The Race and Gender Split: videos, cartoons and a pocket guide to Obamabots

It started with a rumor that the Obama campaign was hiring 400 bloggers to woo Hillary’s online supporters.

Clinton supporters, already unhappy about misogyny in the mainstream media, were not amused. Said Cannonfire

“Obama volunteers are being told to ratchet down the anti-Hillary hate, because someone in the campaign realizes Hillary Clinton supporters are not very likely to support Obama if he becomes the nominee. Which means, of course, that Obama controlled the Hillary-hate in the first place. His was the hand on the spigot.”

The hate in the blogosphere has been palpable, perpetrated by anonymous bloggers identifying themselves as Obama supporters who pasted the same misogynistic hate messages and Obama campaign chants in the comment sections of political articles. Clinton supporters have dubbed them “obamabots”.

Like a battered wife, they’ll be back.

Says Lavender Liberal:

Notice something? For about three days after his supporters declared Barack Obama the “presumptive nominee”… the constant bashing… suddenly subsided, to be replaced by sickeningly cloying calls for “unity” and “graciousness,” ’cause, after all, “we’re all Democrats.”

Why did the obamabots stop posting their cut and paste messages? Could it be, as Lavender Liberal suggests, that

“The Big Giant Head at Obama Central texted new marching orders to the cell phones (or perhaps directly into the brain-chip implants) of all Obamaniacs simultaneously”?

Or maybe it was encoded into the Edwards endorsement of Obama ? The bots were watching all the news services–we know they were following the speech, because they were posting nasty messages whenever a news service didn’t publish something about the Edwards endorsement instantaneously enough for their demands. When Edwards mentioned Hillary Clinton’s name, about 1:20 minutes into the speech, there were boos all around. Then Edwards made the “we are a stronger party, because Hillary Clinton is a Democrat” comments. Then the obambots stopped pasting their venom.

The Lavender Liberal, bracing for the expected change in online tactics, created a pocket guide, based on the cycle of domestic violence model:

Another Hillary forum prints its own unprintable reply below the fold (NSFW). One visitor posts a link to Jo Jo singing “Too little, too late”, another to Carole King’s “It’s too late baby”. Some blogs–and radio stations–are talking about a Obama boycott, a boycott of NBC, and whether to vote for McCain or write-in Hillary’s name. Many are expressing disappointment over NARAL, an organization that Hillary Clinton took some political heat for in giving them her support in 1999.

At Hillaryresponders.com they are planning a DC rally for the May 31 rules committee and chatting about a million woman march on the Democratic convention in Denver. A new video from GeekLove08 declares “Make your vote count, vote Republican”, and includes scenes from the riot-torn 1968 Democratic Convention. The names of Howard Dean and Donna Brazile are invoked over and over, and not in a good way.

Even the political blogs have become divided. One poster who reports an abundance of “obamatons” on Huffington Post says any comments favorable to Clinton are taken down by a moderator within an hour of posting. MoveOn is said to be a huge fundraising machine for Obama.

Probably the most sensible thing that has been said all week came from Bill Clinton talking informally after a campaign event. He said we not only need to unite the nation with regards to race and gender, but also by income and geographical location.

And don’t forget the earlier–and in my opinion the best–video mashup of political campaign hate and anti-woman vitriol. The soundtrack has Hillary’s China speech about the value of women.

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