Ferraro's Foolishness And Other Matters

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

Via Kos, Geraldine Ferraro said:

"I think what America feels about a woman becoming president takes a very secondary place to Obama's campaign - to a kind of campaign that it would be hard for anyone to run against," she said. "For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign.

So far so good. Insightful even. Then she goes off the rails:

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," she continued. "And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Um, no, he is not lucky to be an African American. Ferraro's comment is just plain foolish. Which is a shame because she hits the nail on the head with her next statement:

I was reading an article that said young Republicans are out there campaigning for Obama because they believe he's going to be able to put an end to partisanship," Ferraro said, clearly annoyed. "Dear God! Anyone that has worked in the Congress knows that for over 200 years this country has had partisanship - that's the way our country is."

Indeed. Unfortunately, as Markos did, that part of her remarks will be ignored.

In some ways Ferraro's frustrations lead to her foolish remarks. It is the fact that the Media accepts sexism malignly that seems to have led to her reaction. Many women are feeling this way. Consider this telling exchange about TPM presented in a post by Linda Hirshman:

I was blithely oblivious to the possibility that my dissenting views on the inevitability and divinity of the Obama candidacy might cause a problem. Never bashful, I thought I'd press the messenger.

Linda to Andrew: "So why did I not make the cut? Is writing for the times and the Post not good enough for TPM?"

Andrew: "It's not a matter of prestigious clippings, Linda. We're trying to both keep long-standing contributers [sic] around and flesh out the discussion by involving people who are covering things we're not yet addressing."

Linda: "And do you have a lot of contributors covering the female voters, who are likely to determine the outcome of the election of the President of the United States? I am assuming it's not that you don't want anyone who's not already in the tank for Obama. I am serious, here, Andrew. I think this is a real mistake; I have a point of view you don't have much of, I am getting increasingly prestigious opportunities to write and opine, and this is the moment you should capitalize on your relationship with me, not drop me."

Andrew: "I'm not sure the accusation of bias is particularly helpful. For now, like I said, we're focusing on getting our long-standing regulars and folks covering things we don't on the blog. I recognize that you think female voters should be one of those things, we disagree." [emphasis mine]

So. Either the dozen guys who run TPM do not think female voting behavior is worthy of their coverage or, dare I say it, they don't want to run material that might result in readers supporting a candidate other than the one they favor.

Perhaps a little of both Linda. Geraldine Ferraro's statement was foolish at best. But the behavior of the Media and many Left blogs on the issues of sexism and misogyny have been disgraceful and embarrassing.

NOTE - Comments now closed. Thanks for the discussion.

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    Though I think (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by facta non verba on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:26:09 PM EST
    she is right that Obama is lucky in his persona as a whole. New and different. Or am I missing something?

    I think more than Geraldine Ferraro has expressed such a statement. I remember one debate when John Edwards was still in the race (New Hampshire?) and he was asked what it was like to run against a woman and an African-American? I don't remember his response but Hillary could be overheard sighing "Poor John."

    Indeed poor John. Obama has sold his candidacy on his personality and some of that is attributable to his experiences as an African-American. The comment perhaps should not have been worded so but it's a tricky dance to dance.

    I waited for someone to say this (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:36:44 PM EST
    before I did.  His ethnicity is part of the package that is being sold.  I don't think it's wrong to say that.  I do agree that the left blog was bound to glom onto that piece and run with it, though.  I suppose it begs the question: who is the audience for this piece?  I don't think it's the left blogosphere.

    That hardly makes him lucky to be (3.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:39:00 PM EST
    African American.

    I agree-not lucky (none / 0) (#24)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:41:43 PM EST
    she fumbled that big time.  But what about the rest?

    As happened many times earlier (none / 0) (#56)
    by blogtopus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:55:33 PM EST
    The media will focus only on that little squibbet, just as Kos has. Anything to distract from the FL and MI debate.

    Library of Congress (none / 0) (#26)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:42:58 PM EST
    Check the number and substance of Bills introduced by Obama. He's introduced bills on Iran, voting, veterans, global warming, campaign finance, lobbyists, Blackwater, global poverty, nuclear proliferation, and education. Oh, I forgot, it's his personality that is the issue.

    Blackwater? (none / 0) (#61)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:58:57 PM EST
    Did his bill ban them?  No, but Hillary Clinton's bill would.

    His bill on Iran was essentially Kyle-Lieberman by another name.  



    It would? (none / 0) (#69)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:01:25 PM EST
    Would it also give everyone a pony?  We're talking about bills that actually passed, not legislation that we're hoping will pass at some point in the future.

    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:05:53 PM EST
    so Obama's bills on "Iran, voting, veterans, global warming, campaign finance, lobbyists, Blackwater, global poverty, nuclear proliferation, and education" actually passed?  Or are you changing arguments in mid-stream?

    I didn't make those arguments (none / 0) (#98)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:18:55 PM EST
    1jane did.

    Well, there 'tis. (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:23:37 PM EST
    You don't know but you rode along on 1jane's pony?

    Did you, uh, check to see how tight the saddle is buckled before you just jumped on for the ride?


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:24:58 PM EST
    then you probably shouldn't have jumped into someone else's discussion, proclaiming that "we're not talking about such-and-such" when another poster had, in fact, brought up such-and-such.

    No mention of his "persona as a whole" (none / 0) (#49)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:53:28 PM EST
    Or anything like it in the article.  People are reading that into it.

    What persona, JJE? (none / 0) (#164)
    by auntmo on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:06:47 PM EST
    The  ole  okey-doke?   The   hoodwinking?   The  bamboozling?    The  "I'm  above  it  all,"  but  my   campaign  staff  plays   dirty?   THAT  persona?

    If you were trying to make a point - you didn't (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by suskin on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:34:34 PM EST
    You can call Ferraro's comments "foolishness" as many times as you want but it doesn't serve to make her comments foolish.  Ferraro is dead on right when she points out the double standard.   It's not surprising that men buy into it, but it is unbelievable that women would sell themselves out and buy into it as well.  The next time they or their daughters are passed over for a promotion for a man with half their experience or qualifications, they only have themselves to blame.

    Hmm (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:36:57 PM EST
    Her comments on Obama being lucky he is black were foolish, to put it kindly.

    I agreed with the rest of her comments.

    Ferraro is the lucky one as her comments are likely to fall through the crack on Spitzer day.


    which ones did you agree with? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:38:35 PM EST
    Setting aside the "lucky" part--did you agree when she said that if her were white, or a woman of any color, he would not be where he is now?

    No that was the foolish part (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:40:33 PM EST
    Ithink I was clear in my post. I thought her first comment insightful, the very word I used in my post.

    The second blockquote I identify as foolish.

    The third blockquote are words I myself have written, more or less.


    don't get het up! (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:51:08 PM EST
    Yes, I follow the basic formatting and understand which are your words and which are not.  You were not, to my thinking, clear in your response as quoted below:

    Um, no, he is not lucky to be an African American. Ferraro's comment is just plain foolish.

    From my reading, and your use of the singular "comment," it seemed to me that you were just disagreeing with the "lucky" part but not the entire passage, so I asked for a clarification--which comment did you disagree with: 1. If Obama was white, he would not be in this position.  2.  If he was a woman, he would not be in this position. 3. He happens to be lucky to be who he is (an aa).

    Do you understand why I wasn't clear on what you meant?  Because while I agree the lucky comment was foolish, I think good arguments can be made for point 1 and 2.


    I don't recall -- when Steinem said this (none / 0) (#32)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:45:18 PM EST
    -- did you call it foolish, too?

    She never wrote that Obama was lucky to be A-A (4.50 / 2) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:47:36 PM EST
    Steinem's brilliant piece made the insightful point that discrimination against women has led to malign acceptance of it, acceptance that has had the perverse result of having African American men having more "firsts" than women.

    First to vote. First to hold elective office. Etc.


    Steinem also said that a woman (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:04:57 PM EST
    of color would not be in Obama's situation.  I read you as saying that when Ferraro said the same thing here, she was foolish.

    And I gather that you don't have an issue with Ferraro's thought that Obama has been exceptionally fortunate, as this blog said the same thing last night -- that he has had "inadvertent successes."

    So do I gather correctly that your issue is really with the word "lucky"?  


    Not lucky to be A-A (3.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:19:08 PM EST
    what about the other two points in the passage? (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:22:59 PM EST
    First to vote (none / 0) (#104)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:21:52 PM EST
    had a huge asterisk to it.......

    Yep (none / 0) (#111)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:24:49 PM EST
    Exactly, that first to vote thing applied for about 15 years, then reconstruction ended and for the majority of African Americans sufferage wasn't re-extended until at least 1965.

    Probably not the best word (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by blogtopus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:52:29 PM EST
    African Americans have been looking for 'their' candidate for a long time. Obama, had he not been black, would not be the media darling he is today.

    He might still have been a senator. But his lackluster service would not endear him to a lot of people had he been the usual white guy. He would not stand out.

    So not being black: Senator
    Being black: Presidential candidate (potential nominee)

    In this case, being black was advantageous. IN THIS CASE. Obviously in this country (and many parts of the world), being black is not lucky. She worded it poorly.


    which begs the question (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:04:33 PM EST
    Clinton had the aa vote locked up before Obama took the national stage.  Would this have held without an aa candidate running against her?

    And so the next question is (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:08:33 PM EST
    who in the Dem party power structure wanted to find the perfect candidate to run against her, fitting so perfectly for swiftboating from within the party this time?  (And they say Dems never learn.  Look how much party leaders have learned from Rove!)

    Daschle , Kennedy, and Kerry (4.00 / 1) (#142)
    by auntmo on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:47:55 PM EST
    While  they  hide  behind  their  own   votes  FOR  the  war.  

    not Kennedy (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by CST on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:49:17 PM EST
    He actually voted AGAINST it

    Why can't he feel (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:48:08 PM EST
    lucky to be a black man?

    It may surprise you but I feel lucky to be a female.

    He is lucky.  He is in the right place at the right time.    

    And again, so what if that is what she said.  It's an opinion  and it just may be true.


    Regarding TPM and Andrew Golis (none / 0) (#137)
    by jerry on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:44:13 PM EST
    Andrew Golis is a young white guy, and he's very hyper protective, downright condescending and patronizing of our "Modern Feminist" theories.

    Linda Hirschman has long been vilified by modern feminists for her take on the "mommy wars" and if anyone looks back and sees what happens to regular commenters that try to actually discuss the pros and cons, what is good and what is not so good, about Modern Feminism, Andrew just feels the need to squash all that.

    So it's no surprise that Hirschman was given the boot.

    Now I admit I have not read Ferraro's comments in their entirety, but from the part you clipped out, I don't see her saying that Obama is lucky to be an African American, I do see her saying that at this point in our history, in this election, going up against the first serious female candidate, that Obama does have a marketing benefit: in that sense he is lucky to be the CANDIDATE that is a moderate African American.

    When you discuss Obama and Clinton as you have said you will, you can't ignore the historical aspects and the features that that brings to the campaign: as you've said, Obama is attractive for that reason amongst the African American population and Clinton is attractive for her gender amongst many women.

    Yesterday you acknowledged being PC.  I think there is a difference to being sensitive to language historical events and being overly sensitive and deferring judgment and wisdom.

    Examining only the quote you made, I can't see Ferraro's statement as foolish.

    Andrew Golis?  Now he's foolish.  And he's very PC.


    left wing blogs and Hillary (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Janet on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:39:42 PM EST
    I am just so disgusted at the left wing of our party. I use to believe that we were above the republicans in the way we treated people, but I feel now the left of our party is just as disgusting as the right wing. I have lost so much respect for many of the blogs and talk show hosts like Randi Rhodes and Ed Shultz. I can understand Geraldine Ferraros frustration since I have spent the last three months feeling the same. I just don't know what to do anymore!! I feel strongly that I will sit this election out if the two candidates are Obama and McCain. I have supported and worked for the Democratic Party since 1968 when I worked for Bobby Kennedy. But in all good concsious I find myself hoping for a third party candidate. This primary election has brought to the surface all the sexism that exists in this country and young women do not see. I find it disgusting when I am related to an OLD FEMINIST. I like so many other women my age spent many years fighting the system to get advantages for women. I have many scars from my 30 some years in business. I only hope that Hillary's run is a wake up call for all women.And watch out Democratic party there are alot of angry Democratic women out there.

    That's not what she said though (none / 0) (#25)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:42:54 PM EST
    And if she had said that Obama would have gotten no traction if he was a woman, then that would have been a good point, but the white man bit, is just blatantly stupid.

    I have, probably on the blogs or (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:46:10 PM EST
    NYT, an opinion that the fact Obama's mother was Caucasian and his father African benefited Obama's candidacy more than if both his parents were AA.  

    Should be "I have read" (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:47:27 PM EST
    Wake Up call??? (none / 0) (#44)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:50:18 PM EST
    Second and Third wave feminists are proudly supporting the candidates of their choice. Sometimes it's Hillary and sometimes its Obama.
    Neither is right or wrong.

    Of course feminists have the right (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:57:09 PM EST
    to support Obama.  What is troubling is how many people in the media -- including women (see, e.g., Maureen Dowd) -- consign feminists who support Clinton as dinosaurs clinging to their old shoulder pads and burnt bras.

    Dinosaurs? (none / 0) (#122)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:31:24 PM EST
    In the first wave of feminism it took 72 years to obtain the right to vote for women. The second wave refers to the women's movement of the 60's and 70's and many women from that age group are Hilary supporters. Women in their 20'and 30's call themselves third wave feminists. Those women refuse to allow the media to define them or candidates to define them. There is an almost generational struggle going on between mother's and daughters in this election. The younger women do not see themselves as permanent victims as do many of the veteran feminists.

    Most folks know that feminists (can be a man or woman) are not known for the uniformity of their opinions.


    well! (5.00 / 6) (#150)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:54:04 PM EST
    The younger women do not see themselves as permanent victims as do many of the veteran feminists.

    Thank you for the history lesson, some of which a lot of us lived through.  I am glad I'm not one of those permanent victims, being part of your third wave and all; however, I can't help but take credit that you are such a shining product of all my feminist hard work, and that you feel strongly enough about your opinions, and the right to air them, that you express them, dubious as they are, with such freedom and ease. All those years marching with NOW, all those abortion clinics I guarded, all those letters I wrote and phone calls I made, have come to fruition because you feel absolutely no qualms or even hesitation in insulting the millions of women who came before you--those shoulders you are standing on even now as you rail against the permanent victims, the veteran feminists.

    If only we had worked as hard to help you with your punctuation.  It's "mothers," dear.  No-don't thank me.


    No, she won't thank us, Kathy (5.00 / 2) (#167)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:08:49 PM EST
    but then, we need to thank 1jane for keeping us apprised of the Obamamemos -- albeit we seem to get them a few days late.  Still, it's fascinating stuff, isn't it?  I begin to get a glimmer of what is going on. . . .

    yep, cream. Fascinating stuff. (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:20:09 PM EST
    Thanks (none / 0) (#177)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:19:13 PM EST
    Did I mention that all women in the 60's or 70"s women's movement are permanent victims? I'm 60 years old. Always grateful for punctuation corrections though..my freshman english prof said I used commas like they flew from a pepper shaker.
    Peace now.

    History has a way of (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by MichaelGale on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:00:54 PM EST
    making women begin all over again.

    It wasn't too long ago (last year} when we read that states were attempting to pass bills not allowing for emergency birth control nor termination for rape or incest.  Also there was the little matter of passing laws that would curtail birth control period. In case you do not remember, many women supported both those issues...at least in public.

    The third wave feminists might just consider getting equal pay also.  Hasn't moved in 15 years. Maybe they just haven't worked.

    I'm sure Obama will take care of it.  He and McConnell will do the bipartisan partnership compromise thing. Uh huh.


    "new wave feminist" = (none / 0) (#162)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:04:06 PM EST
    "if the woman enjoyed the sex, then she should not be allowed to have an abortion."

    Yeah, that's what I marched for.  Other women telling me what I can and cannot do with my body.  Success!


    Third Wave (none / 0) (#186)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:25:54 PM EST
    feminists challenge the assumption of a universal female identity which was largely based in the 60's and 70's on white women of privilege both in terms of their class and economically. The women in their 20's and 30's who are generally referred to as Third wave feminists are so interesting to spend time with. Their take on social justice is fascinating and has evolved way past my generation.

    Uh, 1jane, you must have missed the memo (none / 0) (#197)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:33:41 PM EST
    that "waves" are not considered useful in discussing women's history now.  Male construct and all that.

    How about (none / 0) (#178)
    by Claw on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:19:49 PM EST
    the folks here and elsewhere who chalk Obama's good numbers in the AA community up to the fact that he's black, and they just want a black guy?

    I'm willing to cut Ferraro quite a bit (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:48:09 PM EST
    of slack.  She was definitely not the media darling during her VP run.

    Gloria Steinem said it better (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by goldberry on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:54:59 PM EST
    But Ferraro's comments were correct, not foolish.  A man of Obama's relative political inexperience would be unlikely to get this far.  I think John Edwards might have been a close example and he sputtered out long before this in his first presidential run.  A woman of Obama's experience would have an infinitesimal chance of getting anywhere.  An african-american woman, well, forget it.  
    Yes, he is very lucky that he is a young(ish), Harvard educated Senator with only a few years of federal experience.  That makes him something of a novelty item.  
    So, I'm not going to pile on Ferraro over this, although I suspect that it will become the popular thing to do.  Everyone else is doing it so they must be right, right?

    Obama and Clinton (2.00 / 1) (#62)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:59:09 PM EST
    have roughly the same amount of experience.  That's why the Steinem thesis gets little traction.

    Uh (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:04:35 PM EST
    I guess that's why voters who view "experience" as an important issue favor Hillary by something like a 10-1 margin.

    You can spin the experience argument for Obama but no one is buying it who isn't already in the tank, and it's frankly gotten a little tiresome hearing about how "number of years in elective office" is suddenly the magic benchmark for experience, and all that.


    If she wasn't polling better (2.00 / 1) (#85)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:09:25 PM EST
    On experience, considering how much effort she's put into getting people to swallow that nonsense, then we're really in trouble.  Really, is ad popularum the best defense of HRC's experience you can muster?  What are her significant foreign policy accomplishments?

    Given the comment limit on this blog (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:16:43 PM EST
    I am not going to bother arguing with someone who believes Hillary and Obama are equally experienced.  I very much doubt you're reachable on this issue.  Declare yourself Internet debate champion for the day if you like.

    Equally Experienced? (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:31:04 PM EST
    The problem with the frame of 'experience' as it has been talked about regarding lack of is misleading. There is no correlation between the kinds of experience Hillary has and the kinds of experience a US president needs.

    So it is silly to argue the talking point that HRC has more presidential type experience than BHO. Yes she has more Senate experience and was first lady but I do not see how that would necessarily make her better than BHO.

    Consider a conductor of an orchestra. Would one be better than the other if s/he played five or six different instruments compared to a conductor who played one?  Being a conductor is a different job than being in the pit.  

    Both have useful experiences, the question is what kind of experience makes one a better President.

    That question is not answerable, imo because that cannot be known until after the fact.


    She defied the Chinese government (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:37:46 PM EST
    and said women's rights are human rights.

    Ok (1.00 / 1) (#103)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:21:43 PM EST
    "I'm not going to argue with someone who dares to question my assertions."

    Because low-information voters like you (5.00 / 3) (#156)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:57:07 PM EST
    don't bring much to make the debate interesting.  Try doing some research on Clinton -- it's all made real easy for you, right from your keyboard -- and then engage.  Because then you actually will be able to engage with answers, not just questions for which you are remarkable unwilling to hear the answers.

    Condescension is not an argument (2.00 / 1) (#172)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:14:24 PM EST
    I'm well aware of Clinton's "accomplishments".  I'm wondering if her supporters are.  So far, signs point to "no".  All these low-information voters are just swallowing the "experience" meme uncritically.

    the Steinem piece got a lot of traction (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:07:04 PM EST
    because it holds up a great deal.

    Name HRC's foreign policy accomplishments (1.00 / 1) (#87)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:10:17 PM EST
    Please tell me about all the important 3AM decisions she's made.

    Duelling Nobel prize winners on (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:17:37 PM EST
    her contribution to peace process in Northern Ireland.

    NPR ran an "experience" story (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by zyx on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:06:32 PM EST


    listen and then go to Politifacts and read about it

    Then we'll talk about it some more.  Thanks!


    I'm aware that Obama is inexperienced (1.00 / 1) (#183)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:22:23 PM EST
    I'm aware of those facts.  One exaggerated claim on NI, and one on Kosovo that's a complete load of nonsense.  The conclusion is that her foreign policy experience is insubstantial and she's exaggerating it.  I'm growing increasingly concerned that if Clinton is the nominee, McCain will slice her to ribbons on this point.  By touting her experience she's made herself quite vulnerable in a way that Obama hasn't.

    But JJE (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by zyx on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:25:58 PM EST
    you DON'T seem to be aware that Clinton's claim of 35 years of public service experience checks out.

    That is why I supplied you with the NPR story and the sources behind it--so that you would learn about it.


    Incorrect (5.00 / 4) (#82)
    by goldberry on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:07:53 PM EST
    Clinton has served 4 years more in the senate than Obama.  She was also a member of the Clinton administration in  a capacity with more responsibilities greater than that of other first ladies.  She helped to develop a healthcare policy before it was scuttled by the GOP and friends. She helped create SCHIP (even Kennedy doesn't deny this and it is wildly successful) She served 8 years as first lady of Arkansas as well.
    Let's get this straight: Hillary Clinton was no Laura Bush who IMHO is just an automaton who George Bush sleeps with.  You can pretend it's not true but  there are a LOT of us who know what she really was.  
    Barack Obama doesn't even come close to this level of experience.  Not by a longshot.  

    So SCHIP (1.50 / 2) (#88)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:11:06 PM EST
    And a spectacular flame-out on UHC.  Got anything else?  Otherwise, I'm thinking Laura Bush should be considering a run.

    Good grief. I'd like to see Laura on a stage (4.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Teresa on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:29:09 PM EST
    debating Obama, Edwards, Biden, Dodd, etc. She's out front when it's time to light the Christmas tree or hide the Easter Eggs.

    Let it be said that Laura Bush (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:55:10 PM EST
    clearly is the brighter of those bulbs by far.

    They don't let her husband hide the Easter eggs, now, do they?  


    LOL (3.00 / 2) (#155)
    by auntmo on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:56:57 PM EST
    Poor  ole  JJE.   So incredibly  naive.   College  kid?  

    Ah, insults. How persuasive (2.00 / 1) (#173)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:16:30 PM EST
    You'd think someone as experienced and wise as auntmo would be able to make an argument.  Sadly, defending the substance of Clinton's experience is not a task many seem willing to take on.

    That's simply bull (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by badger on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:44:52 PM EST
    and repeating it 10 more times in this thread won't make it any more true.

    For starters, they both have the same basic education and about the same amount of time in elective office, although more of Hillary's is at the Federal level, both taught and practiced law.

    Now for Obama, we add "community organizing" - and surprise - we're done.

    Now for Hillary, look up a bio, say on wikipedia. She worked as a Congressional intern, as a lawyer on the Watergate committee, whether you like it or not, she has valuable experience on corporate boards, she's actually held jobs (like washing dishes or sliming salmon - although not for very long), she's been heaviliy involved in children's legal and related issues, and again, whether it impresses you or not, she was deeply involved in 2 winning Presidential campaigns and 8 years in the White House, including leading on the health care issue.

    Whether either is sufficiently qualified is debatable, but claiming Obama has more experience is just simply laughable - one of the reasons Wolcott finds Obama partisams so hilarious.

    I suppose all that stuff Hillary did was, to you, just "women's stuff" and isn't worth mentioning.


    I never claimed Obama had more experience (1.00 / 1) (#190)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:26:27 PM EST
    The smell of burning straw is pervasive.  I pointed out that Clinton's experience, which is the basis of her campaign, is rather thin.  Why this obvious vulnerability doesn't concern more HRC supporters is puzzling.

    you are just wasting time here (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:30:56 PM EST
    You were given links to check out.  You obviously ignored them.  I'm finished.

    Wow links (1.00 / 1) (#208)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:42:46 PM EST
    Never mind that they don't support the proposition they're cited to support.  You obviously can't substantively defend your claims.

    Nonsense (none / 0) (#151)
    by auntmo on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:54:37 PM EST
    If Obama were a charismatic white man... (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:06:58 PM EST
    ...with at little experience at the federal level as he has, there is no way he would be this successful in his campaign. The media's love of the "Black Man/Woman" battle caused them to ignore a far more qualified candidate and charges of racism agaisnt Clinton rallied African American's to Obama's side. Polling indicated that early in the election black's tended to be split between Clinton and Obama, since Clinton has a long history of supporting civil rights. Obama's campaign has not hesitated to use his skin color as an advertising tool, so why should it be foolish to suggest that it has made a difference in the campaign?

    However (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:15:16 PM EST
    if Obama were a charismatic white man, with outstanding political talent and the smarts to get a degree from Harvard Law, he would have a lot of roads to power other than the one he chose.  Just because some doors open if you're a talented black man doesn't mean other doors don't close.

    To flip this around a bit, I recently read a book on the Supreme Court that talked about Justices Rehnquist and O'Connor, who went to Stanford Law together and graduated at the top of their class.

    After graduation, Rehnquist got a prestigious clerkship at the Supreme Court and went on to build a stellar resume as a government lawyer, before ultimately being appointed to the federal bench.

    O'Connor, by comparison, got not a single job offer after graduation, aside from a firm that offered her a secretarial job if she would learn to type.  She ultimately ended up pursuing a political career in the Arizona legislature and becoming a mid-level appellate judge in the Arizona courts before President Reagan nominated her to the Supreme Court.

    Now, there is NO CHANCE Reagan would have nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court if she hadn't been a woman.  A man with her resume wouldn't have come within a million miles of the highest court in the land.

    So was she lucky to be a woman?  In reality, if she'd been a man she could very well have had everything on the resume of her classmate Rehnquist, and then some.


    And if Hillary Clinton were a man... (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:57:33 PM EST
    ...she would have likely been a presidential contender, or at least a top tier politician, all by herself. But she wasn't, and she wasn't blessed to be born in an era when women could be considered men's intellectual equals (as evidenced by O'Connor's treatment). Obama was lucky to be born a black man in an era when black men are not considered intellectually inferior to white men. If he had been born 20 years earlier, things would be different. We wouldn't even be considering him a presidential contender. 20 years from now it may not be novel to have black presidential contenders. But right now, he has the advantages of novelty as well as equality in the minds of voters.

    A young white man (3.00 / 1) (#114)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:26:15 PM EST
    with charisma?  WJC, anyone?

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:34:15 PM EST
    the longest-serving governor in the nation at the time, as I recall.

    And he still would have been a total non-factor at the Presidential level if the major candidates, like Mario Cuomo, hadn't decided not to run because Bush looked unbeatable.


    Of Arkansas (2.00 / 1) (#136)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:43:28 PM EST
    And Ross Perot had started in on Bill at one point, saying that the biggest product out of Arkansas was chicken feathers....

    Obama has 8 years in the Illinois Legislature.....and 3 in the Senate, for a total of 11 to Bill's 12.


    Look (5.00 / 3) (#144)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:48:55 PM EST
    8 years as one of many part-time legislators is not in any way comparable to actually running a state.  I just can't get over the inanity of this "years in elective office is the benchmark" talking point from the online Obama supporters, as if all elected offices are created equal.

    That said, my point was that even Clinton's experience would probably not have been enough to make him a major contender at the national level if the major contenders hadn't all declined to run.  Times have changed, I guess.


    Under public scrutiny (2.00 / 1) (#153)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:56:40 PM EST
    taking public positions.....goes to the vetting and judgment issues....

    Scrutiny? (4.00 / 1) (#159)
    by auntmo on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:00:42 PM EST
    You  mean,  like  all those  "present"  votes  while  avoiding  taking  a  stance?    



    Well, in part, yes (2.00 / 1) (#188)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:26:05 PM EST
    Obama has taken heat for those votes....It is part of his experience.....the good and the bad and the in-between....  

    WJC (5.00 / 3) (#134)
    by ghost2 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:38:40 PM EST
    was incredibly knowledgable, and I believe was governor of a whole fr**ing state for something like 12 years.  He was very different from Obama, who is a creation of the press.  

    Honestly, Hillary had a point about first question.  They never give him a gotcha question.  He goes after Hillary and piggybacks on what she says.

    WJC has depth.  Obama doesn't. Why do you think, there is so much of touting advisors and a whole team of old bodyguards?  He needs them to project gravitas.  WJC didn't need that, and to Edwards' credit, he didn't use that in 2004.  


    Yeah all those black folks in Iowa (1.00 / 1) (#90)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:14:01 PM EST
    really pushed him over the edge.

    That's not what I said (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:47:31 PM EST
    I didn't say that only black people vote for Obama, that would be ridiculous. His charisma would certainly have attracted attention as a presidential candidate, and he would have gotten votes. He may even have been able to ride the "hope" slogan to a respectable number of votes. Nobody is pretending that being black is the only thing Obama has going for him. But there have been equally charismatic and more experienced candidates who were not given the advantages Obama has been given by the media (i.e. Howard Dean) and thus never had a real chance. The only difference between Obama and these "also-rans" is his skin color. If he didn't have the "change" thing going for him, he would probably be written off an too inexperienced to lead the nation and told to come back in a few years.

    I undersand her anger (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by nell on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:35:21 PM EST
    While I agree that Ferraro's thought could have been expressed better, I must admit that I agree with her sentiment. And it surprises me that I agree with it - I cannot imagine that I would have agreed with it before this primary season stared.

    I think the DNC and many Obama supporters are doing a dangerous thing by overlooking how ANGRY many Clinton supporters have become by the way she has been treated, and by the way we have been treated, including myself. I am not by any stretch of the imagination an angry person, but I have found myself seething nearly every single day since the Iowa caucuses when the media began attacking Hillary, often in very gendered tones. And while the media has been more to blame than Obama, he has certainly said many sexist things throughout this primary. He dismisses her years as first lady as nothing more than drinking tea, he discounts her criticisms of him by saying she is "periodically feeling down." Most women, I think, have been in the position where a male disregards what they are saying by waving it off as her being too emotional, and there is NOTHING more infuriating.

    And beyond that, I think many Clinton supporters are just sick and tired of being made to feel like they must be stupid racists for not supporting Obama. After every single win she has had, it has been dismissed - in New Hampshire it was the Bradley effect, in Nevada it was because she cheated and Latinos are racist, after Ohio it is because those Archie Bunker types could not bring themselves to vote for her. I mean honestly, when are the insults going to end?

    If Obama is the nominee, as is looking quite likely, he will need Clinton supporters on his side...and he and his followers are NOT going to win us over by dismissing us with such arrogance...

    Sorry, this went in an off topic direction...

    Brava! Yes, when the Dems diss HRC (5.00 / 3) (#148)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:50:34 PM EST
    they don't seem to get that they -- and the media, and others -- are dissing all of us.

    We don't all have her level of braininess, her level of ambition, her incredible ability to take the most amazing amount of sheer crap daily for decades, etc.  Some have some of this -- they're as bright, they're ambitious in other areas -- but not a one of us ever has taken all that she has taken . . . and gotten up again to give, repeat GIVE, another day of public service, repeat SERVICE.

    But every one of us has had at least one of those days.  Some of us are old enough now to figure out that we didn't deserve those days.  The younger women will.  And when they hear that <click>, may they hope they get a candidate like Clinton again.

    I don't think I will see another in my lifetime -- and in large part because who, having witnessed this, ever will go through it again?

    Your loss, U.S.A.  And after Bush, you so needed the best and the brightest and, yes, the best-experienced and the best fighter we have.  Your loss, unless you figure it out in time.  Based on your record of picking presidents lately, good "luck" at that.  You'll need "luck," because one candidate has not had any of that -- but look where she is, anyway.  I want a president who knows how to make her "luck" and can make it for us.  Because we sure could use some about now.


    At my old politics discussion site (5.00 / 0) (#185)
    by zyx on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:23:11 PM EST
    a young white man was talking about the distinguished women in the Senate now.  He was probably contrasting them with Clinton--but, anyway.  The point is, he was saying that certain ones were quite distinguished--Snowe, Collins, Mikulski, Hutchinson, Cantwell (they got hung up on her, cuz she's not married?  doesn't ride any hubby-coattails?) and so on.  

    Someone pointed out that he didn't mention Klobuchar and McCaskill.  He said, oh, he was sure they WOULD be distinguished, but they were as yet very new'n'all, just having served a year.

    I said (sarcastically, because, oh, nevermind) that after having served a year, wasn't it time for them to think about forming committees for running for president and setting their cap for that?  Because he's one of those big "Obamacan" kids.  Well, huff!  he said.  Obama was in the Senate for TWO YEARS before he formed his Pres. Run-for committee.

    Yeah.  Riiiiiigggggghhhht.  "President Klobuchar", 2012, if McCain wins this time?  Ya think?

    comical to say the least... (3.75 / 4) (#51)
    by CentristDemocrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:53:53 PM EST
    As a non-black minority, I find this whole conversation comical. A bunch of white people questioning whether there is a "double standard" for African Americans in the media.

    The answer is a resolute YES. African Americans in the Hollywood media are almost always portrayed positively. In fact, the Hollywood consturction of the African American character commming in and saving the day with some "hidden wisdom" or "hidden skill" has served as a deus ex machina in various films from Legend of Vagger Bance to most of Will Smith's films.

    Even African Americans themselves have a term for this, its called "The Magic Negro." ANd I suspect alot fo these liberal whites in my generation voting for him are voting for him because of either this false construction or to relieve their "white guilt" as if voting for Obama will end racism.

    I'm sorry to point this out, by racism will not end by such a trivial action. The fact is, even if we ignore racism against African Americans, there is still racism against Asian Americans and Latinos in this coutnry... and lot of it is much more subtle but just as disturbing. Like the fact that its "ok" to use the term "g**k" or "ch*nk" by the media (a la, when Sarah Silvermen said so in Bill Maher's show), yet, if she had said any of the many words used against African Americans, she would have been crucified (as we've seen happened to Micheal Richards and other celebrities).

    The same seems to be becoming true with Latinos, wer'e seenig a "brown peril" emerge in the culture, similair to "yellow peril" of a century ago (and which still persist to this day).

    So yes, there is a media double-standard, and a societal one. Comparatively speaking, African Americans get a muhc better deal then either Latinos or Asians... or poor whites I should add for that matter.

    How many people talk abotu the abject situation of poor rural white appalacia. It is appaling and disgusting that these people have not been helped. If anyone has seen the PBS documentary "Country Boys" or "Farmer's wife" they will know what i'm talking about (or anyone who has lived in rural Ohio/PA/WVA/VA). Where is the left's outcry for these poor?

    The liberal orthodoxy of guilt is one that is no longer very valid in my opinion. And I think it needs to be reformed, before you get alot more grumblings and a lot louder ones start to emenate from individuals.

    I think after this election is through, people will start to look back and conclude that there really was a faovrable double-standard.

    i.e. It's ok to bash a "cracka-b*tch"
         It's not ok to bash a "brotha."

    Um yeah (none / 0) (#86)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:09:47 PM EST
    And that's why 1 out of every 9 Black men between 20-34 is in the custody of the government; Favorable treatment!

    Or that could be more about Economic situation (none / 0) (#97)
    by CentristDemocrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:18:49 PM EST
    It seems to me a unprovable argument that it's soley or mostly becuase of race. Your better argument is saying there is some reason why African Americans are more likelly to be poor then any other ethnicity in the US (which if we break it down to various cohorts is not true for newer African immigrants; substantiating the Economic argument), and the numbers per incarseration could serve as a proxy.

    But there is obviosully there media/societal bias to for African Americans at least comparatively  apropros to any other non-white ethnicity in the liberal orthodoxy. That much is true.  We see that in MSM and Hollywood.


    Perhaps not 100%, but I think it is big factor (none / 0) (#105)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:22:01 PM EST
    Oh I would arge that it is in large part due to race, especially when one looks at the disparity between say cocaine and crack sentences, its hard not attribute a racial motivation.

    Obama would have learned this first hand (none / 0) (#109)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:23:58 PM EST
    growing up on the mean streets of Oahu.

    He would've (none / 0) (#115)
    by CST on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:27:32 PM EST
    Look, he would've learned this ANYWHERE.  And racism isn't something that stops affecting you once you've turned 20.

    Also, Hollywood also has a tendency of not hiring black actors at all.  Will Smith is the exception, not the rule.


    uhm??? (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by CentristDemocrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:35:33 PM EST
    Are you really complaining about African American actors in Hollywood? That is laughable.

    Look at Asian Americans. There are NONE, and the few that do make it in American cinmea are always portrayed as the pereptual foreigner or laugably g**k boy.

    African American can play a variegated number of parts, which includes scietnist/action hero/thoughtful intellectual/criminal war lord etc.

    The Asian American characters are either 1. Hhyper-sexualized dragon lady 2. Kung Fu foreigner 3. COmical relief nerd boy .

    So please, don't complain to me about the plight of African Americans in the MSM and Hollywood. There is absolutely no comparsion.

    Rossie Odonnal can mock mandarin and chinese people by going "ching-chong ding dong" fro one minute on the View, but could you imagine her making clicking noises in a jest against some African languages? Give me a break.

    African Americans ARE inendated at least MUCH better then either Latinos or Asian Americans in the MSM or Hollywood. There just simply is no case to state otherwise.


    not really (none / 0) (#133)
    by CST on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:38:31 PM EST
    I wasn't saying Asians had it better, I'm not saying latinos have it better, that's not really my point at all.  My point is, it's not good for ANY of these groups.

    Yeah and HRC had it hard (none / 0) (#123)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:31:43 PM EST
    As opposed the bastion of Misogyny that is/was Wellsely (sp)? Seriously, its not like they're Frederick Douglass and/or Susan B. Anthony.

    Lots of racism in Oahu (none / 0) (#139)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:45:13 PM EST
    Get off the tourist strip and walk the streets filled with poverty and discrimination in all colors.  

    wainae use to be the ghetto when iw as there (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by CentristDemocrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:52:02 PM EST
    When I was in Oahu several years ago Wainae use to eb the ghetto. Lots of poor natives lived there. In general, I think the natives in Hawaii also got the raw deal. There was racism agains thtem. Honestly, I only knew 1 African American when I lived in Hawii, and his dad was in hte military in schofield base. There arn't that many African Ameriacns in Hawaii and I think alot of the racism (if there existed, I didn't notice it in my naive youth) would probably be "Asian""White""native." But again I never witnessed any of that firsthand.

    On a side note, I think Obama mentiond somewhere that he felt "isoalted" in Hawaii cause there wern't any other African Americans and some of his schoolmates asked him retarded questions about Africa.

    But this is nothing to what he would have felt in the Deep South before African Americans migrated back to those areas in the 80s and 90s. There is racism and there is prejduice/ignorance. The kind of tihng you see in some parts of the North and Deep south, that is ideeological racism ("White is the superior race" "everyone else are mud people" etc.) What OBama described was childish prejudice, and I've had stupid and insensitve question asked about my ethnicity... and it's even lasted UP TO THE POINT I WENT TO COLLEGE, so he needs to grow some backbone.....


    grow some backbone? (none / 0) (#158)
    by CST on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:57:36 PM EST
    Last I checked, he wasn't complaining about how racist everyone in Hawaii was.  He was talking about his own personal experience.  And all this talk of "comparative racism" misses the point.  Racism exists.  It is bad.  IN ALL FORMS.    I have also experienced what we like to call "reverse racism" going to a public school in the inner city as a white girl.  You may call it childish prejudice, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with as a child.

    no its not (none / 0) (#168)
    by CentristDemocrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:09:43 PM EST
    Actually that is exactly the point. The original content of the post was, was there a double standard for African Americans in terms of what can and cannot be said about afrian Americans with respect to whites or any other group. And there most certainly is, and the people who can see it most are people who are non-black minorties. Cause we all face racism, but no one ever talks about it, further, we are the ones to see the double standard more glaringly especially like the examples given above.

    And yes, Obama faced childish prejudice... it wasn't racist, that was a comment retorting what someone else claimed was the 'racist' enviroment of Oahu. That was my input.

    I can easily see that the media (at least use to) touch Obama with kid-gloves. You can believe if it was any other ethnicity (white or otherwise), he wouldn't have been treated so gently has he has been.

    Your blanket statment of saying "all racism is bad" is so trivial a statement that it's hardly worth mentioning. Yes, all racism is bad, but the question is how society treats racism in its various forms... the liberal orthodoxy can say as much as it wants, but in terms of things actaully occuring on the ground... nothing happens. And picking one group as favorite for all the left's sympathies won't help much either.

    Ultimitly I think if the democrats looses this cycle because a vicious "civil war", alot of it can be blamed on this sort of orthdox identity politics that has emerged. Where each group has its own "percieved" self-intrest in backing "it's own."  


    Actually I know that newer african immigrants (who came in the past 20 years) are just as competeive economically and academically as the other ethnic groups, so I wouldn't say its race. Also there incarsiration rate is divergent with the larger older african American population. We did this in a project in an econometrics course i took.

    I would say that in general, poorer people are likelier to be incarcirated. What the vector for this is, I cannot say, as that would require a hefty bit of numerical analysis. But, given that African Americans are more likelly to be poor then any other ethnicity, this fits with the fact that more African American men are incarsirated.

    Now if your argument is about severity of punishment, that's something i did not study, nor is it clear what sort of factor it would have at the discussion at hand. You'd have to provide a excel data sheet with some sound regressions to show your point, otherwise it's just demagogary.

    But if your going to tell me, that other non-white ethnicities don't also get the raw deal, and our plights are not ignored much more so then the african american ones, then i'd say your being disingenious. As anctedotal data, whenever you have books on racism or even tripe shows on racism (like the one taht aird on CNN several months ago) its always the black-white dichotomoy.

    As if racism didn't exist anywhere else or there wer not other victams of it. There were groups that suffered much more so then Africans from European racism, most notably the natives of this continent, who were totally wiped out. I'd say if there should be "white guilt" about anyone it should be about those people... but I guess when your virtually exterminted, you can't affect enough influence in society to enforce that guilt. BTW: Natives are treated like animals IMHO, I can't escape the notion that having them in their reservation is akin to looking at "animals in a zoo." It's pretty dispicable the lot that they were given...


    Please, we're still here (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:02:51 PM EST
    as it is a myth that Native Americans were "virtually exterminated."  Actually, even one of our candidates may be of Native (metis) descent, say genealogists.

    Buying into the myth that Native Americans were exterminated has public policy repercussions as well as personal ones for millions of people.  Think about it.


    So... the natives did not number 40 - 80 million at one point on this continent? Which constituted about 10% of the world's population in the 1600 - 1700s?

    That is not the same thing (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:20:36 PM EST
    and you know it.  You were talking about today, so do you know how many Americans of Native descent are here now?

    hold on (none / 0) (#191)
    by CentristDemocrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:29:00 PM EST
    wait wait... this does matter , the numebr I gave was a conserative estimate and we're talking about a whole world unto itself. A non-trivial segement of the world was wiped out. If your saying those people "still exist" then I'd have to argue with that.

    Yes, people with some native heritage still exist, but are you saying that is qualitatively the same people and heritage that existed in the pre-colombian era?

    Alot of people I know who claim to be of native heritage look virtually white. I'm not saying they arn't natives, but you can't argue these are the same peoples as the ones that existed 400 years ago. And you can't deny that these people weren't wiped out, either through European colonial/militaristic activities or European disease.


    Good goddess, I'm going to be kind (none / 0) (#198)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:36:34 PM EST
    and think that you just don't really think about what you're saying.  Stop now.

    what? (none / 0) (#206)
    by CentristDemocrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:42:31 PM EST
    Listen I have no clue why your freaking out. It is a fact, that a vast majority of the original inhabitants of Pre-Colombian America were either 1. wiped out by european diseases (or perhaps more accureatly "old world diseases" like Small Pox) 2. colonial expansion/genocide/absorpotion.

    This is true. There is at least one accoutn in the written record where Europeans conspired to purposely infect the natives with small pox, once they realized immunity was not possessed by them, this was in the "new england" area if I remember, and it was earlier on.

    But you can't tell me all the small border skirmishes and wars did not wipe out the Native way of life. Their world was destroyed. This is just a fact. Some people claim that there was even perhaps 100 millino people living in the Americas, which would mean that there were more people over here in Pre-Colombian eras then there were in all of Europe at that time.

    Those are just historical studies.


    Which candidate is (none / 0) (#180)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:20:19 PM EST
    of Native American descent?

    The one from the Midwest (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:23:10 PM EST
    where there are millions of other metis today, too.

    But note that I said "may be" and that it is still being researched by genealogists; the candidate never has claimed it.  The difficulties in tracing this, due to peculiarities of Nouvelle France records as well as baptismal and marriage practices, are not something I'll take up space for here.)


