March 11, 2008

Clinton brings it on

Back in January, Gloria Steinem argued that supporting Hillary Clinton is the radical progressive choice and that if Barack Obama was a woman he wouldn't have gotten anywhere.

Thursday, Geraldine Ferraro added that if Barack Obama wasn't black (his father was from Kenya) he wouldn't have gotten anywhere, either.

So, Obama is the frontrunner for the Democratic Party nomination simply because he's black and not a woman (that must be why John Edwards, the born-again populist, bombed: not black). Whereas Clinton's bid (justified mostly on the basis of enormous name recognition, having been married to a recent President -- not such a great symbol of feminist achievement) fell apart as soon as it faced a challenge because she's a white woman.

And that's why Ferraro and Steinem support Clinton and want you to as well: because she's a woman. It's sexist to oppose Hillary but not sexist to support her only on that basis. And it's progressive, not racist, to oppose Obama because he's a black man.

They seem to be trying to reclaim the Nixonian coalition of wine-track bigots and beer-track bigots for the Democrats.

The 3 a.m. phone call ad made that clear, invoking fears of the predatory black man threatening suburban tranquility. It is compounded by Clinton's refusal to denounce (and reject) claims that Obama is Muslim.

If Clinton was any other 2nd-term senator, she wouldn't have gotten anywhere. Her success relies more on fame than anything else (I mean, Laura Bush has the same pre-Senate "experience" that Clinton claims), and when a viable alternative to her soap opera candidacy overtook it she has resorted to racist fear mongering to try to stay in the running.

To recap: In South Carolina, she tried to belittle Obama's success as merely due to high African-American (sexist, racist) turnout. But after Obama starting to prove his electability with whites, both men and women, she tried to claim that it was because she was a woman. Now it's also because he's black. So now, her effort is to make his African heritage (and his Arab name) a liability rather than an asset (ignoring the obvious fact that he's simply the better candidate for the majority of all voters). These are not the actions of a progressive, or even of a liberal. In Hell, Richard Nixon is cackling.