Friday, May 30, 2008

What else you got?

Looking back at the Presidential election of 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was important and historical, but as a running mate she wasn't particularly helpful. Reagan wound up winning the State of New York, as well as the majority of women and Catholics. Will "Not helpful" wind up as Ferraro's epitaph? She seems determined to make it so. Because as determined as she is to cut Barack Obama down to size, it's difficult at this point to see any good she's doing Hillary Clinton.

The former Representative has written an election pre-postmortem for the Boston Globe, and while I won't go into everything wrong with it (I do have to sleep sometime), a couple of things stand out amid the grey type.

The reaction to the questions being raised has been not to listen to the message and try to find out how to deal with the problem, but rather to denigrate the messenger. Sore loser, petty, silly, vengeful are words that have dominated the headlines. But scolding and name calling don't resolve disputes. The truth is that tens of thousands of women have watched how Clinton has been treated and are not happy. We feel that if society can allow sexism to impact a woman's candidacy to deny her the presidency, it sends a direct signal that sexism is OK in all of society.

No doubt you can find plenty of instances of Hillary Clinton being dismissed in sexist terms, although laying it at the feet of Barack Obama is another matter. On the other hand, nobody cares what Clinton's former pastor may have said at any point in time, nor is she called on to renounce every woman who says something stupid in America. And the very fact that she's still in the race calls into question the idea that sexism is really holding her back. For whatever reason, West Virginia and Kentucky voted for her late in the race. Take yes for an answer.

But it does not look like she'll be the nominee this year, and therefore won't actually become President. Was there supposed to be a guarantee on this?

Later in the op-ed is a passage of coded language worthy of Captain Midnight

As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama's historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama's playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They're not upset with Obama because he's black; they're upset because they don't expect to be treated fairly because they're white. It's not racism that is driving them, it's racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don't believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory "Our Time Has Come" they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.

Emphasis mine. Does "Obama's playing the race card" in this case mean anything beyond "being black at an inconvenient time"? If it does, Ferraro provides no supporting examples. But hey, it's nice that she's so tight with the Reagan Democrats who kept her off Air Force Two. Guess they found a common enemy.

No comments: