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Tilting at Windmills

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March 12, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

DOG WHISTLES....Jonathan Cohn says this about Geraldine Ferraro's recent comments to the press:

Ferraro's original statement to Daily Breeze, which suggested that Obama has gotten preferential political treatment because of his race, was a dog-whistle to white voters who resent affirmative action.

Well, sure. Except for one thing. Torrance is a faceless little bedroom community most famous for having a big shopping mall, and the Torrance Daily Breeze is a faceless little local newspaper with a circulation of about 60,000. Nobody outside the South Bay reads it, Ferraro's comment was buried near the end of the original article, California has already voted, and no one in the Obama campaign cared about it. In fact, nobody would ever have noticed her remarks in the first place if Kos hadn't highlighted them three days after they appeared. Ferraro's moment in the national press didn't start until after the blogosphere erupted.

If Ferraro was trying to do some dog whistling, she sure picked an unusually ineffective forum for it. It's way more likely that she just blurted out something dumb to a local reporter, and then got her dander up when people started piling on about it. That's no excuse for saying something dumb and then following it up with something even dumber, but it's pretty unlikely that Ferraro had any serious dog whistling agenda here.

Kevin Drum 2:24 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (246)

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Comments

The first quote was, I'm sure, an accident, and not particularly offensive. She could easily have backed off of it. The really offensive one was the second round, and then the third, when she started charging "reverse racism" and knew that she was addressing a national audience.

Don't forget, Samantha Power was talking to a Scottish newspaper, yet the quote caused her resignation, even though she tried to retract it immediately and asked the reporter not to print it. Ferraro chose to escalate the controversy, and she's still on the team.

If the Clinton campaign isn't really set on winning Pennsylvania with white working class racial resentment, they need to demonstrate it.

Posted by: Joe Buck on March 12, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

It may not have started out as a dog whistle, but the Clinton camp non-response clearly is one.

Posted by: RollaMO on March 12, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin--Would it help you to know that she's been spouting the same line on NPR and on John Gibson's radio show? I think they qualify as major media.

Always glad to be of service.

Posted by: calling all toasters on March 12, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Stop for a momment. The press picks up on this and do the Clinton's step back from blatantly racist remarks? Because that is what they are: he's an Affirmative Action senator and candidate is what Ferraro was saying. And that is a whistle that'll play BIG in PA and it's why the Clinton's haven't said beep about Ferraro making this about racism against HER because she's white.

The Clinton's are working to get the nomination, despite it being mathematically out of their reach and using the Mondale formula. They need to make Barack Obama the ethnic candidate and isolate him in the inexperienced box. And the media feeds into this despite the fact he has more legsilative experience and has done far more community progressive work than HRC and has put forth substantial proposals and a clear forigen policy.

So Ferraro clearly made a mistake and this wasn't delibrate. The fallout, that is a delibrate dog whistling agenda and to deny that IMO is to deny the current facts on the ground.

Posted by: Rhoda on March 12, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

It's not dog whistle stuff, she's just a racist.

Either that or she believes women are more oppressed than blacks, something impossible to prove.

Posted by: MNPundit on March 12, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

How about this one: Bill Clinton appears on the Rush Limbaugh show, and suddenly Mississippi is full of Republicans who are willing to vote for Hillary?

Don't think the Clintons are above these things. And whether Ferraro's remark was planned or accidental, the campaign has let it run its course, without any discouragment. And why does Ferraro go on Fox News to defend herself and further stir white resentment? Who watches Fox News?

Clinton's new strategy for reaching the White House is called White Pride.

Posted by: lampwick on March 12, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

but it's pretty unlikely that Ferraro had any serious dog whistling agenda here.

Kevin, I see you do not understand how dogwhistling works. Dogwhistling is done to small audiences of the base and then it is spread far and wide. Torrance is a well-known pro-Hillary magazine. Ferraro's dogwhistling was known far and wide among the pro-Hillary bloggers long before Markos got has hands on it because all pro-Hillary bloggers read it. By saying it in Torrance, Ferrarro was spreading it to the pro-Hillary base while keeping it under the radar. Markos, begin the intrepid blogger he is, foiled this despicable racist dogwhistling strategy and exposed it to the public. Of course, this is just part of the grand Hillary racist strategy like darkening Obama's photo and her 3 AM ad.

Posted by: Al on March 12, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Basically it all a part of the triangulation that served Bill so well in the 1990's. Hillary has a surrogate make a incredibly racist comment about her opponent, then the firestorm brews about the comment, and later when the racist remark boils over and tarnishes Obama in the eyes of the electorate, Hillary steps in and says he can't get elected so you'll HAVE to pick me.

Posted by: Paul on March 12, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, even if that were the case -- and the above commentary should set you straight in that regard -- you, of all people, being a blogger, should know that in this day and age things get out. It was bound to happen.

This is racist, vile crap. And one of the reasons that I'll never, ever vote for a Clinton.

Sometimes you just don't get it, do you?

I'll be very interested to see what Digby has to say on this little episode.

Posted by: Tony Shifflett on March 12, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

She also said it even earlier on John Gibson's radio show (and apparently on NPR, though I haven't heard it). And who knows what she's been saying at private fundraisers.

Posted by: magnolium on March 12, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Ineffective? You're blogging about it, aren't you? Better for them that it slowly seeps out from podunk California, as they knew it would, than be splashed acorss the front page of the NYTimes. And Ferraro has been *everywhere* sayig close to or simlar things. She's become quite the face of the Clinton campaign.

And FWIW I was sick of her before this remark.

I am a middle-aged white woman and I am sick and tired of Ferraro (or anyone else for that matter) telling me how to vote because I am a middle-aged white woman.

Posted by: scruncher on March 12, 2008 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

“Every time that campaign is upset about something, they call it racist,” she said. “I will not be discriminated against because I’m white. If they think they’re going to shut up Geraldine Ferraro with that kind of stuff, they don’t know me.”

Posted by: Neddy Seagoon on March 12, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you've got to be kidding me. She's been saying the same thing all over the place. Hell she said similar things about Jesse Jackson in 1988.

Posted by: GOD on March 12, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Why do we use the term, 'dog whistle', when the message is clearly within the average voter's audible frequency: "Pick the legacy candidate over the affirmative action candidate"

Posted by: apm on March 12, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

1) Ferraro's comments are deeply offensive, regardless of the forum in which she made the first (of several).

2) If she wasn't a Clinton surrogate before, she is now, given that the Clinton team is standing by her.

3) Maybe this wouldn't be as big a deal if, on a nationally televised debate, Clinton hadn't told Obama that is was insufficient for him to merely "denounce" Louis Farrakhan. But she did. So it's a big deal.

Posted by: Neddy Seagoon on March 12, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

A correction to my previous post-- NPR had her on, saying that Kennedy and Kerry should cast their SD votes for Obama "not just because they're white" is difficult for me to interpret. The context is very complex (at the 43:00 mark):
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=87922258

But the John Gibson show has the same thing as the Daily Breeze (at the 4:00 mark):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqL_sm0J8jc

Posted by: calling all toasters on March 12, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

lol @ apm. I swear, I need a new monitor now. That was funny.

Posted by: GOD on March 12, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Dog whistle? Once the Clinton campaign responded by piling on, it became louder and more obvious than an air raid siren. Maybe Cohn needs to get his hearing checked.

This could be history in the making - the Clinton campaign appears to be willing to live or die on racial division. They're not just pulling the race card, they're throwing the whole deck at Obama and basically saying "yeah, you heard me b*tch, I said n*igger-lovers. Whaddayagonna do about it?".

Posted by: Augustus on March 12, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

So THAT's why nobody outside of Torrance heard anything about Ferraro's remarks.

Oh, wait, we did.

Posted by: The Enlightened Mr. Toad on March 12, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it's "dog whistle" politics. It's not a coded message aimed at a particularly attuned portion of the electorate.

It's just a statement that reflects the deeply ingrained low level racism inherent in most white people. It's especially prevalent in older whites who grew up in a segregated society and for whom Sidney Poitier was the only black actor to appear on screen.

It's not racial animus, just the attitudes created by a life time lived in a racist but improving society.

More here.

Posted by: IMU on March 12, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

The Torrance Breeze is just where it got noticed, because as several people have pointed out, nobody apparently has been noticing Ferraro's appearances on John Gibson and other FoxNews propaganda shows (Who, exactly, is she trying to reach in Gibson's audience?). First Susan Estritch, now Ferraro. The Mondale campaign's longest legacy is apparently the FoxNews Democrat (and of course, another FoxNews (and NPR) regular who works for HRC, Liebercrat and Bush/McCain apologist Lanny Davis).

Posted by: Jim on March 12, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't "dog whistle" stuff. This is the "dog crusher" hordes descending upon the pages of "101 Dalmatians".

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 12, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

You all are missing the point. You're assuming that somehow racism, dogwhistled or otherwise, would help Hillary in a DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, RIGHT BEFORE MISSISSIPPI????

Hello, deterioriation of the US education system...

As is clear from all the outrage, real and feigned, that we're now hearing, this clearly did NOT help Hillary. It did help Obama.

It's quite clear that the Obama campaign has a strategy of painting the Hillary campaign as racist, and they like pushing this story forward right before primaries in states with large black populations (see, e.g., South Carolina). So how do they proceed?

They find some obscure Clinton supporter, take some quotes that might be seen as racist, and start pounding away on them. The idea that Ferraro, who has a tangential relationship with Hillary at best, writing in a dinky dunk publication, somehow was "dogwhistling" to attract this massive racist vote that's supposedly going to come out for Hillary (in contravention of all the polls), is retarded.

There is a candidate who's benefiting from these racism charges, and his name is Obama. There is a candidate who's benefiting from voters who claim race is their main reason to vote, and his name is Obama. There is a candidate who keeps pushing forward obscure sound bites from unaffiliated Hillary supporters and claiming that they're evidence of some larger racist orchestrated campaign, and his name is Obama.

Whether it's him, or Axelrod, or someone else in that campaign, someone decided around the time of New Hampshire that calling Hillary a racist was a legitimate campaign tactic, and they're pushing that envelope again.

Posted by: RedSox04 on March 12, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Or, perhaps she realizes, as you certainly should, that no matter to which media outlet one comments, chances are it will metastasize throughout the web.

What are the chances that there is at the Breeze someone with an IQ above that of a moron who recognized the ridiculousness of Ferraro's remarks and passed them along?

Again, you need to get out more.

Posted by: Chris Brown on March 12, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Well, given a national platform Ferraro's subsequent comments were even more offensive and her outraged denials more misleading. Then we find that she was saying the same things back in 1988, she'd apparently learned nothing then and resided in a deep freeze during the intervening decades. Good that Clinton "rejected" the comments but I don't think she's gone far enough.

