Lying down with dogs

Geraldine Ferraro, please shut up.

The first link there is to the Daily Breeze article in which former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro said this:

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” she continued. “And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.”

Being black in America is all win, see? There’s no downside. No obstacles to overcome. No Bradley effect. Nothing but benefit. Racism? A thing of the past. White people wish they had it so good.

At best that’s monumentally ignorant, at worst it’s blatantly racist crap. Either way, it’s indefensible. And unspinnable.

Yet there’s a whole lot of spinnin’ goin’ on.

The first line of spin defense is that this was an ad hoc comment, taken out of context, made during an informal interview with a small-circulation paper in off-the-beaten-path Torrance, Calif.

Except no, it wasn’t. The Daily Breeze interview was last week. This is a shtick, a bit, a scripted piece of boilerplate that Ferraro’s been rehearsing and refining much longer than that.

The second link above is to the audio of Ferraro saying the same thing — nearly verbatim — on right-wing radio host John Gibson’s show in February:

“John, between me and you and your millions of listeners, if Barack Obama were a white man, would we be talking about this as a potential real problem for Hillary?”

Gibson — John Gibson of Fox News — suggests that this sounds like she just “playing the race card” and Ferraro responds that she’s just telling “the truth” because “you know how honest I am.”

This we’ve heard before, a thousand times. The boasting of courageous honesty from someone unafraid to tippy-toe around with politically correct niceties, preferring instead the unvarnished honesty of asserting that black people are “very lucky” to enjoy all the privileges that come with being black in America.

In that third link above, Will Bunch explains the target audience for this shtick: the Archie Bunker demographic. The fourth link looks at Ferraro’s attempts to defend her comments when she got called on this stuff — which includes her complaints of “reverse racism” and other wretched silliness.

It’s possible to view this all in the abstract and thus to draw a distinction between pandering to the bigotry of racist voters in order to win an election and actually sharing the beliefs of those racist voters. I’m just not sure that such an abstract distinction really matters in the real world.

A bit of history: In 1988, Michael Dukakis’ primary strategy relied on his being the last white guy left against Jesse Jackson, which he gambled (correctly, if not admirably) would ensure him the nomination. You’ll recall how that worked out for him come the general election.

  • hapax

    You can’t fault people for referring to Senator Clinton by her first name. Her campaign encourages this.
    The fact that there is overt sexism in the Clinton campaign (yes, saying,
    “Vote for her because she’s female” IS sexism, and I have heard it too) doesn’t mean that I should endorse it there, or anywhere.
    In the case you quoted, I was noting the irony/hypocrisy in not-scottbot’s post — unless you feel that he is a closet Hillary!TM supporter?

  • Jeff

    Is it possible that you have managed to miss the many commentators who claim that Hillary Clinton is only in the race because of the years she put her career on hold being Bill Clinton’s wife?
    No-one from Obama’s campaign has said anything about Clinton’s gender — the closest is when he said “periodically”, ya know, like all magazines are female. When one rightly called Clinton a monster, she was fired.
    Clinton doesn’t care about the party or the country. She only cares about Clinton.
    ======================
    listed as one of the one hundred most influential lawyers in America in 1988 and 1991
    Are you saying that being the wife of a governor, and a rising political star, had nothing to do with that?, A lot had to do with her own merit, but at least some was because of Bill.
    was elected as senator for New York State
    That was almost certainly due to her being First Lady (and the Republicans being even more inept than usual). A complete outsider running and winning in NY would not be possible for a lawyer from Arkansas, no matter how influential.
    anyone who claims Hillary Clinton is only a Senator today because of her husband is an ignorant sexist asshole
    No, it’s someone who has watched her career and seen that she has never run a successful campaign against any real opposition, and that she might have been a Senator on her own, but it’s much more likely that she would represent Arkansas rather than NY.
    ===========================
    Incidentally, do people keep calling him ‘black’? Because you could just as easily call him ‘white’. The man is mixed race.
    Because, generally, people of mixed race are treated like blacks in this country. The standard is “Would he be stopped if driving in a ‘white’ neighborhood? Would he be able to hail a cab in NYC?”
    ===========================
    referred to Clinton by HER first name
    Clinton’s campaign signs all say “Hillary” — it’s somewhat natural to refer to her by her first name. It’s not necessarily right, and I’ve stopped doing it. (HRC would at least share company with JFK, RFK and LBJ.)
    ============================
    BTW, Ferraro got even more bizzare, claiming that every was attacking her “because she was a lesbian[*] woman.” so it’s OK for her to say Obama is lucky to be black, but she’s not lucky to be female? Clinton’s campaign, of which this is an integrated piece, is All Identity Politics All The Time.
    [*] One of the all-time quotable lines: A woman who has dropped a major case and who’s sex life has never been touched on is fired and she asks “Is this because I’m a lesbian?” No, in-show, it’s because of your performance; out-of-show, it’s because you’re a lousy actor.

