Thursday, May 08, 2008

 

Identity politics sinking the Democrats?

When you have a party that consists of groups with grievances there is the real danger that those groups will run into a conflict which is enough to tear the party apart. Right now we are witnessing white, black, blue collar, and college educated Democrats in a contest over control of the party.

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

"There's a pattern emerging here," she said. [Emphasis added.]

If this isn't the proverbial 'nuclear option' then I don't know what is. Hillary seems to have made the decision to not only forgo appealing to blacks but to directly appeal to whites. In this case appealing to superdelegates as the candidate who can carry the white vote. She is making the assumption that the black vote will not leave the party. I think the superdelegates will come to a different conclusion because it is deeply offensive to say to black democrats that they cannot have one of their own as the nominee. I am not disparaging Hillary's argument. It may very well be true that white, blue collar Democrats will not vote for a black man. But I think black Democrats see this as their time. That is why what Hillary is doing is dangerous for her political career and ultimately divisive of the party. So expect to see backlash like this if she continues along this path.

Do you regret referring to Bill Clinton as the first black President?Justin Dews, Cambridge, Mass.
People misunderstood that phrase. I was deploring the way in which President Clinton was being treated, vis-à-vis the sex scandal that was surrounding him. I said he was being treated like a black on the street, already guilty, already a perp. I have no idea what his real instincts are, in terms of race.
Being stripped of his 'first black President' honorific can't be too pleasant of an experience for Bill.

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