Posted by: leo on March 12, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

I guess the strategy is to win Pennsylvania by appealing to digruntled working class white voters. Tarnish Obama as the guy who only got ahead because he was articulate and black. Convince the SDs that his lead is made up of votes of unimportant states, caucuses, and minorities. Win the primary in a bloody and contracted battle. And THEN try to get the African Americans and disillusioned, disheartened, disgusted whites (like me) back into the fold.

Senator Obama, please bring back Ms. Power. Turns out she was right. Hillary is a monster.

And am I the only person who sees how ridiculous it is for Hillary Clinton, of all people, accusing someone of getting a leg up over the competition? If Obama is the Affirmative Action candidate then Hillary is the legacy and nepotism one.

Like the poster above, I'm a middle-aged white woman and I'm tired of people telling me how I should vote--from men AND women. Stuff it, Geraldine!

Posted by: LAS on March 12, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

As a proud former resident of Torrance (15 years) I resent those remarks, Kevin!

Torrance rocks!

Posted by: crossdotcurve on March 12, 2008 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't a dog whistle outside the mainstream's hearing range? In which case, this IS something you whisper to a small community newspaper. Where she went wrong is that the humans picked it up.

Posted by: Memekiller on March 12, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Ferraro's stating a fact - in the follow up article in the Torrence newspaper (how many of you bothered to read that before deciding that Ferraro was a racist) it says:

Ferraro said she was simply stating an obvious truth, as seen in exit polls that show Obama taking as much as 80 percent of the black vote in the Democratic primaries.

"In all honesty, do you think that if he were a white male, there would be a reason for the black community to get excited for a historic first?" Ferraro said. "Am I pointing out something that doesn't exist?"

****

So why is it racist to point out that many people are voting with racial motivtions and that Obama is getting the benefit of being the recipient of that vote? If Obama WAS white, he would not be getting 80% of the black vote. That's just a simple fact.

It really does say a lot that so many people immediately take umbrage and rush to emoitional judgement calling other people racists while completely ignoring the fact that the "racist" comment was merely an observation of behavior that in fact has undeniably racial underpinnings. To get all outraged and start throwing around the "racist" epithet serves to completely remove discussion of whatever the point is off the table.

Do Obama supports NOT want to acknowledge that a not insignificant part of Obama's support DOES come from African-Americans who often are motivated to vote for him simply because he is an African-American - that he most likely would NOT get that level of support from the African-American voters if he was, in fact, a white guy? Is it racist, and therefore off-the-table to point that out?

The mass "outrage" is goofy - it seems more reminiscent of the underinformed artificial outrage whipped up by right wing talk radio directed against Clinton in the 1990s than actual discussion of the "reality-based community" that we have come to associate with Democrats. At least acknowledge the facts before silencing the point raised by resorting to marginalizing someone by calling them "racist".

Even though it's pissing some excitable people off by saying something they don't want to hear and are twisting out of context, good for Ferraro for holding her reality-based ground.

Posted by: Ethel-To-Tilly on March 12, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

What Ferraro is saying is what the Clinton campaign is convinced of. I mean compared to the brilliant, experienced, health care expert, foreign policy savant that is Hillary, who is this black guy making all this trouble?

Would you really want such a black guy picking up the phone when your sweet white angels are in bed?

She and her surrogates are making certain that Obama will not transcend race, should he be the nominee.

Is there some way to draft Al Gore?

Posted by: Manfred on March 12, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

You all are missing the point. You're assuming that somehow racism, dogwhistled or otherwise, would help Hillary in a DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, RIGHT BEFORE MISSISSIPPI????

It's not about MISSISSIPPI. She was never going to win MISSISSIPPI. It's about PENNSYLVANIA. Old, resentful, blue-collar whites in PENNSYLVANIA. The same people she demagogued about NAFTA to in OHIO.


The idea that Ferraro, who has a tangential relationship with Hillary at best,[...] obscure sound bites from unaffiliated Hillary supporters

Ferraro is one of the top people on the official Clinton fundraising team, and has published an op/ed spouting the Clinton line on superdelegates. I guess it's good that you're embarrassed enough by this bitter old has-been crank to want to minimize her relationship to Clinton, but she is an official Clinton surrogate.

Posted by: Jim on March 12, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

When are these morons going to stop this bullshit that a white man can't get 80% of the AA vote! What do think happens in general elections? The AA vote is the highest and most consistent voting block for the democratic party. Of course this means that they only vote for democrats because they are black.

Posted by: GOD on March 12, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton is running for the nomination of a party that is majority white/ethnic, by a 70/30 ratio, and majority female, by a 60/40 ratio. Despite these overwhelming advantages which identity politics should give her, she is actually losing to a black male candidate by every statistical measure that you could devise.

Which tells us what a lousy candidate she really is.

And Ferraro has the gall to say that Obama has an advantage because he's black? If he were a playing on a demographically level playing field, he'd be beating Hillary by a margin of 3-1 right now.

Hillary owes all of her success to the fact that she is a white woman running against a black man in a party which is 40% white women and about 15% black men.

Posted by: lampwick on March 12, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

I agree she didn't blow the dog whistle. She just accidently stuck it the Clinton campaigns mouth and they couldn't believe their luck.

Posted by: vrk on March 12, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, but Ferraro is nuttier than a pile of elephant shit. At the end of an interview with Fox, she said:

"... I'm telling David (Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager), if Barack Obama is the candidate, he really shouldn't antagonize people like me, because he's going to come to me and ask me to raise money for Barack Obama -- and I would do it for him, too, if he stops doing this kind of horrendous attacks at me."

Right. If the Obama team hopes to do better than these measly $55 million months, they'd better get some religion & start kissing her ass.

Would somebody please explain to me how a person this absolutely stupid can achieve even the smallest degree of influence in the party? Wait, nevermind. It all makes sense now.

Posted by: junebug on March 12, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

So what is your point, Kevin? Should Kos and other bloggers self-censor when they learn of important events that are not yet national news? Why? Out of hope that they don't become national news?

Wouldn't we want to know about an affiliate of McCain if he or she were spouting similar trash?

I really can't get your point. Ferraro's statement was newsworthy because (1) she had been on a Democratic national ticket, which gives a kind of lifetime focus, (2) in her particular case, she had only been on the ticket as a strategy to excite voters, based upon her gender, not her deep resume, lending her statements a deep hypocrisy, and (3) her statements linked in with a long series of Clinton campaign statements and actions that at a minimum raise the temperature of the race issue in the first election cycle in which a major party candidate may well be African-American. (I read your earlier post and agree that some of those statements were blown out of proportion, but that doesn't make them disappear completely or moot the question of why the campaign has had such a stream of these little racial teasers.)

It seems to me that Kos did exactly what he should have done.

Posted by: anoregonreader on March 12, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Ethel Tilly,
Obama captured the white vote pretty well here in VA. If Hillary had run her red phone ads here she would have made sure to ruin that. Don't you see the strategy? The Clintons and their supporters make me sick. They really could care less about trashing the Democratic nominee if that person isn't Hillary. As I said before what Hillary said glorifying McCain should be considered treason - she has acted as a traitor to the Democratic Party. If the Clintons take control of this Party, quite a few of us are leaving.

Posted by: Manfred on March 12, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

You're really shooting for most naive blogger of the year award, huh? Yea, the last 72 hours have just been one big misunderstanding. Nothing to do with racial politics in Pennsylvania. No sirree.

Posted by: pls on March 12, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Ferraro can donate all she likes to the DNCC, who could really use the money a lot more than either Obama or Clinton right about now as the election cycle starts spinning up for Congress.

Posted by: David W. on March 12, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

hmm. Where oh where to begin?

How about with RedSox04 . . .

You all are missing the point. You're assuming that somehow racism, dogwhistled or otherwise, would help Hillary in a DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, RIGHT BEFORE MISSISSIPPI????

Hello, deterioriation of the US education system...

As is clear from all the outrage, real and feigned, that we're now hearing, this clearly did NOT help Hillary. It did help Obama.

Damn. Jim beat me to it.

The Clinton folks had already kissed Mississippi goodbye. It was bad for her to lose another state, but good for her that Ferrarro managed to bring race front and center on both the eve of Mississippi (black) in the runup to Pennsylvania (white) where she has a chance.

Everything else about excitable Obama supporters--here, Ethel-to-Tilly's remark is handy--reminds me of another mindgame term: gaslighting.

Even though it's pissing some excitable people off by saying something they don't want to hear and are twisting out of context, good for Ferraro for holding her reality-based ground.

This is what the Clintons excel at, gaslighting. They use the most egregiously underhanded tactics to undo an opponent, then protest their wide-eyed innocence ("Whatever do you mean?") and then suggest that, you know, you're crazy for suggesting it. "There's nothing wrong with the lights, my dear. (But I will try to murder you and inherit your money/delegates before the movie/election is over.)"

Posted by: paxr55 on March 12, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Dogwhistle" politics is really stupid. I am curious when the phrase was first used. Kevin, would you consider lexis/nexising this?

In 2004, when Bush spoke in code about Dred Scott, that was code, that was not dogwhistling. People could document exactly what Bush said, how often he said it, and link to websites of legal, political, and religious analysis that demonstrated Dred Scott was being used to take down Roe V. Wade.

This dogwhistle stuff is complete bullshit. What you hear as a dogwhistle is not what other people hear as a dogwhistle. It says more about you than about anyone else.

I am not a dog. I don't hear dogwhistles. Why do you hear a dogwhistle call to racism? Perhaps you hear it, because YOU are a racist, or sexist, or anti-semite, or any of the stupid things being attributed to dogwhistle politics.

Instead of hearing dogwhistles, why not put to use some of those English skills that got you so far on the SATs and in college and actually discuss what the various people have said. In context.

Dogwhistle politics is just another way of othering speakers that you dislike. Dehumanizing them. Deligitimatizing their arguments through an ad hominem, unprovable, attack.

Whoeever smelt it, dealt it. And people that hear dogwhistles wherever they turn? Those people got issues.

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

This post totally misses the point for reasons listed above. Ferraro was initially just sharing her (quite possibly racist) views, but the responce to the controvercy by Ferraro and Clinton has dog whisle written all over it. Though actually something this obvious to everyone isn't even a dog whisle - it is just straight up open race baiting.

Yeah, and what lampwick said.

Posted by: ikl on March 12, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

OK, since most of you cannot read plain English, I'll do the "shorter Kevin Drum" bit:
Ferraro is dumb, rather than calculating.

Posted by: none on March 12, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Even though it's pissing some excitable people off by saying something they don't want to hear and are twisting out of context, good for Ferraro for holding her reality-based ground."

Why, exactly was Hillary EVER the front-runner for the nomination?