  • Tonio

    how would one “use” someone else’s presidency?
    By taunting those particular voters with the fact that a black or a woman is in a position of authority over them.

  • Tonio

    To clarify my previous post, I know that Obama is mixed race. I was echoing Jeff’s point that the Archie Bunkers consider Obama to be black.

  • hapax

    No, it’s someone who has watched her career and seen that she has never run a successful campaign against any real opposition, and that she might have been a Senator on her own, but it’s much more likely that she would represent Arkansas rather than NY.
    {boggles} You must not have been watching very closely, then. I’ve lived in both Arkansas and NY, at the time of Clintons’ (both of them) campaigns, and I assure you that Hillary Clinton would never have set foot in the state of Arkansas if she hadn’t married Bill; and the odds of her winning a public office there are less than zero.
    New Yorkers, otoh, loved Clinton during her first race, liked her pretty well during her second, far more than they cared for that “degenerate Bubba” she married.
    As far as “real opposition”, the candidate she defeated during her first senate run was so popular that during his previous Congressional race, his Democratic opponent was reduced to running ads that said, in so many words: “You like Rick Lazio. Everybody likes Rick Lazio. Hey, I like Rick Lazio too. But won’t you give me a try anyhow?”
    (Come to think of it, that may soon be the tagline of Clinton’s primary race against Obama…)

  • Ursula L

    You can’t fault people for referring to Senator Clinton by her first name. Her campaign encourages this. Look at any of her campaign materials or websites. It’s always Hillary this and Hillary that.
    I suspect that she uses “Hillary” because it is her name, in a way that “Clinton” isn’t.
    Early in their marriage, Hillary kept the last name of her birth. But when it proved to be a political liability to their goals, she wound up changing it. She wound up changing quite a few things – contact lenses instead of her glasses, using his last name instead of hers, and, most tragically, no more being seen bringing a book to read at baseball games. During Bill’s first campaign, way back when, the press roasted them for these things. Because, you know, being married to a girl in glasses who likes to read and has her own identity disqualifies someone like Bill from being electable for political office.

  • Jeff

    Let me say that I was also one who was for Clinton originally. I would love to see a woman in the White House (oh, to have Shirley Chislohm running! Alas, it is not to be). But then [a] I read “Dreams of My fathers and [b] Clinton started “campaigning”, and being, well, monsterous about it.
    I think the fact that Clinton encourages the discussion of racism vs sexism (“my persecution was worse than yours was! Neener!) without engaging in it in a significant way is another reason not to vote for her.
    We are very likely going to have either a woman or a black in the White House next January. Shouldn’t that be a bigger joy than the shouting over which it is?
    (NOTE: As a “pale penis person”, I don’t have an “identity” to get political over. Even when I did, Edwards was 3rd of my list of favorites.)

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    As far as “real opposition”, the candidate she defeated during her first senate run was so popular that during his previous Congressional race, his Democratic opponent was reduced to running ads that said, in so many words: “You like Rick Lazio. Everybody likes Rick Lazio. Hey, I like Rick Lazio too. But won’t you give me a try anyhow?”
    I dunno – being a Republican in New York can hardly be considered an unassailable advantage. I think Clinton had it easier than she could have had it. She’s also never lost an election; but then, she’s only run for office after having been a national figure. That kind of exposure & name recognition can hardly hurt. I think you’re right, though, in that New York is far more her native land than Arkansans.
    *****
    Come to think of it, that may soon be the tagline of Clinton’s primary race against Obama…
    With the way her campaign has been going, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone in her group is disgraced/removed for being overheard dropping the “N” bomb.

