Arthur Digby Sellers in his iron lung
History will be made today, and I’m not just talking about this blog’s most obscure Lebowski reference. I’m talking about Super Tuesday—the finest Tuesday in the land, after Taco Tuesday, when 11 states hold their primaries and determine who is a viable candidate and who is Ben Carson. This year’s Super Tuesday is especially exciting. On one side of the aisle, the Democratic Party is poised to nominate either the first woman or the first socialist Jew. Which will it be? The woman, because she hasn’t threatened to disrupt the richest industry in America. But maybe something surprising will happen, and the socialist Jew will catch up.
The Republican nominating contest is even more thrilling. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are locked in a game of chicken, but it’s the kind of chicken where you both drive toward a cliff. Ben Carson is locked in a refrigerator at the dump. And Donald Trump, the billionaire reality TV star who announced his candidacy by calling America’s largest immigrant population “drug dealers and rapists” at a mall, is poised to destroy the Republican Party. Unless my dad finds a genie and causes John Kasich to win all eleven states, today is probably the day Trump clinches the nomination. Our outcomes from there are soft fascism, woman president and/or third party.
Today is a watershed no matter what happens. We’ve talked a lot about politics this year, and I keep making secret plans to knock it off after this election is over. You’ll notice, if you look at the most popular posts widget to your left, that none of them is about politics. But god dammit, this is the weirdest election of my lifetime. It’s way weirder than 2012. Whatever happens today, tomorrow is going to look a lot like history.
Lifelong civil rights activist and Hillary Clinton supporter Dolores Huerta
On Saturday night, after Hillary Clinton won the Nevada Democratic caucuses, civil rights activist Delores Huerta tweeted that she offered to translate during an event at Harrah’s casino but was shouted down by Sanders supporters who chanted “English only.” It was an alarming claim, repeated by actress America Ferrera and then reported by CNN and the Washington Post. Fortunately, it didn’t really happen. Actress Susan Sarandon, of all people, posted an unedited, hourlong video of the event that showed no such chant when Huerta took the stage. Several eyewitnesses disputed Huerta’s claim, and in a subsequent account she said that Sanders supporters merely booed and offered a Spanish translator of their own, at which point the moderator opted to go ahead without translation. Snopes has rated the report false. The Washington Post, on the other hand, has updated its account to say that “neither side was quite right.” The CNN story is still up, uncorrected.
Feminist icon and Bill Maher-tolerator Gloria Steinem
On Friday night, Gloria Steinem criticized young women who support Bernie Sanders in, uh, problematic terms. “When you’re young, you’re thinking, ‘where are the boys?'” she told Bill Maher. “The boys are with Bernie.” That’s a bad argument, mostly because it implies that young women care less about politics than catching a man, but also because there’s a much more satisfying generalization right next door. When you’re young, you’re thinking, “where are the young people?” Eighty-five percent of voters under age 30 broke for Sanders in the Iowa caucuses, and he led Hillary by 21 points among voters 30-44. There may be some force at work here other than the overwhelming desire for boys. But if Steinem is a feminist, how can she say something sexist?
Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley’s liver. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty
Update: The AP has called the Iowa caucuses for Hillary.
At 9:34 this morning, the Associated Press warned us all not to call the Iowa Democratic Caucuses just yet. Although the Clinton campaign declared victory last night, the tally currently stands at 49.9% Clinton, 49.6% Sanders, and 0.6% Martin O’Malley. O’Malley withdrew from the race, and what the Iowa Democratic Party does with his delegates could change the winner. So, too, could the missing results from 90 precincts. But probably Hillary won what Bernie Sanders has called “a virtual tie.” She said she did, and the normally sensible New York Times agrees. Nate Cohn has declared that the deadlock was “better for Clinton than Sanders.” Obviously, it’s a huge victory for the once-presumptive nominee to finish in a dead heat with a self-professed socialist who pundits agreed was unelectable. In other news, Iowa Republicans decided they would rather swallow a scorpion than a snake.
Bros who love Bernie Sanders
Bernie bros are like raccoons. We know they’re out there, but we have a hard time actually laying hands on one. On Friday, Mashable ran a story headlined The bros who love Bernie Sanders have become a sexist mob. Emily Cahn writes:
[W]ith the Iowa caucuses now days away, a subset of Sanders supporters has become extremely vocal. Their messages, which are oftentimes derogatory and misogynistic, are geared at Clinton supporters (or anyone who disagrees with Sanders for that matter). They’ve even become prominent enough to earn a nickname: the “BernieBros.”
As examples of Bernie bro behavior, the story screenshots two Facebook comments on a photo of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Hillary Clinton. The first is from Carol Jean Simpson, who writes, “I am no longer voting for you. You should have supported someone with integrity instead of a lying shitbag like HRC. #FeelTheBern.” That’s derogatory. But it’s not misogynist(ic), and the astute reader will note that Carol Jean Simpson is a woman. The second commenter, Scott Lockhart, writes, “Their vaginas are making terrible choices!” Now that’s the kind of cartoonish misogyny we’re looking for. Unfortunately, Scott Lockhart turns out to be a parody account.