The Deep Blue Divide
For months, Democrats were just thrilled with their choices. Now they can't even stand to sit together.
For the past five years, a group of friends, mostly military wives or retired government workers, have been meeting for lunch at an Italian restaurant called Amici's in a strip mall in Stafford, Va. All Democrats, they don't come just for the wood-fired pizza or $8.99 lunch buffet. They come to talk about their beloved party. But lately, the air has chilled in the Tuscan-themed room.
At the lunch after Clinton's loss in Virginia, Alicia Knight, 49, a Hillary supporter, came in late. The only spare chair was between two Obama supporters, both old friends of Knight's. "I was so angry, I didn't want to sit between them, so I sat by myself at another table," she says. "It's become like the cold war: in order to maintain the relationship, you don't talk to each other." Recently, the Clinton and Obama groups began lunching separately. "We couldn't take the bashing, the smirkiness of the Obama fans," says Linda Berkoff, 63.
It's unclear exactly when the primaries stopped being a joyous occasion for the Democrats. But as the weeks have ground on, the intensity between Democrats who disagree has calcified, the vitriol grown fiercer. According to exit polling in the Texas primary, 91 percent of Clinton supporters said they would be dissatisfied with Obama as the nominee; 87 percent of Obama fans said they would be dissatisfied with Clinton. Nationally, a quarter of those who back Clinton say they'd vote for John McCain if Obama won the nomination (while just 10 percent of Obama supporters would do the same if he lost).
All this is keeping us from fighting the real enemy, too - the right-wing collective.
I'm finding it REALLY interesting that I'm coming across this story on the heels of the discussion I've been having for the past couple of hours. Frea-KAY