Pocahontas County, West Virginia: almost heaven.
I am predisposed to like West Virginia. It’s largely rural; that’s a good thing. It borders Ohio, my home for many years. I’ve met a lot of guys from Wheeling, Huntington and Charleston in Gay bars in Columbus and Cincinnati; nice, fun-loving people. (It’s also a state where Gay people absolutely must move to the cities, and they mostly do.) Much of the state is mountainous and beautiful, except where the coal companies have blasted the tops off the mountains and ruined everything for all time. Coal operators are lowlife scum and everyone in West Virginia knows it.
Still, it’s a great place for whitewater rafting.
And tonight West Virginia voters are going 70-30 for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama, the soon-to-be Democratic nominee for President. How wacky is that?
I see nothing wrong with West Virginians being contrarians. They get to vote and make their opinions heard like everyone else. If they like Sen. Clinton they have the right to say so. But what else are they saying?
According to exit polls (I admit, you have to extrapolate somewhat), West Virginians are voting race tonight. That’s why Hillary told USA Today what she did last week about “working Americans, hardworking Americans, white Americans.”
Here’s some exit poll data reported by The New York Times:
The West Virginia electorate included 2 in 10 white voters who said race was an important factor in their vote and more than 8 in 10 of them backed Mrs. Clinton.
I haven’t been this ashamed of an American politician since Jesse Helms. But West Virginians ate it up like slop at a pig trough.
Someone should remind them that they seceded from Virginia and got admitted to the United States because they opposed slavery.
Tonight they’ve completely reverted to the last dying gasp of White Power.
Again, The Times:
More than half of voters in West Virginia said they would be dissatisfied if Mr. Obama won the nomination. Half said they believed he shared the views of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Half also said Mr. Obama was not honest and trustworthy, and half said he did not share their values.
She won under-30s. She won college graduates. She won affluent voters in West Virginia. (Only 2% of voters there are African-American.)
On electability, 6 in 10 voters said Mrs. Clinton has a better chance of beating Mr. McCain in November than Mr. Obama does. Indeed, in the heat of battle, fewer than 4 in 10 of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters said they would vote for Mr. Obama in November.
Of course she won old, White rednecks, which most people probably associate with the state. In my experience, that association is really unfortunate; it’s a bit shocking to read comments on the blogs at The Times and find out how often the most blatant, ignorant anti-Southern stereotypes are repeated in America’s most sophisticated city.
Even there people substitute image for thought—so why should I be surprised when they do it in West Virginia?
All in all this is not a good night for America, much less peace on earth. Hillary Clinton lives on to fight another day, when really she should shut the fuck up.
There is utterly no excuse for invoking race in 2008, when she lived through 1968 just like I did. This candidate is a total whore.
But then, that’s why Bill Clinton married her.++