Who's Playing the Race Card?

Sean Wilentz, writing today in the New Republic, argues that it is Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton, who has played the race card in this campaign.

More than any other maneuver, this one has brought Clinton into disrepute with important portions of the Democratic Party. A review of what actually happened shows that the charges that the Clintons played the "race card" were not simply false; they were deliberately manufactured by the Obama camp and trumpeted by a credulous and/or compliant press corps in order to strip away her once formidable majority among black voters and to outrage affluent, college-educated white liberals as well as college students. The Clinton campaign, in fact, has not racialized the campaign, and never had any reason to do so. Rather the Obama campaign and its supporters, well-prepared to play the "race-baiter card" before the primaries began, launched it with a vengeance when Obama ran into dire straits after his losses in New Hampshire and Nevada--and thereby created a campaign myth that has turned into an incontrovertible truth among political pundits, reporters, and various Obama supporters.

Readers are welcome to weigh in, so long as they don't call anyone, candidates or other commenters, racists. This is about playing the race card, not whether either candidate or anyone on this site is a racist.

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    Just about the day after Clinton won in (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by tigercourse on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:23:50 AM EST
    New Hampshire Jesse Jackson Jr. came out and said Clinton hadn't cried for the people hurt and killed in Katrina. That's when it started. At basically the same time they were calling Bill Clinton's "fairytale" comments racist even though they clearly weren't. When Clinton tried to dirty Obama up with comments on his drug use they somehow turned that into a racial attack.

    It was frankly brilliant politics. Within a week or two everyone on the web and half the people in the media were talking about "race baiting" and Clinton was utterly sullied.

    this is absolutely correct (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:38:41 AM EST
    and that was the precise moment that i stopped sending the obama campaign money and became disillusioned with "the great uniter". they even bragged about it later - "we've consolidated the black vote now". and no, you don't need a link - just pay attention.

    And Jackson's tear comments (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Foxx on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:01:27 PM EST
    were also a coded reference to the silly white woman stereotype.

    Jackson should have been fired, but of course he was doing what the campaign told him to do.


    Exactly, Tigercourse (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by sonya on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:32:44 PM EST
    As soon as I heard Junior say those words, I knew Obama's campaign would demonize the Clintons as racists.

    I thought the lowest point was when Obama quoted those lines from the film, "Malcolm X," about being bamboozled, hoodwinked and lied to.  I had never been in his camp, but when he said those words I knew I could never support him.  It turned my stomach because he didn't have to do that, but he did it to make sure that he left no vote behind regardless of the after effects.  I felt that he was exploiting the hopes and fears of black people.  He wants to have it both ways by appealing to "blackness" to get votes while at the same time distancing himself from any issues that might associate him with black people.  I can never forgive him for that.    

    I'm a black woman, and I approve of the above.


    sonya, (none / 0) (#225)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:35:52 PM EST
    thank you for that.  your comment just made my heart swell up with gratitude.  i hope that doesn't sound lame, but that's how i feel.

    Sorry but (none / 0) (#5)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:26:58 AM EST
    Bill Clinton was the one who dug his own ditch with the Jesse Jackson comparison. No one else.

    Bill Clinton did not play the race card (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by melious2 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:36:48 AM EST
    Bill Clinton was just reciting a fact of history that the last black man to run for president won South Carolina with a large margin - so what's the big deal since South Carlina's blacks accounted for more than 50% of the democratic voters.

    I'm AA and I sure did not see it as race-baiting by Bill Clinton.


    actually (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Jgarza on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:38:27 AM EST
    the last black man to run for president, Al Sharpton, lost NC to John Edwards.

    Not Viable (none / 0) (#216)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 06:05:52 PM EST
    Sharpton was not a viable candidate.  Jackson, who won the Michigan Democratic primary in 1988, and Obama are viable candidates.

    It was marginalizing (none / 0) (#28)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:41:50 AM EST
    Bill Clinton was trying to suggest that Obama was nothing more than the "black candidate" and that he would soon suffer the same plight as past "black candidates".  

    I don't think it was racist but it was certainly dismissive and condescending.


    flyerhawk, (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:48:37 AM EST
    i can agree with you on how that particular comment seemed - it could definitely be viewed as marginalization. i think most of the other charges were real distortions however - fairytale, MLK, etc - truly taken out of context when one goes back and reads the entire comments.

    Condescending? (none / 0) (#214)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 05:46:07 PM EST
    It's normal to dissect the outcome of any election. Campaigns that fail to examine the reason(s) for any outcome are very shortlived.

    It's entirely proper to examine the demographics of the electorate and compare historic results, that's normal operating procedure.

    Making the assumption that Clinton was implying that Obama would encounter the same fate as other African-American candidates is, I believe, a real stretch. You really have to want to see it.

    I watched the entire clip over and over and over again because Josh Marshall had made a similar charge. The only thing I saw was that Marshall like other DLC types was in the bag for Obama.

    Would it be preferable that Clinton lie when asked about the election, to invent something out of whole cloth?


    thank you melious. i feel kinda dumb here (none / 0) (#227)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:39:07 PM EST
    for saying this, but every time anyone in the aa community defends the clintons, i feel so grateful.  i know it's not easy.

    c'mon. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ajain on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:41:57 AM EST
    In that strain of thought I think we should agree that everytime someone compares Hillary Clinton to Golda Mier or Margaret Thatcher (none of whom are like Hillary in ither ideology or governing style) we should call them sexists.

    Not only was race baiting a campaign strategy (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by esmense on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:34:06 PM EST
    Obama supporters in the media and the blogosphere knew it was, and have been complicit in it.

    Following is a copy of an email response I received from Josh Marshall on January 12 when I expressed concern about the race baiting by Obama "supporters" and its possible undermining of the campaign's message, along with my original message. (I was an Obama supporter at the time). The only thing left out is, for my own protection, my name and email address. In it, Josh confirms that this race-baiting was part of an organized tactic of the campaign, not just free-lancing "supporters." At the time, he was also concerned that it might have detrimental affects -- but, after its success in the South Carolina primary, he jumped on the bandwagon and started intentionally pushing the meme. On his website he, like you, used Clinton's Jesse Jackson comment as his excuse -- without revealing that he was knowingly aiding the campaign's strategy. His response appears first, my original email to him under his response. As you can see, I was quite naive.

    Subject: Re: "Racist" statements and "the Bradley effect"

    There's another factor operating in the background.  It's not just Obama's supporters.  The campaign itself was actively engaging this debate this week.  Toward the end, I think they realized that whatever the merits of their claims against the Clinton campaign, this didn't necessarily help them.  And I think they're trying to dial back the whole conversation.  

    On 1/12/08 10:10 AM, ""  wrote:


    Just an observation as a marketing professional -- the journalists and supporters who are nitpicking every Obama competitor's statements for racist content and pushing the "Bradley effect" storyline are doing Obama a great disservice. By inviting their readers and potential voters to view and vet every political criticism of, and every political criticizer of, Obama and his campaign statements and appeals through the prism of racism, they are directly contradicting and weakening his message of "change" and his assertion that he is the candidate who can get us beyond, or help us rise above, our acrimonious racial history.

    Some Obama supporters, white as well as black, appear to believe this can help create solidarity with African American voters and, in some cases, diminish the popularity of the Clintons within the African American community. But I don't understand why they think this approach -- which undermines their candidate's most powerful message -- is necessary or likely to be effective.  To win African American voters from Clinton to Obama, it's not necessary to convince them that the Clinton's are racist. (Which, no matter how minutely and tendentiously you parse their statements, would be a difficult job within a community that knows them and genuinely likes them.) But it necessary to convince African Americans that Obama, if he wins, will be at least as good, if not much, much better, on the issues that most affect their lives. That "change" and "reaching across the aisle" doesn't mean accomodating white constituencies at their expense. They also have to convince them that Obama CAN win  -- a message that is undermined by the racism-in-every- statement/even-our-friends-are-racist/"Bradley affect" storylines. Those storylines don't promote hope or build on the African American community's natural desire to see, and help, one of their own succeed -- they promote hopelessness, paranoia and cynicism.

    The campaign is also contradicting Obama message of "change" and moving beyond "the politics of the past" by running around seeking the endorsement of too many politicians from the past. It may be hard to tell John Kerry that this isn't the right time for his endorsement (or the right place -- I don't remember Kerry being all that popular in South Carolina), but the Obama campaign should have done so. If you are running as the insurgent candidate, getting endorsed by the establishment is only useful AFTER the insurgency has been successful, as a symbol OF its new power.

    These two developments, coming in this critical period after his loss in New Hampshire, makes me wonder if Obama's team is losing control of their message.


    So being compared to Jesse Jackson is Bad? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:29:01 AM EST
    Exactly. (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by lobary on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:56:09 AM EST
    I made that same comparison many times well before Bill Clinton ever said it, so I must be a race-baiter, too. Never mind that I actually voted for Jesse Jackson in 1988. In the Texas Democratic primary.

    This dishonest attack on the Clintons really sticks in my craw. Does anyone remember "Keep Hope Alive?" The Rainbow Coalition? Jesse Jackson's cross-racial appeal in 1988 and his strong support among the college crowd? I do. Everyone has forgotten how incredibly popular he was then. He was largely responsible for the high turnout in the '88 Texas primary. The Obama/Jackson comparison wasn't only a racial one from where I stood as a former Jackson supporter. I thought Clinton, who remembers that campaign, was also comparing their respective messages and their ability to connect with the electorate through their unmatched oratorical skills. If so-called progressives like Josh Marshall and Markos Moulitsas could remember the 1988 Jesse Jackson, they might not have hammered a Democrat over nonsense. But even the liberal web has to play by the Clinton Rules, so every action and every word from the Clinton camp is filtered through an unchecked cynicism and distrust of all things Clinton by the liberal blog heavyweights.



    Agree. (none / 0) (#103)
    by liminal on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:11:43 PM EST
    I remember the Jackson campaign.  I was in high school and went to a rally in rural, mostly white Appalachia.  Sure it was late in the primary season and the nomination was already locked up, but there was a really big crowd there.  Jackson had reasonable support from organized labor, too.  It was the first real political event I attended; Jackson was the first real national politician I ever saw - and even though we were early, we couldn't get close to the stage, there were so many people there.

    Jackson was running as a true progressive. (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by lobary on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:31:03 PM EST
    If Obama's campaign went beyond the Hope/Unity schtick and took pride in being called "liberal," he'd be a lot more like Jesse Jackson and less like Ronald Reagan. I'd vote for that guy.

    Marshall /Moulitsas (none / 0) (#215)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 06:03:14 PM EST
    Marshall is I believe about mid or just past mid thirties and Moulitsas about the same.

    That would put both at about 17 in 1988 and at the time didn't Moulitsas consider himself a Republican.

    They may have missed that Jackson also won the Michigan Democratic primary in 1988.


    You Must Have Missed (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:33:57 AM EST
    That story. Here is a link, so you can catch up, from BTD on the subject.

    I have not missed the story is just (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:37:10 AM EST
    that it was not racist it was made racist by the press and the subsequent arguments.  It was a statement of fact that Jesse did win SC that did not necessarily translate into his becoming the nominee.  Trying to make it into anything else is playing the race card in my opinion.  Anyway It was a snark remark

    Mine Too (snark) (none / 0) (#21)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:39:13 AM EST
    In any case BTD nails it in the link above.

    Sombody asks you about an election in 2008 (none / 0) (#40)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:50:30 AM EST
    do you immediately cite information from an election 20+ years ago?  What does the 1988 and 1984 results have anything to do with anything?  (Note: in 1988 and 1984, the nominee had already essentially been decided, and so Jackson's performance was completely irrelevant even at the time of his victories).

    Far more relevant, when asked in 2008 about the SC landscape might be to, say, mention the primary of 2004 (which Edwards won), or 2000?  But 1988 and 1984?

    What possible connection or relevance do those primaries have for anything in the 2008 primary.  There's only one connection I can think of: race.

    I have a lot of respect for Bill Clinton.  He's a very very smart man.  I can't think of any other reason why he would suddenly talk about primaries from 20+ years ago, as if all the intervening history in SC didn't exist.

    And even if one wanted to give Bill Clinton the benefit of the doubt, surely one can't be blamed for thinking he injected race into it.

    It all, in my mind, comes down to a simple question: when asked about a 2008 contest, why do you gratuitiously bring up primaries from 20+ years earlier?


    Why is your question so important? (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:02:57 PM EST
    Everybody is bringing up old elections. Obama brought up Reagan and that, thankfully, was a long time ago. Personally I thought Bill's comment was snarky and marginalizing since I voted for Jesse Jackson 20 years ago myself but the question of "why bring up an election that was 20 years ago" seems to be a little bit too much of the mind-reading variety. Something that I think we all have done too much of in this campaign. Sometimes you've just got to say: "Who knows why he said that stupid thing that he said."

    your making my point (none / 0) (#97)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:10:19 PM EST
    Obama brought up Reagan because he was giving an example of a similarity.  Whatever else Reagan was, he was able to be a "Great Communicator."  He made people "feel good about America" again (something that the left did not do much of, and why they lost more elections than they should have).

    But, the point was that he brought it up because of a similarity.