She's no-more charismatic than Chris Dodd. She's got a less impressive resume than Bill Richardson. She's not more "ready on day one" than Joe Biden. And the only public policy she was ever explicitly in charge of turned into one of the greatest debacles in political history.

So why was Hillary EVER the Democratic front-runner? Answer that question and you'll know who's really the "lucky" one in the race.

Mike

Posted by: MBunge on March 12, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you've got to be kidding me. She's been saying the same thing all over the place. Hell she said similar things about Jesse Jackson in 1988.

Damn, those Clintons are good . . . er . . . I mean, evil! They were able to get Ferraro to begin laying the groundwork for her dogwhistle campaign against Obama all the way back in 1988, all in preparation for Hillary's run 20 years later.

Kevin, don't you realize by now that if someone says something bad about Hillary Clinton, it must be true? Any charge of racism against her campaign is by definition the absolute truth. Why is it, I ask you, that the candidate who speaks at every Hillary Clinton event and who appears at every debate and who "approves" every one of her campaign ads is white? I mean, if the Clinton campaign weren't racist, wouldn't their candidate be black? Think about it . . .

Posted by: Rob Mac on March 12, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who still believes the Clinton people do not want race front and center is terminally naive. Because despite what Geraldine Ferraro thinks about the advantages of being black, African-Americans are 0-for-43 in going for the presidency; and even if they aren't racist themselves, anyone running for political office against a black person on the state or national level needs to decide how far they are willing to go to explicitly seek the votes of racists. In the case of the Clinton campaign, the answer is apparently "pretty damn far."

Posted by: Hyde on March 12, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Ethel-To-Tilly,

Are you really so tone deaf?

The point is that Ferraro ascribed Obama's success only to the fact he is of African-American descent.

Could his success not be ascribed to his intelligence, his oratory, his ability to move legions of young folks into the electoral process, or any of a host of other attributes? The white democratic voters of Iowa and many other states apparently thought so.

And, yes, I have read Ferraro's remarks.

Posted by: on March 12, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

The Daily Breeze is read in a largely affluent, significantly liberal area of Southern California. This isn't some obscure newsletter with a circulation of 3,000 being sold in a town in southwestern Wisconsin.

More importantly, as others have noted, Kevin's post displays a surprising innocence about how dogwhistling and dirty tricks work. They don't come from an interview given by a major campaign aide to the New York Times, precisely because you want to be able to disavow them or say that they're incidental, unintended, or peripheral. You don't ask a major political figure to carry out a dirty trick in broad daylight, you nudge the equivalent of a Donald Segretti to engage in a bit of ratfucking so that if he gets caught, you can say, "Never heard of the guy". If you dogwhistle, you do it in a couple of one-off speeches, casual remarks, and out-of-the-way publications knowing that eventually someone will pick it up and it will disseminate and you can mostly keep your hands clean.

Posted by: Timothy Burke on March 12, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

jerry, i don't know where you've been lately, but dog-whistle has been part of the lexicon for political observers for about five years now.

It describes the very nuanced application of wedge politics

Check the archives here, for Kevin's post some time, IIRC, as recently as January.


Posted by: paxr55 on March 12, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

What evidence is there that "racism", which has seemed to surge at two points in time: first, right before the South Carolina primaries, and second, right before the Mississippi primaries, has benefited Hillary? I call bullshit here.

First, why the hell would it be in California? And why would they use Ferraro?

Second, given that this is the Dem party, what poll evidence do you have that any of this alleged "racism" is helping Hillary anywhere? The poll #s I've seen have all indicated that Hillary's #s surged after NH, and then dropped after the "racism" stuff started bubbling up in SC. If this racism crap wasn't in the air, Hillary would be winning this thing going away.

Furthermore, the fact remains: Obama has clearly tried to call Hillary a racist. They have been pushing this narrative. So to the extent that any "dogwhistles" were ever present (and frankly, that's idiotic, as some of the "examples" they cited in their memo were of black people talking to other black people), if this benefits Hillary, why the hell is it the Obama campaign that keeps trying to make this a national story?

You guys keep pointing to folks who are attenuated from Hillary (and the Finance Committee is not the same as tied into Hillary- every well connected lawyer, lobbyist, and pundit is tied into one of the two campaigns at this distance), and trying to tie them into Hillary. I'm pointing directly to the Obama campaign, and saying "You have decided to call Hillary Clinton a racist to score political points".

Posted by: RedSox04 on March 12, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

again kevin, pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

psst.TPM has v i d e o.

Posted by: mestizo on March 12, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

jerry, i don't know where you've been lately, but dog-whistle has been part of the lexicon for political observers for about five years now.

It describes the very nuanced application of wedge politics.

Check the archives here, for Kevin's post some time, IIRC, as recently as January.

Nice gaslighting, though!


Posted by: paxr55 on March 12, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I think the post is pretty naive. She's a top fundraiser for Hillary. She talks to voters all the time. Is there any doubt this is the line she's feeding to them, all the time? And doesn't it seem likely that other surrogates are getting the same message out, under the radar?

I agree she may have wanted to keep it under the radar, but the underlying message is clear, and she wants it out there. And so does Clinton.

Posted by: Jacob Kart on March 12, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, but Ferraro is nuttier than a pile of elephant shit

don't dare do that again while I'm drinking coffee in front of my computer

Posted by: aretino on March 12, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks paxr55 for that link. It seems to indicate, as I thought, that in the US at least, it kinda sorta started with George Bush's use of Dred Scott. But as I think I pointed out, Bush used Scott over and over, and people were able to easily find websites of legal and religious analysis to show how Dred Scott was a code word.

What happens now is someone takes offense, right or wrong, with a single statement someone makes and immediately jumps up and yells, "Bingo!"

I think it's lazy and sloppy to yell dogwhistle with your soul evidence being, "if you don't agree that this is a dogwhistle, YOU are the racist!"

Accusations of racism and sexism are devastating and should only be made when you have strong evidence. Outrageous claims require outrageous evidence.

Again, thanks for the link.

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Second, given that this is the Dem party, what poll evidence do you have that any of this alleged "racism" is helping Hillary anywhere?

MSNBC: "It's also interesting to note that in Ohio, 1-in-5 Democratic voters said race was an important factor in making their decision. In that group, 8-in-10 voted for Hillary Clinton."

It's helpful, you know, to consider how demographics vary in different states. Do you actually know anything about Ohio and Pennsylvania?

Posted by: shortstop on March 12, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Off the deep end:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUR0MBnl6d4

Posted by: scruncher on March 12, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.monitor.co.ug/artman/publish/opinions/Obama_support_riding_on_racism.shtml

"Obama support riding on racism

RACISM: Edward Mulindwa

After all the crisscrossing opinions about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, I have not failed to notice one poignant factor in all these deliberations. As Africans/Blacks, we are often ready to identify with people we think are more like us rather than with what will benefit us.

If Obama was standing for presidency in an African country, all those from his ethnic group would identify with him. In that case, we would call it tribalism.

Now that Obama is standing in USA where tribes dont matter, we see 90 per cent of African-Americans voting for him. But rather than call it racism, we claim he is a unifier. I wonder what uniting he is doing.

Indeed he has united the African-Americans to vote for him. Does this tell us as a people and for that matter a race that there is something significantly amiss in our reading into situations? And what is more interesting is that President Bill Clinton is the first president to not only fly into Africa but he and his entire family have worked so hard to highlight problems of blacks in America. "

Posted by: Luther on March 12, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Also for those of you who buy into this dogwhistle crap, why is a dogwhistle even necessary? Does Hillary really need to employ a proxy to remind this huge group of Democratic racists that-- horrors!-- Obama is... black????*

As I've said before, Obama, not Hillary, is the one who has clearly benefited the most from this debate. There hasn't been a logical argument that I've read yet on why Hillary would engage in this type of behavior.

Posted by: RedSox04 on March 12, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Cohn's interpretation of the Ferraro quote was a dog whistle to Obama fans who insist that everyone else is a racist, or at least marketing to racists.

(Side note to all racists... you are not welcome in the Democratic Party... please leave. The other side will welcome you with open arms.)

Posted by: Jim G on March 12, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

I think that Kevin is correct on a technical point: if you are dogwhistling you say something to as many listeners as possible, but with a component that only a few will interpret correctly. "Dogwhistling" is only a useful term if it means that; otherwise what is said is just trolling or pandering or plain stupid or any of a dozen other specific things.

Posted by: Tim Morris on March 12, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what I have NOT seen commented on and would like an explanation of.

What the heck did she mean by "if he was ... a woman [of any color] he wouldn't be in this position."

Hellooo. Clinton is a woman [of any color] and she's pretty darned near (a couple of hundred delegates short) in the same position.

Hillary is a one and a half term legislator with absolutely NO relevant experience otherwise. She got where she is simply because she was MARRIED to the President. Who thinks, and for what reason, that she would otherwise have been elected Senator from New York within months of moving there?

Tell you what, if Hillary IS the nominee, don't count on the black vote unless she rejects AND denounces Ferraro.

Posted by: Cal Gal on March 12, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Also for those of you who buy into this dogwhistle crap, why is a dogwhistle even necessary? Does Hillary really need to employ a proxy to remind this huge group of Democratic racists that-- horrors!-- Obama is... black????*

You remind me of frankly0.

(Patiently) Ferraro's repetitive messages aren't about announcing that Obama is black. They're about tapping into the resentment of certain segments of the white Democratic population, prevalent in Ohio and Pennsylvania, about "political correctness," black people getting things through special treatment that rightfully belong to whites, whites being the people who are really discriminated against, etc.

I agree with most others here that the original remarks may have simply been Ferraro expressing her own idiocy. The way this has been handled since by both Ferraro and the Clinton campaign--not so much.

Posted by: shortstop on March 12, 2008 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

jerry,

Tell you what. Let's agree that Bush's really obscure allusion to the Dred Scott case (in the 2004 debates, right?) is the perfect example of a dog-whistle. Audible only to highly trained, receptive listeners, in this case wingnut conservatives intent on overturning Roe v. Wade.

So what do we call Ferrarro's remarks? They're none of them very nuanced. Every freakin' disgruntled, working-class white voter can hear them. And the rest of us too.

Shall we settle on just racist?

Posted by: paxr55 on March 12, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, the FIRST time she made those remarks was in February on the John Gibson dogwhistle show.

Posted by: bob on March 12, 2008 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

I posted this on the earlier thread.

BTW, apparently, Ferraro said the following on GMA, regarding her comment on Obama:

Ferraro told “GMA” she was drawing a comparison to her own history, contending that if she was not a women she would not have been chosen to be Walter Mondale’s running mate in 1984 — a point she also made in the newspaper interview.
Which provides a useful context for understanding her remarks; she's certainly not excluding herself from the sort of "luck" she attributes to Obama.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 12, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Are Obama supporters trying to get us to feel guilty for not voting for him? It seems like all they do is whine.

