We’ve been away a bit lately, visiting with friends. We’ve been in upstate New York a bit, but mostly in Western Massachusetts. Western Mass is a good place to be in the Autumn and it’s even better in big election years if you happen to be a Democrat. Along with the gorgeous foliage there are Obama/Biden yard signs lining almost every street, or so it seems. And I’m not sure it’s entirely legal to drive without at least one of their stickers on your car. We were cool. We have a couple on the car.
You don’t see nearly as many political bumper stickers on Long Island, ever, for anyone as you do once you get a little north of NYC. Maybe it’s just too cynical here for that, or maybe people worry about messing up their cars. We can’t touch Massachusetts, but we do seem to have more than usual this year. The ones I have seen have been mostly Obama’s. I’ve only seen one or two for McCain. On the other hand, we have many fewer yard signs than is normal for an election year and the ONLY ones I’ve seen in predominantly white neighborhoods are for McCain. The polls say that our two counties are going to go heavily for Obama, but I think that people in our white suburbs are a little afraid to advertise that on their homes and I think it’s because they’re afraid of retailiation from unhinged racists. Maybe there’s not so much to worry about, though, since Obama’s even made inroads into the racist demographic.
As encouraging as that is, it’s still going to be a long, long two and a half weeks.
The race in West Virginia turned out pretty much exactly the way everyone said it would. The same will likely hold true for Kentucky. Neither contest change much. Obama is still going to be the presumptive nominee and for all practical purposes he already is. Concern about his ability to attract the white racist vote has reached fever pitch in recent days. I can see that could be a hard vote for an African American to get and he just might have a different electoral approach mapped out. His campaign seems to know what they’re about.
What I want to know is, will the media ask Clinton to reject and repudiate voters like J. K. Patrick of Kentucky?
I really don’t want an African-American as President.
I thought about it. I think he would put too many minorities in positions over the white race. That’s my opinion. After 1964, you saw what the South did.” He meant that it went Republican. “Now what caused that? Race. There’s a lot of white people that just wouldn’t vote for a colored person. Especially older people. They know what happened in the sixties. Under thirty—they don’t remember. I do. I was here.
I mean, if Obama has to be responsible for every supporter and past associate and come down one way or the other on specific statements they’ve made, shouldn’t the same apply to Clinton now. Patrick’s kind of thinking contributed greatly to Clinton’s landslide in WV and the expected similar result in KY. Isn’t that something she should be asked to address rather specifically? And McCain- is he not as responsible what his supporters say as Obama? Just asking.
The term gets tossed around the media with no apparent thought. It’s working its way into our language and we ought to get rid of it real quick. “Playing the race card” is an ugly and racist turn of phrase. It sprung up when it became the national consensus that minorities have rights, too. It was a way of denigrating any claims of discrimination or racism. If you mean to say that you’ve been accused of racism when it wasn’t justified, then say that. And if you’re Bill Clinton, give some thought to what you might have said that ever gave that impression, as well.
“I think that they played the race card on me,” Clinton said in an interview on WHYY radio Monday, referring to Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign. “And we now know from memos on the campaign and everything that they planned to do it all along.”
He uses the term “race card” and then wonders why he gets accused of playing to racism or at least to racially based fears.
Clinton said that it was just a statement of fact that the Obama campaign was similar to Jesse Jackson’s in 1988, and that the Obama campaign then tried to turn the remark against him, decrying it as an attempt to marginalize Obama.
“This was used out of context and twisted for political purposes by the Obama campaign to try to breed resentment elsewhere,” Clinton said.
I don’t know about that. I’m right in the Hillary voter demographic in terms of age, race and income and I was truly shocked as well as disappointed when he said that after South Carolina. I didn’t have to hear it through any campaign’s filter to find it reprehensible. I was shocked because we were having a really historic moment. Whether Obama won the nomination or not, he was most emphatically not the Jesse Jackson in the race . He was a contender for the nomination and that had never happened with a black candidate before in this country. It was good for the country, good for the party and the fact that the Clintons couldn’t rise above their own ambitions just for long enough to acknowledge the fact is what made my final decision to cast my vote for Obama. I’d been undecided right up to that point. If he honestly didn’t know how it was going to sound, then shame on him, but we do offer condolences on the loss of his political instincts. And shame on him and everyone else who’s been using that ugly phrase without stopping to think about its origins and its real meaning.