    So -- what is the similarity between the 2008 primary (which hadn't occurred at the time), and Jackson's 1988 and 1984 victories?

    Nu?, What's the similarity?

    Wouldn't nearly everyone answer that question based on race?  So, is it so far fetched to then think that Clinton brought race into it?

    I'm not saying he's racist, because I don't believe he is.  But he did inject race into the discussion.


    Well of course there's a similarity.... (none / 0) (#150)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:37:32 PM EST
    Bill Clinton's comments clearly were about race because the Democratic voters who overwhelming gave the victory to Obama and Jackson were African American and because they were the majority Dems in that state. Race was already the subject at that point, in wasn't even a subtext. He was essentially saying let's see what happens in a state where the Democratic electorate is not over 50% black. And we all found out the answer to that question. He was wrong, white people did vote for Obama. But frankly, most of the black people I know and talk to every day were just as surprised as Bill Clinton to discover that so many white people would vote for Obama. Happily surprised, I might add.

    But it seems that some people are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Sometimes it's said that its better if we talk about race than if we don't, but then it's also so easy to twist words around and read meanings into things.  Remember that Bill Clinton was accused of race baiting and playing the race card before he even made the Jesse Jackson comment, when his "fairy tale" remarks were characterized as race baiting.


    Wilentz has a reasonable explanation. (none / 0) (#88)
    by liminal on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:07:47 PM EST
    Wilentz has a reasonable explanation, but I'm not particularly sold on it.  Wilentz argues that the last candidates to win SC by significant margins in meaningful ways were Edwards in 2004 and Clinton in 1992.  Edwards won with a plurality, not a majority, at 45%, and he was still in the race, possibly second but maybe third in his home state.  I do agree that mentioning Edwards in that context would have been a gratuitous piling on.

    Clinton won in 1992 with 69% of the vote, much higher than Edwards or Obama, for that matter.  Boasting about that would have 1. seemed like, well, boasting, and 2. set up a negative contrast with his wife's campaign.

    So he reaches back to Jackson.

    I can see why the Jackson comment was interpreted negatively; I don't give Clinton a complete pass on this.  But I'm even more disappointed by the press, for that matter.  Jackson was not "just the black candidate" in 1984 and 1988.  He won 10 primaries in '88, and forced some important reforms on the Democratic party.  The press reduced Jackson's candidacy - and its importance - to race.  Heck, Jackson himself called his voters the "Rainbow Coalition" - and believe it or not, it felt important at the time, an affirmation of liberal Democratic values in an era when the Republicans were not remotely shy about using race-baiting politics - the southern strategy - of their own, repeatedly, to win elections.  

    That said, the remark came after the South Carolina victory - after two weeks when various Obama surrogates and a compliant press repeatedly made claims - against all reason - that the Clinton campaign was trying to paint Obama as "the black candidate" in SC.  That's absurd: it wouldn't serve them in SC.  Man.  It still makes me depressed.


    He may not have been (none / 0) (#107)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:12:42 PM EST
    just the "black candidate" back then but the last 20 years have certainly painted him as the "black politician".  

    So do you think it's okay (none / 0) (#151)
    by liminal on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:38:42 PM EST
    for either Obama supporters or the MSM to accede to that characterization?  I don't.   I really don't.  There are plenty of Democrats who have excellent opinions of Jackson and who did not view his run in 1988 as a "black" candidacy, as you can see from my personal testimonial above.  

    Again, I do understand and appreciate why and how folks interpret that comment negative.  Clinton doesn't get a complete pass on that, IMO.  He just doesn't.  However, the "Clintons are race-baiters" meme had already been constricted and whipped up into a stiff, peaked, rather nasty frenzy by that point - based on a whole bunch of conflated and contrived issues.  The Obama campaign's "South Carolina" memo came out two weeks before, and folks in the press and Obama surrogates kept bringing it up, repeatedly, in ways that maligned the Clintons unfairly and closed off any discussion.  


    it was right _before_ the primary (none / 0) (#108)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:12:44 PM EST
    ... not two weeks after!

    Nope. (none / 0) (#145)
    by liminal on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:32:30 PM EST
    I know that you are wrong.  The comment about JJSr. came late in the day on the day of the Democratic primary in SC (a Saturday).  The charges that the Clintons had been race-baiting had already been swirling in the blogosphere and elsewhere for two and a half weeks leading up to the primary, on the blogosphere and elsewhere.

    In case I wasn't clear, I was pointing out that the unfair "race-baiting" accusations against Bill Clinton had been going on for two weeks before he made that comment, on the afternoon of the SC primary.  


    yes, you are right (none / 0) (#157)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:51:39 PM EST
    his remarks were, indeed, on the day of the primary.

    I thought you had said it happened two weeks after the primary.

    But back to my main point.  It seemed very clear that Bill Clinton was minimizing the significance of Obama's victory, claiming that he won it the way he did primarily because SC has a black population proportionally larger than other states.

    There's nothing wrong with minimizing the significance of one's opponents' victories -- everybody does it.  And I think that's all Clinton meant.

    But, it had the effect of painting Obama as "the candidate for blacks", and people took it an a gratuitous injection of race into the contest.


    Cool. We (mostly) agree. (none / 0) (#163)
    by liminal on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    I think we mostly agree then; I wasn't happy with the comment.  That said, were it not for the concerted campaign of the prior 2 weeks to paint Clinton as a race-baiter, I doubt that that single comment, would have had the legs it did.

    Minimizing Victory (none / 0) (#217)
    by cal1942 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 06:25:39 PM EST
    Minimizing a victory is common place and certainly not racist.

    Obama, Edwards (my candidate), Richardson and Biden took themselves off the Michigan ballot one day before the deadline and AFTER the DNC levied the death penalty, to minimize a certain Clinton victory in Michigan.


    How certain... (none / 0) (#218)
    by Alec82 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 06:50:57 PM EST
    ...was Senator Clinton's victory in Michigan in a contested campaign?  For various reasons I think that Senator Edwards or Senator Obama would have had a pretty good shot at a contested Michigan primary, particularly in light of the results in Iowa.  

     This is not about President Clinton being racist, it is whether or not he was trying to portray Senator Obama as an also-ran black candidate, alienating black voters in the process.  It did not have to be that way, as Frank Rich pointed out.  


    i don't think he was trying to do anything. (none / 0) (#230)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:59:27 PM EST
    quite frankly i think he just felt hurt and betrayed by the aa community.

    thanks florida resident for your common (none / 0) (#115)
    by hellothere on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:16:14 PM EST
    sense. i do believe that respect for all races and cultures should be enforced. but the degree of political correct with the obama campaign using it to beat up on the clintons is annoying at best. i just read that william f buckley has died. say what you will about him, but note this. he was a verbal dream in that he would debate and didn't have to slime. he was close friends with a number of liberals and they debated, had a good time and drank to each other. the politcal context today is worrying. the false "hope" and the bickering is just sad. the phony journalists spilling their bull. i find it insulting no matter who the target is.

    Yeah, calling Gore Vidal a "queer" on TV (none / 0) (#177)
    by JJE on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:26:43 PM EST
    wasn't slimy at all.  what a great guy, that WFB!

    i didn't claim the guy was a saint. (none / 0) (#209)
    by hellothere on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 04:23:06 PM EST
    in fact it was rude, crude and not acceptable for him to say tht. that is the problem, we take one stupid comment and ruin a career. well maybe careers in a number of cases should be ruined. i offered that up in relation to his overall relationship with a number of liberals. take from it what you want for nothing.

    I agreed with JJ Sr. The comment (none / 0) (#22)
    by hairspray on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:39:52 AM EST
    was not intended as a racial slur. My God is everything a racial slur?

    I posted this about a gazillion times on this web, (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by derridog on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:09:01 PM EST
    but, it's like Bill Maher said -didn't everyone know Obama was black before the SC election?

    Bill is friends with Jesse Jackson.  Jackson worked right alongside Martin Luther King (whom we know we can't compare to anyone, including Lyndon Johnson, who actually mobilized the government to support King and the Civil Rights movement) during the 60s. He was there when King was shot. He has run for President and spoken up on things for forty years and been given the Clinton Rule treatment of ridicule by the press the entire time.
    He has a lot of guts and courage and I was a delegate for him in New Mexico in 1988.

    So, tell me, why is it an insult to say Jesse Jackson and Obama in the same breath?  i think it's an insult to Jackson frankly.


    Bill Mahr (none / 0) (#220)
    by auntmo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:01:19 PM EST
    Mahr  also  said,  "We  owe  more  to  Black people  than we  do  to  women."  

    I haven't  watched him since.


    as much of a racial slur... (none / 0) (#42)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:51:03 AM EST
    as "periodically" is a sexist slur?

    Since you are clearly not a woman, let (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by derridog on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:18:30 PM EST
    me explain it to you in simple terms.  Women have periods. They sometimes are down when they have periods or even get upset.   I want to make sure you get this.  

    Many times men say things like "she must be on the rag" (do you want me to explain what "rag" refers to?) to express hostile feelings towards women who might be a tad emotional, angry or even uppity (meaning they challenge men's perception of what their proper role is in life-- one of submission is the one most guys prefer).

    Okay now... now go over Obama's statement one more time with this crib sheet in hand and see if you can get it now.


    Yeah I get that (none / 0) (#124)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:22:37 PM EST
    You ASSUME an intent by Obama.  You ignore the fact that the LAST thing the Obama campaign would want to do is alienate women.  You ignore the fact that the Clinton campaign, the entire campaign and not just Hillary, has REPEATEDLY flipped from conciliatory/respectful to hostile/attacking.  Instead you want to assume that Obama wants to use locker room humor to attack Hillary.

    Yet you then want to say "Oh Bill didn't mean anything bad when he said that. You're just taking it the wrong way"


    our society is much (none / 0) (#232)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 08:14:28 PM EST
    less self-conscious or aware of its misogynistic thinking than it is about its racist thinking--and this is pretty sad if you think about it, considering how unaware so many people are of the subtle racism that pervades our society.  it's like a counter-feminist revolution has arrived, with misogyny almost always getting a free pass.

    which is why sexism has flown under the radar throughout this campaign, while any allegation of racism (whether real or perceived) has been magnified exponentially and widely publicized.  

    and what you characterize as "flipped," i see as a campaign trying its damnedest to restrain itself in the face of unscrupulous hit jobs by obama--until, inevitably, they get so fed up with the mistreatment that they actually defend themselves.


    but I am married to a woman (none / 0) (#172)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:20:41 PM EST
    I do understand the "she must be on the rag" slur, and, yes, I've heard it before.  You don't need to explain it to me.

    But if you could stop, just for the duration of this post, and hear me out, I'd appreciate it -- just for the purposes of looking at it from a different angle, and see if it's not unreasonable.

    The press enjoy (Tim Russert last night was an extreme example of it) asking one candidate about the most extreme statements that the other candidate (or their campaign) has just made -- presumably in order to provoke an exciting fight.

    Obama's way of handling it is generally to not take the bait, but rather excuse the comment.

    And so, for example, last night, when they showed the film clip of HRC talking about Obama and "celestial choirs", etc.

    Now, Obama could have attacked the overplayed meme that HRC does stuff and Obama just talks stuff and is naive.  But he didn't.  He defused the issue by saying  "I thought Senator Clinton showed some good humor there."

    Another time, (a few weeks back) when Bill Clinton said something kinda harsh (I don't remember what it was), Obama again refused to take the bait, and said something like "I understand they are frustrated...."

    So, too, here.  HRC is obviously unhappy with how her campaign (insert Mark Penn slam here).  HRC has just lost an important union endorsement, and then criticized Obama for watering down a bill that HRC herself voted for!  It was an off-the-wall criticism if HRC herself voted for it?  Why, then, the harsh criticism, Obama was asked.  He said "I understand that Senator Clinton, periodically when she's feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal... We don't need more fighting, we need some getting together, solving some problems."

    Isn't it just possible, just possible, that Obama is not a sexist and didn't mean it the way that some people are taking it?  Or that he meant "down in the polls?"

    Yes, there is real sexism out there (Chris Matthews, Tucker Carlson, et al, ought to have their punditry-licenses revoked over this issue).  But here?  Isn't is just possible he had a poor choice of words?  It clearly wasn't scripted (if you've seen the YouTube) and he was fumbling around for words.  (In real life, it comes more across like "I understand that, you know, Senator Clinton ... um ... periodically, when she's feeling ... uh down ... launches attacks, and ... uh as a way of - of ... you know, trying to boost her ... uh boost her appeal.")

    Do you see, at all, my point, even if you disagree with it?  Can you agree that reasonable minds might differ over it?

    And can you see that some people think that this whole issue is the whole "victimology" thing, over who can take more umbrage at the other candidate's words?

    I'll admit that periodically I feel down about how much Obama and Clinton supporters trash each other.  And I'm a guy.  Go figure!


    heh, your last line (none / 0) (#233)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 08:19:39 PM EST
    made me laugh.  as a clinton supporter and a woman, yes--i can see your point, and i can agree that reasonable minds might differ over it.  frankly i'm undecided on the "periodically" comment myself.