  • Laertes

    Ursula, I accept that Hillary is likely encouraging the use of her first name for a number of reasons other than her own personal preference.
    With that granted, my point is merely that the use of her first name can’t be seen as objectionable because she, for whatever reason, is asking people to do so.
    What’s the stinkin’ problem with calling her what she wants to be called? Where I come from, that’s common courtesy.

  • http://accidental-historian.blogspot.com/ Geds

    As a “pale penis person”, I don’t have an “identity” to get political over.
    Hee hee.
    Back when I was doing leadership stuff for InterVarsity they had a “white identity” retreat/conference sort of thing to make sure all the white folk didn’t forget that we, too, have “culture.” Now, I didn’t think it was going to be a Klan meeting, but I did think the entire thing was massively stupid and more than a little misguided. Also, by that time I hated InterVarsity but hadn’t quite convinced myself to quit.
    Either way, I was one of the leaders, so I had to advertise it. The other leaders decided to do a skit, then at the end I’d give the big sell. There were 30-40 students in the chapter at the time and I’m pretty sure all but one of them was white, for what it’s worth. They got done with the stupid little skit and I popped out and said, “We’re white. We have a culture. Go to this thing if you want to find out about it,” in the most motone voice possible. I’m told it was hilarious and I couldn’t have made my displeasure more obvious if I had said, “This whole thing is stupid.”
    Which isn’t to say I don’t think us pale folk don’t have culture, nor do I think it’s something that shouldn’t be celebrated/we should be ashamed of. I’m just pretty sure that we spend an inordinate amount of time celebrating white culture. The fact that special time is set aside to celebrate other cultures and diversity should really say everything there is to say about that.

  • straight

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
    Would anyone be paying any attention to Geraldine Ferraro if she weren’t the first female VP candidate? And talk about throwing stones from a glass house. Surely Hilary Clinton’s candidacy is 10x more vulnerable to the charge of “she’s only got this far because she’s a woman / was married to the president” than Obama’s. Seems like really dumb strategy for the Clinton camp to be raising this issue.

  • hapax

    Pfui.
    This isn’t much of a Thursday Flame War.
    Let’s try this:
    You know who is lucky? Not the blacks, Not the women. Not even the atheists. Not even the black women atheists.
    It’s the blondes. I mean, all you have to do is walk in and be blonde, you know, and everybody’s all, “well, you have to excuse her, she’s blonde.” And nobody wants to fire you, because, like, they’re afraid of running low on their blonde quota, okay? And blondes, and blonds, they get ALL the hotties. It’s not fair.
    That’s why everybody keeps bleaching their hair these days, man. Doesn’t matter the color of their skin. It’s all about those frosted tips!
    Even the antiChrist knows that blonds have it made in the shade.

  • damnedyankee

    (Magically produces a stack of pies, starts throwing. The first one catches hapax square in the face.)

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    white folk didn’t forget that we, too, have “culture.”
    Double-ewe Tee EFF?!?!?! A specific range of Melanin infusion determined by a broad set of genetic factors is *NOT* a culture. Who was so stupid as to somehow ignore the massive difference between Polish, Irish, English, Australian, Russian, (and so on) cultures?

  • hapax

    wipes face
    Mmmmm. Pie.

  • http://accidental-historian.blogspot.com/ Geds

    Who was so stupid as to somehow ignore the massive difference between Polish, Irish, English, Australian, Russian, (and so on) cultures?
    See, if you’d ever worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, you wouldn’t have to ask that question. Whoever is in charge of IV has a terminal case of the stupids. It seems to filter down to the lowest level.
    Bear in mind, too, that if they were setting up a “black culture” or an “Asian culture” conference they’d probably be just as braindead.

  • Tonio

    Now, I didn’t think it was going to be a Klan meeting, but I did think the entire thing was massively stupid and more than a little misguided.
    Looking from the outside, I would have suspected InterVarsity of being connected with Bob Jones University, even though that may have been unfair to that group.