Posted by: MaryAnne on March 12, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

As one of the the 3 people that voted for Mondale/Ferraro in '84, can I ask that she kindly go back into the hole she's been in for the last 2 decades?

Posted by: RollaMO on March 12, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

The particularly noxious aspect of Ferraro's initial comment is what it suggests about *any professional* who isn't a white man. Female academics, black attorneys, Latino/Latino attorneys,..., etc. are such by virtue of the fact of their minority status, rather than their abilities. And she has absolutely no idea why people find this offensive.

Posted by: junebug on March 12, 2008 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't she say the same thing about Jesse Jackson back in the day?

Posted by: bobbywally on March 12, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Dog whistling?
Or just....
The old wink-wink?

Posted by: Frankly pissed in Hawaii on March 12, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

It would be nice to see people square their outrage over Ferraro's remarks with her admission, as I've quoted above, that she herself was a beneficiary of the sort of "luck" she attributed to Obama.

Do you think that she was criticizing herself? Was she doing a dog whistle on affirmative action with regard to women candidates such as herself?

Can you answer those questions, please? Or is that too hard a conceptual task for the braintrust of WashingtonMonthly commentariat?

Posted by: frankly0 on March 12, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly pissed! Brilliant. Thanks for the link. Made my day.

Posted by: paxr55 on March 12, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Which provides a useful context for understanding her remarks; she's certainly not excluding herself from the sort of "luck" she attributes to Obama.

Except that Obama's "luck" is nothing like her own. She is saying that, like her, he was placed into a particular position because, and entirely because of his identity. No one would have ever heard of Ferraro if she was not chosen by Mondale specifically because she was a woman. As you say, she admits as much.

He, on the other hand, has run a campaign and gone out and gotten votes. She would like us to believe that the only reason he has received those votes is because he is black. She wants us to believe that like here VP appointment, his primary campaign is some sort of gift of largesse on the part of the American people, who really have no other reason to vote for him.

Further, she would like us to believe that questioning her bat-brained assumptions on this are somehow "playing the race card."

Are Obama supporters trying to get us to feel guilty for not voting for him? It seems like all they do is whine.

I cannot speak for anybody else MaryAnne but I don't particularly care who you vote for. But if you, like Ferraro believe that all of Obama's achievements are just so many gifts that have been handed to him because of his incredible "luck" for being born black, then I will tell you as well: you're an imbecile. If that sounds like whining to you then perhaps you have some sort of unfortunate hearing problem.

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

brent,

You of course don't deal with the fundamental issue: if Ferraro herself admits that one thing that boosted her career and visibility -- to the point that she was chosen as a VP candidate -- was that she was a woman, and she finds that not in the least embarrassing or wrong, why do you think she is implying that it is in any way embarrassing or wrong if Obama likewise profits from his historic role?

Where's the malice in the remark?

Posted by: frankly0 on March 12, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you've really jumped the shark with this stuff. I'm starting to think you would be better off just not touching this issue because you are clearly having a difficult time accepting what is right in front of you and so you are left making these tortured posts where you try to explain these things away.

Like a lot of us you are probably taken aback by the way the Clintons have used race in this campaign. Like me, you heard Republicans say 2-3 months ago that the Clintons would play racial politics and like me you probably thought these people were just pathological Clinton haters. Now that the evidence is in and we see that the Clintons are in fact playing racist wedge issue politics you just can't believe and accept it. But it is true and there is no longer any point in rationalizing or denying it.

The genie is out of the bottle and the Clintons let it out deliberately in order to mobilize downscale white voters.

This post from Andrew Sullivan (of whom I'm not a fan) sums it up pretty well:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/03/the-ferraro-gam.html

Posted by: Dresden on March 12, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton never appeared on Rush Limbaugh. Get your facts straight. Geraldine Ferraro is a surrogate, much the way that guy who couldn't claim one accomplishment for Obama was, calm yourselves. The Clinton campaign made several substantive rebukes and denunciations of Ms. Ferraro -- they came both from Maggie Williams and Senator Clinton. Glad to see people's hackles are still up about Power calling Clinton a "monster"...

Posted by: on March 12, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK


It would be nice to see people square their outrage over Ferraro's remarks with her admission, as I've quoted above, that she herself was a beneficiary of the sort of "luck" she attributed to Obama.


Another repug spewing repugnant bile.
Here again is what she said:

If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position...

To wit:

He is where he is not because of talent. Not because of hard work. Not because of sacrifice. But because of his skin color.

Why don't you go spread your racist venom over at Little Green Footballs where you belong? You sad miserable little fuck...


Posted by: troll hunter on March 12, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK
Ethel-to-Tilly: Do Obama supports NOT want to acknowledge that a not insignificant part of Obama's support DOES come from African-Americans who often are motivated to vote for him simply because he is an African-American - that he most likely would NOT get that level of support from the African-American voters if he was, in fact, a white guy? Is it racist, and therefore off-the-table to point that out?

I'm reposting this: And yet some of Obama's biggest victories have come in states with very small to virtually non-existant African-American populations:

The percentage of votes Obama received in the following states:


  • Alaska (74%)

  • Colorado (64%)

  • Hawaii (76%)

  • Idaho (80%)

  • Iowa (38%, 30%, 29% - Obama, Hillary, Edwards)

  • Kansas (74%)

  • Maine 59%(%)

  • Minnesota (67%)

  • Nebraska (68%)

  • North Dakota (61%)

  • Utah (57%)

  • Vermont (60%)

  • Washington (68%)

  • Wyoming (61%)

  • Wisconsin (58%)


Hillary would have been out of the race months ago if she weren't white and receiving not only a wildly disproportionate share of the white vote but also a record numbers of REPUBLICAN votes (we're still
waiting for Hillary to both 'reject and condemn' Rush Limbaugh's support).

Yes, it is true that Obama has frequently received around 80% of the African-American votes in some Southern states. But that's only half the story - and obviously the only side the Clinton campaign wants to focus on.

The flip side of this is that the white vote in the South has been similarly skewed to the extreme. Among Southern states, only Georgia gave Obama more than 30% of the white vote.

Obama's share of the white vote in the South


  • Mississippi 26%

  • Alabama 25%

  • Georgia 43%

  • Louisiana 30%

  • South Carolina 24%

  • Tennessee 26%

But I'm sure all the white southerners had good, substantive reasons for voting for Hillary Clinton whereas all of the black people voting for
Obama were just voting their race.

After all, isn't that more or less what Ferraro is implying?

Posted by: Augustus on March 12, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Dresden's shark jumping comment. A) the size of the publication is not relevant to the comment she made, B) While I'm sure it wasn't some orchestrated campaign, it was part of a general strategy, probably so habitual that it's just knee-jerk by now, that employs these kinds of repugnant dog whistle tactics.

Most of the time KD is very smart and insightful. This is not one of those times.

Posted by: Lee on March 12, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

It would be nice to see people square their outrage over Ferraro's remarks with her admission, as I've quoted above, that she herself was a beneficiary of the sort of "luck" she attributed to Obama.

I would be happy to address your inquiry franklyo. I believe I started to in an earlier comment. Suggesting that Obama achievements as a Presidential candidate are comparable to her appointment as a VP candidate because she was a woman is an insult to him. It presumes that what he has achieved, like what she achieved, was unearned and that further, he could not have achieved those things if they weren't somehow given to him as a gift for his ethnic identity.

Now I have a question that I have asked before on this blog. What would Ferraro, or you if you agree with her, have Obama do to prove that he deserves his position? What set of criteria would indicate that what he has done is based upon his own abilities and appeal as opposed to his race alone? How would we ever be able to tell if a black person actually earned what he/she has as opposed to it being given to them because of their race?

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Holy cats Kevin! Another day, another frenzy. Its starting to feel like DailyKos here. How much more red meat have you got in your freezer?

How's about we start paying attention to what our government is doing, while we patiently wait for the rest of the american public to vote in their primaries.

Posted by: optical weenie on March 12, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

troll hunter,

Sorry to spoil your bile, but of course logic fails you.

Essentially, Ferraro was saying that she too would never have achieved her career and position if she had not been a woman. Now, unless you are arguing that she too thinks that getting where she did did not also require hard work, etc., as well as being a woman, then your argument, as flowery as it is with emotion, simply fails.

But it was good to hear from you!

Better luck next time!

Posted by: frankly0 on March 12, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know who troll hunter is, and I don't know who frankly0 is, but I know from long time reading that there is zero chance that frankly0 is a republican, a troll, or a racist.

As for reading LGF, I think that people that go around shouting troll and racist at anyone that disagree probably got their start shouting at their fellows at LGF, Free Republic, Hot Air, and the like.

There is bile being spread around here, but it's not being done by frankly0, or anyone else that wants to discuss this and doesn't feel the need to stifle dialog with cries of racism, sexism, or any other ism. I'm looking at you troll hunter.

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK


Bill Clinton never appeared on Rush Limbaugh.

Yes he did troll:

http://donklephant.com/2008/03/10/bill-clinton-was-on-rush-limbaughs-show-the-day-before-tx-primaries/

Actual radio interview here:

http://images.radcity.net/5155/2461772.mp3

Posted by: big gun troll hunter on March 12, 2008 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, optical weenie has an excellent point.

Rachel Maddow last night gave us a whole list of topics that our two candidates could be discussing wrt the economy, the war, and especially John McCain.

You could be doing that too.

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

One thing is indisuputable. If Obama was a white man, we'd be having a discussion of his merits as a candidate, not this sad self-destructive quarrel. This is not Obama's fault, nor is it a reason to not support him. It's just a damn shame, and it reflects badly on all of us.

Posted by: thersites on March 12, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Where's the malice in the remark?

I have no idea whether there was any malice in her remark. I don't particularly care. It doesn't change the meaning of her remarks which is that Obama is just some ordinary unaccomplished schmoe who everyone wants to be president only because he is black.

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

It presumes that what he has achieved, like what she achieved, was unearned and that further, he could not have achieved those things if they weren't somehow given to him as a gift for his ethnic identity.

Great strawman.

I'm sure that Ferraro was not claiming that what she achieved was entirely "unearned", or that what both she and Obama received were "gifts".

I'm sure that what she would say was that both possessed important necessary conditions for achieving the prominence they did, but that those conditions weren't sufficient by themselves, and required something further, namely an historic role based on their identity, to put them over the top.

This point really isn't too hard to understand, but first you have to want to grasp it.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 12, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

You forgot about the number one rule in the left blogosphere: anything connected to Clinton is evil, always, without exception. The number two rule is any criticism of Obama is either blatant racism or stupidity.

Keep those rules straight and you won't get into trouble.

Posted by: Searcy on March 12, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

What I have learned from this thread:

Ferraro is spelled with 3 r's, not 4.

Kevin is so rational he cannot think rationally about (1) irrational subjects like racism and (2) the terrible people who wield racism as though it were just another handy campaign tactic. He's Hillary's last best hope among the A-listers!

Posted by: paxr55 on March 12, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure that what she would say was that both possessed important necessary conditions for achieving the prominence they did, but that those conditions weren't sufficient by themselves, and required something further, namely an historic role based on their identity, to put them over the top.

And nothing gives you a leg up quite like being a woman or a racial minority in America. Must be why they run the place.

Quit while you're behind.

Posted by: junebug on March 12, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure that Ferraro was not claiming that what she achieved was entirely "unearned", or that what both she and Obama received were "gifts".

What part of here statement makes you so sure of that. Perhaps the part where she argues that he would not be able to achieve any of the things he has if he were a white woman?

Your parsing of Ferraro's statement is woefully inadequate franklyo. You want here to be saying something innocent but she simply is not. She made it very plain that she believes that Obama has not earned his position in the way that say Clinton has. She made it very clear that it without his race, he could not compete as he has. You seem sure of what she would say but she did not in fact say that and in all of here clarifications since, she has only amplified her original statement. So nice try, but no sale.

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

As the comments at donklephant state, as this comment found by google at Free Republic state, Bill Clinton was not interviewed live on Limbug's show.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1983461/posts#9

Clinton WAS interviewed by the guest host, on the guest host's show at WBAP, and the guest host REPLAYED that interview on Limbug's show.

But let's not let an opportunity to smear people get away. You may as well stick to your statement.

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Big Troll Hunter ... Seriously, this nonsense was debunked days ago and you are still peddling it?!

Bill Clinton was interviewed by Mark Davis of WBAP, a local radio station in the DFW area. Davis replayed the interview that he taped with Clinton later when he guest hosted the Limbaugh show.

Personally, I am not remotely a fan of WBAP but it is a station listened to by a lot of people in the DFW area.

Posted by: t on March 12, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

FranklyObnoxious:

This point really isn't too hard to understand, but first you have to want to grasp it.

Yes. And when Russ Limbaugh works in the word 'spade' a few times he really is just talking about shovels.

See you just have to bend over and spread your mind... then you'll get what Ferraro is saying. It is so simple, it just takes logic...

Wink wink. Nudge nudge.


Posted by: Troll with a sharp spade on March 12, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Even so, it's not the original but the response to criticism of the original that's illuminating.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty on March 12, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

It would be nice to see people square their outrage over Ferraro's remarks with her admission, as I've quoted above, that she herself was a beneficiary of the sort of "luck" she attributed to Obama.

Do you think that she was criticizing herself? Was she doing a dog whistle on affirmative action with regard to women candidates such as herself?

First, she wasn't commenting about herself. She was commenting about Obama. Only when she got called on it did she include herself among the underachievers.

But maybe nobody cares if she goes around telling anybody who'll listen that her career has been based on dumb luck. Maybe what they find offensive is the fact that she wants to minimize the accomplishments of every other minority.

Posted by: junebug on March 12, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Two points:

One, some view that Ferraro is just stating the "obvious" fact that Obama receives 80 percent of the African-American vote by benefit of being black. Let us suppose, then, that he were white. Would he be a viable candidate? Yes. How do I know that? The answer is John Edwards. Edwards actually had less political experience in 2004 than Obana has today, yet Edwards caught fire and ended up being the only serious challenger to Kerry. Why? Because Edwards had certain political gifts, especially as an orator. Well, I've seen Edwards and Obama and let me tell you Obama's gifts are ten-fold what Edwards' are. The idea that charisma and eloquence matter in leaders may not be fair to those without either, but that's the way it works. I am certain the more experienced Republicans running for president in 1980 against Reagan and the more experienced Democrats running against Clinton (Bill) in 1992 that it wasn't fair that charm trumped, but that's the way it is. Some have it and some don't. Obama has it; Hillary does not. (And by the way, the extra black voters picks up by his race are likely offset by the loss of white voters who just aren't ready for a black president.)

Point two, to those who claim it is the Obama campaign is keeping this alive, the Obama campaign did not expose Ferraro's comments. Further, there is a simple way to move on; Ferraro could acknowledge she said a grossly inappropriate thing and apologize and Hillary could renounce and reject it. Since neither one is willing to do that, it appears they are the ones who see an advantage in keeping this issue alive. I hope it bites them in the ass, but that will be up to the good voters of Pennsylvania and beyond to decide.

Posted by: Scott Farris on March 12, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton was interviewed by Mark Davis of WBAP, a local radio station in the DFW area. Davis replayed the interview that he taped with Clinton later when he guest hosted the Limbaugh show.

It is debunked when you show me that Clinton denied permission for it to appear on Limbaugh's show.

Until then... it is viable.

Posted by: troll hunter on March 12, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Are Obama supporters trying to get us to feel guilty for not voting for him? It seems like all they do is whine.

Posted by: MaryAnne on March 12, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Nope, just trying to persuade you, your candidate and the rest of her supporters not to poison the well because you're all so bitter about her blowing her shot. And she did it. Nobody else. No more whining, no more excuses. She voted for a disastrous war and ran a disastrous campaign.

Posted by: Jim on March 12, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

I am an Obama supporter and an American Jew. I feel as sensitive about these inappropriate comments as anyone else. But you know what, enough is enough.

Each and every comment is not the end of the world. For the past six months we have been besieged by calls for resignations and firings by every utterance short of a belch made by news people and politicians across the land.

People say stupid things every day (just as they write them as I am doing) Every stupid comment even if racist is not an impeachable offense.

Whatever happened to the notion that we simply should not listen to stupid people? Don't invite them back and don't quote them. Let them just go back under the rock from whence they came.

Posted by: Stuart Shiffman on March 12, 2008 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

It is debunked when you show me that Clinton denied permission for it to appear on Limbaugh's show. Until then... it is viable.

Why bother with facts or reason, when we have good people like the troll hunter to tell us who is racist, and who is not, and when a good smear becomes no longer viable?

Tell me again troll hunter and everyone else about Clinton's nasty campaign....

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

PS:

And no: I am not interested in arguing about what the definition of "appears on Limbaugh's show" is.


Posted by: troll hunter on March 12, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

And since when does Ferraro take the time to do interviews with the Torrance Daily Breeze? Criminy.

Here's the thing: everyone knows that racial and identity politics are used in campaigns, but how do you prove it. Very hard to prove a motive (Philadelphia, Mississippi anyone?).

And yet everyone knows it happens and is used. The question to be explored is HOW it is used:

1) under the radar
2) lots of exposure
3) appealing *somehow* to get voters to vote either for or against based on racial stereotypes

So, on 60 minutes, Obama isn't Muslim "as far as I know" (seemingly innocuous), but a high profile but somewhat disconnected supporter in an interview across the country in a small paper says, "he's lucky to be where he is" etc.

At some point, all this shucking and jiving, all this Barack Hussein Obama, all this well he just wins because "those" people support him...

Are you telling me that a $200 million campaign is doing all these things by accident when nearly everything else they are doing is intentional?

Come on now.

Posted by: david in norcal on March 12, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Why bother with facts or reason, when we have good people like the troll hunter to tell us who is racist, and who is not, and when a good smear becomes no longer viable?

Yes because Jerry slinging the truth: "This dogwhistle stuff is complete bullshit.

Good old rational Jerry with all four paws choke-holding the truth.

Posted by: troll hunter on March 12, 2008 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

People say stupid things every day (just as they write them as I am doing) Every stupid comment even if racist is not an impeachable offense.

I am actually of the opinion that the call to "fire" Ferraro by Axelrod was a poor move. I think the whole "you must fire" x strategy is pretty stupid. But it is just as clear that Obama and his people cannot just let crap like this stand. He has to respond, not just because he is going to be asked the question, but because he cannot leave the impression out there that there is any truth to the statement. That would be the Kerry strategy.

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Geraldine Ferraro is leaving the Hillary Clinton campaign via CNN.

Posted by: Jackie on March 12, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Just some back-of-the-napkin math here... Seems like there are about 10-15 people in the liberal blogosphere willing to defend these comments.

Haven't checked right-wing blogs though.

Just sayin.

Posted by: enozinho on March 12, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still waiting for Kevin to update or retract his post, in view of the fact that Ferraro FIRST made her racist commentary on John Gibson's radio show on February 27, 2008.

Dog whistle - 1
Kevin Drum - 0

Posted by: bob on March 12, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps a better strategy with a fellow Dem would be: "That's the sort of nonsense my fellow candidate likes to indulge in, If you want to ask Ms. Clinton about Ferarro's comments, enjoy yourself. I'm here today to talk about McCain and NAFTA.

But yes, I agree that when it's McCain making that sort of statement you need to slap him back.

But when it's dem on dem violence it may be wiser for you and everyone to try and take the highroad and encourage your fellow dem to do the same.

(But I agree, neither will do that.)

Note to troll hunter, is this like your second day at this site? If not, are you just Al, mhr, Roger Norman, or tbrosz? Who did you post as yesterday, or last week, or the month before?

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

I miss tbrosz. *sniff*

Posted by: enozinho on March 12, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding Power's and Ferraro's resignations....

Now both candidates can claim their military experience extends to playing battleship.

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Hint to Obama supporters - if you truly think calling those who disagree with you "stupid", "moron", etc. will convert anyone to your candidate, please think again. While systematic abuse and ridicule do undermine self esteem, it's unlikely that any of the Clinton supporters will wilt into submission. The truth is I'm still undecided, having leaned for one candidate or the other at different times. It's fortunate for both candidates that I'm not voting for their supporters,though.

Posted by: searcy on March 12, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on March 12, 2008 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Ferraro just resigned from her position in the Clinton campaign. What a ridiculous show of weakness; man, Clinton is going to get so rolled by McCain if she somehow wins the nomination.

Posted by: LarryM on March 12, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

This is a troubling sign of how weak the Clinton campaign is. I'm sure the super delegates are watching this with interest. If she can't take on the Obama campaign, how is she going take on McCain/Al-Qaeda?

Why can't she seal the deal?

Posted by: enozinho on March 12, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

It would be nice to see people square their outrage over Ferraro's remarks with her admission, as I've quoted above, that she herself was a beneficiary of the sort of "luck" she attributed to Obama.

Do you think that she was criticizing herself? Was she doing a dog whistle on affirmative action with regard to women candidates such as herself?

It's to Ferraro's credit that she answered the question honestly when someone pointed out the hole in her statement, but why you think it mitigates the offensiveness of her comments about Obama is a mystery.

