If we dare compare the last-ditch Clintonites to the Germans in Hitler's bunker, then Marcia Pappas would be the equivalent of Dr. Goebbels, unwilling to live in a world without his Fuehrer. Casual readers may not remember her by name, but they may recall the raging press release that came out of the New York chapter of NOW back in February when Senator Kennedy endorsed Senator Obama. It was Marcia Pappas who condemned Kennedy for betraying the women's movement by taking a stand against Senator Clinton. Now that Clinton prepares to concede defeat, Pappas will not actually kill herself, but her parting shot appears to recommend a suicide mission for the Clintonites.
True to form, Pappas announces that "Hillary's supporters are sad and mad that the Democratic party did not stand up against sexism in the media. Hillary's supporters are sad and mad that a qualified, intelligent woman was denied the chance to lead the most powerful country in the world, and that she was denied the chance to send a message of hope and potential greatness to women everywhere."
Yeah, how dare voters do that? And especially those in a self-styled Democratic party? Pappas will tell you that 'The Democrats certainly did not live up to their name" in their failure to affirm Clinton's call to potential greatness. "This time the Democrats have shown their true colors," she fumes -- are they black, by any chance? Then, to mix metaphors, comes her call for a banzai charge straight out of Iwo Jima: "It's high time for a party that respects the needs and rights of over half the population. Maybe Senator Clinton should start a National Women's Party. She certainly has the base she would need to make it happen. At least that party will state its mission clearly through it's [sic] title."
To return to our German metaphor, Pappas reminds one of a general who actually believes that there are armies on the way to relieve Berlin. At this point, of course, it's a good Democrat's job to tell people like Pappas not to go crazy and sabotage the last best liberal hope in the general campaign. I'm not a good Democrat, of course, so my answer to Pappas's proposal is: I dare you. I think we would all learn something from the experiment, and enough so that it would never need to be repeated.
If anyone thinks such a stunt would doom the Obama campaign, let me remind you of 1948. In that year, the Democratic party was split in three. "Dixiecrats" bolted to protest Harry Truman's modest initiatives on civil rights. "Progressives" bolted to protest increased American belligerence toward the Soviet bloc. Truman, not a popular incumbent in the first place, was certainly doomed -- and yet he won. Figure that one out.