    I'll try this once more (none / 0) (#105)
    by tree on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:12:16 PM EST
    It wasn't just the word "periodically". It was periodically, when she's "FEELING down", she "launches attacks". It was said in response to Clinton ads that criticized him for not agreeing to a debate in Wisconsin. It played into stereotypes about women being emotional creatures. I've seen that kind of sh*t used against women in the workplace all the time. Don't fight back, don't get angry or you'll be accused of being hysterical.If you don't see it, then I guess you've never had your competence or authority or self-respect questioned and dismissed by some jerk who can't control his own emotions. But please, don't assume that the problem was just the work "periodically". It would have been just as sexist without that word. "Periodically" was just the icing on the cake.  

    Maybe there really is (none / 0) (#113)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:15:45 PM EST
    no innate difference between the races, but there is between the sexes?

    And had he said (none / 0) (#116)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:16:18 PM EST
    "Periodically when she's feeling down ABOUT HER campaign she launches into attacks" would that have been sexist?  

    What then?  Still sexist?  

    Oh, ftr, I am 6'2" 250 Lb white male and I regularly get challenged by overly emotional men at the workplace who take any sort of criticism as a blood insult.  


    if he'd said (none / 0) (#196)
    by tree on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:16:34 PM EST
    "when her campaign is down in the polls" and left out the "feeling" word, I would have accepted it as non-sexist. She was down in the polls, and she was proposing more debates as a tactic to increase her polling. There was no indication that she was "feeling" down or that her "feelings" had anything to do with her campaign ads. It was all standard politics, so he should have treated it like that. Mention that she was trailing in the polls, and when candidates are trailing they usually launch attacks against the front runner.

     As I said before, I think that Obama sounded tired and very awkward when he said it and am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he didn't purposely play into gender stereotypes. But the wording was still overtly sexist.

    "Oh, ftr, I am 6'2" 250 Lb white male and I regularly get challenged by overly emotional men at the workplace who take any sort of criticism as a blood insult."

    I'm not saying that men in general or individually don't get emotional, sometimes hysterically so.  But as a man, I bet that no other man has ever tried to diminish your authority or your thoughts or feelings by diminishing your gender. Unless of course, you are gay, and even then the diminishment  will usually take the form of comparing you to a woman. As if gays can't be real men.    


    Actually (none / 0) (#197)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:26:04 PM EST
     But as a man, I bet that no other man has ever tried to diminish your authority or your thoughts or feelings by diminishing your gender.

    yes.  Men do it all the time by claiming they aren't manly enough.  And no I'm not gay.  

    And women certainly have disparaged me for my gender in the workplace.  


    by claiming THEY (none / 0) (#201)
    by tree on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:33:09 PM EST
    aren't manly enough? I think you mean by claiming YOU aren't manly enough. BTW, that's not disparaging your gender. Its disparaging YOU by pretending that you don't live up to your gender. Its putting male gender above female gender.

    Women aren't saints either.  Some women disparage men(which is why I specifically referred to men only)but it doesn't mean that sexism doesn't exist, or that it supports your point that the reference couldn't have been sexist.


    wow. (none / 0) (#234)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 08:23:32 PM EST
    tree, you rock.  thank you for that.

    You're right on target tree (none / 0) (#178)
    by mexboy on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:26:45 PM EST
    you forgot "to broaden her appeal" (none / 0) (#179)
    by JJE on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:30:12 PM EST
    which makes the quote a description of a calculated political strategy, the opposite of an emotional woman lashing out irrationally.  But don't let facts get in the way of your "poor Hillary attacked by the sexist menz!" meme.

    it just meakes it sound like (none / 0) (#198)
    by tree on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:26:16 PM EST
    accusing her of playing the gender card. I've heard it played both ways against women. We are too emotional and irrational. We are cold and calculating and feign our emotions to manipulate men into doing what we want. I know its been used against Clinton both ways. ( And no, Im not referring to the Obama campaign itself, but to much of the media, some bloggers, some Clinton-haters, and some Obama supporters who think politics is like sports where you are supposed to hate and denigrate the team that opposes your team.)

    But, to paraphrase, don't let facts get in the way of you sounding smug.


    I have seen a lot of vitrol... (none / 0) (#207)
    by Alec82 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 04:02:59 PM EST
    ...emanating from Senator Clinton's supporters, as well as Senator Obama's.  

     Look, do I think the media is fair to Senator Clinton? No, of course not.  The cynicism surrounding her emotional display is but one example.  At that point, I was still defending her campaign and I still believed she would be a strong president, despite my extreme misgivings about the Iraq war vote.  I found the media attention to her laughter extremely off-putting.  I had a lot of questions about Senator Obama's electability.  

     But you know, it is not only about media bias.  I find it very hard to believe that President Clinton was not attempting to cast Senator Obama as the also ran black candidate.  Whether you would call it racist or race baiting is beside the point; it had the effect of alienating massive numbers of African American voters.  It reminded those of us who grew up in the 90s that the political (as opposed to economic) landscape of President Clinton was toxic and fueled the Republican machine we see today.  

     So no, I do not think Senator Obama is being sexist, I do not believe Senator Clinton is being racist (although her husband is apparently not above opening the door) and I do not regard any of the episodes apart from South Carolina as extremely troubling in that regard.  Nevertheless, I do believe Senator Clinton's campaign management team is not serving her well, and if she loses this race they may be the reason.  


    Ironically (none / 0) (#193)
    by ahazydelirium on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:01:02 PM EST
    Jesse Jackson came out as saying that Bill's comments were not racist.



    Slander Campaign (none / 0) (#144)
    by 1jane on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:32:27 PM EST
    Racial discrimination is treating people differently through a process of social division into categories.

    Institutional racism is racial discrimination by governments, corporations, educational institutions or other large organizations with the power to influence the lives of many individuals.

    There is nothing stereotypically "black" about Obama's campaign. Racist assumptions and sexist assumptions have been blown away by both candidates.

    Successful "black" America gets very little coverage. Crimes by black Americans are still the lede in newspapers and on TV. It takes a Tiger Woods succeeding at the whitest of sports or a Condoleeza Rice sitting around Camp David  advising the President to get into peoples living rooms on their TV's.

    Succeeding in white America means conguering white politics. By any definition, political institutions are racist. Deal with it but don't lie about it.


    what are you even talking about here? (none / 0) (#235)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 08:41:05 PM EST
    are you saying that obama didn't in fact paint the clintons as playing the race-baiting card, or are you saying that even if he did, going nuclear like this in a dem primary was somehow justified by the need to conquer white politics?  to me the ends do not justify the means.

    oh, and you're wrong about sexist assumptions having been blown away, because you've demonstrated those very assumptions yourself with your "fangs" comment recently.  yes, women are capable of being misogynistic.  based on my limited observations of you as a commenter here, i'd guess that you're one of those women.  i hope you'll prove me wrong.


    Time line is wrong (none / 0) (#250)
    by bison on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:53:01 PM EST
    The time line is wrong.  The race baiting started before the Iowa primaries. Let us not forget about the drug references by the head of Clinton's campaign in NH and the "shucking and jiving" comments by Cuomo both occurred before the Iowa primaries- both have racial connotations.

    All Hands on Deck (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by Athena on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:24:11 AM EST
    Wilentz carefully points out how casual charges of racism - which immediately silence debate and paralyze analysis - are skillfully played race cards.  This is what happened in S.C. - and the Clinton campaign has been on the (unfair) defensive ever since for a narrative that was initiated by the Obama campaign and lapped up by the press.

    As Wilentz closes his article - "by any means necessary" - largely explains how the Obama campaign exploited racial sensitivities to distort objectively neutral and factual statements into racial animus - it worked for them very well.

    Further (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Athena on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:27:33 AM EST
    I'll add that the contrived introduction of racial animus had the effect of turning Clinton from an opponent into an enemy - with all of the attendant hostility.

    Whereas the incessant (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:29:05 AM EST
    charges of sexism were all in good fun?

    Unfortunately ... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by robrecht on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:02:02 PM EST
    ... sexism is still relatively acceptable so those charges did not have much effect.  I find most of these charges from supporters on both sides to be rather divisive.  We even had a silly argument here as to which was worse, racism or sexism, as if either one might be more acceptable.  As Democrats we should be able to discuss these problems in the campaigns and in society in a more productive manner.  Supporters should follow the lead of their candidates more and degenerate into sniping that only helps Republicans.

    NOT degenerate !!! Oops. (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by robrecht on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:06:53 PM EST
    Completely agree (none / 0) (#78)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:05:08 PM EST
    I don't like to see either charge being levied at the other.  IMO, the vast majority of the charges are based on flawed inferences rather than intentional attacks by either campaign.  

    both racism and sexism are reprehensible. (none / 0) (#236)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 08:46:45 PM EST
    this doesn't change the fact that in a democratic party primary in today's american society, only one of them is nuclear.

    And doesn't even deal with MO (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:08:12 PM EST
    -- the Other Obama, who has played a big part in this since at least Iowa. I hope this is the beginning of Wilentz' next book, on this campaign. I have tried throughout to see how all this will look in such a book . . . and I fear that this party and this country will not look good.

    Playing the fear card (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:25:34 AM EST
    I don't think anyone was upset about Garbgate because it was race baiting.  It was fear baiting using the oft used smear of Obama as crypto-Muslim.

    So now we have to Fear Muslims? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:29:55 AM EST
    no one said (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jgarza on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:36:28 AM EST
    we have to fear Muslims, but reality is people do.  Obama points out every time that these assertions are offensive to him because he isn't Muslim, and offensive to Muslims, because they imply being Muslim is bad.

    But No One (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:40:51 AM EST
    Ever said he was muslim.  And if they did they were fired.

    huh? (none / 0) (#52)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:56:12 AM EST
    Fox and their ilk were indeed peddling that he is a Muslim.  And that he went to a Midrassa.  And they keep hyping about his middle name.  And he doesn't salute the flag, and that he took his oath on a Koran, etc etc.  Yes, all this has been tried out against Obama already.

    It's the meme that the GOP is trying out right now.  That Obama is of "questionable" loyalty.  Harp on his middle name, talk about the Midrassa, even CNN had a poll on whether Obama was patriotic enough.


    i think edgar is talking about the clinton camp. (none / 0) (#237)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 08:48:39 PM EST
    i hope you're not suggesting (none / 0) (#238)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 08:50:41 PM EST
    that clinton assume responsibility for all gop attacks on obama as well.  seriously, that's just taking the obama rules way too far.

    Only in the eyes of Republicans and now (none / 0) (#30)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:42:12 AM EST
    I guess the Obama followers. :-)  Look his reaction was knee jerked and offensive to decent muslims around the world even though I know it was not meant to be.  I see you point of view but we have to be careful to think that we must react defensive because someone puts out a picture of us dressed in muslim garb, it can give the impression to muslim around the world that being muslim is a bad thing for us.

    "and offensive to Muslims..." (none / 0) (#121)
    by tree on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:20:15 PM EST
     because they imply being Muslim is bad."

    Hear,hear. One of my problems with Obama's campaign is that I haven't heard him say loud and clear that there's nothing inherently bad about being Muslim. Mostly I hear silence. Yes, he should make very clear that he's Christian, because that's what he is. But he should also strongly state that being Muslim is not a negative, even though some bigots assume it is.
     Same thing with the garb flap. Be proud. Stand up against RW framing.


    Are you being intentionally obtuse? (none / 0) (#20)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:39:02 AM EST
    First you ask what is wrong with comparing Obama to Jesse Jackson and now you are bizarrely suggesting that fear of Muslims in America is a myth?

    And what is wrong with comparing (none / 0) (#26)
    by MarkL on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:41:18 AM EST
    Obama to Jesse Jackson? Nothing, obviously.

    Look (none / 0) (#32)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:46:04 AM EST
    the Race card stuff is mostly irrelevant to me.  

    But you can't complain about rampant sexism and then  say that charges of racism are unwarranted.

    If you play victim politics, it works both ways.  And in this case, racism is more publicly condemned than sexism.


    Yeah flyer but I have read very (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:49:26 AM EST
    many comments in other so called progressive blogs calling Hillary a b**h I have never read a comment calling Obama a N***r.  So I think the problem lies in that people feel more comfortable in being sexist than racist in public.

    On the other hand (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:00:43 PM EST
    Obama's forced self-limitation (having to run as a non-black black candidate) is arguably greater than Clintons.

    Obama has had to walk a very narrow tightrope that people here just take for granted. The fact that he has to walk it says a lot about how powerful stereotypes of blacks still are in America.


    i totally agree with you about that tightrope he (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:06:15 PM EST
    has to walk - i think that is very hard and that he has done a good job of it.

    but i think the same metaphor applies to clinton or any woman candidate - she clearly can't appeal to most men no matter what she does. she's weak, or too tough, or cold, or cries on command, etc.


    This shows that you really (none / 0) (#95)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:09:55 PM EST
    haven't read and comprehended the article, the campaign. . . .

    The article is unsourced opinion (none / 0) (#119)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:19:03 PM EST
    and his campaign has been very very careful about race. Those who follow closely issues of color have watched him walk a very very careful line about not turning his back on his black supporters and trying to appeal to the rest of the population.