I will remind you that she also said that no woman could be in the position Obama's in now. That's unquestionably an attempt to argue that being black is an advantage, being a woman less so--or, put another way, yeah, I got a boost from being a woman in the 1984 race, but nothing like what Obama's racked up from being a black man; hey, he wouldn't even be here if it weren't for his race.

If you think this attempt to create some sort of race-based hierarchy of "advantage" or "luck" isn't offensive, just try to picture the outrage if an Obama surrogate were going around telling people that Clinton's damn fortunate to be a woman or she wouldn't be where she is. I have heard some terribly sexist things from the Obama camp, most notably Obama's "claws" remark and Jesse Jackson Jr.'s indefensible spiel about Katrina, crying and feminine looks--but nobody, nobody working for Obama has suggested that Clinton wouldn't be doing so well if she'd been a man.

Posted by: shortstop on March 12, 2008 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

enozinho:

Just some back-of-the-napkin math here... Seems like there are about 10-15 people in the liberal blogosphere willing to defend these comments.
Haven't checked right-wing blogs though.
Just sayin.

Exactly.

Which is why I used the "troll" epithet upthread. The Democratic party now has "Hillistines" defending the indefensible. Again, these people might just as well try to spin Russ Limbaugh's repeated use of the word "spade" while referring to Barack Obama. It is all the same damn thing. INDEFENSIBLE.

And yes, once upon a time we called such spin-critters "trolls."

Now I am still waiting for my refutation that Clinton "appeared" on Russ Limbaugh's radio show:

All I need is legit link that shows the interview was used on Russ's show without his permission. Please supply.

Posted by: troll hunter on March 12, 2008 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'll bet Geraldine is now looking forward to sittin' with Trent Lott on his new porch.

Posted by: lampwick on March 12, 2008 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

And nothing gives you a leg up quite like being a woman or a racial minority in America. Must be why they run the place.

And:

First, she wasn't commenting about herself. She was commenting about Obama. Only when she got called on it did she include herself among the underachievers. But maybe nobody cares if she goes around telling anybody who'll listen that her career has been based on dumb luck. Maybe what they find offensive is the fact that she wants to minimize the accomplishments of every other minority.

Try to understand the point.

I doubt very, very much that Ferraro was trying to diminish her own career in her remarks, or attribute her success purely to "dumb luck". That seems a little unlikely, don't you think? Don't you think it's far more likely that she felt she also brought a great deal to the table beyond her identity as a woman?

Again, the basic point she was making was simple: that the thing that pushed both her and Obama over the top into the prominence they both achieved was an identity that allowed them to fill an historic role. This does not imply that they did not possess many critical and very unusual attributes that were also necessary for such success.

Now, look, I'm not saying that her statements weren't monumentally stupid -- obviously given how easily they can be turned into meaning something for more sinister than what they appear to mean is reason enough to count them stupid.

But what I am pointing out is that it's hard to see this particular statement about Obama as malicious, or as a dogwhistle, given that she applies the same observation to herself.

And, as far as her saying that the remark applied as well to herself only after she was criticized, I can only say that the link I posted to claimed that she had said the same thing to the newspaper who originally quoted her, so, if that's true, I don't see how you could conclude that.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 12, 2008 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Again, the basic point she was making was simple: that the thing that pushed both her and Obama over the top into the prominence they both achieved was an identity that allowed them to fill an historic role.

Except that Ferraro was picked by someone else (Mondale) on someone else's recommendation (Tip O'Neill's) for reasons that are not quite flattering

Ferraro, on the other hand, wasn't "a threat," said Tony Coelho. "She is not a feminist with wounds."...

She was a woman, but not on of those noisy, troublesome ones

http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2008/03/ferraro_keeps_it_going.html

Obama built his own campaign, his own organization, got the votes for himself. There's really no comparison between Ferraro and Obama.

Posted by: Jim on March 12, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh. And in the People Who Will Never Get It category, Ferraro goes out blaming the people she dissed for having the nerve to push back:

"I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign," Ferraro wrote in a letter to Clinton. "The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won't let that happen."

What an asshole.

Posted by: shortstop on March 12, 2008 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

LAMPWICK WINS THE THREAD!
lolololololololololololol

Posted by: optical weenie on March 12, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

I will remind you that she also said that no woman could be in the position Obama's in now. That's unquestionably an attempt to argue that being black is an advantage, being a woman less so--or, put another way, yeah, I got a boost from being a woman in the 1984 race, but nothing like what Obama's racked up from being a black man

This simply doesn't follow -- pretty characteristic of your "logic".

All Ferraro is saying is that, at this stage, it is less of an advantage to be a woman when running for President than it is to be a black man.

It's entirely consistent with this that when she was selected as VP, it was every bit as much an advantage for her to be a woman for that particular role at that particular time as it is nowadays to be a black man running for President. In fact, insofar as one wants to make the argument that she was attributing her success back then to "dumb luck", as others have claimed on this thread, one is saying to the contrary that it was an enormous advantage for Ferraro to be a woman back then for that role -- far more, these people argue, than Obama enjoys today running for President, and therefore unfair on that quite opposite ground.

If anything, given what I've read about her remarks, she seems to be saying pretty much that both she and Obama got similar boosts from their identity for the roles they were pursuing. I see nothing that conflicts with that interpretation.

Really, you're just making stuff up here, and drawing supposed implications that are in no way present in those particular remarks of Ferraro's.

Posted by: frankly0 on March 12, 2008 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Just in response KD's point that "If Ferraro was trying to do some dog whistling, she sure picked an unusually ineffective forum for it," I would like to point out that she has been repeating the same talking point in multiple interviews over the last few weeks on Fox news. See, for example, her interview with Bill O'Reily:

O'REILLY: I absolutely know they can take you out of context, but do you believe that Barack Obama, if he were a white mean, white senator, would not be in the position?

FERRARO: Absolutely

From Kos: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/3/12/17638/5993/697/475269

Does Fox qualify as a more effective forum than a small town paper?

Posted by: joeschmoe on March 12, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

You all are missing the point. You're assuming that somehow racism, dogwhistled or otherwise, would help Hillary in a DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, RIGHT BEFORE MISSISSIPPI????

Hello, deterioriation of the US education system...

because, ijit, it wasn't about MS, it's about PA.

Posted by: e1 on March 12, 2008 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

"It is debunked when you show me that Clinton denied permission for it to appear on Limbaugh's show.

Until then... it is viable."

Seriously ... this is the crux of your argument? Really?

Copying video and audio, excerpting bits of text, etc. are pretty common fare in the media. That stuff falls under the domain of "fair use" if nothing else.

But then actually the exercise of logic and reasoning really wasn't the point of your comments was it, Troll?

Posted by: on March 12, 2008 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Which provides a useful context for understanding her remarks; she's certainly not excluding herself from the sort of "luck" she attributes to Obama.

the difference that i see between your examples is that Ferraro was picked by someone else, to be Vice President. she didn't run on her own; she wasn't a losing Presidential candidate. it's alot easier to be "lucky" when you have patronage.

Posted by: e1 on March 12, 2008 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Let me interject a serious note here:

for those of you who have sent the last 24 hours defending Ferraro, consider for a second that, apparently, the Clinton campaign did not share your opinion - or, if they did, felt it politic to pretend otherwise.

You might also want to consider the many conservatives who have defended Ferraro.

Posted by: LarryM on March 12, 2008 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding Obama being a self-made man, responsible for all his own success. For what it's worth, and I am not sure what it is worth, here is a journalist from the same Chicago paper that spawned Seymour Hirsch AND David Axelrod describing Obama's absolutely NOT self made man history.

Read the whole thing here:


Houston - News - Barack Obama and Me

...

When asked about his legislative record, Obama rattles off several bills he sponsored as an Illinois lawmaker.

He expanded children's health insurance; made the state Earned Income Tax Credit refundable for low-income families; required public bodies to tape closed-door meetings to make government more transparent; and required police to videotape interrogations of homicide suspects.

And the list goes on.

It's a lengthy record filled with core liberal issues. But what's interesting, and almost never discussed, is that he built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year.

Republicans controlled the Illinois General Assembly for six years of Obama's seven-year tenure. Each session, Obama backed legislation that went nowhere; bill after bill died in committee. During those six years, Obama, too, would have had difficulty naming any legislative ­achievements.

Then, in 2002, dissatisfaction with President Bush and Republicans on the national and local levels led to a Democratic sweep of nearly every lever of Illinois state government. For the first time in 26 years, Illinois Democrats controlled the governor's office as well as both legislative chambers.

The white, race-baiting, hard-right Republican Illinois Senate Majority Leader James "Pate" Philip was replaced by Emil Jones Jr., a gravel-voiced, dark-skinned African-American known for chain-smoking cigarettes on the Senate floor.

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama's. He became Obama's ­kingmaker.

Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city's most popular black call-in radio ­program.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

"He said, 'Cliff, I'm gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'"

"Oh, you are? Who might that be?"

"Barack Obama."

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

....

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Ferraro is on NBC Nightly News right now still attempting to eat her leg. She said that Sen. Obama's campaign should apologize to her, and that his campaign did a search, and when they found her comments they distributed them hoping to foment racial division.

Someone should explain DailyKos to her.

Posted by: e1 on March 12, 2008 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

searcy: "While systematic abuse and ridicule do undermine self esteem, it's unlikely that any of the Clinton supporters will wilt into submission."

No, we most certainly won't.

Instead, we'll once and for all reveal ourselves as the conscienceless bigots we are at heart, whose only apparent purpose in life is find various ways to express our racism and ethnocentrism, and thus deny a truly magnanimous and caring individual his just due.

Posted by: Donald, that racist-coddling "Hillbot" from Hawaii on March 12, 2008 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Can you answer those questions, please? Or is that too hard a conceptual task for the braintrust of WashingtonMonthly commentariat?

i actually posted my response before i saw this comment.
and there you go, from being reasonable (as i remember you from before this campaign season), to the self righteous moron you seem to have become.

Posted by: e1 on March 12, 2008 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

It's entirely consistent with this that when she was selected as VP, it was every bit as much an advantage for her to be a woman for that particular role at that particular time as it is nowadays to be a black man running for President...

ROFL. And you criticize others' logic? Your shoulders and knees are really going to hurt tomorrow after that contortion.

Stop digging, Frank. It's over and she's gone. And not a moment too soon.

Posted by: shortstop on March 12, 2008 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the whole point of dog whistles that non-dogs not hear it?
Who doesn't hear the anti-affirmative action whine in what Ferraro said?

Posted by: Jessica on March 12, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

She said that Sen. Obama's campaign should apologize to her...

God, it would be funny if it weren't so awful. Down the rabbit hole, Geraldine.

