Archive for April, 2008

The Camps in ’08

Posted in 2008 Election, Society on April 25th, 2008

On Friday Apr. 25, 2008, the National Journal’s Linda Douglass held and interview with David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Douglass: Well, one of the things to which some Democrats point — the Clinton campaign has not said this publicly at least, but one certainly hears it in talking to supporters in more of a background way. Look at the racial polarization in the last several contests — Pennsylvania, Ohio, Mississippi — is that going to be a problem? Is race going to be a problem for Barack Obama in the general election?

Plouffe: We really don’t think so. I mean the vast, vast majority of voters who would not vote for Barack Obama in November based on race are probably firmly in John McCain’s camp already. And I think if you look at the Democratic voters who are voting for Senator Clinton in some of these states, when you sort of look beneath it and you project how this is going to happen, Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee. He is going to be articulating policies and ideas that they believe in. They won’t agree with John McCain on issues like the economy and health care. And so I think that we are going to get the vast, vast majority of Democratic voters.

And, you know, I think if you look at — we have won white voters, particularly white voters under 60, in a lot of states. We’ve won white men voters in most of the states we’ve competed in, and, you know, again, if you look at our favorable/unfavorable ratings and the characteristics and the traits with some of these voters that have voted for Senator Clinton in recent primaries, you know they are strong and they are going to be supportive of us in the fall.

Now, listen, this is a heated contest. So our supporters, the Clinton supporters — this question of will you vote for the other person in the election in the fall — you know, there’s hard feelings. So a lot of people are saying no, but we seem to forget history. There’s always hard feelings, and then the party comes together. And I think everyone ought to take a deep breath here and understand that the Democratic nominee is going to get the majority of Democratic voters. The question is, who can do best with independents and moderate Republicans, and who can create the best dynamic for turnout. If Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, I think turnout amongst African-Americans, turnout amongst all voters under 40, and our ability to register new voters is going to be a very important piece of the puzzle.

OK, let’s distill that down to its essential elements. Will race be a problem for Obama in the general election? According to Ploufe, it won’t be – because the White racists are all already in McCain’s camp and so apparently a non-issue. Plouffe also implies that Hillary is unelectable because the Blacks won’t support her like they would Obama.

Face it people, Race and Gender are both going to be factors in the election and the camps are already there and glaring at each other.

  • White Racists will vote for McCain. They’re not going to support a Black or the wife of “America’s 1st Black President,” Bill Clinton.
  • Black Racists will vote for Obama. He’s the only Black who might be on the ticket. A few would vote for the wife of “America’s 1st Black President,” if she went up against McCain.
  • Male Sexists will vote for either Obama or McCain. I’d guess a strong showing for either male candidate.
  • Female Sexists will vote for Hillary, period. I’d expect a write-in campaign, if Clinton isn’t nominated.

The question – to me at least – is what about the “crossover bigots” such as Black males racists who also sexists, or White female sexists who are also racists? In an election that is going to put a White man up against either a Black man or White woman who who the multi-vector bigots vote for?

The above is not sarcasm. There’s been quite a lot of vitriol spewed by the supporters of both Democratic candidates. In a general election that is going to be as close as I expect the 2008 elections to be even the minority of voters who vote solely based on Race or Gender could tip the tide.

No matter the outcome though, there’s going to be some very angry and embittered people in America.

Related Reading:

Sexism Ed: Essays on Gender and Labor in Academia
Politics (Oxford World's Classics)
Racism, Sexism, and the Media: Multicultural Issues Into the New Communications Age
Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America
Maverick: An Unauthorized Collection of Wisdom from John McCain, the Sheriff of the Senate

Wright Still Wrong

Posted in 2008 Election on April 24th, 2008

Rev, Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor, gave an interview to Bill Moyers on Wednesday, April 23, 2008. Far from improving his image, he tarnished it further and managed to denigrate Obama’s integrity and honesty in the process.

I don’t talk to him about politics. And so he had a political event, he goes out as a politician and says what he has to say as a politician. I continue to be a pastor who speaks to the people of God about the things of God.

He’s a politician, I’m a pastor. We speak to two different audiences. And he says what he has to say as a politician. I say what I have to say as a pastor. But they’re two different worlds.

I do what I do. He does what politicians do. So that what happened in Philadelphia where he had to respond to the sound bytes, he responded as a politician.

— Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Former Pastor, Trinity UCC

Wright refused apologize or back away from his racist and hate mongering remarks in the interview, instead saying that people wanted to show him as “some sort of fanatic.” I can actually laud his standing firm in his opinions. Better the open and honest racist than some overtly dissembling apologist who would just stab you in the back later. I’ll take a “stand up” hater any day of the week.

What’s sad is the way he dragged Obama into the mud with himself. In Wright’s apparent estimation Obama said what he said solely out of political necessity instead of out of belief. Is it possible that Wright’s hatred of America and of success has caused him to attack Obama now that Obama has achieved a level of success that shows the lie of Wright’s hatred and racism?

Related Reading:

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
The Politics Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
The History of Institutional Racism in U.S. Public Schools

Americans Want Better

Posted in 2008 Election on April 23rd, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, John McCain demanded the North Carolina Republican Party withdraw an advertisement criticizing Democrat Barack Obama over his controversial pastor. He made it clear that, while he couldn’t force the North Carolina Republican Party to comply and that he couldn’t control their actions, there was no room for such things in his campaign.

Americans want better. I understand that it moves numbers, negative ads and all that, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.

–Sen. John McCain
Republican Presidential Nominee

McCain had previously asked the North Carolina Republican Party not to air the 30 second ad that attacks Democratic North Carolina gubernatorial candidates Richard Moore and Beverly Perdue for endorsing Obama, citing the Illinois senator’s judgment in supporting Rev. Wright of Trinity UCC and calling Obama “too extreme for North Carolina.”

McCain has said that he wanted to run a respectful campaign. It seems he means it.

Related Reading:

Maverick: An Unauthorized Collection of Wisdom from John McCain, the Sheriff of the Senate
The Three Languages of Politics: Talking Across the Political Divides
We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama
Six Years in the Hanoi Hilton: An Extraordinary Story of Courage and Survival in Vietnam
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream