Thursday, May 08, 2008

More on Hillary's Low Road

More reaction to Hillary's claiming the low road:

From Ben Smith,

And it's also noteworthy that the blunt talk on appealing to whites surfaces the day after the last round of primaries in which there's a substantial number of black voters.

Good point, Ben. I did find some satisfaction in this daily kos rec listed diary from a Utah resident, Plea from the bleach-whitest state in the union: Give us the inspirational black president!

It may be true that Hillary Clinton is the only acceptable candidate to some narrow income group of Caucasians that reside between the Mississipi river and the states bordering the East coast. But, MY GOD, who cares? It is Hillary Clinton's utter lack of ability to be competitive among white voters in Western states that resulted in Obama breaking the proportional allocation system, and making narrow Clinton wins in states that satisfy the Penn/Wolfsson criteria insignificant.


All of this brings me to my simple and main point: These people hate Clintons. I do too, but that is irrelevant. There is a reason why our primary had a record turnout, and why Obama absolutely trounced her here. There is a huge and growing number of voters here in the West that is looking for some sign that the Democratic party is ready to be something new. These people aren't particularly happy about voting for another Republican, but they sure as hell know they aren't voting for a Clinton. More than any problem with message or organization, our party suffers here from a stigma and an association with ugly political battles of the past. If we are going to build on what we have here, we have to offer something new. It doesn't even have to be a new message; it just needs to come in a new package. It needs to come in a package that doesn't remind skeptical voters that are upset and ready for a change of anything they despised in the past. We are doing good things here in Utah, and it will get better if we have a real chance to appeal to independents and disaffected Republicans. That will happen with Barack Obama. It will never happen with Hillary Clinton. In fact, I'm afraid a Billary ticket (even in the VP slot) would so inflame the Republican base here that it would threaten my beloved and effective local elected Democrats.

And I would add my own plea to his:

Superdelegates: Please do not disregard our huge and one-sided primary elections this year in red Western states. These developments mean something. End this thing quickly. Give us a case to take around our neighborhoods that this is a new Democratic party. Give us a chance to show that the 50-state strategy is working.

There was another dkos diarist with a diary that responded to the implicit and explicit racism being expressed in the media and in certain outposts in the blogosphere. Jeff Lieber pointed out in "I am Not Worth Much":

In the last Presidential election, with the exception of the odd voter who wrote in Bill Cosby or Tiger Woods, 99.99% of WHITE Americans voted for a WHITE candidate. In that same election, 99.99% of AFRICAN AMERICANS also voted for a WHITE candidate.

But 99.99% of any group can't have the same political beliefs, right?

So all those white people must be... what?

And all those African Americans... all voting for the WHITE candidate... what's THEIR deal?

Well... wait... let's go back another election.

In the year 2000, 99.99% of WHITE Americans voted for a WHITE candidate and 99.99% of AFRICAN AMERICANS also voted for a WHITE candidate.

Oh, and in 1996? And 1992? And 1988?

There was a slight rash of black on black voting in 1984 when Jesse Jackson was around, but in 1980 and 1976 and 1972 and 1968 and 1964 and 1960 and 1956 and 1952 and 1948 and 1944 and 1940 and 1936 and 1932 and 1928 and 1924 and 1920?

99.99% of WHITE Americans and 99.99% of AFRICAN AMERICANS voted... WHITE.

Now there was a period when not one single African-Americans voted for the WHITE candidate of the cycle, and that was prior to 1865 when "those people" couldn't even be bothered to stop picking the cotton long enough to cast their ballots.

It's so obvious it shouldn't need to be highlighted but it did. This is what's wrong with the media's fixation on slicing and dicing everyone into groups. Is it the race group or is it the gender group or is it the age group? Based on my race, age and gender, I supposedly should have voted for Hillary. However, that's not how I made my decision. I decided based on who I thought was the best choice for the nomination -- not on what gender, race or age they were. My race, gender and age are irrelevant to my choice.

That anyone can seriously try appeal to be chosen for the nomination based on slice'n'dice statistics, overturning the candidate chosen by individual voters in the in the Democratic primary process is appalling.

UPDATE: George Will does snark so nicely in pointing out Hillary's duplicity in today's WaPo.

Hillary Clinton, 60, Illinois native and Arkansas lawyer, became, retroactively, a lifelong Yankee fan at age 52 when, shopping for a U.S. Senate seat, she adopted New York state as home sweet home. She may think, or at least would argue, that when she was 12 her Yankees really won the 1960 World Series, by standards of "fairness," because they trounced the Pirates in runs scored, 55-27, over seven games, so there.

Unfortunately, baseball's rules -- pesky nuisances, rules -- say it matters how runs are distributed during a World Series. The Pirates won four games, which is the point of the exercise, by a total margin of seven runs, while the Yankees were winning three by a total of 35 runs. You can look it up.

After Tuesday's split decisions in Indiana and North Carolina, Clinton, the Yankee Clipperette, can, and hence eventually will, creatively argue that she is really ahead of Barack Obama, or at any rate she is sort of tied, mathematically or morally or something, in popular votes, or delegates, or some combination of the two, as determined by Fermat's Last Theorem, or something, in states whose names begin with vowels, or maybe consonants, or perhaps some mixture of the two as determined by listening to a recording of the Beach Boys' "Help Me, Rhonda" played backward, or whatever other formula is most helpful to her, and counting the votes she received in Michigan, where hers was the only contending name on the ballot (her chief rivals, quaintly obeying their party's rules, boycotted the state, which had violated the party's rules for scheduling primaries), and counting the votes she received in Florida, which, like Michigan, was a scofflaw and where no one campaigned, and dividing Obama's delegate advantage in caucus states by pi multiplied by the square root of Yankee Stadium's Zip code.

Or perhaps she wins if Obama's popular vote total is, well, adjusted by counting each African American vote as only three-fifths of a vote. There is precedent, of sorts, for that arithmetic (see the Constitution, Article I, Section 2, before the 14th Amendment).

"We," says Geoff Garin, a Clinton strategist who possesses the audacity of hopelessness required in that role, "don't think this is just going to be about some numerical metric." Mere numbers? Heaven forfend. That is how people speak when numerical metrics -- numbers of popular votes and delegates -- are inconvenient.

The audacity of hopelessness ... what a perfect summation of the Clinton campaign.


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