OBAMA, NOT HILLARY, IS SPLITTING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
The greatest irony of Obama's political strategy, for me, is that people like me, who fought for civil rights (I was the only white teenager in my southern town who marched with my black friends and boycotted the local soda shop because they wouldn't seat blacks); who actually have AA friends; who've HIRED AAs when others whispered that it was risky because you can never fire them if they don't work out; and never allow a racial slur or prejudice in their hearing to go unchallenged; who have been excited and rejoiced that a black could be a viable presidential candidate; are now being challenged as racists because we select our candidates on issues rather than being swept away by a soaring rhetoric that seems unaccompanied by a record or concrete ideas that would give meaning to the words.
I define myself as a populist and progressive. I supported John Edwards and now support Hillary because I'm a dyed-in-the-wool "do something for the working man" Democrat. I believe in government as a force for the common good.
We know Hillary, we know her commitment, her heart and her history, so we feel safe that under her leadership, life for the majority of Americans will improve. It has nothing to do with race, but we are being bombarded with suggestions that yes, it does. And just as we rebelled against institutional racism, we are rebelling against the notion that because we prefer another Democratic presidential nominee, we are somehow tainted with a kind of internal racism ourselves. Nothing could be more divisive than to label lifelong Democrats in such a manner.
Today's must-read. And I mean, read it in its entirety!
His speech the other day had a peculiar theme: America's racist past can only be laid to rest by voting for Obama, which would prove that his accusations aren't true. What Obama does with his rhetorical strategy is turn something salutary - a proud vote by the African American population for a competitive AA candidate - into something corrupting - that a failure to vote for him is nothing less than an expression of (white) racism. The fundamental reason you typical white folks aren't voting for me is because you are driven by racism. He presented a peculiarly bastardized version of John Edwards' Two Americas; the enlightened one who will vote for him and the retrograde one which will not. And, by virtue of this speech being made in a primary campaign, the division is one that runs through the Democratic Party, not a marker of distinction between Democrats and Republicans.
This corrosive narrative is a cold and brutal campaign calculation in accord with Obama's continually demonstrated contempt for anything or anyone who denies him what he wants. He has accomplished what the Republicans alone could not do, split the party itself on race.
UPDATE: Who's negative and enabling the Republicans in the GE?