Very thought provoking diary. Nice to see something substantive around here.
I have repeatedly noticed McCain's formulation when he talks about the need to stay in Iraq until we can come home with "honor and victory." His use of the word "honor" is telling. Profiles of McCain almost always assert that he prizes honor above all else. The fact that he sees Iraq as a matter of honor suggests that he sees it as a chance for national and perhaps personal redemption for Vietnam.
I appreciate your response, but it seems to me that it is essentially an evasion of the argument I tried to put forward in my original comment.
Basically, I said I thought you guys were being inconsistent and asked whether or not you agreed. It seems to me that there are three possible answers:
1) "No, I do not think HRC has been the aggressor and I do not think that those of us who support her have been attacking Obama...."
2) "Yes, she has been more negative and yes we have joined in but we are justified in doing so because of A,B, or C...."
3) "You have a point. On reflection, I acknowledge the inconsistency between complaining about being swift-boated by Repubs and trying to do the same thing to Obama"
To me it seems that your answer is to say, "I don't want to talk about it."
Not talking about it will not make the issue go away. The reality of the race is that Obama has a small but very significant lead in total delegates. The only chance Hillary has to win the nomination is a near sweep of the remaining primaries that would allow her to argue to the super delegates that Obama is damaged goods and can not win in November.
In order to have any realistic chance of pulling this strategy off, she will have to decide if she is willing to do even more to damage Obama or willing to acknowledge defeat. Those of you who support her will need to decide if you want to follow her down this path.
I read your diary. I understand your outrage at the unfair treatment the Clintons received at the hands of the Repubs in the 90's.
What I do not understand is why you, and so many other Hillary supporters, seem so enthusiastic about using the same techniques against Obama. I have been puzzled by this apparent contradiction for months.
Since Hillary started falling behind in the Iowa polls in November and announced that it was time "for the fun part," she has gone after Obama on almost every conceivable front. Her supporters here, have joined in, not just accepting the use of these tactics, but actually enthusiastically joining in by posting dozens of attack diaries against Obama on a daily basis. How do you and other Hillary supporters justify your actions?
You folks seem to have nurtured a "victimology" that claims that Hillary has been treated unfairly by the media and that Obama is some sort of mean, dirty fraud in order to justify your constant stream of distorted attacks.
Claiming victim status while acting the bully is hard for many of us to take. Obama is not a saint it is a reality of contemporary politics that you cannot afford to allow the attacks of your opponent to go unchallenged. The constant stream of negativity coming from the Clintons and their surrogates on the trail and in the media has forced Obama to respond. But the basic tone of the campaign has always been set by Hillary, when she plays nice the tone is largely positive. When she decides she needs to go negative the tone becomes negative.
IMHO, the lack of consistency and intellectual honesty from Clinton supporters on these basic realities is hard to fathom. I would be happy to hear your response.
Obama has brought millions to the polls; millions who are inspired by his vision of a better politics, and yes, his vision of "a more perfect union." Obama has lifted the perceptions of the party and of the possibility of politics itself.
Hillary, who is a Democrat on policy but who clearly fits within the Republican mainstream in her view of political strategy and tactics, is the one who is dragging down the debate in the party and damaging the image of both Obama and herself.
Yhe absurdity of your claim would be laughable if the consequnces were not so dire.
Certainly I agree with you that Latinos are not a block. There are differences based on county of origin; generational differences; and length of time in the US. Obviously Latinos in New Mexico who have lived in the same community for generations have a different take that someone who is recently naturalized.
My point about Hillary is that while she has won their support by large margins, I do not see that as a reflection of hostility towards Obama. I see it more as a matter of unfamiliarity, and that gives me hope that, if he is the nominee, he will be able to win over a large percentage of Latinos. McCain is certainly a threat to take a good chunk of the Hispanic vote. OTOH, he is now pretty tied to the Repubs on immigration and on economic policy. I think most expect whomever is the Dem nominee to do better than Kerry did in 04.
There is a very famous sociology text from the late sixties early seventies called "Blaming the Victim." The book discussed how mainstream culture frequently blames the victims of exploitation and oppression for their own status. For example, urban black poverty is seen as a result of black dysfunction rather than as a logical outcome of centuries of racism.
While your post does not directly fall under the original definition of "blaming the victim," I think that is a pretty good explanation of what you are doing. Obama's entire life has been spent trying to bridge the gap between the white and black portions of his identity. He has chosen, although the amount of choice he had in the matter is open for discussion, to self-identify as a black man. He moved to a predominantly black community, joined a black church, and married a black woman. OTOH, Obama has always been a bit of an outsider, after all, he was raised almost exclusively in a white family.
As a politician, Obama has sought to use his unique background to bridge what he call the "chasm of misunderstanding" between the races. He has studiously avoided "victim" language and avoided any behavior that could get him labelled as an "angry black man."
Given all this, the premise of your diary makes no sense. Why would Obama want to make race an issue when blacks have been on the loosing end of the race issue for four hundred years? Given that blacks are only 12% of the population why would Obama seek to inject race as an issue?
The question we should ask is who benefits from making race an issue? Certainly not Obama. Clinton's entire campaign is now based on an electability argument that suggests that if Dems want to win, they need to nominate her because Obama is "unelectable." Let me suggest that "unelectable" is code for "black," and that the suggestion made, more or less subtly, is that white, working-class voters will never support a black nominee.
Obama's ability to win the support of such voters is a legitimate question, but to raise that question and then blame Obama for injecting race as an issue is at best misguided.
You suggest, as do many Clinton supporters, that Obama or his campaign have called the Clintons racist. In all sincerity, I ask you when and where was this allegation made? I do not think the Clintons have been called racist by anyone in the campaign. I do not believe the Clintons are racist.
What the campaign has suggested, many observers noted, and I believe, is that the Clintons have injected race into this campaign for political advantage. At first Obama was questioned about whether he was "black enough." This was a way for Clinton to try to maintain her support in the black community. Then he was dismissed as unable to win white votes in Iowa and NH. When he proved them wrong the Clintons escalated they attempted to label Obama as the "black candidate" prior to the Feb 5 races because they thought it would help them with whites and Hispanic voters.
Look at the number of Clinton supporters attempting to fan the flames of of the Wright controversy. They are expressing grave concern about the impact of Wright on Obama's chances to win in November and suggesting that the party should nominate HRC even though Obama leads in pledged delegates, total delegates, popular vote, states won, fundraising, and national polls of Democrats.
The Bottom Line: Continuing to fan the flames of racial division is in HRC's interest. In fact, her only chance of winning the nomination is to argue that Obama skin color makes him unelectable. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen, but it is fundamentally dishonest for HRC supporters to deny the obvious premise on which rests Clinton's continuing campaign.