Friday, March 14, 2008

Sauce for the Goose?

Having cried "foul" at the canard about Hilary's promoting McCain over Obama in the general election, will the Obamites now turn on one of their own for saying straightforwardly that should Clinton win the nomination it would be better if she lost the White House to McCain? Professor Lawrence Bobo in The Root has recently asserted:

Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro have gone too far. Should Clinton somehow steal the nomination from Barack Obama as a result of the fear-mongering, racial politics she has decided to play, then 2008 will be the first year I do not vote for the Democratic presidential nominee.
Bobo goes on to say that while he used to believe that one most vote for the Democratic nominee no matter what, "from the 'fairy tale,' to the 'red phone,' and now to Ferraro's bitterly divisive remarks, a line has been crossed for me, and I suspect others like me."

So how will Obama's supporters react? Judging from the responses to Mr. Bobo's article, he's in no danger of being thrown under the bus. The commentary is solidly on his side, suggesting that party loyalty counts only when the beneficiary is Senator Obama.

Of course the claim will be that it's foolish to talk about Party loyalty in the midst of this alleged racism and race-baiting. But if so, where is outrage at Obama's dissing of the black poor as irresponsible, chicken-eating parents? Or as he so memorably put it in a speech given in Texas

I've got to talk about us a little bit . . . We can't keep on feeding our children junk all day long giving them no exercise. They are overweight by the time they are 4 or 5 years old, and then we are surprised when they get sick.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Y'all have Popeyes out in Beaumont? I know some of y'all got that cold Popeyes out for breakfast. I know. That's why y'all laughing . . . You can't do that. Children have to have proper nutrition. That affects also how they study, how the learn in school.
Ok, so this is victim-blaming and stereotyping--not fear-mongering. But the Obamites apparently see no problem here.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Words and Images

Though I have no love for Hillary Clinton, I've been somewhat amused at the way that some of her critics (read, Obama's supporters) have gone about characterizing her motives and tactics. First, there's the much ballyhooed Daily Kos charge that a commercial released by Hillary's campaign revealed "a concerted effort by Clinton's ad people to make Obama look darker, more sinister, and with a wider nose." I confess that my first reaction to reading this was, "So, it's okay for Obama to "blacken" his voice, but sinister racism for a Clinton ad to darken his face?" While my second reaction was, "Hey, I'm darker than Obama and my nose is wider, does that make me more sinister?) And yes, I know the history of media representations of black people, but it does begin to sound like the hidden message of the Obama campaign is: "Vote for Obama: A (not very dark) black guy who doesn't scare white people!"

And then there are the "interpretations" of Hillary's observations about McCain's foreign policy experience relative to Obama's. Again according to the Daily Kos one can't miss the "disturbing fact that Clinton is praising the presumptive Republican nominee while simultaneously attacking the Democrat who very well may be his opponent." The same complaint was voiced by Bob Herbert in the New York Times, who opined:
More serious was Senator Clinton’s assertion that she was qualified to be commander in chief, and that John McCain had also “certainly” crossed that “threshold,” but that the jury was still out on Mr. Obama.

In other words, if a choice on national security had to be made today between Senators Obama and McCain, voters — according to Mrs. Clinton’s logic — should choose Senator McCain.

Well, that was not Mrs. Clinton's logic. What she was saying is that those voters in the general election who make national security their priority will be more likely to vote for Hillary over McCain than they would for Barack over McCain. This may or may not be true, but it's hardly an endorsement of McCain over Obama. To claim that as a candidate you're likely to match up better, in the eyes of some voters, to the Republican nominee than does your Democratic rival is not underhanded politics--just politics. And from where I sit, Obama's people seem to be giving as good as they're getting.