  • http://mikailborg.livejournal.com/ MikhailBorg

    Went blonde twice for a couple of summers recently.
    Y’know, I did have more fun.

  • http://accidental-historian.blogspot.com/ Geds

    I would have suspected InterVarsity of being connected with Bob Jones University
    No. Like I said, it was misguided and stupid, but not really intentionally racist. IV is all about multiculturalism and somebody probably stood up at a meeting somewhere and said, “Hey, maybe all of the white kids are feeling left out since we’re encouraging diversity and multiculturalism. How can we fix that?”
    Then, through the process of answers seeking questions that no one was actually asking, the white culture conference was born. And yea, verily, it was a dumb idea.
    I wasn’t a good fit with InterVarsity. I’m surprised I made it as long as I did, really.

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    See, if you’d ever worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, you wouldn’t have to ask that question.
    I’ve never had to deal with them directly, but I’ve heard a few things.
    ; )

  • Jeff

    On Clinton: regardless of her skin tone or color, her [a] pledging to remove her name from the Michagan ballot, [b] “forgetting” to do so (when all other candidates have and then [c] forcibly arguing that the delagates be allowed to vote for her, shows a lack in judgement, in diplomacy, in character that should disqualify her from the race.
    Is it sexist to say that these acts are dispicable? If so, why?

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    Is it sexist to say that these acts are dispicable? If so, why?
    Not at all, they’d be dispicable regardless of who did that – in fact, if that whole Michigan & Florida thing goes down the way she wants it to & she gets the nomination, I’m voting for John McCain.

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    Obama’s sexist gibes at Clinton are subtle – and relatively rare: it’s much more effective for his campaign to claim that Clinton’s campaigners are being racist. Best of both worlds, really: his sexism is invisible because it’s part of the dominant culture: his campaign’s claims that Clinton’s being racist play right into both dislike for Clinton and official opposition to “being racist”.
    I want either Obama or Clinton to be President this time next year. Unless the Republicans steal the election again, I think it likely that one of them will be. Let’s not forget the really important issue: the enemy is not Obama even if you’re a Clintonite, nor Clinton even if you’re an Obamaite. The only chance of restoring the rule of law to the US is if the Republican nominee is defeated in November and does not get to take the White House.

  • hapax

    she gets the nomination, I’m voting for John McCain.
    Honestly? You’d prefer someone who wants to go to war with Iran and will pack the Supreme Court to please the likes of Pastor Hagee to someone who plays dirty pool with delegate counts? Has Karl Rove eaten your brain?
    I’m really not a Hillary Clinton fan. But seriously, folks, get a grip.

  • damnedyankee

    Obama’s sexist gibes at Clinton are subtle – and relatively rare: it’s much more effective for his campaign to claim that Clinton’s campaigners are being racist.

    It does help when people speaking on Clinton’s behalf, y’know, actually do make racist statements (e.g. Ferraro). I’ve yet to hear anything of a sexist nature from the Obama campaign, myself. I freely admit that I may be deaf to that particular dog whistle.

    Let’s not forget the really important issue: the enemy is not Obama even if you’re a Clintonite, nor Clinton even if you’re an Obamaite. The only chance of restoring the rule of law to the US is if the Republican nominee is defeated in November and does not get to take the White House.

    An important point to remember. Obama and Clinton both share a “get out of Iraq ASAP” position, while McCain’s is “we’re there until we bring stability, peace, and puppies for everyone” (i.e. forever). And that’s just one example.

  • Cowboy Diva

    Jesurgislac iterates thusly, “his sexism is invisible because it’s part of the dominant culture”
    huh? what, because she has to wear nylons and he doesn’t, that kind of thing? In any case, is Obama conscious of it and is there anything he can do to rectify it, other than to wear nylon stockings himself?
    –speaking of course, as someone who does not wear hose unless I’m singing solo in a concert, and even then I am NOT wearing mascara.

  • Vermic

    And blondes, and blonds, they get ALL the hotties. It’s not fair.
    What about redheads, though? People just go nuts for ‘em.

  • hapax

    What about redheads, though? People just go nuts for ‘em.