    Or are you arguing that his race has actually been an advantage in this campaign?


    his playing the race-baiting card has, (none / 0) (#239)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 08:57:25 PM EST
    at least from my perspective, most definitely been an advantage in this campaign--and in the most destructive possible way.  and i see it extrapolated and perpetuated by some aa blogs that both race-bait and hate-bait, with a dash of misogyny thrown in for good measure.  but if you don't want to see it, you won't.  you have to be willing to see things that are inconvenient to obama first, in order to be able to see the things in the article.

    And when Tina Fey (none / 0) (#43)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:51:11 AM EST
    does a skit on SNL extolling the virtues of the word b**ch, what then?  

    The 2 words have nowhere near the same levels of hostility associated with them.  


    But she is a woman is like a black man (none / 0) (#49)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:55:59 AM EST
    using the N word in Rap. Show-time

    Oh really? (none / 0) (#60)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:00:00 PM EST
    How many times does a black comedian on SNL use the N word?  

    I don't know since I don't watch SNL but I can (none / 0) (#83)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:06:15 PM EST
    tell you how many times they use both words in RAP

    logically inconsistent... (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:50:24 AM EST
    so, you're saying that if accusations of racism are found to be unsupported, then there cannot be any true charges of sexism?

    Aha, you said it first -- thanks. (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:00:56 PM EST
    Fly enjoys turning the topic to something else, never addressing the topic here: racism. Address it, Fly. Or wait for another thread on your topic.

    The topic is NOT racism (none / 0) (#85)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:06:22 PM EST
    the topic is playing the race card.  There is a big difference.

    Okay, good, then stop talking about (none / 0) (#98)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:10:46 PM EST
    the gender card and start addressing the topic.

    semantics (none / 0) (#111)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:14:44 PM EST
    for the love of god, when some is accused of playing the race card, they are talking about racism.

    DrMolly (none / 0) (#221)
    by auntmo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:08:41 PM EST
    So....why  do  YOU  think   Jesse  Jackson Jr,  the  day  after  Obama lost  the   New  Hampshire  primary,   said  Clinton  didn't  cry  after  Katrina?    Wasn't  that  a   dog  whistle  to  the  Blacks in South  Carolina,  which   state  he  HAD  to win  to prove  he  was   vote-worthy  to  Black  America?  

    Tad  deceitful, don't you  think?


    Nope (none / 0) (#46)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:52:13 AM EST
    But when you are constantly complaining about sexism and then completely discarding the possibility of racial politics, then I think you have lost objectivity.

    'victim politics' (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:55:04 AM EST
    with all due respect, methinks you have a bit of a blindspot that is belied by your trivializing slogan 'victim politics'

    You can always (none / 0) (#55)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:56:48 AM EST
    make the discussion about me.

    What is the difference between the accusations of race card politics and the more generic victim politics?  Please explain.


    i don't mean to make it about you (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:59:48 AM EST
    i just have never liked terms like "race card", "gender card", "victim politics" etc. because it seems to me that their intent is to mock, or trivialize, the very real possibility of instances of racism, sexism, and victimizing.

    Perhaps you should (none / 0) (#68)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:02:30 PM EST
    take a look at the title of this diary.  

    This entire diary is intended to argue that Obama is playing the race card and that any actual charges of racism are meritless.


    i understood the title, thank you (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:10:47 PM EST
    from my viewpoint, most of the racism charges were meritless and some were clearly meant to inflame.

    and, from my viewpoint, there has been so much sexist commentary directed at hillary clinton from the media that one would have to be blind not to see it.

    my views only.


    Are we talking about (none / 0) (#120)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:19:22 PM EST
    the media or the Obama campaign?  

    Seems that a lot of folks here seem to think they are the same thing.


    The title asks a question (none / 0) (#106)
    by standingup on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:12:32 PM EST
    And where is there anything suggesting that actual charges of racism are meritless?

    Hear hear. (none / 0) (#134)
    by liminal on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:25:32 PM EST
    I completely agree.  I prefer the term that Wilentz used - "race-baiting card" - but he reverts to "race card" at some points in the story, which makes me uncomfortable.  I don't like the term at all.  I agree with you assessment of it.

    Interesting (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by jes on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:35:40 AM EST
    didn't BTD say recently that Stan Wilentz was his favorite historian?

    I think this analysis is right on target. I admire it so much that I'm going out to pick up the book refered to in the Wikipedia article.

    Agree completely, Wes. (none / 0) (#223)
    by auntmo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:14:22 PM EST
    Wiltenz   has  Obama  and his  staff   nailed.  

    Many of  us  might  have  voted   for  Obama  had  he  not  implied  the  Clintons  are  "racists."   That  in itself  doomed  him with  many   voters.


    I think that this is a south vs. north thing (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by Kathy on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:40:28 AM EST
    I have lived in the south all of my life, and down here, you can talk about race without people immediately having a knee-jerk reaction and calling it racist.  It reminds me of how, just after Katrina, folks in the media were making it all about race.  Race is not the issue--poverty is.  MLK spoke constantly about poverty being a scourge, and in his later speeches, he focussed not so much on the color divide, but the economic one.  The winnowing of the middle class under Bush has been one of the most destructive republican policies in the last two decades.

    Race is a convenient excuse to ignore the fact that there are many people in America--black, white, hispanic, etc--who live as if they are in a third world country.  They have no running water, no healthcare, not electricity.  These are folks living in IL and AL and everywhere in between.  Robert Kennedy saw this disparity and built a campaign around it.  I think y'all know what happened to him.  Same with John Edwards.  The media doesn't think poverty is "sexy," so they glom onto race and run with it.

    Sorry, I strayed a bit off topic, but this is important to me.

    When you say "many" (none / 0) (#74)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:03:32 PM EST
    how many "have no running water, no healthcare, not electricity?"

    Seems to me the Obama campaign (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by oculus on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:48:46 AM EST
    figured out a way to make any reference to his race "racist" unless those references came from Obama campaign.  Yes, he is a truly gifted politician.  

    It goes beyond that even (none / 0) (#122)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:20:46 PM EST
    The Obama campaign found a way to make any reference to African Americans in context to this primary tantamount to a racist attack on Obama...

    You mention King...racist, you mention Jesse Jackson...racist, you use a slang term...racist...etc. etc. etc.

    Now, to be fair, this was ALWAYS going to be the case. This was the great big not-so-secret weapon Obama always had, it was just a matter of how it would work with the electorate. Obama played it masterfully, and it changed the primary overnight.


    Yes yes (none / 0) (#131)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:25:06 PM EST
    being black has been a huge advantage for Obama.

    Seriously, have you even thought this through? Attitudes like this are what turned off black supporter to the Clintons.


    Ah thank you (none / 0) (#152)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:40:34 PM EST
    marginalizing an argument by calling the argument racist solely because it deals with race...how enlightened...

    being black has been a huge advantage for Obama.
    Thats not what I wrote, try reading what people write before you knee-jerk a hyperbolic reply...

    How else to interpret this? (none / 0) (#161)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:00:28 PM EST

    This was the great big not-so-secret weapon Obama always had, it was just a matter of how it would work with the electorate. Obama played it masterfully, and it changed the primary overnight.

    Being black is apparently Obama's not-so-secret weapon.


    Its called context (none / 0) (#181)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:32:34 PM EST
    by oculus
    Seems to me the Obama campaign figured out a way to make any reference to his race "racist" unless those references came from Obama campaign.  Yes, he is a truly gifted politician.  

    Then I wrote:

    The Obama campaign found a way to make any reference to African Americans in context to this primary tantamount to a racist attack on Obama...

    I am referring to his ability to use his race in ways that it is uncouth for others to do...I also said:

    it was just a matter of how it would work with the electorate.

    Because it could have turned out much differently, depending largely on white voters.

    I am not saying that his being black is in and of itself a secret weapon, I'm saying his ability to use race to his advantage is. Race in America is a very touchy subject, and rightly so. But it is very clear that the rules do not permit whites to use race as an issue, whereas other racial groups can...that is the not-so-secret weapon.

    There is nothing disparaging to Obama about this (I think those that try to take my words as such are either overly defensive of Obama and take anything non-kool aide as an attack on him, or are not willing to have an earnest discussion regarding race in America), and I certainly don't think wrong of him to do so...those are the rules of the game. Hillary should have been playing up her gender more and earlier (that is her non-so-secret weapon)...it is a contest, people use EVERYTHING they can to their advantage.

    But back to race; of course there are other unspoken rules too. If we want to be frank, society does require a certain amount of "whiteness" from candidates, because of this there is always a form of oppression on minority racial groups having fair representation in government (Barak was after all only the 2nd black senator since reconstruction...the senate is hardly representative of the black community, or the country at large for that matter). But it is clear, Hispanics are allowed to use their race to their advantage, Asians to their own, etc. The reason this is acceptable, is because they are already having to fight against a system that REWARDS whiteness. That is one of many reasons why it is completely unacceptable for a white candidate to pander to white centric groups.

    It it fair to point out that Obama used it to his advantage? I think so...I don't think there is some rule saying that it is divisive to speak the truth about something. Do I think Obama is bad because of it? No...I just don't think it matches his rhetoric, there is a certain level of hypocrisy in this issue with Obama.

    I think if you'd not immediately become defensive of Obama, you'd have been able to tell that I was not faulting him, nor was I minimizing the hurdles  and hoops he's had to navigate to just get here. I would not have said this a month ago, but Obama is on the verge of being heroic just by gaining the nomination...(as is the same with HRC). But just because he is at the cusp of some form of greatness and some new page in history, does not mean that honest analysis of how he has campaigned is out of line. And to suggest that an analysis of how he used race to his advantage is in itself racist is dishonest.


    Now... (1.00 / 1) (#210)
    by Alec82 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 04:25:47 PM EST
    ...did he use being black to his advantage, or being mix-raced to his advantage?  

     Senator Barack Hussein Obama has used his identity to his advantage, but it is a weirdly global identity, not what we usually describe as an African American identity.  Speaking as a Midwesterner from the Great Lakes Region who is stranded in culturally alien California, it is not difficult to see his identity as shaped in very large part by this globalism.  His faith is a curious blend of spirituality and intellectual engagement, his background almost literally spans the globe.  He is what many younger, post-boomer voters see for the future of their country and desperately want to be the face of it.  When Maria Shriver said that if Senator Obama was a state he would be California, I think that is what she meant.  

     Do I think it is hypocritical to use this to his advantage while denouncing attempts to line him up with Islam and radical black politics?  Not really.  Senator Clinton was pursuing the same train of thought when she suggested that a woman's perspective would bring something new to the White House.  Indeed it would.  I doubt many people would feel it was hypocritical for Senator Clinton to distance herself from radical feminism under such circumstnaces.  For most of Senator Obama's supporters, though, it is not her gender that defines her but the limits of her generation and her own pre-Senate political life.  Many can live with the Iraq war vote, but they see in Senator Obama an opportunity to move past the political and cultural environment that made the Iraq war possible.  


    Obama (none / 0) (#222)
    by auntmo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:12:47 PM EST
    used  the  race  card  to  appeal  to   Black  voters,  who  had  asked  "Is  he  Black  enough?"    He  didn't  need  the  race  card  with    liberal  whites,  but  he  DID  need  it  for his  fellow  AA's.   And  playing  it  against  the  Clintons   was  a  deliberate  strategy  to   the   AA  vote  in South  Carolina.

    I agree (none / 0) (#224)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:16:47 PM EST
    But I am discussing the political philosophy/strategy behind this. I actually don't have any animus toward Obama regarding this.

    i would agree, except for the part about (none / 0) (#240)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 09:27:46 PM EST
    comparing obama's and hillary's weapons, as least in the context of a dem primary.  

    i think feminism as we once knew it is all but dead nowadays.  in fact, considering how many women are misogynistic these days, emphasizing the fact that hillary would be the first woman president is self-destructive, imo.  i can't even count how many times i've heard women retort vehemently that they're not going to vote for hillary just because she's a woman.  i think these women take pride in siding with obama because it earns them points for not being a feminist.

    by contrast, any allegation of a white candidate's using the race card is nuclear; it's an explosive issue.  the fact that hillary has even survived so long in this campaign is due, in no small part, to the clintons' longtime ties and friendship with the aa community.  i have seen this historical fact denied, ridiculed, attacked, and torn apart on some aa blogs--but that doesn't make what's true untrue.


    Obama's racialist campaign (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by MarkL on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:51:25 AM EST
    in the primary severely diminishes his chances (already small) in the general election.

    Obama jumped on the Drudge story (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Foxx on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:58:59 AM EST
    People blaming just the media for the recent Drudge picture fiasco are forgetting that it was the Obama campaign that IMMEDIATELY without checking it out jumped on the story and accused Clinton of horrible things. This is a perfect example of what Wilentz is talking about. It is Obama's modus operandi, their plan from the beginning. Paint her as a racist. Her entire lifetime shows that she is the opposite, a committed anti-racist.

    I just realized, it is Swift boating, not a term I use lightly. The technique of the Big Lie.

    I was SO glad when I saw you posted this article, I was going to link to it. Thank you.

    Exactly why (none / 0) (#205)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 03:23:30 PM EST
    I believe the whole thing came from the Obama campaign, not the Clinton campaign. Why anyone would think she would gain from this is beyond me. She was making an important policy speech that day that was completely overshadowed by this stupid, clueless, pathetic story. I will always believe the Obama campaign planted it. It is exactly Axelrod's style.

