Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Obama eats the cheese

"Mr Obama’s problem, as the candidate of unity and change, is that spats over seemingly innocuous racial remarks remind white voters of the type of divisive politics more usually found on college campuses.(...) It will be unfortunate for the Democrats if television reports from Michigan focus on outraged blacks wondering why they cannot vote for Mr Obama." The Economist
David Seaton's News Links
Hillary is playing this race thing smarter than most people think.
Hillary knows that nothing makes American white people, especially the liberal type, more nervous than easily offended black people. White, American, liberals live in terror of offending "touchy" blacks and at the same time they resent having to eternally walk on eggshells and there is much suspicion among them that this fear of giving offense is being used to manipulate and dominate them.

Hillary's remarks about Doctor King were unoffensive to white ears, but the Clintons know better than anyone the finest shades of tonality and nuance needed to set off black "rage".

Thus she is seen to be enduring the American white liberal's great nightmare: to, inadvertently, with the best will in the world, have said something that has offended African-American sensitivity.

Of course, Hillary is subtly introducing a subliminal theme here.

Obama gets elected president, but he turns out, like so many have been, to be a perfectly awful president.

The question:
  • Could we insult Obama the same way we insult Bush?
  • Wouldn't that be taken as racism by African-Americans?
  • Wouldn't that be rather inhibiting?

What Hillary has done is to temporarily lose some black support that, if she is finally the candidate, Bill will retrieve for her. In return she has caused ultra-sensitive black people (or professionally ultra-sensitive leaders) to rally to him in such a way as to make Obama seem much more black than he has up till now wished to appear. This will probably cause a lot of white people to vote for Hillary in the primaries. I think we'll see this cynical tactic pay off for her on Super Tuesday. Hillary may be "unlikable", but she is plenty smart.

Of course, all this mess really only comes about because until now American "identity" politics was always played with surrogates: WASP men wearing masks.

Thus Bill Clinton was "America's first black president". The whatever WASP whose turn it was to woo Latinos, would eat tacos and say "juntos podemos" with an atrocious accent etc, etc. Candidates would attempt to show that they were "sensitive" to the feminist agenda and so on. Absolutely de rigueur for all white, male and protestant presidentiables was a photo at Yad Vashem sporting a yomulka. This all came with the turf like kissing babies. It was a game.

The problems start when the Democrats decided to use "originals" instead of the traditional, "ballo in maschera". The whole charade begins to fall apart without the WASP surrogates.


Anonymous said...

"I'm not black, but there's a whole lot of times I wish I wasn't white...
F. Zappa

I have a hard time with the investigation of the nuances about what he said, what she said. Especially when the crowd of people behind each of these candidates has access to the megaphone. An innocent comment made at an impromptu news conference gets all bent out of shape in three news cycles. Then it's the "defenders" who want the spot light putting their two cents into the mix. Not to mention the MSM digestion.

As it ever was...Is anyone that calculating all of the time? Can anyone be that easily offended, all of the time? [Yes and Yes]
Would you rather have Huck?

Did you see what he said today? That's offensive, but is it calculated?

Anonymous said...

I just dont think Hilary can win against anyone. Its not the time for women (not outside of South America anyway). Royale, Bhutto etc, there seems to be a kind of flawness to them, especially since all have had long enough to make mistakes and enemies.
Obama ironically is better, he has no serious baggage.
His views are rational enough, he is no more corrupt than any other candidate.

Big Business simply has no real choice, and so this is why the race appears so 'open'.
Try looking at some Chomskian analysis of the factors that decide elections, its opening my eyes.

I expect Mayor Bloomberg to announce his candidacy. He will win the vote of the Big Co's and be shoe in.

serena1313 said...

Just because Clinton knows how to manipulate voters is not indicative of wisdom. She is running a campaign similar to the Rovian-Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004. That is nothing to be proud of IMHO.

Rove was very good at his game until people started figuring out what he was doing. It is too bad that the public is getting fooled again: same game, just different tactics.

Clinton managed to switch the focus from her to the "race" card. Anything with the slightest hint of controversy the media goes after it with a vengeance exaggerating it to no end. Thus the "race" card may very well cost Obama the election and what we'll get instead is Romney or McCain. Then perhaps maybe not. We'll see.

Iam not counting out Obama yet. On the other hand Hillary is unlikely to win the national election. Too many people are beginning to re_call the divisiveness, the contemptuous and acrimonious state the country was in during Bill Clinton's Presidency.

What a dumb move on her part! IMHO. Hillary's judgment lacks vision. Her decisions are carefully planned out prior to announcing them, but usually ineffective. If per chance she does win, the electorate will discover they got a co-Presidency.

Bush/Clinton/Bush/B.Clinton & H. Clinton.

Hopefully American voters will come to their senses and vote for someone fresh and new, preferably Obama or Edwards. After all we are not a monarchy.