“May you live in exciting times,” as the curse goes, and for Democrats, these are exciting times, indeed. Talking about the primaries in mixed liberal company these days can be dangerous. Assume everyone’s an Obama supporter and you end up getting called sexist for bad-mouthing Hillary; assume everyone agrees that Obama’s a weightless fluke and you start to sound a little Geraldine Ferraro. Knowing someone’s gender, race, age, and education no longer allows you to assume their political affections. Which version of liberalism do you really support? Which identity matters more? Which prejudice is more poweful? Does ideology lose out to idealism or to pessimism? We’re finding out one vote at a time, and today, it’s the U.K. post-punk legends the Slits’ turn.
While performing “World of Grownups” on radio show Fair Game, singer Ari Up threw in a bunch of pro-Hillary statements–nothing extreme, just “Vote for Hillary!” and “Obama doesn’t have a chance against the Republicans!” and “Hillary!” a bunch of times. But it may have been one time too many, because afterwards, band members Hollie Cook (who is black, and a new member) and Tessa Pollitt (who is not on either count) objected, saying, “Enough bloody politics,” “you’re representing what you think, you’re not representing the whole group,” and other things off-mic that are harder to make out. Ari took it in stride, but it’s a somewhat remarkable incident in the context of modern American politics–it’s hard to imagine members of a feminist reggae-punk band disagreeing vehemently about whether, say, Al Gore or Bill Bradley should be the Democratic nominee. Awkward though it can be at times, for a party that only eight years sent a not-insignificant portion of its base to a third-party candidate, it’s remarkable that radical leftists are not just engaged with the Democratic primary, but taking passionate positions on the candidates.
Slits Spat! [Fair Game]