New Hampshire Primary Wrap-Up

[Content Note: Islamophobia; misogyny.]

Congratulations to Senator Bernie Sanders, who not only decisively won the New Hampshire primary last night, but also made history by becoming the first Jewish (and first non-Christian) candidate to win a presidential primary!

The nomination race is, however, far from over, and suggestions to the contrary are premature. The last two presidents, Barack Obama and George Bush, won Iowa and lost New Hampshire. That doesn't mean it will go that way this time, but it does mean that winning New Hampshire isn't a reliable indicator of who will be the eventual nominee.

The Democratic candidates now head to Nevada for a caucus on February 20, and then to South Carolina for a primary on February 27. South Carolina in particular matters, because it is the first state on the schedule that isn't disproportionately white.

To be clear, I'm not making that point to delegitimize Sanders' win. I genuinely care, no matter who wins, that the Democrats' selection process starts in two very white states. Clinton won one; Sanders won one. And anyone who's been hanging around here for awhile will know I'm continually pissed that we can't have a rotating primary schedule or single-day mega-primary. It's not about who won. It's about who has gotten to vote.


Congrats to Sanders on his historic win!

And while Democrats were busily handing the win to a Jewish candidate, Republicans were busily handing the win to a rank Islamophobic shitlord.

Donald Trump, whose Islamophobia is only the tip of his bigotry iceberg, handily won the Republican contest last night, taking around 35% of the final tally. Ohio Governor John Kasich took second, with 16%. Of course Kasich came in second—because the story of this GOP primary has been: Trump! Oh no! Let's flirt with this dude! Oh crap he's a garbage nightmare! Shit! Let's flirt with this other dude! So it's Kasich's turn in the sunshine until they find out that he, too, is a horror show.

Spoiler Alert, Republican voters: THEY'RE ALL TERRIBLE.

You know your party is terrific when people not knowing shit about your candidates is apparently their biggest asset. I'm finally on to your brilliant long game, Jim Gilmore.

And finally! It wouldn't be 2016 presidential campaign coverage without some instance of misogyny being levied at Hillary Clinton. I'm sure there were many last night, as every night, but this one just about did my head in.

So, during her concession speech, Hillary Clinton said this:

When people anywhere in America are held back by injustice, that demands action. That is why I believe so strongly that we have to keep up with every fiber of being the argument for, the campaign for, human rights. Human rights as women's rights, human rights as gay rights, human rights as worker rights, human rights as voting rights, human rights across the board for every single American! [huge cheers and applause]
Cut back to CNN, where I was watching her address, and the talking heads immediately start castigating Clinton for using the word "I" too much in her speeches, while Bernie Sanders uses "we." Because he cares about other people, and isn't a voracious narcissist monster like she is.

I may be paraphrasing. But not by much.

You've really got to be operating from an agenda of straight-up hatred to listen to a candidate say the words quoted above and then immediately accuse her of insufficient concern for other people. Especially when that "human rights as X rights" has been an iconic hallmark of her speechmaking for two decades.

Further, as Ana Mardoll has repeatedly pointed out, women tend to be socialized to use "I" statements, as well as use qualifiers like "I think" and "I believe."

And then there is this: Clinton is obliged to prove her credentials and competency over and over, in a way that Sanders is not. It's taken as read that he is capable of being president, which allows him to skip the "I can" and "I have" and go right to "We will."

This shit is exhausting.

In summation: Donald Trump is horrendous, and he must never be allowed anywhere near the US presidency. I have a preference between Clinton and Sanders, but either one of them is preferable to Donald Trump by a margin incomprehensible to mortal comprehension.

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