    Silly Vermic! That’s because they’re feisty!

  • Anonymous

    What about redheads, though? People just go nuts for ‘em.

    Oh, hells yeah.

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    Obama claims not to be able to tell whether he’s running against Hillary or Bill: and of course that periodically feeling down comment and his “You challenge the status quo and suddenly the claws come out”.
    As others have noted: it’s impossible to tell whether Obama just is sexist, and therefore uses sexist language when talking about Hillary Clinton – and face it: it would be fairly surprising if a man who’d grown up in the US and Indonesia was not sexist. Sexism is normal in US culture – or if he deliberately makes sexist remarks in order to undercut Clinton because he knows many people can’t imagine having a woman as President – and he’ll benefit from their votes in the primaries.
    To the best of my knowledge, Clinton has never said anything as casually racist about Obama – but to be fair both ways, it’s unlikely in simple pragmatic terms that she would, either unconsciously or because an adviser had suggested she should, because open racism would backfire, whereas open sexism is acceptable. (It’s actually Avedon Carol’s theory that Obama’s campaign accuses Clinton of being racist whenever they feel Obama needs the boost.)

  • damnedyankee

    5:09 was me. Typepad is not with the liking me this week.

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    And, y’know, again: I’m actually tremendously buzzed that, providing the Republicans don’t just steal the election again (*touch wood*) this time next year the President of the United States will be either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton – because either one will be a first, and a damned surprising unexpected fantastic first: First Woman President, First Black President.
    The long primaries are destructive and are arousing real hostility between Democrats, but hopefully once the D nominee is finally picked, everyone will cool down, remember who the enemy is, and work for the Democratic campaign even if it’s not their preferred nominee.

  • damnedyankee

    The long primaries are destructive and are arousing real hostility between Democrats, but hopefully once the D nominee is finally picked, everyone will cool down, remember who the enemy is, and work for the Democratic campaign even if it’s not their preferred nominee.

    Agreed, Jesu. It’s a long road to November, a fact that’s easy to forget. Especially here in Pennsylvania, where the idea of having a primary that actually counts for once is having an intoxicating effect on the local electorate.
    That last may just be my way of saying that The Silly Season has reached us.

