Friday, May 30, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro....please go away

Geraldine Ferraro has turned up once again to whine about sexism and "racial resentment":

The truth is that tens of thousands of women have watched how Clinton has been treated and are not happy. We feel that if society can allow sexism to impact a woman's candidacy to deny her the presidency, it sends a direct signal that sexism is OK in all of society.

As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama's historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama's playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They're not upset with Obama because he's black; they're upset because they don't expect to be treated fairly because they're white. It's not racism that is driving them, it's racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don't believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory "Our Time Has Come" they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.

Whom he chooses for his vice president makes no difference to them. That he is pro-choice means little. Learning more about his bio doesn't do it. They don't identify with someone who has gone to Columbia and Harvard Law School and is married to a Princeton-Harvard Law graduate. His experience with an educated single mother and being raised by middle class grandparents is not something they can empathize with. They may lack a formal higher education, but they're not stupid. What they're waiting for is assurance that an Obama administration won't leave them behind.


I will say a couple things in response.

First, has Clinton been a victim of sexism during this primary? Yes. She has also been a victim of her own words and actions. She has been a victim of her own mistakes and her own missteps. She has been a victim of her campaign's incoherence and constant changing of the goalposts. But most of all, she was a victim of her own hubris. To suggest that Hillary Clinton, a candidate with all the advantages going in, lost because of sexism is absurd. Imagine if Obama had lost 11 primaries in a row in February. Does anyone seriously think the media would have pretended he had a chance afterwards? But they did for Clinton. They played along with her narrative until it became impossible to accomodate.

Second, her explanation of "Reagan Democrats" (whoever the hell they are) and their problems with Obama strikes me as incredibly condescending towards a group of people that the Democrats outwardly are supposed to be courting, because the picture she paints is not favorable. She is basically saying that these people are so stupid and ignorant that they don't want to vote for someone with a good education. They don't want to vote for someone who rose from a modest background to a successful career in law and politics. (UPDATE: And another thing; is she forgetting the particulars of Hillary's education? They can "identify" with a Yale graduate but not a Harvard one?) They're so stupid that they believe an Obama administration will actually discriminate against whites. When she says they cannot "empathize" with Obama, what they really mean is that they cannot empathize with a black man.

In other words, people like the voters in West Virginia and Kentucky who voted for Hillary in overwhelming numbers, and think Obama is a Muslim and doesn't say the pledge of alliegance and all the other bullshit. Reagan Democrats, my ass. Those are Republicans. And those who are not can go have intimate relations with farm animals as far as I'm concerned. Obama doesn't need them.

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