I'm not saying that either Obama or Clinton are messianic saviors who will rid the earth of evil. Nor am I saying that they're going to lay down their lives so that all who believe in them may be saved. I'm not even saying (as some particularly foolish talking heads have), that either is a cult leader. But both are like Jesus in one way.
They both seem to be personally likable, and at heart, believe that they have the answers for a number of the problems facing the nation. They're both good people in a lot of ways.
But their followers, that's another story.
Let me be clear here--I'm not talking about the majority of Democrats who, according to most polls, say they have no problem if either is the nominee. Count me in that group. I lean a little more toward Obama, but that's over matters of style more than substance. Neither was my first choice, and I see little substantive difference between them.
Nor am I talking about the people who have been calling out the various campaigns for sexist or racist or anti-gay dog whistles, because they're doing what needs to be done--challenging candidates while we're in the primary stage and demanding that they not be used as fodder to appeal to bigoted and closed-minded voters.
No, I'm talking about those supporters who are as fundamentalist in their support of their candidate as any Young Earth Creationist, who claim that if their person is not the nominee, they will forgo the election in November, if not cross the aisle to vote for John McCain. I'm talking about some of these people, or a number of the commenters here, and in many various other parts of the left blogosphere. I'm talking about people so sold on their candidate that they refuse to acknowledge that either one is, from any reasonably liberal or progressive perspective, two fuckloads better than John McCain on any issue you care to name. Nope, it's their person or nothing, and damn the consequences.
Hopefully, there won't be any this time around. I really do think that most of the Democratic party and Independents who are leaning that way are enough to overwhelm whatever few internet fundamentalists are planning to sit it out if their messiah doesn't make the cut. I find it hard to believe that either Obama or Clinton will have much trouble dispatching John McCain in November. And I also believe that many, if not most of the people who are expressing such outrage against one or the other will put that aside when the fury of this primary season is done--I never thought I'd be glad my candidate was done early in the process, but after watching this train wreck, it certainly doesn't hurt as badly.
After all, even with the huge turnouts at the primaries and the great interest in this historic election season, most of the country isn't tuned in yet, especially not at the blog-ular level. I think that sometimes we bloggers get an inflamed sense of ourselves, of how much we matter to the debate at large. We're tuned in, so we expect most others are as well, but really, right now more people are interested in the next season of American Idol than are interested in the presidential campaign, and it's a tiny minority who can cite the minutiae of the campaign squabbles.
So I encourage everyone to take a breath, let it out, and acknowledge that your candidate really isn't a savior, nor is his or her opponent the devil, at least not until after the convention. Then it's on.