  • not_scottbot

    First – Scott’s posts get consistently deleted, mine don’t, and Scottbot was my joke directed at the raptured one. Why this is so hard to understand is still beyond me. Amazingly, using a consistent pair of user names for months (Scottbot, the joke, and not_scottbot) now means getting confused with someone who is banned.
    And to the best of my knowledge of the two posts today, I called Hillary Clinton either Clinton, or Hillary Clinton – however, you are welcome to call her want you want, while she is welcome to call herself what she wants. However, I will admit that Clinton, former president, is not generally distinguished by using Bill in those two posts (which I haven’t reviewed – it just isn’t that important, since the only thing I am absolutely certain of is that my ballot will go to none of the three current main stream candidates). It does seem that I think referring to a former president by his last name is sufficient – you know, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush – sounds utterly normal. Though that Bush business is a bit disturbing.
    Women are far from invisible in my second post – I went to school with 900 of them, after all – but they were all white, and I would venture that the vast majority went on to get a degree (or several), established successful careers or families, and never wonder about the next time they will be stopped by a police officer at 11pm driving home in their new Mercedes through Great Falls or McLean. Unlike a black former co-worker – or his black FBI agent friend, living in Orange County CA in the early 1990s. Though in the case of the FBI agent, whenever he was stopped in his Porsche, after he showed his ID, the police tended to be quite polite. Of course, the police did tend to make sure that he had proper ID, after he was stopped, even if the reason for the stop seemed, shall we say, tenuous? But all in a day’s good police work, it seems.
    ‘who have always been got at by both misogyny and racism’ – sure have, but generally, a black woman didn’t have to be worried about accusations of looking at a white woman, and then being lynched. Read about the strange history of lynching in America – good clean fun for the whole family, it seems. Picnic baskets and all – old history, I know.
    Maybe I should try to place this is a bit of a different context – how women are treated by male dominated societies is pretty broadly distributed and repugnant. And for those who want to argue that sexism is worse, well sure – after all, the U.S. boycotted South Africa’s apartheid system, but has no seeming problems with the House of Saud’s treatment of women.
    How American blacks have been treated, at least in the South of the 20th century, is just part of American, not European, experience. Which is why at least a couple of black Americans I’ve met prefer to live in Canada or Germany (and Germany is not exactly a multi-culti paradise). What both of those countries lack is the societal institutions directed at blacks, societal institutions which Americans who aren’t black don’t even admit exist, assuming they aren’t part of it.
    I have never heard of a glass ceiling in regards to black employees in management, though the idea would certainly seem applicable. It always seems to refer to well off white women, though maybe I don’t read enough books (Faludi’s Backlash remains highly recommended reading, though – I won’t check my copy upstairs to see if Ferraro is mentioned). Or a corporate ‘black track’ comparable to the mommy track. Because speaking generally, white women are easier for white men to treat as potential equals than anyone who is black. And women, at least according to fairly broad stereotype, have managed to at least carve out some sort of human resources department redoubt. Now think a second – what is the carved out redoubt for blacks in the organizational chart? Ponder that for a moment, then get back to me about how tough white women, especially ones from a fairly privileged background like Hillary Clinton (or should have I written ‘Rodham’ there? – this stuff can get tricky) have it in America. And for those unfamiliar with how American affirmative action programs work, at least until the earlier 1990s – a black woman could be easily doubled counted to show compliance – so hiring one black woman frees up a quota place for a white male, compared to hiring one woman and one black man. The same is true of an Asian woman, a Native American woman, etc. Yes, I knew people who were very aware of that – they were often the ones writing the job descriptions and doing the hiring, after all. Not a single one ever considered themselves racist or sexist, merely deeply concerned about finding properly qualified workers who wouldn’t disturb the atmosphere.
    Because, as pointed out by a former vice presidential candidate from two decades ago, blacks get all the breaks. Because Pelosi just happening to be the first woman as Speaker of the House shows what a huge advantage being black is in today’s America. Though sometimes I wonder – is the reason Rice now at the absolute peak of all power in America because she is both black and a woman?

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    Scott’s posts get consistently deleted, mine don’t, and Scottbot was my joke directed at the raptured one. Why this is so hard to understand is still beyond me. Amazingly, using a consistent pair of user names for months (Scottbot, the joke, and not_scottbot) now means getting confused with someone who is banned.
    Someone who declared that Fred wouldn’t be able to ban him: and someone who has identified himself on another blog as both Scott and Scottbot who posts on Slacktivist. Hm.
    FWIW, on the “useful information is always useful” side, with regard to the lynching myth that it was all about black men being accused of approaching white women -
    From The Infamous Brad:

    And the terrible, but fascinating, bit of secret history turned out to be the immediate aftermath of over half of those lynchings. Over half of those lynchings turned out to involve black men who owned their own successful farms and/or businesses. And the day after the lynchings, those farms and businesses were sold to white neighbors, in closed auctions, for pennies on the dollar, and the surviving real heirs were run out of town. And in a terrifyingly large number of those cases, historians were able to show one or more of the following facts. The buyer was the person who made the initial accusation against the victim. And the buyer was a relative of one or more of the following: the mayor, the chief of police, the local minister and/or the municipal judge.

    How often were false criminal charges alleged against black women who owned their own successful farms or businesses? Indeed, how many black women did own successful farms or businesses outright, and run them in their own names, not their husband’s?
    Even today, economically speaking, while neither a black man nor a white woman will on average earn as much as a white man will, a black woman will earn less than either.

  • damnedyankee

    I call foul, Jesu. Scottbot has pretty clearly been a lampoon of Scott (may he rest in pieces) all along. Scott never struck me as having enough self-awareness to parody himself.

  • Jim

    I’ve always thought the better question was, would Bill have been President if not for her.