    Me too (none / 0) (#226)
    by auntmo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:39:04 PM EST
    And  I  believe  the  picture  with Rezko,  perfectly  timed  to surprise  her on the  Good Morning  America  Show,  was  provided  by  the   Obama  campaign,  too,   to neutralize  his own   exposure with  Rezko.

    Been (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by tek on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:59:25 AM EST
    saying this all along.  I actually had a heated argument with a friend who's an Obama supporter over this.  I said I broke with the Democrats when they forced Bill Clinton to apologize for comments he never made.  If that isn't FOX NEWS, I don't know what is.

    Of course my argument got nowhere.  Obama people really are like Bushies.  Don't confuse them with facts.  They're going to have the Chosen One, no matter what and we'll all pay the consequences.

    "Obama people really are like Bushies. (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:02:36 PM EST
    Don't confuse them with facts.

    Is it possible to stop with the over-generalizations.  At least amongst each other?


    Yes yes (none / 0) (#66)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:01:44 PM EST
    we know, Obama supporters are dupes and illogical while Clinton supporters are the height of cool, rationally supporting individuals.

    Thanks! (none / 0) (#90)
    by Marvin42 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:08:29 PM EST
    For finally admitting to this! ;)

    (To Make Sure This is Clear This is a Joke)


    so will it be Nader or McCain (none / 0) (#130)
    by po on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:24:31 PM EST
    for you then?  

    I'll answer for that! (none / 0) (#188)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:46:44 PM EST
    I'm going to work toward a veto proof majority in Congress.  I honestly don't care who gets the presidency.  Our remaining viable candidates aren't even slightly trustworthy!

    Obama played the "reverse southern strategy" among other distasteful things he does. Surprise!  He's just another dirty politician, and I don't reward Rovian-style, Nixonian-style tactics with my vote.  I don't want to win like that.

    I know, I know, I'm a bad Democrat, so I'll remind that I'm NOT a Democrat -- Thankfully -- since, by their silence, the DNC condones this very obvious type of behavior in their favorite candidate.  I can't associate with Dean and that organization.


    Eh, I think some of the comments, (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by spit on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:05:59 PM EST
    while I give them the benefit of the doubt on intent, did come off badly -- I wouldn't call them racist, but I would call them racially loaded, accidentally or no. How's that for parsing? :P

    Of course, there's still the point that not every weird comment by a supporter of either candidate should be used in the way these quotes were. Supporters say weird things. Not every weird thing is a coordinated campaign message.

    I will say that back in January, I was also very, very aware that some blog folks who shall remain nameless were doing everything they could on this front to whip it all into a frenzy on the blogs. Many of them worked, at least in the blogosphere (though the most telling were the ones people tested that didn't work).

    I mean it when I say the crassest political moves I've seen in this campaign have been on the blogs, and very, very often in support of the Candidate of Hope (or maybe more to utterly take down Clinton -- I think for some people on the blogs, Obama is merely a convenient means to that end).

    I don't generally blame him or his campaign for that, though, and would need a lot more solid something from this article to attach it to the actual intentions of the campaign.

    We need to remember (none / 0) (#94)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:09:52 PM EST
    that blogs have no rules.  They can say whatever they want with little fear of any sort of real consequence.  

    Even the most notable blogs have very little in the way of oversight.  So we shouldn't put TOO much weight on what they did or did not say.


    I sort of agree (none / 0) (#140)
    by spit on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:30:18 PM EST
    I think that most of the major blogs have done a very, very poor job in this primary cycle in keeping the conversations at all grounded, but again I don't think that necessarily reflects the intentions of the candidates themselves.

    Blogging in this primary, IMO, has become a caricature of all of the worst things that have been said about it, with a few exceptions.

    On the plus side, I think most actual people on the ground aren't terribly involved in the narratives that the blogosphere forms. For example, I think it's likely that African Americans responded much more heavily to seeing Obama win Iowa and show that a Black man had a real shot at this thing than they did to the blogs throwing weird fits. But that's just based on anecdote. To the degree that the blogs have had any effect on the larger narrative, it's been via the more traditional press picking up those bits and running with them, IMO, which has happened to a degree.

    I still find a lot of it crass beyond belief, and those involved in that stirring should be utterly ashamed of themselves, IMO. If a party split does happen for whatever reason this year, they'll bear no small amount of responsibility for that in my mind.


    Why Did it Take Wilentz So Long to Air This Issue? (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Doc Rock on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:10:47 PM EST

    Because HRC no longer looks "inevitable" (none / 0) (#136)
    by po on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:26:31 PM EST
    Not easy to track things down to their origins (none / 0) (#208)
    by goldberry on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 04:05:59 PM EST
    You don't want to be accused of making things up.  Wilentz is professor at Princeton and he has a reputation to protect.  

    When has Obama done this specifically? (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Independence33 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:44:45 PM EST
    This post is making a very dangerous claim and is completley unsubstantiated. If you make a charge of reverse race-baiting then you better have the specifics. When and where did the Obama campaign do this. I am glad to be proven wrong and if anyone has anything specific he said then I will concede the point. The media did jump on this story and has made a much bigger deal about it than it is and I have no problem admitting here that Obama has had more favorable press than her. How is this Obamas fault exactly? Is he supposed to attack the media for being to nice to him. What he has done is allowed the Clintons and the press to duke it out and has kept on the sidelines. I would say that this is a pretty smart strategy. He did call her comments about LBJ and MLK as unfortunate but this was seen by him and his campaign as a slight to MLKs accomplishments. Im not sure that it was her intention to do that but they addressed it and moved on. Pundits made the mistake of calling Bill Clintons "fairy tale" a racist comment. Obama was upset because it called into question his record on Iraq. I never once heard him say it was racist. I got really upset hearing that the Clinton campaign was circulating a picture of Obama that could be used against him. After further review and finally getting a pretty clear denial from Clinton herself, I accept that she at least had nothing to do with it. This is how these things should be handled because we all know that neither one of our very strong candidates are racist or sexist. The African-American voters that may have moved towards Obama might be a little offended by the implication that Obama has tricked them into supporting him. There also is a large portion of this community who still support Sen. Clinton and always have.  

    i think the article is (none / 0) (#241)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 09:46:01 PM EST
    pretty well-substantiated. there's only so many instances you can catalogue before it starts to become a case of denial to ignore them all.

    and you're not the only one who's offended; people of all races have been offended that obama has tricked us all.  

    and i hope, contrary to voting outcomes thus far, that what you say here is true:  "There also is a large portion of this community who still support Sen. Clinton and always have."


    Drugs references & Shucking and Jiving (none / 0) (#249)
    by bison on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:46:41 PM EST
    Let us not forget about the drug references and the "shucking and jiving" comments by the Clinton Campaign before the Iowa primaries- both have racial connotations.

    I see it this way. (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by dk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:12:08 PM EST
    Right before and after Iowa (which, of course, had been built up as THE critical moment of the campaign season), the media pushed the meme that Obama was the second coming of MLK.  I think this is partly because a lot of people were captivated by Obama's oratory, partly because of the liberal white guilt of the baby boomer press corps who often point to their admiration of MLK as proof of how tolerant they are and loved the idea that a new MLK had arrived on the scene, and partly due to Obama's not so subtle attempts in his own speeches at that time to draw the comparison.  Oh, and the progressive blogosphere jumped on the bandwagon, largely for the same reasons (just look at blog posts at the time simply linking to videos of Obama rallies and breathlessly talking about how inspiring he is, with no discussion of actual progressive issues).

    Now, this of course put Clinton in a pretty bad spot.  I mean, how do you run against the second coming of America's most beloved, martyred civil rights leader?  One way is to argue that Obama is no MLK.  However, the media had decided he was, and once they decide something you can't make them change their mind.  Another way is to argue that if we are to believe that Obama is the new MLK, fine, but that MLK was a civil rights leader, not a President.  Both jobs are important, but maybe they are different jobs.  

    Obviously, neither of these arguments worked out to well for Clinton (though I think the former is better than the latter, and maybe if the Deval Patrick speech videos had come out then it might have helped deflate him, but, again, the press was in no mood to deflate him so it wasn't to be).

    Obama camp (1.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Lil on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:49:42 AM EST
    The Obama camp played the race card perfectly. And continues to do so. I just hope he's able to do it so well in the GE.  I think the Clinton's were caught off guard that they were painted as the ones who played the race card.  They tried to be careful and got blamed anyway.

    Yes those statements about (none / 0) (#56)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:58:46 AM EST
    LBJ and JJ Jr. were so well-advised and careful.

    It was an unforced error by the Clintons. If they hadn't said it, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.


    That much is certainly true. nt (none / 0) (#109)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:13:13 PM EST
    JJ Comment Was (none / 0) (#160)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:59:53 PM EST
    Certainly an unforced error on BC's part, but the LBJ comment by HRC was entirely contextual, and hardly an error. Her point was in no way demeaning to MLK and in the context of the question she was clearly saying that she would be as effective in getting progressive legislation through congress as LBJ was.

    Major Garett set up the context of leadership and MLK, by quoting an Obama speech.


    read my comment elsewhere in (none / 0) (#243)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:10:39 PM EST
    this thread quoting what john lewis said on pbs about this.

    Drudge said (none / 0) (#149)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:36:55 PM EST
    Drudge said it was them. It was reported that way around the media.

    The Obama camp's mistake was to believe the press.

    The real story is why no one is pressing Drudge to come up with who gave it to them.


    Since when (none / 0) (#206)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 03:27:54 PM EST
    does any "real" democrat accept the word of Drudge over another democrat? You would think he would have learned something from the Novakula flap.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#3)
    by AF on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:25:23 AM EST
    But I stopped reading at this passage:

    Most of the recent correctives have concerned outrageously deceptive advertisements approved and released by Obama's campaign. First, in Iowa, the Obama camp aired radio ads patterned on the notorious "Harry and Louise" Republican propaganda from 1993, charging falsely that Senator Hillary Clinton's health care proposal would "force those who cannot afford health insurance to buy it, punishing those who won't fall in line." In subsequent primary and caucus campaigns, the Obama campaign sent out millions of mailers, also featuring the "Harry and Louise" motif, falsely claiming that Clinton favored "punishing families who can't afford health care in the first place." A few bloggers and columnists, notably Paul Krugman in The New York Times, described the ads as distorting, but the national press corps mainly ignored them--until Clinton herself, seeing the fraudulent mailers reappear in Ohio over the past weekend, publicly denounced them.

    You can disagree with those ads on the merits, but anyone who calls them "outrageously deceptive" and "false" is simply not a fair and neutral observer.

    My feeling exactly (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Jgarza on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:34:37 AM EST
    If you are going to call those ads beyond the pale, then there is no way you can even pretend to be a neutral observer.

    If by neutral you mean not a Democrat (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by MarkL on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:40:53 AM EST
    I'd agree. Those ads were beyond the pale, but only for Democrats.

    exactly. (none / 0) (#247)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:42:00 PM EST
    those ads are not outrageous to republicans who, after all, invented those kinds of ads.  i thought we were in a democratic primary...

    The Harry and Louise mailers (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by standingup on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:41:42 AM EST
    are deceptive.  They play into people's fears giving them the impression that they will be fined when that was not the case.  

    If you follow and read the link that Jeralyn provided to the wiki page for Wilentz, his relationship with the Clintons is clearly disclosed.    


    It's not about disclosure (none / 0) (#39)
    by AF on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:50:27 AM EST
    It's about fairness.  Anyone who thinks those ads are "fraudulent" and "outrageously deceptive" simply cannot purport to be a fair and accurate judge of what has happened during this campaign.

    It's almost as if you are saying... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:07:39 PM EST
    ...that anyone who doesn't have the same opinion that you do cannot purport to be fair and objective. I know that isn't what you mean, but it sort of sounds that way.

    No (none / 0) (#96)
    by AF on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:10:01 PM EST
    I'm saying that anyone who calls describing a mandate as forcing someone to do something as "fraudulent" has demonstrated a lack of fairness in assessing campaign tactics.

    Fairness (none / 0) (#76)
    by standingup on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:04:55 PM EST
    is not essential when assessing accuracy.  If an ad is wrong, it is simply wrong and no amount of fairness will make it correct.  

    The ad is accurate (none / 0) (#91)
    by AF on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:08:55 PM EST
    A mandate means forcing people to buy health insurance, regardless of whether they feel they can afford it.  And it is enforced by a fine, ie, punishment.

    You might disagree on the merits, but it is simply not inaccurate or misleading, much less fraudulent or outrageous.


    Do you consider (none / 0) (#123)
    by standingup on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:22:29 PM EST
    FICA to be a fine?  Can you point to anything from Clinton's health policy stating she would us a fine as enforcement?  

    FICA is a tax (none / 0) (#135)
    by AF on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:26:25 PM EST
    That funds government-run social security and health care programs.  

    A mandate is not a tax.  It is a legal requirement to buy health insurance.  Unless it is unenforced, in which case it isn't a real mandate, there will a penalty for failing to meet that requirement.


    But you are making (none / 0) (#165)
    by standingup on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:07:27 PM EST
    assumptions that are not supported by anything from the Clinton policy.  Her plan requires all individuals have coverage.  There are a variety of options that will be employed to cover all individuals, including the the use of subsidies to  individuals, coverage through employers and the expansion of public programs (Medicaid and SCHIP).  