Posted by: shortstop on March 12, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Stop digging, Frank.

Stealing my lines, plagiarist!! Seriously though, remember when stealing speech passages was considered a hard-hitting attack in this primary?

Seems like such a long time ago, shitheads.

Posted by: enozinho on March 12, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding Obama being a self-made man, responsible for all his own success. For what it's worth, and I am not sure what it is worth, here is a journalist from the same Chicago paper that spawned Seymour Hirsch AND David Axelrod describing Obama's absolutely NOT self made man history.

Wow! Obama had a political ally in the Illinois State Senate? That is earth-shattering. Will there be another installment as to how Emil Jones manipulated all those people in Wisconsin, Colorado, Washington, Virginia.... into voting for Obama. How the State Illinois Senate Majority Leader used his national clout and profile to force Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, Claire McCaskill, John Kerry, Christine Gregoire and Tim Kaine into supporting Obama.

Considering Emil Jones could single-handedly raise 100 million dollars by tricking people into donating to Obama, I am rather surprised he didn't aim a little higher than Illinois State Senate, but I'm sure the facts will become known in time.... (if only I had some ominous music to plug in here)

Posted by: Jim on March 12, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

And, as far as her saying that the remark applied as well to herself only after she was criticized, I can only say that the link I posted to claimed that she had said the same thing to the newspaper who originally quoted her, so, if that's true, I don't see how you could conclude that.

The original article is here, but nowhere in the interview does she indicate that the fact of her being a woman served as an advantage in her selection as a vice presidential candidate. Had she said anything to the effect of that at that time, it would've made a mockery of her selection in the first place. Feminists would have been outraged at the suggestion of tokenism, and Republicans would've laughed hysterically.

Posted by: junebug on March 12, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the whole point of dog whistles that non-dogs not hear it?
Who doesn't hear the anti-affirmative action whine in what Ferraro said?

Posted by: Jessica

As e1 pointed out, Ferraro doesn't seem to get the new media/internet age. She didn't think it would go beyond the Thousand Oaks Weekly Shopper and the various FoxNews programs where she's a regular.

Posted by: Jim on March 12, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

why do you think she is implying that it is in any way embarrassing or wrong if Obama likewise profits from his historic role?

because, Frankly, the situations are not the same. they're not even really comparable, except as a function of your attempt to lay at the feet of Obama supporters the idiocy which is Ferraro's statement.

for review: she didn't say he was benefitting from his historic role. she implied that the only reason people are voting for him is because he's black. they're "caught up in the concept," btw, as far as i can tell, her assertion that people are "caught up in the concept" applies to black voters and white voters. it's not a reference to his level of support among black voters. it's implying that ALL of his votes can from people who are voting for *the black guy*

Posted by: e1 on March 12, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Obrigada for that line, enozinho. I had forgotten.

I can't stop laughing now. Off to see a play--I am certain the drama will pale in comparison to all of this.

Posted by: shortstop on March 12, 2008 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

foi nada shortstop.

Posted by: enozinho on March 12, 2008 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

I miss tbrosz. *sniff*

never thought i'd think this but: me too

Posted by: e1 on March 12, 2008 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

... it's pretty unlikely that Ferraro had any serious dog whistling agenda here.

—Kevin Drum

After all the race baiting that the Clintons have done in this campaign, for you to make a statement like this is incredibly stupid.

Posted by: Econobuzz on March 12, 2008 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Ferraro has resigned from the Clinton campaign, after a morning of talk-show interviews taking nothing back, and adding more. You saw her resignation - she said she was the victim here, for telling the truth - and now the Obama campaign was using her to hurt Hilary, so she had no choice. She had to protect Hillary. It just wasn't fair - but she had to do it. The noble victim, the martyr to the one good woman, and to the White Race.

I've lived in LA for thirty years. Yes, Torrance is nothing much. It's all oil refineries, aerospace suppliers, one big mall and lots of car dealers and sad little strip malls, and rows of post-war housing. There are nice enough sections of new housing, and an Old Town, and Honda’s North American Headquarters – but it is a forgettable place, even if the hometown of Parnelli Jones and Michelle Kwan, that figure skater, and Quentin Tarantino. They left. It's a nowhere place.

But that's not the point. Every time I saw the opening of All in the Family - Archie and Edith at the old spinet piano singing Those Were the Days - it always took me back to my first eighteen years in Pittsburgh. Not only did they get the decor exactly right - it was precisely the "parlor" of a row home just off Perry Highway, just as I remembered it, visiting, bored out of mind - they got the attitude right, the seething resentment. It's just not fair, whatever it is.

These are the Pennsylvania voters Clinton needs - and Ferraro delivered today - in spades, if you'll forgive the expression.

Posted by: Alan on March 12, 2008 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

After all the race baiting that the Clintons have done in this campaign, for you to make a statement like this is incredibly stupid.

Says someone with an aol account....

Posted by: aoluser on March 12, 2008 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

What shocks me is the extent to which the 'progressive' side of the blogosphere is willing to forget or rewrite the past twenty years. Now Bill Clinton is a racist?

I swear to god, I had an Obama supporter bring up Whitewater to me as a reason to hate Hillary. As if the GOP spending millions and wasting hundreds of manyears investigating the whole thing and finding that the Clintons did nothing wrong wasn't enough - there's got to be something in it... no smoke without fire.

Now people on Americablog are calling the Clintons 'hillbillies from Arkansas' - it's like a timewarp and I'm listening to the dittoheads preening themselves on their superiority over the rubes from the sticks.

That all the hatred is coming from supporters of The Great Unifier is not lost on me.

Posted by: Arachnae on March 12, 2008 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Running a campaign this ugly and destructive, you start to wonder how Hillary can look herself in the mirror each morning.

Assuming, that is, that she still possesses a reflection.

Posted by: lampwick on March 12, 2008 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Jim,

Thank you for agreeing with my point, that it is no surprise that Obama like any other politician benefited from allies at all phases of their careers. And in Obama's case had a very powerful local congressman allowing him to take credit for bills that others had done the lion's share of work on.

Regarding his millions, much of that was earned due to his excellent speaking abilities, aided by the netroots of course. No, he did not raise all of that money by himself. We all thought (correctly) that he had potential and we all donated to him in the first primary after Dean sort of invented the technique. You know what that's called? That's called luck and timing.

Again, not taking anything away from Obama who is certainly qualified to be President, he's just not yet qualified to be the Messiah.

Yes, Arachnae, the ugliness of the conversation from our fellow Democrats behind Obama is noticeable. Some of them, not all of them, some of them thought Bush/Cheney/Rove was a workshop.

The takeaway, after the primary is over, is to realize that the left certainly has more than its fare share of wingnuts, just as bit as corrupt and authoritarian and the wingnuts we generally realize.

That's why it's always good to remember the finest two words to emerge from the 60s: Question Authority.

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

All Ferraro is saying is that, at this stage, it is less of an advantage to be a woman when running for President than it is to be a black man.

Except that is not at all what she said. She specifically extended her remarks to say that, in fact, Obama in particular could not achieve what he has if he were anything other than a black man. Again I ask you, how could he possibly falsify this statement? What proof could he or anyone offer that his hard work and intelligence would pay off just as well if he were not a black man?

I get that both you and Ferraro are completely unable to see how her remarks completely and deliberately diminish his accomplishments, not by implying, but by deliberately stating that such success would be impossible without the accident of his birth. I get that. But what I want to understand is what in Ferraro's scenario, Obama would have to do to demonstrate to her that her assumptions about why he is successful are wrong. Is there anything?

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder, if Obama wins the presidency is this all we're going to hear for the next 4 years? Is everybody who doesn't like him suddenly racist?

This isn't a typical Democratic candidate and his supporters continue to be nasty as any Republicans I've ever heard.

We may criticize Hillary for being Repub-Lite, but Obama's supporters are Republicans and acting every bit of it. Has Obama "distanced himself" from them?

BTW, when was the last time either of them talked about an issue that matters?

Posted by: MarkH on March 12, 2008 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder, if Obama wins the presidency is this all we're going to hear for the next 4 years? Is everybody who doesn't like him suddenly racist?

Why not? everyone who disagrees with Bush is a terrorist-loving traitor - we should be used to it by now.

Posted by: Arachnae on March 12, 2008 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if this has been mentioned in this thread but in 1984, Ferraro said that if Jesse Jackson was not black he would not be in the presidential race. One thing you can say about Geraldine she is consistent. And she has shown that to us again in the past two days. Consistent as glue.

Posted by: Ernie of Bayside on March 12, 2008 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

here's Ferraro on Feb 6 in the Philadelphia Daily News:

But Ferraro is irate at Winfrey's choice to back Obama - and blames "race."

She emphasizes that she's speaking only for herself and not the Clinton camp, which "would be furious."

Winfrey has been an advocate for women her entire life, Ferraro noted, asking:

"What would push her to come out at all, first of all, and against a woman in this race?

"If Obama were white, would she have endorsed him? I don't think so," Ferraro said.

"But you're not allowed to say it because you're considered racist. Well, I'm sorry. That's not right."

So it's not just post-primary commentary in small-time papers...

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/columnists/jill_porter/20080206_Jill_Porter__When_did_electing_women_lose_cachet_.html

Posted by: lutton on March 12, 2008 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Lutton: Ouch. Instead of fighting eachother, I think we should all agree that is the Internets that are truly racist and sexist.

Posted by: enozinho on March 12, 2008 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, sometimes you are an idiot.

Posted by: Ba'al on March 12, 2008 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

but Obama's supporters are Republicans and acting every bit of it. Has Obama "distanced himself" from them?

Are you thinking of John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Pat Leahy, Tim Kaine, Janet Napolitano, Dick Durbin, Russ Feingold....?

True, he hasn't drawn in fine, upstanding Liebercrats like Evan Bayh, Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu and Dianne Feinstein. I mean, Democrats, of course.

BTW, when was the last time either of them talked about an issue that matters?

Posted by: Jim on March 12, 2008 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Is everybody who doesn't like him suddenly racist?

Is that what you are hearing? If it is, I would suggest that that might reveal more about your own attitudes than what anyone hear has said. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe someone has said or implied or expressed through telepathy that anyone who doesn't like Obama is a racist. Maybe my senses just aren't well enough attuned to pick that up.

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding Clinton on Russ Limbaugh:

Copying video and audio, excerpting bits of text, etc. are pretty common fare in the media. That stuff falls under the domain of "fair use" if nothing else.

It was the whole interview ya' nutjob.

Posted by: Mark Lowe on March 12, 2008 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK
As many others had pointed out, if Barack Obama were an Irish-American from Illinois named Barry O'Bama, it's hard to believe that even a charismatic and gifted orator would be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination with a grand total of four years in the Senate.