  • Rob

    “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” she continued. “And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.”
    This just doesn’t sound that racist to me. She’s not saying that Obama is unfit for office because he’s black. She’s not ascribing particular characteristics – whether good or bad – because he’s black. She’s saying that Obama would not be getting the attention or garnering the success he has if he were a white man in the same position. There is enough evidence in the media narrative, especially from the early campaign, that there is something to that, that I would not dismiss her as outright racist for saying it.
    I do, however, think she’s wrong. A black man might be able to get more media attention than a white man if they were both running on fumes, simply because a white man running on empty rhetoric is something we’ve all seen too many times to care much, but it doesn’t get him the number 2 spot in a fierce race against a competent opponent.
    If Obama had the same showing as, say, Huckabee, then I might even agree with Ferraro. From the start of that campaign I’ve been saying Huckabee was only getting the attention he was getting because he’s a fundamentalist Christian. But to suggest that Obama is running his campaign entirely on novelty at this point is more desperate than it is racist.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always thought the better question was, would Bill have been President if not for her.
    I’ve heard a few of insiders suggest this – or, more accurately, that she can’t do it without his charisma and he can’t do it without her brains. My father, whose opinions I greatly respect on these matters, voted for Bill mostly because he wanted Hillary in the White House.

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    Obama and Clinton both share a “get out of Iraq ASAP” position, while McCain’s is “we’re there until we bring stability, peace, and puppies for everyone”
    Thankfully, the Dems positions are more nuanced than that – I believe a total, immediate military pull out is a great way to guarantee another Darfur. I appreciate that Obama has articulated that there are political solutions that need to be pursued that have thus far not been. Clinton has been too busy juggling her shift on the war to really articulate what her plan is, but I’m sure even she’s not dumb enough to instantly remove the military.
    Frankly, I find the idea of an eternal war with Iraq disgusting & disturbing, but that doesn’t mean we can just get over it & be done with it just because we’re tired of it. Will there be a U.S. presense there for 100 years? I hope not, but some measure of U.S. involvement for the next decade has been a sure bet since March of 2003, and there’s no getting around that.
    I believe the war was a horrible mistake, and Barack Obama showed an incredible sense of moral judgement & courage to say from the start that it was a dumb war. I also believe an Obama administration would do an excellent job of keeping the U.S. out of conflicts, and that is so needed right now it’s not funny. But that doesn’t change our committment to the people of Iraq, who’ve been fucked over so badly it’s not funny. Does leaving them ASAP solve any problems but our own? I don’t think so – While the U.S. military presence there certain exacerbates resentment, there just isn’t going to be a happy ray of sunshine bursting through the clouds when Uncle Sam rolls out, it’s going to be chaos until they get off their asses & form a real gov’t.
    Again, I believe Obama would be the best choice to negotiate & diplomacize such a goverment, and I’m glad he hasn’t committed to “U.S. troops all home within 18 months”, but rather has committed to politically negotiated solutions.
    John McCain is undoubtedly a hawk, but even he’s smart enough to know that the U.S. can’t even afford the wars we’re apart of now. His commitment to bi-partisanship, his realistic views on immigration, and the fact that he’d kick the Republican party toward the middle/left of where it is now are all things that I could live with.
    And if Hillary Clinton continues to ruthlessly scramble for the nomination she’s already lost, and manages to steal it from Obama, I’ll be pissed off enough to vote for McCain.
    Not that it would count, though, since I live in a very solidly “Blue” state, and Hillary/Hillary Clinton/Hillary Rodham Clinton/whatever the hell we should be calling her* would get it anyway.
    But I REALLY want to have Barack Obama be the Prez.
    * – I have to point out how tempted I was to use a certain term there that could be construed as misogyny.

  • damnedyankee

    John McCain is undoubtedly a hawk, but even he’s smart enough to know that the U.S. can’t even afford the wars we’re apart of now.

    (To the tune of “Barbara Ann”) “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran…”

    Frankly, I find the idea of an eternal war with Iraq disgusting & disturbing, but that doesn’t mean we can just get over it & be done with it just because we’re tired of it.

    No, but there’s really nothing we can do militarily to ameliorate it. Every yutz with a gun and a grudge in Iraq has at least part of a bone to pick with the occupying force that illegally invaded their country and started this whole mess to begin with. As long as our forces are there, their mere presence will only serve to aggravate the situation.