    So I am not disagreeing simply on merits, I disagree on the accuracy of stating that there will be a mandate that is enforced with the use of a fine.  She has not made a commitment yet on a specific enforcement method but it is simply incorrect to state that people will be forced to purchase insurance that they can't afford or be fined.  If you can find anything in her policy or statements that support those allegations, I will concede the point.  


    clarity (none / 0) (#171)
    by Jgarza on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:18:27 PM EST
    Her plan requires all individuals have coverage.

    It requires them to buy it.  It doesn't require the government to provide it.


    That is the problem (none / 0) (#138)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:27:45 PM EST
    she hasn't really talked about enforcement at all.  She simply said she will require all people to pay.  She isn't very clear about how she will make sure that they do.

    FICA is a payroll tax.  So far Hillary hasn't suggested, in any way, that she wants to implement a new payroll tax.


    Not true (none / 0) (#156)
    by dwightkschrute on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:48:46 PM EST
    Not to get too off subject but she has in fact talked about enforcement...

    on ABC's "This Week," she said: "I think there are a number of mechanisms" that are possible, including "going after people's wages, automatic enrollment."

    just what do you think (none / 0) (#162)
    by Tano on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:04:31 PM EST
    a MANDATE is?

    If you dont enforce, either with a fine or some other negative consequence, then it is not a mandate.

    Is that your defense of the Clinton plan? That she will make in mandatory for everyone to buy insurance but if they don't, thats ok too?

    Then it isn't a mandate really, and is no different than Obama's plan.


    No (none / 0) (#176)
    by standingup on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:25:31 PM EST
    the point is that she has a requirement that everyone have health insurance and there are various ways to achieve that goal.  For example, look at the comparison that the Kaiser Foundation puts forth on the plans:

    Requirement to obtain or offer coverage

    Clinton -  

    • Individuals must have health insurance coverage.
    • Large employers must provide an employee plan or contribute to the cost of coverage.
    • Most small employers are not required to offer or contribute to coverage costs but are provided incentives to do so.

    Obama -      

    • Require all children to have health insurance.
    • Require employers to offer "meaningful" coverage or contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the public plan.

    Overall approach to expanding access to coverage

    Clinton - Every American required to have coverage, with income-related tax subsidies available to make coverage affordable. Private and public plan options would be available to individuals through a new Health Choices Menu operated through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Coverage through employers and public programs like Medicare continues.

    Obama -  Require all children to have health insurance, and employers to offer employee health benefits or contribute to the cost of the new public program. Create a new public plan, and expand Medicaid and SCHIP. Create the National health Insurance Exchange through which small businesses and individuals without access to other public programs or employer-based coverage could enroll in the new public plan or in approved private plans.

    Everyone is required to contribute to Medicare as part of their payroll deductions, unless otherwise exempted, and no one considers that a fine.  Same goes with FICA.  But there is simply nothing that has been provided to support the claim that Obama makes that people will be forced to buy insurance or be fined.  


    Huh? (none / 0) (#183)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:39:01 PM EST
    What part of individuals must have health insurance coverage is unclear?  

    Medicare is a tax.  A payroll tax.  Hillary has not suggested any new taxes to cover her plan.  


    you are avoiding the issue (none / 0) (#191)
    by Tano on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:56:14 PM EST
    Medicare is a tax applied to all.
    Hillary does NOT propose any tax on all people.
    She mandates INDIVIDUALS to buy insurance.

    There is no way around this. Either you buy insurance, or you don't. If you don't then either nothing bad will happen to you (and her plan is like Obama's), or you will be penalized.

    The fact that she has not spelled out the types of fines and penalities that she would impose is hardly an argument that they won't exist. She just wants to save that for later, because it is politically unpopular. If there are no penalites, there is no mandate, and her plan is the same as Obama's.


    No (none / 0) (#202)
    by standingup on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:50:37 PM EST
    She is requiring all individuals have insurance coverage which is not the same as stating that all individuals must buy insurance.  Some will have to purchase insurance coverage but others will have assistance or be covered by public programs.  There are allowances for those who can't afford to purchase insurance to have coverage that will provide them with health care.  

    I did not say her plan proposed a tax on all people or that everyone contributes to medicare.  It was simply an example but we obviously are not going to agree on this period.  I am certain that you cannot provide me with documentation from Hillary's health care plan stating that she will require every individual to purchase health insurance.  


    sorry, you cant just deny it (none / 0) (#204)
    by Tano on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 03:01:57 PM EST
    If I have no insurance, and my work doesnt offer it, then two scenarios will unfold, depending on whose plan gets passed.

    Under Obama's plan, I am promised an affordable plan will be made available to me. If I choose not to buy it, then that is that.

    Under Hillary's plan, I am promised an affordable plan will be made available to me. And there is a mandate that I have coverage. So if I do not avail myself of the plan offered, then I violate the mandate.

    If there is no enforcement of the mandate, then there is effectivly no mandate, and all this talk about the importance of universality is just so much bs.


    Has HRC Campaign Defined "Mandate" (none / 0) (#77)
    by TearDownThisWall on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:04:58 PM EST
    in terms of how she would "make everyone buy health care insurance"?

    any specifics on this available?

    Thanks in advance


    To paraphrase the Obama campaign line.. (none / 0) (#139)
    by tree on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:29:55 PM EST
    Check out her website.

    ha! (none / 0) (#244)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:23:57 PM EST
    what do you mean (none / 0) (#166)
    by Tano on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:07:57 PM EST
    that it is not the case that they will be fined?

    Are you saying that the mandates will not be enforced?

    If so, then they are not mandates, and the plan is the same as Obama's.


    not only did i disagree (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by cpinva on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:48:00 AM EST
    with those commercials on their "merits", i thought they were outrageously deceptive and false. oddly enough, so has every neutral observer, including dr. krugman and factcheck.org

    sticking your head in the sand doesn't help your cause. you may disagree with the analysis, that's your right. it doesn't require that the rest of us turn a blind eye to reality.

    of course the obama camp turned to "racism", they'd have been fools not to, politically speaking. by any means necessary!

    unfortunately, it won't help in the GE, should sen. obama be the eventual dem nominee. hard core republicans will have no pity, and the AA population isn't significant enough to get him over the edge by itself. he's going to have to come up with something better.


    By any means necessary, eh? (none / 0) (#44)
    by AF on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:51:16 AM EST
    Ads or no ads (none / 0) (#41)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:50:37 AM EST
    Obama on this issue is unimpressive.

    Apparently people have the moral responsibility to insure their children (so he does mandate that), but not themselves.

    I don't know about the ads and who they offend, I just know Obama is wrong about this.


    I thought Clinton made a good point (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Kathy on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:56:10 AM EST
    when she said something about the bread-winners (parents) needing insurance just as much as the children, because a sick parent is immediately handicapped as far as taking care of their child.  How many medical bankruptcies by parents have put families on the street?  

    This is such a core issue.


    Fine (none / 0) (#47)
    by AF on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:54:59 AM EST
    You disagree with them on the merits but tacitly concede, it appears, that they are not "outrageous" or "fraudulent" campaign tactics.  

    This article does not purport to be a defense of Hillary Clinton on the merits, it purports to be an evidence-based analysis of the Obama campaign's tactics.  The author lacks credibility on that subject.


    Fine (none / 0) (#80)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:05:33 PM EST
    Obama is wrong about the issue and Clinton is right.

    Campaign ads are campaign ads.  I've seen worse.


    There isn't (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jgarza on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:31:29 AM EST
    anything to back this up.  It is just a statement.

    He did it.

    I have to say about the LBJ King comments.  They were not racist, but they left me and many others with an uneasy feeling.  They delved into an area that they shouldn't have and it back fired.  You are running against a black candidate and you start talking about what MLK did versus LBJ.  It was dumb and they payed the price.

    Then the Jesse Jackson comments, again not racist, but delving into race is never going to go over well.

    The Idea (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:38:07 AM EST
    That MLK's words alone created change, as far as it's been absorbed by people, makes me uneasy.

    I'm not running for anything so I can make such comments.

    Cause they're true.

    But I guess you can't say true things if you're running for president.

    Not about race anyway.


    Umm... (none / 0) (#53)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:56:32 AM EST
    do you think LBJ would have really cared that much about passing the Civil Rights Act if there hadn't been a major public movement (led in part by Dr. King) to expose the evil injustices of racism in the South?

    His words did matter. It convinced White America who was right and who was wrong about the South's treatment of Blacks. LBJ would not have had the popular mandate and the ability to corral all the votes if Americans weren't convinced of the fundamental righteousness of Dr. King.

    But since this now has a bearing on Clinton's election prospects, apparently King was superflouous to that effort now.


    No (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:01:39 PM EST
    No one ever said that.

    You people are annoying and divisive.

    No one ever said that, OK?

    No one ever tried to diminish King.

    It doesn't diminish King at all to say that competent people were required in government to enact the legislation required.

    And yes, I do think LBJ had some inclination to make the changes with or without King.  

    But, yes, King was a huge part of it.  King did do what you suggest above, too.



    Give me a break (none / 0) (#81)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:05:57 PM EST
    Clinton implied that she was LBJ and Obama was King, and it took an LBJ to get anything important done. Without King, LBJ would not have done anything about civil rights and thus had virtually no redeeming features of his presidency.

    Blacks and people of color generally are well used to white people marginalizing their successes. If you cannot see how this line of logic would get their dander up, I don't know what to tell you.


    Again (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:11:04 PM EST
    Impossible to give LBJ credit without marginalizing black people, isn't it?

    Almost gets to the point where saying this:  "LBJ did a good thing," becomes a racist comment.


    It's not impossible to give him credit (none / 0) (#112)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:15:13 PM EST
    But it's obvious what the analogy implies - that the only way things really changed was when the technocratic politician does the coloreds a good turn.

    Johnson was only ratifying the change in beliefs that Americans had already undergone thanks to King.


    It Takes Both (none / 0) (#133)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:25:12 PM EST
    I give LBJ more credit than you do, but hopefully you'll allow me to do that without implying I'm trying to take anything away from King.

    The problem with Democrats is they never give their politicians any credit and obsess over visionaries.  So it stands to reason we have a lot of visionaries we're very proud of and no politicians.


    And while you're at it (none / 0) (#143)
    by po on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:32:17 PM EST
    give the Cold War it's props, along with a host of other factors.  A change of paradigm rarely, if ever, happens in a vacuum.  And very, very little ever happens solely due to the efforts of one human being (man, woman or child), regardless of how great they are.  The fact is that the Soviets were using America's separate but equal as propaganda to show the rest of the world, protests were raging, people were upset and something had to be done.  All the pieces fell into place and change began.

    you just dont get it, do you? (none / 0) (#169)
    by Tano on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:14:20 PM EST
    Obama is not King.
    Obama is not trying to be King.
    Obama is trying to become LBJ - i,e, the president.

    What Clinton was doing was saying that you (obama) can be a King - you can make nice speeches and advance the cause of black people, but you shouldn't be considered seriously as a president.

    Its Obama as advocate for black people. Clinton as serious candidate for president. That is why it was offensive. If even someone like Obama cannot be taken seriously as a legitimate candidate for president, then no black ever will.


    Actually (none / 0) (#173)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:21:03 PM EST
    If Obama was trying to be LBJ, he'd stop running as a visionary inspirational leader of a movement and start running as the competent executive he might actually be.

    So I think you're wrong.


    I am not wrong (none / 0) (#186)
    by Tano on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:43:19 PM EST
    I am explaining to you why people feel the way they do. Its not a question of what you think, nor what I think. Its what they think, as they themselves express it.

    i agree with edgar, and (none / 0) (#245)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:31:30 PM EST
    you might want to read this diary.

    thats not the case (none / 0) (#175)
    by Jgarza on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:23:07 PM EST
    she framed LBJ v MLK, that was her construct.  She didn't give LBJ some credit she framed her arguemtn as LBJ versus MLK.

    Almost gets to the point where saying this:  "LBJ did a good thing," becomes a racist comment.

    She didn't say LBJ did a good thing.  She compared LBJ versus MLK.  That was her construct.


    Might Make Sense to revisit (none / 0) (#182)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:33:46 PM EST
    the quote itself.

    You have an impression of it I don't have.


    Clinton didn't imply that... (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:11:14 PM EST
    ..you interpreted her remark that way, which is your right. But do you seriously believe that Hillary Clinton in a democratic primary would imply such a thing? If you do, then you must think she is a total and utter idiot, which is also your right.

    I think she was being careless (none / 0) (#110)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:13:18 PM EST
    in an analogy that means a lot to people of color. It wasn't purposefully racist but she should have known better.

    Fair enough. nt. (none / 0) (#114)
    by Maria Garcia on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:15:51 PM EST
    See, she's running for president (none / 0) (#126)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:23:07 PM EST
    so she was pointing out how important it is to have a president working for civil rights, too -- as the movement had been around for a long time, through a lot of presidents, without gaining that law. Now, if she was running to be the next MLK, then it would have been an odd comment. But we know who is running to be the next MLK -- but transcending race.

    yes, finally you get it,,,,,I think (none / 0) (#187)
    by Tano on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:46:08 PM EST
    that was the whole problem. She was implying that Obama was running to be the next MLK - i.e. a black candidate - a candidate for the blacks.