    I'll bite (none / 0) (#128)
    by CST on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:35:21 PM EST
    Ok, maybe it does have to do with being poor.  That said, African Americans are poorer then the "average american".  Some interesting facts about this, African Americans are much less likely to get a loan than Caucasions even with the EXACT SAME credit rating.  They are more likely to have higher interest rates, and they are less likely to have access to good schools.  I agree, racism shouldn't be discussed in purely black/white terms.  That doesn't mean racism doesn't exist for African Americans.

    Poor Because.... (none / 0) (#175)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:17:43 PM EST
    Upward mobility is hardest for AA's in US.  Most AA's have roots that go back to the early days of America and have suffered lower status than each arriving flood of new immigrants.

    So being poor is often a function of racism.


    I will probably regret commenting here. (none / 0) (#121)
    by ghost2 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:31:22 PM EST
    The point is that in Obama's particular case, he has benefitted from being a man and being African American, a point that I actually agree with.

    I completely agree that there is plenty of racism against blacks (as well as other groups), and yes, it's a shame that so many young black men are in jail, that they are routinely sentenced to harsher sentences than whites.  All of these and much more are indisputable.

    The problem is instead of discussing, or addressing these problems, media has decided to adopt a pc-language as its mode of operation.  It's really pathetic.  The same media, of course, refuses to address poverty, or reasonable access to good education.  Too depressing and too many numbers.  They rather cover Paris Hilton. While the media devotes hours and days of programming to the case of missing pretty white women, the same media undergoes a meltdown if someone uses a language that is considered racially insensitive.  

    So, usually media treats presidential race like a high school popularity contest.  But this time, they are careful, and they can't quite play that against Obama.  Maybe that's b/c he is a good politician.  But whatever the reason, he has been treated with kid gloves, whereas the media has thrown all it could at Hillary.

    Oppression of black men elsewhere cannot be remedied (or be cancelled out) by fawning coverage of Barack Obama.  


    How do you know? (none / 0) (#132)
    by PlayInPeoria on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:38:02 PM EST
    I find this whole conversation comical. A bunch of white people questioning whether there is a "double standard" for African Americans in the media.

    Someof these people could be A-A. You are assuming we are all white.


    Nonsense (none / 0) (#182)
    by sonya on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:21:43 PM EST
    Where is the data that supports your assertion that African Americans in the Hollywood media are "almost always portrayed postively?"  

    I'm sorry to point this out, but non-black people in this society are accorded status based upon their distance from "black,"  which results in people with the darkest of skin going to great lengths to explain how they are not black. Many, if not most, non-black minorities practice colorism, including Latinos and Asian Americans.  Nobody in their right mind can believe that African Americans get a much better deal that Latinos and Asian Americans when it comes to racism in this society.  Moreover, it's silly and nonproductive to argue about who's the biggest victim.

    Although there may be some merit to your contention that a number of people are voting for Obama because it alleviates their guilt and makes them feel good about themselves to vote for a black man when they would never live next door to one, I don't think anyone believes that voting for or electing Obama is evidence of the end of racism any more than Oprah's or Michael Jordan's success is evidence of that.

    And "Magical Negro," a phrase coined by Spike Lee, doesn't apply to Obama at all.  You see, the Magical Negro sacrifices his own life or happiness or success in order to help the white protagonist.  That ain't Barack Obama.


    You do (none / 0) (#192)
    by Claw on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:30:34 PM EST
    Realize that the term "Magic Negro" (and it's actually "magical negro") is used to describe a racist, simplistic stereotype...right?  Reading your post, it appears you don't.  
    Shorter version:  the "Magical negro" character type is an example of racism, not favoritism.

    I am reminded (none / 0) (#1)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:20:36 PM EST
    of Hillary's laments that Iowa was such unfavorable turf for her because they have never elected a woman to high office.  Like we're supposed to believe the black guy has it easy by comparison.

    The dynamics of this race certainly have made discussion awkward from time to time.  My position is simple: sexism and racism are both serious problems in our society, and we will not solve either if we sit around arguing about which one is worse.

    It would be tragic beyond belief if this election devolves into bickering between the white women and the black men (to the extent it hasn't already) while the white guys (i.e. Republicans) sit in the corner counting their money.

    Racism and Sexism (none / 0) (#14)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:38:52 PM EST
    One is no better or worse than the other. The remarks were "off the rails." The issue at hand is how these kind of dumb remarks diminish the campaign. Republicans are cheering each and every time something like the comments are posted.

    Really? (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:43:05 PM EST
    Really (none / 0) (#30)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:44:33 PM EST
    Trackers for the McCain campaign keep careful tabs on blogs such as this one. It's called opposition research.

    how tight did you have to twist the (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:02:10 PM EST
    tinfoil on your hat before they told you what they were doing?

    Challenges (none / 0) (#91)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:14:22 PM EST
    Challenging assumptions doesn't deserve a tinfoil hat award, although your comment was funny Kathy. There are folks hired for campaigns who do nothing all day long but counterspin on blogs. It began back in Mr. Clinton's campaign and continues now. My state has a geek squad for a state senate seat who are  trackers  hired to follow every utterance the opposing candidate makes and to re-spin. In campaigns the spinners are usually labled researchers.

    so, 1jane (none / 0) (#110)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:24:40 PM EST
    are you trying to tell us something?

    Don't you remember? (none / 0) (#166)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:07:33 PM EST
    Remember the NYT's story about "Dean Divers?" A bunch of "researchers" went to the state capitol of Vermont and spent hours digging through 170 boxes of Dr. Dean's official records and archives. The Dean Divers were working on another Democratic candidate's campaign.

    What gets to many of us is that the Republicans don't have to do the work because the Democratic campaigns are fraught with intelligence and counter intelligence operations are doing it. We're in the ugly season thats for certain.


    I am reminded that there are (none / 0) (#48)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:53:08 PM EST
    hardly any black guys in Iowa.  And if you didn't know it, Michelle Obama reminded us all.  ("Ain't no black people in Iowa!")

    But women have been the majority there for, well, at least 10,000 years.

    With that in mind, which hardly is arcane knowledge although Michelle Obama neglected to mention it, do you really think it reasonable to dismiss as a "lament" that Iowa is really unusual in not managing to find even one woman to elect to high office?

    No, we certainly will not make progress if we sit around arguing without considering obvious evidence.  Nor we will make progress if we simply dismiss and denigrate those who finally say what has to be said, much as it might make all those white guys with the money a bit uncomfortable in their corner.

    Thing is, in states like Iowa, the white guys have had EVERY corner and every inch in between for eons.  That doesn't seem worth discussion?  That's only worth dismissing as a "lament"?  What sort of gender imbalance would it take, and for how long, to finally be labeled as lamentable?


    Well (none / 0) (#63)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:59:37 PM EST
    I thought it was unproductive to single out Iowa as though they have a unique problem with sexism.  Iowa Democrats, after all, have nominated a number of women for the top offices, and this is a Democratic primary.

    It's clear that we don't elect our fair share of women in this country.  I thought it wasn't a great argument to target Iowa like that.


    Uh, Iowa singled out Iowa (none / 0) (#89)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:11:38 PM EST
    for this.  It's Iowa's record.  And it actually wasn't singled out, as Clinton also noted another state with such an abysmal record.

    And I'm sure Clinton would have "singled out" lots of states with such abysmal records, if she could have done so.  But because she was sticking with the facts, she couldn't do so.  

    To make it clear:  Do you know the records of the states on electing women to high office, all the states?  It's real easy to find: See cawp.edu.


    Btw, what was your reaction (none / 0) (#92)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:14:44 PM EST
    and that of other Iowans to Michelle Obama's comment (upthread)?  Similar outrage that she "singled out" Iowa for being one of the whitest states in the U.S.?  As it wasn't about gender, was it seen as okay for her to say so?

    And if so, it fits so well with what Ferraro is saying here.


    Sigh (none / 0) (#107)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:23:04 PM EST
    While I'm no fan of Michelle Obama, I doubt very many Iowans were outraged that she pointed out what they all see around them on a daily basis.  If she had said "Iowa has never elected an African-American," that would have been more analogous to Hillary's comment.

    I don't think it was particularly relevant, in the context of a Democratic primary, for Hillary to suggest she faces unique obstacles in Iowa given that Iowa Democrats have nominated a number of women to high office.  If women get nominated by Democrats in Iowa yet fail to win the general election, that's not the fault of the people who constitute her target audience in a Democratic Primary.

    And I think it is a dreadfully unsubtle approach to look at a state that has not elected any women to high office, compare it to states that have elected a whole 1 or 2 women, and declare that the former state has unique problems with sexism.  I don't think it's accurate nor do I think it is likely to be politically productive.


    Exactly. Political traction only seems (none / 0) (#174)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:17:32 PM EST
    to come when the comments are attacking sexism in our society.

    By the way, it's fascinating that you think it would have been more relevant for Michelle Obama to talk about being black than about being a woman -- as she is, after all, both.  Why is that, do you think?  

    And as for what Hillary is doing, some of us may just see that she is accomplishing more than running for president.  Remember TR's phrase, the "bully pulpit"?  Just because she doesn't sound preachy, like the other candidate, doesn't mean she isn't giving a heckuva sermon.  She's doing it so well that people don't even realize it, after all.

    (Actually, people do sort of realize it, because the best sermons really ought to make us feel uncomfortable, the first step in change -- which really isn't accomplished just by saying "change.")