  • Jeff

    of course that periodically feeling down comment
    So all magazines are female? Nice to know. Is it “niggardly” to point out the stupidity of this objection?
    Jesu, how does the use of “periodically”, sexist or not, compare with Clinton’s noxious behavior with regard to the Michigan delegates? What has Obama done to even come close to that?

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    No, but there’s really nothing we can do militarily to ameliorate it. Every yutz with a gun and a grudge in Iraq has at least part of a bone to pick with the occupying force that illegally invaded their country and started this whole mess to begin with. As long as our forces are there, their mere presence will only serve to aggravate the situation.
    I sort of agree – there is no military solution, but that doesn’t mean the military isn’t keeping things somewhat stable there. I heard a great interview with a pair of Iraqi exiles/immigrant who’d been lucky enough to move to the U.S., and this woman said she was astounded that the presidential candidates have been talking about leaving Iraq – she said something like “Doesn’t anyone care what the people of Iraq think about this? Don’t they care about us?” I’m bothered by that – I think we should give a damn about what an exit from Iraq will do.

  • Lauren

    @Jesu: Where’s the beef? Obama accused HRC of having “claws” and emotions. On my sexism-o-meter that ranks about a 1.02. Even if you assume the claws are cat claws, all the cats in my life are gender-neutral. Is it really not possible to refer to the second-most common household pet in a metaphor without being sexist? It would have been a little more masculine to say she was baring her fangs, but then people would say he was calling her a bitch.
    The “feeling down” quote is a little more plausible, but still. He didn’t say she was attacking to improve her mood, but to “boost her appeal,” so he could even plausibly have meant that she was “feeling down” in the polls. HRC had plenty of non-biological reasons to be upset in mid-February. It’s hardly a stretch to think that political candidates of whatever gender are emotionally invested in their campaigns.

  • damnedyankee

    I sort of agree – there is no military solution, but that doesn’t mean the military isn’t keeping things somewhat stable there.

    It kind of does, actually.

    I heard a great interview with a pair of Iraqi exiles/immigrant who’d been lucky enough to move to the U.S., and this woman said she was astounded that the presidential candidates have been talking about leaving Iraq – she said something like “Doesn’t anyone care what the people of Iraq think about this? Don’t they care about us?”

    Considering how few Iraqi refugees are actually allowed to come to the States, I’m not surprised that the ones the government does allow in reflect the views of the administration. The consensus I’m getting from Iraqis (via blogs like Riverbend, for example) is that we’re doing more harm with our presence than good.

  • Spalanzani

    Robb: “And if Hillary Clinton continues to ruthlessly scramble for the nomination she’s already lost, and manages to steal it from Obama, I’ll be pissed off enough to vote for McCain.”
    If she has already lost, then how could she steal the nomination? And what do you mean by “steal”, anyway?

  • damnedyankee

    If she has already lost, then how could she steal the nomination? And what do you mean by “steal”, anyway?

    Via seating the delegates from the currently-invalid Michigan and Florida primaries, and by rallying the so-called “super-delegates” to her banner, hypothetically flying in the face of the majority of the Democratic electorate who voted for Obama.

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    I sort of agree – there is no military solution, but that doesn’t mean the military isn’t keeping things somewhat stable there.
    I should clarify – there is no longterm military solution – the forces of the U.S. military aren’t helping to change anyone’s mind about the U.S. But look at what’s going on there – look at the targets of the insurgents. Look at who’s being killed, look what’s being blown up. Sure, there’s lots of U.S. soldier casualties, but far & away most of the violence is ethnic conflict & internal disputes. It’s foolish to insist that the U.S. is the source of all the tension there, just as it’s foolish to ignore the tension we are causing.

  • http://xanga.com/ihavenothingprofoundtosay Robb

    Via seating the delegates from the currently-invalid Michigan and Florida primaries, and by rallying the so-called “super-delegates” to her banner, hypothetically flying in the face of the majority of the Democratic electorate who voted for Obama.
    Exactly – it’s highly unlikely Hillary can legitimately win the nomination.

  • Salamanda

    Although I’m probably going to vote for Obama, and I like a lot of his ideas, his whole reconciliation-and-compromise approach makes me a little nervous.
    Ahh, that’s just your Antichrist radar goin’ off. :)


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X