Thursday, May 8, 2008

Okay, let's try bigotry

Hillary Clinton:
"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."
This quote has been all over the blogosphere today, but I just thought I'd throw it up here for the hell of it. I can't think of another way to interpret it other than, "Obama has more supporters, but my supporters are whiter, so I should get the nomination." Am I missing something?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the point she was trying to make is: Obama can't win blue-collar whites, and without them you hand the general election to McCain. She thinks she can attract all of Obama's voters and win some blue-collar whites who won't vote for him (and would vote for McCain).

Enik said...

Or, she could win some blue-collar whites, and blacks might stay home because of how she's campaigning now. And I'm not sure what polling data she's looking at, but the exit polls show Obama actually improving among whites, poor people, and people with only a high school diploma.

Anonymous said...

I think she's making a claim about the level of coalitional support she could achieve in a general election - and saying that she can do better than Obama in facing off against McCain. You may disagree, and she may be wrong, but why the claim of bigotry?

Enik said...

She's made some miscalculations in this campaign, but I can't recall her making a verbal mistake. She's very, very careful in her choice of words. So when she talks about "working, hard-working Americans, white Americans," that's a page right out of Nixon's southern strategy. I really doubt she has an exit poll that distinguishes "hard-working Americans" from other voters. It's a dog-whistle to voters who see blacks as lazy.

Joe Conason, who I sometimes find a bit annoying, made these points rather nicely today.

Anonymous said...

From Krugman's column today:

But this week, Mr. Obama, while continuing to win huge African-American majorities, lost North
Carolina whites by 23 points, Indiana whites by 22 points. Mr. Obama’s white support continues to be concentrated among the highly educated; there was little in Tuesday’s results to suggest that his problems with working-class whites have significantly diminished.

Enik said...

It's certainly a valid issue to bring up. But HRC could have brought it up without equating "hard-working" with "white." She's also not in a great position to talk about how broad her coalition is since she simply hasn't won as many elections, delegates, or votes as Obama.

Anonymous said...

Well, prez voting is (largely) winner take all. That's the big issue. Who has a better chance of putting together a winning coalition in THAT sense?

Anonymous said...

Come on. You can read into whatever comments you like. You think Obama's comments about poor whites clutching onto their guns wasn't (or couldn't be SEEN as) bigoted? Get off your high horse.

Anonymous said...

And do you really believe Michelle Obama doesn't make "cracker" jokes in the privacy of their own home? Grow up.

Enik said...

Talk about reading into comments... Obama's quote was dumb, but he never mentioned white people. Hillary did. Also, I have no idea what Michelle Obama jokes about in the privacy of her home, but if she's making racist comments in private, it is, by definition, not part of a campaign strategy.

lidzville said...

Anyone know who won the hispanic vote in the past few primaries? Just asking.

Anonymous said...

Enik said...
Talk about reading into comments... Obama's quote was dumb, but he never mentioned white people.

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Ha, ha! Who do you THINK he was talking about? Or maybe that wasn't clear to you???

Ari said...

And I just assumed that anonymous was a troll or a dullard. Unti the comment on May 9 at 1:47 pm. Then it became clear that anonymous is a racist troll or dullard. Glad to have cleared that up.

Anonymous said...

I see a poste was taken down. And I also notice Ari's comment calling someone a "racist" stands though. As long as you agree with Masket, you can hurl nasty insults at people, I guess.

Enik said...

*Sigh.* I pulled your post because it was threatening, and I do not allow that on my site. If you want to chew up bandwidth on the world's 5 millionth most popular blog telling me I'm wrong or claiming you know the private racist mind of Michelle Obama, I'm not going to stop you.

Ari said...

Not a nasty insult so much as an educated guess. The tone of your comments was, as I said, trollish. Until, that is, it became clear that racial anxiety underlay much of what you were saying. Look, the Clinton camp has flirted with and occasionally embraced racially coded language for months. Now their tactics are out in the open for all to see. Why? Likely because they're campaigning in West Virginia and Kentucky, where racism remains socially acceptable for many people. You don't agree? That's fine. Reasonable people can reach divergent conclusions about charged issues such as this. But your comment accusing Michelle Obama of harboring secret grudges against white people reveals you for what you are: a racist. You don't like being called that? Again, fine. I can understand why that word rankles. But you'll need to change to avoid such charges in the future.

And by the way, if the proprietor chooses to pull this comment, that's fine with me. Seriously, I don't want to create problems. I'm just tired of playing nice with the racist wing of the Democratic Party. It's like They Might be Giants says.

Anonymous said...

But your comment accusing Michelle Obama of harboring secret grudges against white people reveals you for what you are: a racist.

**********

Interesting. So to speculate that Michelle Obama might look down on poor, rural white people makes one a racist? How is that exactly?

Ari said...

It's not my job to teach you how to comport yourself in a multi-cultural society. But let's try this: you say, "And do you really believe Michelle Obama doesn't make "cracker" jokes in the privacy of their own home? Grow up." To which I'd reply: you have no idea what Michelle Obama says in the privacy of her own home. But we do know that the Obamas have many white friends, many Jewish friends, many friends who are Muslims, and, yes, many black friends. That their social circle -- and their church -- is genuinely pluralistic, in other words. Given that, I'd be surprised if Michelle Obmaa makes anti-white comments in the privacy of her own home, unless, of course, she's kidding around.

Really, though, that's not the issue, as we can't know for sure what the Obamas, Michelle or Barack, say behind closed doors. We can only judge them based on their behavior, based on what we know of the content of their character, so to speak, rather than the color of their skin, or our assumptions about what the color of their skin can tell us about who they are.

So for you to assume that Michelle Obama makes jokes about any kind of white people when she's in the privacy of her home betrays the racial anxiety upon which you've founded your worries about the Obamas and, perhaps, your support for Hillary Clinton (though I don't have facts in evidence to support the latter contention).

Finally, I should note that I have no idea if you're actually a racist or if you're just playing one online. These are two very different things, of course. Which is why, above, I suggested to you that if you don't like being called a racist, something I'd understand entirely, I suggest you change the way you behave.

Anonymous said...

Finally, I should note that I have no idea if you're actually a racist or if you're just playing one online. These are two very different things, of course. Which is why, above, I suggested to you that if you don't like being called a racist, something I'd understand entirely, I suggest you change the way you behave.

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Kind of interesting. To persuade me to not be a racist, you employ threats (fascist tactics). You must be a real treat to live and work with. If anyone disagrees with your view of how the world should work, you bully and coerce.

Your arguments about Michelle Obama aside, I think I'll determine my own criteria for being "proud to be American." Or maybe you'll threaten me on that too?

Ari said...

Actually, I'm not trying to convince you to do anything. I simply said that if you don't like being called a racist you ought not trade in racist assumptions. But, as noted above, it's your call.

Anyway, I'll just reiterate that my intent was neither to educate you about societal norms nor to onvince you of any particular point of view. I originally responded to your comment because I'm tired of racist Democrats and think it's become important to call out such people when the opportunity to do so presents itself. And then, after you replied to my comment, I tried to respond to something you suggested/asked.

Finally, I really do hope that you're not the racist you appear to be in these comments. I hope you're just trolling. In which case, well done. Either way, though, I'm done with this.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Oh, that's lame, taking the comment down. Are you claiming there was a "threat" in that one too?