    That is the really offensive aspect of this - refusing to take a black man seriously as a legitimate candidate for president.


    Tano (none / 0) (#228)
    by auntmo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:52:33 PM EST
    But  Tano,  Obama  doesn't  WANT  anyone  to  consider  his  race.   Or  at  least, that's  what  he  said.  

    i am seriously starting to think that (none / 0) (#246)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:34:49 PM EST
    people are projecting their perceptions--through a racist prism--onto the clintons.

    Actually at the time (none / 0) (#127)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:24:09 PM EST
    Clinton was implying that Obama was JFK (the Obama camp was pushing this comparison hard)...so Clinton said FINE...you're JFK, I'm LBJ...JFK didn't get stuff done, LBJ did!

    Missing the point. (none / 0) (#63)
    by tek on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:01:17 PM EST
    Hillary didn't say LBJ cared hugely about it.  She only pointed out it couldn't have become law if a president hadn't pushed the bill through and signed.  That's all.  And from that, the Obamabots got that she had diminished MLK.

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:03:20 PM EST
    In the Obama-world giving LBJ credit diminishes King.

    It's annoying and divisive.


    No one (none / 0) (#75)
    by tek on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:04:40 PM EST
    NO ONE, ever said MLK was superfluous.  Watching a little too much Rush Limbaugh, are we?

    LBJ (none / 0) (#93)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:09:40 PM EST
    played, at best, a bit part in the history of the civil rights movement. He did something that took skill, no doubt, but a whole century's worth of activism, discrimination-fighting, and advocacy (including, yes, just words), not involving Johnson at all, lead up to the context for the civil rights act. King was instrumental to this run-up.

    Saying that, well, it took a Johnson to really get civil rights is trying to give him an equal standing.


    Not what she said; stop gaming this, too (none / 0) (#69)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:02:33 PM EST
    Enough that we have to see that sort of twisting of quotes on other blogs. The quotes are in the link, go look, bring them back, show us how you get that reading.

    IMO (none / 0) (#73)
    by tek on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:03:23 PM EST
    this is bias and ignorance at work.  So, the Dems ran a black candidate and then he can say ANYTHING, but the competition cannot every answer the black candidate's charges or it's RACISM.

    Anyone who believes either of the Clintons would make racist remarks is ignorant of politics and history.


    Where has (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:11:58 PM EST
    Obama said anything about race and got away with it?

    Clinton says all the time that it would be so great that America would finally elect a woman. Obama has never says it would be so great if America could elect a black person.

    You know why? Because he'd get labeled the black candidate and lose. He's much more restricted in the way he can talk about race than is Clinton about her gender.


    I think you're right about this... (none / 0) (#117)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:18:26 PM EST
    ... but it's funny, too, how her talking about the significance of electing a woman president hasn't helped convince people of this at all! in fact, it's probably backfired.

    Well, that may be true (none / 0) (#125)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:22:52 PM EST
    and is actually too bad. I don't mean to understate the level of sexism and the challenges that it has given Clinton.

    I think the challeges that both have had to overcome due to race and gender are significant, but have manifested themselves in different ways.

    I just think its crazy when people around here start trying to claim that Obama's gotten a free pass on his race or that it's actually been to his benefit...


    Again, not what the article says (none / 0) (#129)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:24:30 PM EST
    So again, please read it. Then come back.

    The article is (none / 0) (#137)
    by andrewwm on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:26:41 PM EST
    a bunch of unsourced, unsubstantiated claims. People on this blog are the ones lamenting how being black is somehow Obama's secret weapon to defeat Clinton.

    no, (none / 0) (#248)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:46:34 PM EST
    it's not about being black.  it's about falsely painting the clintons as having used the race card and reaping the benefits of exploiting racial tensions--all while purporting to be unifying and non-racial.

    i agree with you completely (none / 0) (#141)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:30:19 PM EST
    and one observation i have made is this. regardless of whether you think actual racism and/or sexism have been issues in this campaign, it is clear that there is plenty of *perceived" racism and sexism on the part of african americans and women. and something i've noticed in the wake of this that i can't quite understand yet:  on the one hand, african americans have rallied more or less completely around obama in response (which I admire), but on the other hand, plenty of women have stuck their heads in the sand and thrown clinton under the bus or simply denied that sexism is occurring. i don't get the disparity.

    andrew (none / 0) (#229)
    by auntmo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:57:36 PM EST
    Obama  doesn't talk  about  his  race....he  lets his  surrogates  like  Jesse  Jackson Jr   do it  for him.    

    What  was  the  reason ,  andrew,   for  Jackson  to  say   right  after  their  huge  loss in New  Hampshire,    that  HIllary   Clinton didn't  cry  after  Katrina?  

    What  do you  think  Jackson  was  trying  to  achieve?


    I really can't add anything here... (none / 0) (#54)
    by mike in dc on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:56:43 AM EST
    ...about that Wilentz article that hasn't already been better stated by others in the comments there. ;)

    OK, I'm game - Part I (none / 0) (#79)
    by marcellus on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:05:20 PM EST
    This is a poorly written and researched revisionist article, with about 1 1/2 correct points(pointed out in the first comment) and many incorrect ones.  In this day of youtube there are primary sources/raw footage to refute many of the points.

    Title: Race Man--How Barack Obama played the race card and blamed Hillary Clinton.

    Paragraph 1: Accusation of race-baiting (teaser only-Somali costume-no discussion)
    Paragraph 2: Nothing about race mentioned. (mailers)
    Paragraph 3: Nothing about race mentioned. (mailers)
    Paragraph 4: Accusation of race-baiting (teaser only - Somali costume-no discussion)
    Paragraph 5: Accusation of race card (no evidence)

    So Part I was just a TON of words without any actual charges to refute.  2 unrelated paragraphs, and the Somali photo referred to obliquely with no discussion.  

    CONCLUSION: A long, poorly written article. I'll break up my critique into parts, if I can last that long and get to it in between work.

    Part II (none / 0) (#158)
    by marcellus on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:54:50 PM EST
    Paragraph 1 - Nothing to with Obama (Philip Roth book)
    Paragraph 2 - Finally an actual charge of playing the race card??!! Shaheen's comment about cocaine (but neglecting the full quote about selling drugs).  1st line of next paragraph: "None of the reports at the time about Shaheen's miscue (and the Clinton campaign's decision to relieve him of his ceremonial duties) mentioned anything about racial overtones."

    Oh, nevermind, no actual charge here either.

    Paragraph 3: Finally, the actual first accusation of the race card!  The Mark Penn cocaine interview, with a youtube link...The primary evidence shows that Mark Penn did gratuitously insert "cocaine" into the interview.  A charge: "Since then, Obama's strategists and supporters in the press have whipped the story into a full racialist subtext.."

    Nevermind, no actual race card charge here either!  Frank Rich's ghettoize comment is referred to in Paragraph 3, but the column is from Feb. 10, a month later, and the particular charge (ghettoization) would be a class card not a race card.

    Paragraph 4: "The racial innuendo seemed to fade when Obama won his remarkable victory in the Iowa caucuses."  No charge here.  To recap, now we're up to New Hampshire and the article has 8 long paragraphs without a race card...

    Pararaph 5: Finally, an actual race card! The Bradley Effect suggested by Washington Post's Eugene Robinson.  Only, in the Op-ed piece, it's admitted the Robinson "pulled back" and "claimed he could not be sure".  So, I guess the race card  was played?

    Paragraph 6: More about Bradley effect, but no evidence that the Obama campaign played this card though.

    Paragraph 7: Finally!!! After many false starts, Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Katrina comment, I'll concede was an actual "race card".  Although Hillary Clinton's LBJ "race card" is conveniently shifted to Section III in order to make it seem like this was came first chronologically.  I'll cover it in the next section.   (Again if I can last!!!---This is a really poorly written article, would get an F in English for not getting to the thesis. )


    " (ghettoization) would be a ... (none / 0) (#174)
    by tree on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:22:47 PM EST
    class card not a race card."

    Yup, how many times have I heard about those white ghettoes. It's totally just a class reference or stereotype. Nothing to do about race at all.

    " More about Bradley effect, but no evidence that the Obama campaign played this card though."

    Wrong.From Wilenz: "That evening, the Democratic campaign became truly tangled up in racial politics--directly and forcefully introduced by the pro-Obama forces. In order to explain away the shocking loss, Obama backers vigorously spread the claim that the so-called Bradley Effect had kicked in."

     The rest of your post is of the same caliber. Your bias is showing. And your "analysis" is meaningless assertion.  


    Surrogates vs Press (none / 0) (#180)
    by dwightkschrute on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:32:29 PM EST
    A campaign should be responsible for, at the very least, addressing statements by their surrogates. But comments like "the Bradley effect", etc. were made by people in the press. There is no doubt the press has fawned over Obama and been vicious to Hillary. But that's not controlled by the Obama campaign. Unless someone is affiliated with or working in conjunction with his campaign you can't use statements by members of the media to claim that the Obama campaign has played the race card.

    Yeah, Wilenz (none / 0) (#195)
    by marcellus on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:12:52 PM EST
    "Obama backers" seems to refer to press not surrogates.  If there is evidence that the Obama campaign "vigorously spread" or even mentioned the Bradley effect, could you show it to me?

    Well technically (none / 0) (#212)
    by marcellus on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 04:32:28 PM EST
    there are white ghettos in Chicago, Detroit for example.  

    But you'll find that my main point that this term was added by a press member (not the Obama campaign) after the fact (Feb. 10) parsing older comments for racial tinge.


    Part III -- LBJ The Instigating Comment (none / 0) (#194)
    by marcellus on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:07:15 PM EST
    Paragraph 1: The article concedes 2 negative "race cards" by the Clinton camp, although it doesn't identify them as such: Andrew Young's comment was "lame, off-color" and Bob Kerrey's madrassa "misinformed".  Unfortunately, it fails to identify the word "madrassa" with the Manchurian candidate terrorist chain e-mail referred to on Fox news.  Without this context it's unclear why this word or the Somali picture would be considered offensive.

    Paragraph 2: No evidence presented.

    Paragraphs 3-7: Finally, the crux of the story--the MLK/LBJ "race card" that was actually played by Hillary Clinton and begins to hint at campaign strategy.  Plus we have a primary source with a youtube video.  In of itself the comment wasn't clearly racist, but with what was to come in the next couple of weeks the intent becomes clear (marginalize the black candidate).

    Here is the context of the dialogue:
    Barack Obama: Hope/Change/Hope/Change
    Hillary Clinton: don't give "false hope"
    Barack Obama: MLK at the Lincoln Memorial wasn't false hope.  We don't need leaders to tell us what we can't do, we need leaders what we can do.
    Reporter: Can you respond to Obama's speech?
    Hillary Clinton: "I would point to the fact that Dr. King's dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the civil rights act in 1964...It took a president to get it done."

    While historically accurate, HRC's sentiment is logically faulty, and here's why.  It's 2008, and Barack Obama is running for president--THE SAME JOB AS LBJ!!!  As president, according to Hillary Clinton's logic Obama could work with Congress to enact his own hopes into legislation, and they would not be false.  The only way that the logic of the statement holds up is if Barack Obama could be marginalized as a "black candidate"/civil rights leader who would not be credible as an elected president.  His rhetoric would then be "just words" that would need a (white) president to enact them.  

    I realize this is an outrageous charge, and I wouldn't have made it at the time, but the actions in the following 2 weeks support it, culminated by Bill Clinton's comment after losing S. Carolina and corroborated by Hillary Clinton's comment after losing Louisiana.

    If anyone's still paying attention, I'll get to these with Part IV after lunch.


    Part IV (none / 0) (#211)
    by marcellus on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 04:27:47 PM EST
    Paragraph 1: Obama: "I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes."  Not a race card.

    Paragraph 2:  Bill Clinton's "fairy tale" attack was inaccurate and over-the-top, but didn't involve race.  I'll concede this as a "race card" played by Shirley Franklin and Jim Clyburn (technically neutral)Obama surrogates.

    The article now fails to mention "race cards" played by the Clinton campaign.  See dwight's post below for quotes. Drip.Drip.Drip. is right.  Comments by Andrew Cuomo, Bob Johnson, Robert Ford, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton.

    I'll mention Sergio Bendixen because it appears to  suggest a campaign strategy: "The Hispanic voter--and I want to say this very carefully--has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates."  Later Hillary Clinton herself called it a historically accurate statement and did not reject it.  Historians/sociologists interviewed in the media disagreed pointing to several black mayors who had received majority Hispanic votes (and vice versa).  What is the evidence for this claim?  Note that this is yet another "race card" played by the Clinton campaign that the Obama campaign has nothing to do with, and completely ignored by the article.

    Paragraphs 3-5: Bill Clinton after the SC victory gives a clear quote with the Jesse Jackson comparison, clarifying in many observers opinions' a strategy to classify Barack Obama as the black candidate--coalescing 2 weeks of consistent race-based comments from the Clinton camp.  Columnists went back on older comments (e.g. drugs) and parsed them for racial tinge as well.