    There are a lot (none / 0) (#130)
    by MKS on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:36:45 PM EST
    of women Governors, Senators, members of the House, CEOs, Deans, etc.  .....The State of Washington has two women Senators and a woman Governor. (Yet, McCain polls ten points ahead of Hillary there....in a blue state that last voted for a Republican when it went for Reagan in a landslide year....The same poll shows Obama polling ahead of McCain.)

    Women across-the-board do quite well--especially younger women, who are closing in on close to 60% of undergraduate enrollment, and are over 50% of the enrollment in law and medical schools....

    It is not as bleak as Ferraro makes it out to be.



    Wrong. (none / 0) (#195)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:30:58 PM EST
    But there is not a thread long enough to deal with this.  Just for starters, though, and keeping it to politics, how do you define "lots"?  And in the context of the available pool?  

    For example, black males are a bit more than 5% of the U.S. population.  Yet only one of them is a Senator now.  That would not be "lots," correct?  So how many do you think would be at least better representation?  Say 5% -- 5 black male Senators?

    Then, of course, there ought to be 5 black women Senators -- among a total of 51 women Senators.

    And again, that's just the Senate.  Shall we go on to governors next?  With 50 governors. . . .


    Oops, cx -- make those 5's into 6's (none / 0) (#203)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:39:04 PM EST
    as my finger strayed to the wrong number key.

    More women (none / 0) (#207)
    by PlayInPeoria on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:42:46 PM EST
    in the United States then men....2004 - 149.1 million female to 144.5 million male.

    If we were proportionally repesented in the Government... over half would be female.


    Unfortunate (none / 0) (#2)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:20:53 PM EST
    That she gave the sexist media (and bloggers) a blurb it can focus on instead of her otherwise insightful and true comments.  Of course, without that misstep, her comments would probably be completely ignored by many in the media and on the blogs.

    Shhh, that's part of the Evil One's plan (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:19:36 PM EST
    which is for every woman who wants to be heard in speaking up for her to make one little mistake.

    Even within the context of a long career of public service, even within the context of being the one who ought to know best, as the one who got almost this close before . . . Ferraro would not be heard, we know.  But now she is.  See how evil we are?

    It's the Amish-quilt concept for women in politics.  Amish women deliberatedly make one small mistake -- a wrong color patch, say -- in their incredible functional art, because only God can be perfect.

    See, it's actually our act of humilitas, making one little mistake in everything we say, or else we would be perfect.  If, of course, unrecognized for it, because we would be unheard.:-)


    Just curious (none / 0) (#4)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:32:24 PM EST
    Why is it that when a white woman says something fairly racist, it's just "foolish", and ultimately understandable because of her justified frustrations, but when Obama uses the words "periodically" and "feel" in the same sentence, it's OMG TEH SEXISM??!!

    Well (none / 0) (#7)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:35:00 PM EST
    What did Ferraro say that you consider "fairly racist"?

    As with every time racism becomes a national topic, I feel we have succeeded in dumbing the definition down even further during this campaign.


    If Obama was a white man, he would not be in (none / 0) (#20)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:41:11 PM EST
    this position....He's very lucky to be in his position."

    Sounds like she's saying he's getting ahead for no other reason than his race.  You know, the same kind of thing racist Republicans complain about with affirmative action.  "That undeserving black guy is just lucky us whites are so nice!"

    Putting aside the fact that if HRC wasn't a woman, she'd never have married Bill, and we'd never have heard of her.


    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:44:48 PM EST
    if Hillary hadn't married Bill, I'm not sure we would have heard of BILL.

    Okay, now, that was (5.00 / 3) (#113)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:25:06 PM EST
    a great comment. <applause> <applause> <applause>

    Back in 1992 (none / 0) (#124)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:31:53 PM EST
    I went to see Hillary campaign for Bill during the primaries, back when no one had heard of either of them, and I wasn't the only one who walked away thinking, "Wow, she should be the candidate."

    The difference between her comment (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:43:04 PM EST
    and similar ones about affirmative action, at least in my mind, is that she is attributing it to his life narrative, not to some form of institutionalized affirmative action.

    I think the word you REALLY want to use, and perhaps the one I should have used is, insensitive.


    I must respectfully disagree (none / 0) (#42)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:48:46 PM EST
    I don't see any reference to his life narrative in the Daily Breeze article, e.g. Kenyan roots or single mother, all I see is "This black guy is really lucky to be here.  No way a white guy could rise above his station like this."

    Because it was not racist (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:38:26 PM EST
    It was foolish. Can you point out the racism in the comment?

    See above (none / 0) (#21)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:41:23 PM EST
    I have to disagree (none / 0) (#5)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:34:07 PM EST
    I think what she was very clumsily trying to say is what Gloria Steinem already said in her article: that if Obama were a white man or a black woman, his lack of qualifications would have kept everyone from taking him seriously this election cycle. He would never have gotten this far. And I think that's a very valid point. Unfortunately, she did not make her point as eloquently as Gloria did, so everyone is going to read all kinds of nonsense into what she said and discount the rest of it.

    No it is not (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:37:52 PM EST
    John Edwards had no experience on 2004 or 2008.

    It was not a barrier for him.

    The argument is fallacious.


    uhm... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:39:56 PM EST
    JE couldn't get the nomination and had to take the VP slot.  Are you saying that he has been as successful as Obama?

    No (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:41:36 PM EST
    But Edwards' failure was not due to his inexperience.

    Well (none / 0) (#40)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:48:38 PM EST
    I think in large part it was.

    If Edwards had some Bill Richardson-like resume, the  media would not have been able to ignore him as a major candidate, with the level of support he had.  Or at least it would have been harder.

    Edwards came in second in 2004 as a totally unknown one-term Senator.  Give him a real resume and he blows that weak field away.  So I think it had a very strong, albeit unconscious, effect on the race.

    It's telling, though, that far more people seem willing to ask whether Obama is really ready than were interested in asking the same question about Obama.


    We disagree (none / 0) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:49:21 PM EST
    Edwards (none / 0) (#47)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:52:41 PM EST
    had been in the Senate for six years in 2004.  A tad more experience at the national level than Obama, who began running for president barely two years into his first term.

    On the other hand, Obama has state legislative experience, which Edwards didn't have.

    I rate them about equal.  I still think Clinton is more experienced, and definitely more knowledgeable. I would have vote for either JE or BO if one was/is the nominee.


    IL Senate: part-time, (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:55:15 PM EST
     "present," and oops wrong button.

    That's why I rated him "equal" (none / 0) (#60)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:58:51 PM EST
    rather than giving him the edge due to more than two years in the state senate.

    Generous to a fault. (none / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:00:41 PM EST
    I was an Edwards supporter (none / 0) (#66)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:00:44 PM EST
    but really, one term in the Senate and absolutely NO political experience before that was really a stretch.

    Hillary's qualifications are largely bogus (none / 0) (#52)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:54:50 PM EST
    Her "experience" claim is a house of cards.  That fatally undermines the Steinem thesis.

    Obama's is completely bogus (none / 0) (#68)
    by RalphB on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:01:17 PM EST
    by your standard.

    They're about equal (none / 0) (#73)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:03:46 PM EST
    But Obama isn't running on experience.  That's why HRC will be in trouble the moment the MSM stops swallowing her "experience" argument.  Which they will when the opponent is Straight-Talkin' War Hero with half a century in the Senate.

    experience is not a factor (i.e. spin) by itself, (none / 0) (#99)
    by hue on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:19:02 PM EST
    if it were, then Dodd or Biden would still be in the race.

    Well, she ws not a community organizer (none / 0) (#116)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:28:51 PM EST
    for a few years.  Point to Obama.

    But which part of her decades' long resume do you not see as "experience"?  Why?  Because it isn't useful for being president?  But his is, because he's going to organize us all into communities?  (Which, of course, we already are -- so he will, what, take credit as the founding father of every municipality in the land?  All Obamavilles now?)


    Obama didn't sing with Sinbad in Kosovo (none / 0) (#194)
    by JJE on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:30:56 PM EST
    point to Hillary.

    Again, you fail to understand the point.  The point is not that Obama is more experienced.  It's that Clinton's record is not particularly strong or impressive, but she's made the claim that it is a centerpiece of her campaign.


    I do not know the answer to JJE's question (none / 0) (#11)
    by kmblue on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:37:58 PM EST
    But I do know that white women are not taken seriously.
    White women can be safely dismissed, ignored, and even insulted (see the attitude of the TPM staff BTD posted above).

    Can we say the same about black men?

    Yes (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:41:03 PM EST
    we can.

    That was a joke, right? (none / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:05:31 PM EST
    I need to start taking notes. (none / 0) (#84)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:09:24 PM EST
    Yes. There will be a test (none / 0) (#120)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:31:07 PM EST
    and I'm putting together some really fun multiple-choice questions right now.

    So I had better get off this blog for a while, lest I actually post them.

    But for you, Kathy, I'll give a hint:  Each and every multiple-choice question can be answered with the same answer.  It's "none of the above."


    Maybe? (none / 0) (#93)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:15:05 PM EST
    I seriously hope (I mean we just finished Black history month, Jeralyn has had posting on the disprotionate sentencing of African Americans in the last week or two right) so or we're goign to need to do some remedial education to our own liberal base about the problems faced by minorities in this country.  

