Joan Walsh is right
by moevaughn, Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 05:13:04 PM EDT
The most destructive, divisive refrain in the attacks on Clinton has been the demand since February for her to drop out of the race. On "Hardball" last week I was flabbergasted by Chris Matthews' denial that anyone had made such demands, especially when MSNBC had been the clubhouse for people like Keith Olbermann, Jonathan Alter and Howard Fineman, who've been sounding that drumbeat since February. I can't do a better job than Digby in explaining why that's been offensive to many Clinton supporters (and should be offensive to all fair-minded people, in my opinion). And she uses Jesse Jackson to make her point:
In 84 and 88, Jackson was seen as a potential party wrecker too and in 88 he took his historic campaign, in which he won 11 contests, all the way to the convention. He made a very famous speech that he ended with the chant "Keep Hope Alive," which could have easily been construed as wishing for Dukakis to fail so he could get another bite at the apple (something that people are accusing Clinton of already.) But it wasn't.
And that's because while Jackson went to the convention trailing by 1200 delegates, he was holding a very important card, which everyone recognized and respected. You can rest assured that people were worried that his constituency, many of them first time voters who he had registered, would stay home in the fall, and so Democrats treated him and his campaign (publicly at least) with respect and deference, and rightly so. He represented the dreams and aspirations of millions of Democratic voters, after all.
To many African Americans, a constant clamor for Jackson (or Obama if it had gone that way) to drop out of the race would have been seen as a call to go to the back of the bus. Likewise, for many of Clinton's supporters, it's been seen as a call to sit down and shut up (or "stifle" as Archie Bunker used to say to Edith.)
also note, the sexism of frat boys continues:
Chris Matthews doubted she could be Obama's running mate no matter what she said Tuesday night, because for him the question is: "Can she obey? Can she accept the subservience?"
Is Matthews asking these questions about Richardson? Webb?