    Paragraph 6: "Obama and his strategists kept the race and race-baiter cards near the top of their campaign deck"  (No evidence supplied here.)

    Paragraph 7: I'll concede another race card with Jesse Jackson Jr. "Do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House?"

    Paragraph 8: The Drudge Somali picture mentioned, but again with no context of the terrorist madrassa Manchurian candidate emails.  The status of which campaign played the race card is still undetermined,.  Wilentz repeats the Clinton campaign's bizarre non-denial denials with "there are plenty of photographs of Hillary Clinton... in the traditional garb of other countries."  This completely obfuscates the issue. Hillary Clinton herself reports that the picture was in the "public domain" making it sound like an admission, without giving an admission and asking What the Big Deal Is?  Status undetermined.

    Paragraphs 9-10: SNL used as evidence of media conspiracy? Really?

    In addition there were a couple more comments by Gov. Ed Rendell plus probably some more that I missed.

    CONCLUSION-FINAL SCORE: Keeping score, I've got 3-5 "race cards" by the Obama campaign, 12-25 "race cards" by the Clinton campaign, including the major one to pit racial groups against each other for the election.  My day ends up a little bit worse for reading this tabloid trash article.  But getting worked up about it, I did avoid work for a bit:)


    A few comments (none / 0) (#128)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:24:10 PM EST
    1. Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Alice Palmer and others are people who have been fighting for civil rights their whole lives.  They have suffered and enjoyed the battles of the movement.  The MSM have belittled them and have placed Mr Obama as being the most important thing to have happened to black people since MLK.  I do not want to belittle Mr Obama but he would be where he is were it not for those people.  

    2. In Puerto Rico there is a saying about where is your Grandmother, meaning you may be white but somewhere in your family history there is a little black.  In Mr Obama's case I found it curious that the press was allowed to visit his adoptive paternal grandmother in Kenya but his maternal grandmother in Hawaii was not available to the press. (If she is dead no mention has been made in the news that I have heard).  

    Whan an African American runs for office... (none / 0) (#132)
    by Dadler on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:25:09 PM EST
    ...the race card is automatically played.  Unless one has their head in the sand about their nation.  To be racist is one thing, which this is not about, but to pretend race doesn't matter is another, and that's what this is about.  It matters, it's a factor, to deny it isn't serves no purpose but further denial.  Hillary Clinton has played the gender card plenty, and in response to sexist nonsense.

    Every card is being played, that's what hardball politics is.  Don't want those cards played?  Find a nation with no history.

    i just can't accept (none / 0) (#251)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:56:13 PM EST
    such a nihilistic view; i'd rather not throw all standards of decency out the window.

    Nope (none / 0) (#153)
    by Claw on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:42:22 PM EST
    I couldn't disagree more that Obama has been playing the race card.  He's done everything he can NOT to be "the black candidate," because that candidate--as Bill Clinton pointed out for us in SC--never wins.  His campaign was upset about the recent photo because it plays to the worst fears and prejudices of the American public.  Other than that they've tried to minimize race as much as possible.
    Doesn't anyone remember when he "wasn't black enough?"

    His own wife tells people that his (none / 0) (#184)
    by MarkL on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:39:21 PM EST
    blackness is a reason to vote for him.

    Well (none / 0) (#190)
    by Claw on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:54:51 PM EST
    I've never seen her say that, but it doesn't really matter because SHE IS NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.  This a mistake commonly made by the MSM. If you can find me a quote where Obama says that his "blackness is a reason to vote for him," I will be extremely impressed.  

    Ok if he is trying so hard not to be the (none / 0) (#213)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 04:42:03 PM EST
    black candidate How Come He makes it a point of posing with his step Grandmother in Kenya who he met I think in 1980 and he never has with his real Grandmother who raised him or any of his white relatives.

    i've commented elsewhere on this; (none / 0) (#252)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:59:23 PM EST
    see what john lewis said on pbs on 1/14.  here also is another aa gent's perspective.

    BTW (none / 0) (#155)
    by Claw on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:47:23 PM EST
    Being an AA candidate for office is not the same thing as "playing the race card."  Just as HRC being a woman does not automatically mean she's playing the gender card.

    The most hilarious irony of all (none / 0) (#159)
    by Tano on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 12:59:22 PM EST
    in this, is that as part of this incredible hack job, Wilentz raises the spectre of out-of-control PC-copism of the very type that some of the illustrious around here are so proud of being themselve.

    Sean Wilentz is a personal friend of the Clintons. He made a national scene by coming to the defense of Bill during impeachment - a noble cause no doubt, but he did it in an over-the-top manner that earned rebukes from even those on our side.

    Can anyone with the slightest understanding of American politics not see the utter hackery of this piece? He references the Philip Roth novel "The Human Stain" to make an anlogy between the college prof whose life is ruined for innocently using the word "spook" - done in by the PC police, and people like Billy Shaheen, who mused about Republicans maybe someday asking whether Obama was a drug dealer. It was all innocent you see...at least he didnt use the word "periodically".

    He then defends Mark Penn for the "cocaine" reference. Anyone here find that credible?

    No, this is all the Obama campaign. Look at this pattern: After NH, Eugene Robinson writes a WaPo column speculating about a Bradley effect. This apparantly was a devious Obama plot to racialize the campaign. Andrew Young - a Cinton supporter, but identified by Wilentz only as a "freind of MLK" makes racially charged statements, Bob Kerrey does the madrassa thing.

    Conclusion? The independent columnist's words are taken as an example of the Obama campaign's deviouisness. The comments by explicit Clinton supporting politicians, aligned with her campaign are totally innocent. In fact they further prove the deviousness of the Obama team, because the Obama people object to them. The Clintonites are merely the victims here of the devious PC police.

    I think I have already wasted too many moments of my life with this stuff. It is all of a piece. To restrain my real thoughts and be diplomatic, I would say it is an attempt by a close family friend to make a case protecting the shreds of the Clinton reputation. But in what is sadly becoming known even on our side of the aisle as the Clinton method, it is also an ugly, dishonest hit piece on the Obama camp.

    It is rather sad to see this spread by this website without the slightest critical review.

    So David Axelrod can say Obama used (none / 0) (#185)
    by MarkL on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:41:15 PM EST
    cocaine, but no one else can?
    Btw, Axelrod said Obama was using cocaine when he was 20, and did NOT say that Obama stopped then.
    Was it really just in his teens, as his book says?
    His campaign is being coy about that.

    again, your reaction to this serves as (none / 0) (#253)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:10:12 PM EST
    an example of the repercussions to follow from the subsidence of the obama rules.  it may suck for those who are unused to hearing (much less accepting) anything critical whatsoever about obama, but you better bet you'll be better served in the long run by opening your eyes, facing the truth, and learning how to deal with it rather than simply denying it.  this is especially true if obama is the nominee.

    Racisim (none / 0) (#168)
    by 1jane on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:12:19 PM EST
    Institutional racism is racial discrimination by governments, corporations, educational institutions or other large organizations with the power to influence the lives of many individuals.

    By any definition, political institutions are racist.

    Obama playing the race card is about as absurd anyone can get.Cease the futile grasping at straws.

    The Clinton campaign has bottomed out for a host of reasons.

    I'm waiting for the day all this angst is directed appropriately at the Republican presidential candidate.

    Refocus this site. One candidate will soon exit gracefully so as not to hurt the Democratic Party. We all fall in love in the primary with our candidate but its time to get behind the person we can elect president of the US and work our hardest to defeat John McCain.

    Refocus this site? (none / 0) (#231)
    by auntmo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 08:02:22 PM EST
    If  you   don't  like  this  site,  jane,   go  elsewhere.  

    Lotta    websites  out there  that   never  criticize   Obama  at  all......go  there,  if  that's  all you  want.  

    But  you're  in no position  to   call  for  BTD  to  "refocus  this  site" if  the  rest of  us  can't  refocus     Markos ,   Marshall,   or  Huffington.    

    Get  over yourself.


    Drip, drip, drip (none / 0) (#170)
    by dwightkschrute on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:16:54 PM EST
    It just seems odd that someone like Hillary, who has so much campaign experience, would have so much trouble with surrogates making questionable comments. You can take each one and pick it apart and defend it, but the way they pile up just seems too incriminating. I think the list of Clinton surrogates injecting race into the discussion tremendously outnumbers the Obama ones.

    "Bill is every bit as black as Barack. He's probably gone with more black women than Barack." - Andrew Young

    "I've watched the blogs try to say that you can't trust him because he spent a little bit of time in a secular madrassa. I feel quite the opposite." - Bob Kerrey

    "You can't shuck and jive at a press conference," - Andrew Cuomo

    That kind of campaign behavior does not resonate with me, for a guy who says, `I want to be a reasonable, likable, Sidney Poitier `Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.' And I'm thinking, I'm thinking to myself, this ain't a movie, Sidney. This is real life." - Bob Johnson

    "The Hispanic voter--and I want to say this very carefully--has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates." - Sergio Bendixen

    "Then everybody else on the ballot is doomed. Every Democratic candidate running on that ticket would lose because he's black and he's at the top of the ticket." - Robert Ford

    "You've got people in this country who wouldn't even vote for a black for dogcatcher, and now you want to ask them to vote for one for president of the United States?" - Robert Ford again

    "They are getting votes, to be sure, because of their race or gender -- that's why people tell me Hillary doesn't have a chance of winning here." - Bill Clinton

    "You've got conservative whites here, and I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate," - Ed Rendell

    some of those remarks (none / 0) (#254)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:22:03 PM EST
    are insensitive, others of them just plain stupid.  but i don't think any of them come close to the kind of concerted effort waged by the obama campaign to incite and exploit racial tensions.  again, see my comment elsewhere in this thread quoting john lewis, as well as someone's comment citing the e-mail from josh marshall.  and considering the media's hostility to the clintons--not to mention its penchant for stoking dramatic explosions--i'd wager there's a LOT more stuff done by obama that we don't know.

    Electibility (none / 0) (#189)
    by pavaoh on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:50:23 PM EST
    We are often told that Obama is more electible.  If you agree with this article, this tactic results in Clinton being less likely to be elected in GE.  Democrat after democrat talk about how she can not hurt the party during the primary.  So if Clinton pulls off a miracle and wins, who has hurt the party?  She has always had to run with one hand tied behind her back.  As a democrat you can not go after him too strongly because you will then lose part of the base.  Do you really think the Clintons didn't know this and the anger that could build up watching it happen?

    We're (none / 0) (#192)
    by Claw on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:59:59 PM EST
    Told that by the polls.  I'm a little unclear as to what hand is tied behind HRC's back...you want her to attack him along racial lines?  I think the point has also been well made that Obama has had to walk a tightrope.  See above.
    HRC has endured terrible press coverage but that can't be blamed on Obama or his race.

    Of course (none / 0) (#200)
    by pavaoh on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:29:26 PM EST
    I didn't mean on racial lines.  Sorry if I was not clear but am new at this.  I watched this morning as Joe Scarborough asked why Clinton hasn't brought up many of the issues that were in the debate.  She has but they get lost in all the talk about Clinton dirty tricks.  On the day of the Drudge mop-up her message was again lost. She gave an important speech on Foreign Policy.  Over twenty retired top military signed on to support her and I haven't seen any reporting on that except in the blogs.  I do not blame Obama for all this but he has't been blameless either.  By the way I am white, live in Ohio, have a bi-racial granddaughter and my son-in-law is black.  He fondly calls me Mom which I am proud of.  

    I have to (none / 0) (#203)
    by PlayInPeoria on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 02:57:54 PM EST
    believe that Sen Obama pulled the racist card.

    He is so particular about his image. All his signs have the same Gotham font, same distance between letters and "O" logo. He is very much in control of his image.

    The thing that sort of flabbergasts me as a professional graphic designer is that, somewhere along the way, they decided that all their graphics would basically be done in the same typeface, which is this typeface called Gotham

    You ust can't beso picky about signs and not be picky about the bigger issues.... at least I hope not.

    There Is No Denying (none / 0) (#219)
    by bob h on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 06:59:44 PM EST
    that Obama has been rescued by the 80-90% of blacks voting on the basis of skin color (If I were black, I probably would do the same on the basis of pride).  If you assumed a 50-50 split of the black vote, the race would be totally different.

    i think this is about more than (none / 0) (#242)
    by kangeroo on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 10:06:38 PM EST
    what's beneficial for the dem party in this particular election.  and what wilentz is describing has actually been confirmed by some in the aa community, including john lewis--who, as you might recall, has since been threatened by jjjr.--on pbs's news hour on january 14:

    "It is unfortunate that people have tried to distort what Mrs. Clinton had to say about Dr. King," "I think there has been a deliberate and systematic attempt by some people in the Obama campaign to really fan the flames about race and to really distort what Senator Clinton said.  I understood and I think most right thinking people understood what she said.

       "President and Senator Clinton have a record, a history, a very long history of bringing people together.  No right thinking American would ever think that Senator or President Clinton would ever do anything that would use the race card"

       "I must tell you...I'm trying to set the record straight...the Obama camp is doing something else, theyr'e sending out memos to the media trying to suggest that the Clintons are playing the race card."

    it probably won't surprise you to hear that none of the major media outlets published or quoted lewis's statement.