By Bud White on October 2, 2008 at 5:09 PM in Arrogance, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bloggers, Current Affairs, Elitism, Hate Speech, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Larry Johnson, Media Bias, Michelle Obama, Misogyny, Political Strategy, Race, Race Card, Racism, Sexism, Typical white person, White Guilt, White People, Whitey Tape
The Obama campaign has had a deliberate strategy of calling the Clinton campaign racist and the media has allowed itself to be led along. Obama himself confessed to this strategy in the Nevada debate when shown a copy of a campaign memo directing campaign workers to use race-bating to defame Hillary Clinton.
Please, just fuck off. Bill Clinton made exactly the right point and Obama’s defenders are playing into the worst of the Right-wing racist tropes, that there is something tainted about successful black candidates who get majority black support.
I’ve spent a good amount of time here on this blog defending HRC against bogus claims of racism, and I’ve smacked The Golden One around for engaging in his own race-baiting, trying to milk liberal white guilt for all it is worth.
There is no person, no campaign, no victory that can justify deliberate use of racial divisions. Leave it to the Republicans to immolate themselves on the pyre of racism come November.
Then begins the long slog towards South Carolina, with the media, the blogosphere and Obama’s campaign screaming at every turn that the Clintons are racists.
My point here is not to promote the Clintons (though I think they deserve it), but to emphasize the way in which they are demonized by their own party. They become the embodiment of the old South, the unrepentant, segregationist South, just as northern blue collar voters who challenge the party orthodoxy are labeled Archie Bunkers.
Here is the challenge to the Democrats – how to cease treating working class whites the eternal “Other” of the party, the roadblock to fulfilling the promise of the nation, and seriously address the ways in which the party will help all Americans live their lives with dignity.
I have seen it put cynically (hell, I have put it cynically myself) that Obama was just promising the (mostly white) comfortable class of the party that he wouldn’t insist on looking at those nasty claims of justice if they would just elect a black dude and redeem their souls.
The assault on the Clintons has no basis in policy or political philosophy. It is an attack on uppity white trash who dares to succeed in the world without assimilating into the ruling elite, and for the added insult of being adored by the nation precisely for their common connections.
Hannah Arendt, my favorite political theorist, has been excoriated as a racist for pointing out that integration and post-racial sociality is not such a big deal when the person being integrated is already part of your socio-economic class, remains a numerical minority within your enclave, and is no threat to your social standing or economic power.
Obama’s campaign is certainly doing pernicious race-baiting, but mostly to initimidate critics and shame wavering white voters.
What I’m seeing is an amplified, exaggerated perversion of the lessons, biases and attitudes I encountered in my very liberal college education, things that resonate with me in strange ways, playing on the way I learned to see the world as divided into evil whites, good whites and the oppressed Others we good whites had to free from the evil whites.
I don’t see the Hillary campaign saying a bad word about the voters, even those who vote for her opponents. I don’t see the campaign explaining away their losses because of some flaw or failing in the voters.
Failure to create the conditions under which vast majority of the party will have no doubts that he will serve the interests of the party and be protective of those who dissent from him will leave not just Obama but the party itself in dire straits in the months to come. Riverdaughter has a brilliant post up on The Confluence. You need to go read it all beause it is good in every regard
I’m reading the reports on the mendacious attacks the Bogger Boyz are making on Hillary by completely perverting her comments about RFK.
Rather than weigh in on the current idiocy (which is being handled very nicely by Riverdaughter & Co. over on the Confluence. If you have not read that blog, stop, go there, read and bookmark. I’ll be here when you’re done.)
1. I am not saying in any way shape or form that Larry Johnson is lying about the existence of some video of Michelle Obama. Please. Larry would not do that. A video of some kind exists.
2. If you read his posts closely, Larry does not claim to have seen the video in question himself. I may have missed a post where he did state this, but in the posts I have read, he does not. He was very clear that he has spoken to at least two people who do not know each other, who he trusts completely, and who have attested to the existence of a video.
When Democratic women say “The Obama camp has run a sexist, mysogynistic campaign,” we are told we’re wrong, no such thing, there was not any sexism there, except maybe some from Tweety. When Democratic women say, “No, it’s not his race, it’s his lack of commitment to the programs that matter to us,” we are told that, no, we’re all just racist bitches, and that it’s our fault if he doesn’t win.
The ultimate shadow of Reagan is that you don’t win by defending losers, only by securing the interests of the winners. That is the dark heart beating in the chest of the Unity Democrats. They are done with the losers.
It is the deep guilt of the liberal upper class that we know, every last miserable one of us, that our privilege is due to centuries of white supremacy and to the informal, unspoken, but pervasive advantage our skin color and behavioral patterns gives us in this society. It is our Moby Dick, the whale we pursue obsessively through political seas, frantic to have material proof that we are innocent of the crimes of our nation.