    And Women's History Month is almost (none / 0) (#131)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:36:57 PM EST
    half over.  And International Women's Day went by without a word here, that I could see -- but I went and celebrated on the website with women from all over the world.  The videos were just wonderful, and in no small part because it annually is amazing to see how much more is known in other countries about why it is celebrated as International Women's Day.

    Just another reminder of how woefully backward we are in this country with such a low level of women in high office.  It's so nice of so many women elsewhere to keep encouraging us to catch up, isn't it?  They know we're a young country and just figure we're sort of slow, so they're quite sweet about it, really.  Hardly condescending at all.

    Btw, allow me to point out that it must just have been "lucky" coincidence that Obama's streak of successes in Black History Month was broken as soon as we had primaries in Women's History Month.:-)


    McCain (none / 0) (#147)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:50:09 PM EST
    Man I hope Panamanian-American History month isn't in November :)

    That was a wonderful comment (none / 0) (#205)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:41:59 PM EST
    but now you've got me hoping that it's not AARP month, either.

    In a way (none / 0) (#23)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:41:36 PM EST
    It's actually a bit worse, I think even among polticians there's an assumption of Criminality about Black men. That they must have done something crooked to get here, either that or their angry.

    I think this is true (none / 0) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:44:19 PM EST
    on some level.

    I think it is much less true about Obama. That is not what people think of him.


    There ya go (none / 0) (#33)
    by kmblue on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:45:50 PM EST
    nobody's afraid of angry white women.

    Apparently, Josh Marshall is not (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by litigatormom on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:54:53 PM EST
    interested in getting traffic from women on his blog, either. I found the Linda/Andrew interchange utterly astonishing.

    Sigh. Another erstwhile favorite site to cross off my list of favorites.

    At least my browser is getting cleaned up.


    I am getting a little afraid (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:48:15 PM EST
    in this thread . . .

    Is the first post in the series you (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:53:37 PM EST
    promised/threatened yesterday?

    I hope not (none / 0) (#57)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:56:18 PM EST
    it doesn't seem to be going very well...

    Depends on your definition of "well." (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:57:45 PM EST
    I am thinking Jessica McClure (none / 0) (#67)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:01:15 PM EST
    Googling. (none / 0) (#70)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:01:51 PM EST
    It was a joke (none / 0) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:59:55 PM EST
    I guess not a good one.

    Which paragraph? (none / 0) (#72)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:02:31 PM EST
    A-As are not exactly (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:48:40 PM EST
    the power group in this nation.

    Angry Black Man (none / 0) (#81)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:07:14 PM EST
    You can argue that angry white women get things done (though I would disagree, I think its pretty clear that if Obama or Hillary had run with the righteous anger of Edwards they would have been marginalized), but if Obama was angry at all it would be a non-starter-- heck I think a pretty good case can be made that this limitation is one of the seminal factors in his adoption of a "new politics" style.

    Two things... (none / 0) (#119)
    by Oje on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:30:48 PM EST
    One, I think she read BTD's post yesterday about Obama's "luck" during this race and went in an entirely different direction with it.... :)

    Two, I think where Ferraro and other Clinton surrogates fail is that they buy into the Obama frame that this election is about personality. The Obama campaign puts forward the notion that his personality should be a key factor in determining the outcome of the race in a number of ways. Yet, this is just an Obama campaign strategy and narrative, not a matter of facts to be affirmed or disputed by the Clinton campaign.

    The key for Clinton's surrogates is to deconstruct the narrative about the significance of personality in a way that favors Clinton. I am not certain they ever really caught on entirely, because Clinton's campaign repeatedly lets stand Obama's suggestions that there are no real policy differences between the two candidates. This creates an indifference for the policy proposals among Democratic voters that elevates personality into a disproportionately important factor in voters' decisions (a la Gore v. Bush, and no I am not saying Obama is Bush, just that personality most comes into play at the moment when policy/party differences are nullified).

    Instead, Ferraro like others re-affirms personality as a important consideration in a way that reflects poorly on Clinton's campaign. Between quotes 1 and 3 in BTD's post, Ferraro lapses, from a statement about the interconnection of sexism and the naivete of personality politics, into a direct comment on the "fortuity" of Obama's personality. Comments like these will nearly always be construed, or misconstrued, as insensitivity, foolishness, and the underlying racism secretly harbored by every person who voted for Clinton during this primary.

    Well said (none / 0) (#125)
    by 1jane on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:33:57 PM EST
    and well written. Kudos.

    I think... (none / 0) (#201)
    by Oje on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:38:34 PM EST
    Reading up thread, maybe you misunderstand my post as support for Obama or a judgement about Ferraro's comment. My point is that certain quarters irresponsibly misconstrue the words of Clinton's surrogates because the political strategy of a "personality" campaign is a delicate image and narrative to confront. Clinton's surrogates fail when they accept the "personality" of Obama as fact not strategy.

    Besides, in Ferraro's quotes in the article do not really name what is unique about Obama. Obama has multi-racial, mutlti-cultural, and transnational  origins that he has used in various ways during the campaign. In particular, though, certain bloggers conveniently collapse his entire identity into the category of "African-American" and read every utterance by Clinton supporters as symptomology of racism. The problem, as I see it, is that these bloggers/supporters assign a kind of "blackness" to Obama's personal history that makes possible their millennial claim that we stand at the brink of a postracial, postpartisan politics. In part, the issue of racism during the primary begins and ends in their own perceptions of and aspirations for Obama.


    Actually (none / 0) (#135)
    by Steve M on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:39:24 PM EST
    I think it is more the Clinton campaign which has argued that there are no real policy differences.  Hillary started off the primary arguing, "the differences between all of us are small, the differences between Democrats and Republicans are huge."

    In reality, the policy differences that have come up during this primary have been rather small.  Health care mandates, which have been demagogued by both sides.  Kyl-Lieberman, which has been the object of shameless opportunism by Obama.  Negotiating with foreign leaders, which both sides tried to make an issue out of, but where the difference was more rhetorical than anything.

    The major fault line has been the Unity Schtick, but no one can figure out where the substance lies in that difference, if there even is any.  So we really are making a choice between "years of experience" versus "turn the page" as opposed to making a major choice about which policy direction the party should go in.


    TL started a number of threads that show.... (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Oje on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:56:50 PM EST
    Obama and Clinton have substantial policy differences, at least as we understand it. A partisan comment by Hillary with 7 other candidates on a debate stage does not have a bearing on a 2 person race for the nomination. Small differences make the difference. UHC is the perfect example, in which Obama insists that 95% of their plans are alike. Of course, mandates are the make or break difference between universal health insurance coverage and Obama's regulated market-based health insurance coverage program. TL prompted a discussion about their NASA proposals that suggests substantive differences in their vision and policies for technology and education funding. There are many more discussion in back dated threads from the past few weeks (my time here).

    BTD (none / 0) (#140)
    by Andy08 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:47:21 PM EST
    so do you disagree with the following ?

    "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position," she continued. "And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position.

    PS: BTD (none / 0) (#146)
    by Andy08 on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:49:40 PM EST
    I am looking for an answer to the merits of the question (not its political correctnes/incorrectness)

    I don't think Ferraro's comment is foolish (none / 0) (#165)
    by Manuel on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:07:26 PM EST
    She wasn't saying he is lucky to be AA.  I understood her to mean he is lucky to be the first viable AA candidate to run for president.  He has derived great benefit from this.  Less scrutiny and tapping into the hopes of the country to put our racist past behind us are two concrete ways in which he has been able to translate his status into support.  Hillary has not benefited nearly as much from her status as the first female candidate.  That is not to deny Obama's considerable skills.  In fact, sometimes his status works against him.  For example, his supporters rush to defend him from perceived threats that would be best ignored.  I read recently (I think it was in blockprof.com) about the tendency to treat some successful AA professionals gingerly.
    I've said before that this campaign has shown that the US has made relatively more progress on racism than sexism.  We should be grateful for Obama and the progress that has been made while realizing that we still have far to go.

    Under the new "Power standard"... (none / 0) (#176)
    by mike in dc on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:17:52 PM EST
    ...how offensive(intentionally or otherwise) does a comment by someone associated directly with a presidential campaign have to be, in order for the following to be necessary:
    1)apology by person
    2)repudiation by candidate
    3)resignation/termination of person's position with campaign?

    I just want to know what the current, consistent standard is supposed to be.

    And yet you're here (none / 0) (#200)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:37:58 PM EST
    -- virtually, of course.  But I presume you're somewhere physically, too.

    I got over being ... (none / 0) (#202)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:38:59 PM EST
    disappointed by Geraldine Ferraro 24 years ago.

    Ho hum.

    Comments closing now (none / 0) (#204)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:41:40 PM EST

    Hmm. (none / 0) (#209)
    by chemoelectric on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:55:05 PM EST
    I find it hard to see how Geraldine Ferrara being kind of obtuse fortifies criticism of some other blogs on sexism issues. I find that excision is a more powerful tool, for clarifying my own ideas, than is elaboration.

    One more time comments are closed here (none / 0) (#211)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:23:25 AM EST
    We're over 200, comments now closed.