What do you give the leader of an 18 million strong movement? A little respect.
If Obama supporters want the votes of Clinton supporters, they had better not take them for granted. A Clinton voter and an Obama voter team up to try to help Obama supporters understand Clinton supporters, why they feel so insulted, and how the Obama camp can offer them the real respect they deserve. [...]
The "I told you so-s" of Obama supporters are no more focused on winning in November than the take-my-ball-and-go-home threats of Clinton supporters. Both are symptoms of aggrieved feelings that cannot just be willed away by references to party loyalty or the challenge ahead. [...]
Obama may have won the nomination but it will mean nothing if he does not win the General Election in November, and to do that he needs the votes and even the enthusiastic support of Hillary and her supporters. Clinton's supporters cannot be insulted, bullied, or guilted into enthusiastic support in the fall. [...]
Leaving the question of Hillary's support among blue-collar workers, Hispanics, and Jews for a future discussion, we are talking about Clinton's base among mostly white, mostly college educated, mostly over-40 women, or to put it another way, the women who grew up in the women's movement, and then turned much of that energy toward electing Democrats. In a lot of communities across America, if you call a meeting of the top Democratic officials and reliable campaign workers, that's who will show up. But they will not show up to be insulted, and consciously or unconsciously, Obama supporters have been relentless in insulting this group throughout this extended campaign. [...]
If Clinton's success in battling back in the later primaries is to have any lasting meaning, it should be this - the principles of gender equality that underlie the feminism of both mothers and daughters (and fathers and brothers) must be honored. There are a lot of ways to define feminism, but the core issue is respect for women, and the Democratic Party diminishes itself if it does not stand for the principle that sexism, as much as racism and other forms of prejudice are neither politically correct nor acceptable.
The party must stand together against the current cultural backlash against feminism in a way that lays the groundwork for women (and men) to support the next woman who runs for the presidency without continuing fear of ridicule. In victory or defeat, Clinton and her supporters deserve to be heard regarding their views about the sexist climate of this campaign. The sexism that just as much as racism persists in our culture, and consciously or unconsciously in our political campaigns must be "denounced and rejected." The Chinese proverb, "women hold up half the sky" does not even fully describe the Democratic Party where numerically, women account for substantially more than half of the votes we will need to win in November and this core group of Democrats deserves real respect from the Democratic Party and its new [presumptive] presidential nominee.