle to view it as little more than a choice of packaging. The present has been bought for us. Our choice is in how it will be wrapped. And this goes for both the Republican and Democratic parties, which are currently the only viable parties U.S. citizens been allowed. Basically, the United States is the loss of one major party away from being a one-party system. I fail to see the democracy in such a system.

The voice of voters has been quelled, and yet there is outright anger shown to any who dare defy or even question a rigged system.

What is spite? Spite is John Aravosis at Americablog viewing Hillary Clinton's performance at the Democratic National Convention and - after literally years of belittling the Senator from New York - writing exactly one post about her. And that post is dedicated to showing Clinton's name on a Hooter's sign in Colorado. That is petty ill will or hatred.

Spite is Nora Ephron being unable to stop herself from calling Clinton supporters narcissistic and clumping them all together as if they were one monolithic group that marched together lockstep with no concern whatsoever for their nation.

Spite is Stephen Kaus seeing Hillary Clinton's speech and viewing it as a reason for an all-out assault on her and her supporters.

Spite is sricki at MyDD unleashing a torrent of ad-hominens - in a post that is an apparent attempt to show some type of understanding - and finishing with "If you don't know whether you can vote for him, I would recommend sitting back silently, watching and reading, or contacting people privately."

Spite is seeing Democrats being lavished by AT&T for their help in allowing them to walk away unscathed after violating the law and the privacy of so many Americans. And then having said Democrats refuse to comment about the cozy relationship.

Nonetheless, I completely understand the opinion that every last effort must be made to defeat John McCain and the Republicans. But I also understand the level of frustration many have in a Democratic Party that has shown little interest in holding Republicans accountable, or were plainly complicit in their actions the past eight years.

And I also understand those who believe that the system is so utterly broken that they refuse to take part in political parades that are little more than a front for corporate interests.

I even understand the opinions of the dwindling number of old-school conservatives that believe in fiscal responsibility, accountability and personal liberty. Conservatives that have been left in the lurch after the GOP radically rebuilt as a party that despised civil liberties, embraced theocracy and fascism and has its platform written for it by its corporate sponsors.

I understand all of the above because I believe American citizens need to desperately hold on to any choice they currently have, for they just don't have many choices any longer outside of which brand to buy.

In the end, I believe in every individual's right to choose in an era where choice is being taken from us all at a frightening rate. And I view the tactic of demeaning and demonizing those that refuse to unquestioningly fall in line with the current unnatural order of things as the ultimate act of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. And of this we desperately need a respite.


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