What do you call a white man who has the charisma, the humor, the laid back charm and ease in front of an audience that Barack Obama has? You call him "Mike Huckabee." And as we just saw, that will take you pretty far, but not quite far enough in a Republican presidential primary. And he had about ten years of executive experience, not four in the Senate.

http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MzgxOGIyYmVmNzE4M2NhYzA2NzU1MWNjNzNjZjhiN2U=

Posted by: enozinho on March 12, 2008 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, now I feel like a jerk. The rest of the Wingnut's perspective is frighteningly similar to what I believe about Clinton. Hopefully all us detractors on both sides are wrong.

Of course this is dripping with irony for Hillary, who would never have become a senator from New York if she hadn't been First Lady, and who never would have run for president if her last name hadn't been Clinton.

http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MzgxOGIyYmVmNzE4M2NhYzA2NzU1MWNjNzNjZjhiN2U=

Posted by: enozinho on March 12, 2008 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Wow is that a stupid comparison. Huck got a degree in God from Clown College while Obama was head of the Harvard Law Review and a Con Law professor at Chicago. Need more be said?

Posted by: blahblah on March 12, 2008 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama were an anti-war Norwegian serving his first term in the Senate, would the African-American community have ditched the Clintons and rallied behind him? Not much of a head scratcher, is it. Ferraro stated the obvious and for that the Obama campaign pillories her as a racist.

When Ferraro and the Clintons are derided as racists, I no longer recognize my beloved Democratic Party. If this is the change Obama is bringing, I'm getting off the bus.

Posted by: ArtinRI on March 12, 2008 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Enozinho, there's another comparison missing from that post: would John McCain have gone to Annapolis without his father and grandfather having been admirals in the Navy? No time in the Hanoi Hilton, no political career.

Posted by: blahblah on March 12, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

You know, there's a whole "movement" that thrives on cherrypicking quotations from obscure sources and then working itself into a lather, egged on a very prominent website....

Wait, it'll come to me in a moment...

So, what BTD said.

Nice post. Thanks.

Posted by: lambert strether on March 12, 2008 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, the presumably lily-white supporters of Obama on this blog sure are quick to throw around the charge of racism.

It's called hypocrisy. Why is it OK for Obama and the media to talk about him as "transcendent" and the Candidate of Change (TM), and repeatedly refer to his racial heritage as an example of that, and how inspiring it is, and then not OK for Ferraro to say that race has a role in where Obama is?

At worst, Ferraro's comments are stupid. But the fact that Obama is fueling this (his campaign is the one that nationalized this, not Hillary's) is absolutely disgusting. They've clearly decided that painting Hillary as a racist is a great political tactic that wins them votes. And so they're gonna do so, no matter what the collateral damage.

And to claim that Ferraro, who had no substantive connection with the Hillary campaign, as she herself said (finance committee is basically another word for "money"), doing an interview in a smalltown newspaper in Califuckingfornia, was somehow designed to sway voters in PA, is just retarded.

Obama is the racebaiter here. He's the one making this an issue. And you all (who I presume have never actually experienced racism; I suspect if you had, you'd be much less cavalier about calling people racist) are disgusting.

Fuck you and fuck your slimebag nominee. I cannot vote for his bottomfeeding tactics. Period.

Posted by: Permalink on March 12, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

If you're a Democrat and you find yourself defending your candidate against widespread charges of racism from members of your own Party there is something wrong with your candidate.

Posted by: Dresden on March 12, 2008 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

lambert strether: Kevin got it dead wrong. It wasn't just in an interview for a sleepy-town newspaper. She's been singing this tune on FAUX News and Radio (she's their analyst, remember?) since at least late February.

Dog Whistle, 1
Keven Drum, 0
BTD, -1

Posted by: bob5540 on March 12, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

ConLawProf for Obama, but the accurate comparison is not Clown College of course, but 10 years as governor of Arkansas for Huck.

From the NRO:
"Suddenly many Democrats see how those accusations can be used to cut off further discussion and demonize the other side as beyond the pale."

And yes, this is what I've been saying for sometime. At way too many Democratic blogs, we jump instantly from disagree to "you are a troll", "you are a CONCERN troll". (At TPMCafe, my sig for over a year has been, you get a -1 if you call anyone a concern troll.)

I don't believe that my reality based leftist blogosphere should be afraid of dialogue. I don't think we should be shouting people down as troll, concern troll, racist, sexist, misogynist, or banning people from blogs because you disagree with who they support as a candidate.

Screw the conservatards, but they have a point when they say "there is no hate like liberal hate."

Sturgeon's law still holds: 80% of everything is crap. This means that 80% of the people that call themselves liberals and shout you down as a racist, 80% of them are full of shit dumbasses or authoritarians at heart that are here for something other than a reasoned thought process and believe in progressive politics and issues.

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

Permalink, fuck you asshole.

Posted by: GOD on March 12, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

And you all (who I presume have never actually experienced racism; I suspect if you had, you'd be much less cavalier about calling people racist) are disgusting.

Spot on. Seeing racism and sexism and most isms everywhere you look demeans and insults actual victims of racism and sexism and other isms. People playing this game are really just engaged in a power struggle and a dick fight and what they really accomplish is demonstrate how little they care about putting an end to racism, sexism, other isms, and its victims.

Posted by: jerry on March 12, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Samanthat Powers had a slip of the tongue which she immediatley retracted while talking to a aScottish reporter on the other side of the planet.

So when is Ferraro getting fired?

Posted by: wonkie on March 12, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it OK for Obama and the media to talk about him as "transcendent" and the Candidate of Change (TM), and repeatedly refer to his racial heritage as an example of that, and how inspiring it is, and then not OK for Ferraro to say that race has a role in where Obama is?

Is that what Ferraro said? Oh. Well then all is forgiven. LOL

As far as whether one has to be white to think that what Ferraro said is racist, I am black and I certainly found it unacceptable. I am not one to use the word racist too often but I would say at a minimum it demonstrates that she has some pretty wrong headed ideas about race and how it works in this country. But hey you certainly don't need to take my word for it. You can wait to see the reaction from prominent and rank and file African American Democrats on this issue as it winds down over the next couple of days and as it generates commentary in the future. I am pretty sure you will find that few black people actually feel too kindly towards Ferraro's assessment, but we'll see.

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqL_sm0J8jc

At 3:50, as Ferraro explains how the superdelegates are "leaders" and should be expected vote for the best person, not the one that has the popular support...

GIBSON: Would you expect them [the superdelegates] to hand this election to Hillary?

FERRARO: No, but I expect them to do, I expect them to look very carefully at who has the [inaudible]... John, between me and you and your millions of listeners, if Barack Obama were a white man, would we be talking about this as a potential, real problem, for Hillary?

GIBSON: You mean if he were John Edwards?

FERRARO: If he were a woman, of any color, would he be in this position? Obviously not.

GIBSON: Geraldine, are you playing a race card??

FERRARO: No and that's the problem. Every time you say the truth, I'm the first person, John, and you know how honest I am, I the first person who will say: In 1984, if my name were Jerrod instead of Geraldine, I would never have been picked as the vice presidential candidate.

Posted by: bob5540 on March 12, 2008 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

Seeing racism and sexism and most isms everywhere you look demeans and insults actual victims of racism and sexism and other isms. People playing this game are really just engaged in a power struggle and a dick fight and what they really accomplish is demonstrate how little they care about putting an end to racism, sexism, other isms, and its victims.

I don't know you jerry. I cannot make any real assessment about how serious you are about social justice and I cannot make any judgments about your motivations. I assume that you have good intentions because I assume that about most people until they show me otherwise. I say that to suggest that you should do me the same courtesy and refrain from judging my motivations.

Now, I will say that I do take this sort of stuff pretty personally. I am a black man with several higher degrees and some level of accomplishment who has often had to deal with negative assumptions about how I got to where I am. What become very clear to me at an early age is that there isn't any way to prove to some people that I deserve what I have earned. I think you will find my story is a common one and more than that, I am quite sure it is one that Geraldine Ferraro has heard before.

That is why when I hear this sort of horse shit, I get a little annoyed. But what takes me from annoyance to rage sometimes is when a whole bunch of people decide to defend the horse shit with variations of "hey, he/she just meant it as a compliment" or "hey, he/she just meant that you should take pride in your heritage." Ferraro herself actually tried a variation of this on one of the talks shows. "My goodness. I would think that Obama should be thanking me for pointing out how proud we all are of his accomplishments."

I don't say all this to say that other people, who are not me, and who disagree with me, don't have anything to add to this argument. I just mean to say that you should be more careful about what you assume about where people are coming from when they respond to this stuff. You, so far, have made fairly reasoned arguments. Permalink above is a moron.

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

91% of black voters in MS choose the black candidate over the white one. No racism here, move along. 57% of white voters choose the white candidate over the black one in GA (real brain dead example from above) and "Oh what awful racists".The black voting pattern is repeated over and over this primary season. Why isn't voting by race racist?

Posted by: Scratching my Head on March 12, 2008 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't know if this has been mentioned in this thread but in 1984, Ferraro said that if Jesse Jackson was not black he would not be in the presidential race."

Ernie,

Yes. Keith Olbermann gave one of his 'comments' tonight on the Ferraro statement. It was particularly impassioned and directed partly as a plea to Hillary Clinton to not let race be a wedge issue in this campaign. I believe Keith said that Ferraro's comment, almost word for word, has been used by her six (6) times since the first use against Jesse Jackson. He gave
dates, times, sources, none of which I can recollect. For those interested in the details I assume a transcript of the show will be up on the internet. Apparently there is a history of this sort of comment coming from Ferraro. This certainly makes a difference in how I see the comment. It was not a singular instance of candidate loyalty in the heat of battle, but instead a oft-used tactical hit against a candidate of color.

Another off-thread piece of interesting trivia from Olbermann tonight: 24% of Hillary's votes in Mississippi came from Republicans. That's a whopping big percentage. Obama is going to be up against this sort of crossover vote for the remaining primaries since R's don't have anything to decide anymore.

Posted by: nepeta on March 12, 2008 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

91% of black voters in MS choose the black candidate over the white one.No racism here, move along.

Who did those awful black racists vote for, by the same percentages, in 2000? 2004?

Posted by: Jim on March 12, 2008 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

She did it over and over and over.

They use below-the-radar local press because the "neighborhood people" they're appealing to consume that media, and because they hope it won't get picked up by the mainstream media.

Posted by: joe on March 12, 2008 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

1. The premise of Kevin Drum's latest Mr. Sensible routine is, as many have pointed out, in error. Ferraro's first comment raising the specter of white resentment was made on the radio on Feb. 26, not to the Daily Breeze newspaper.

2. "jerry" says that Clinton was not "on" the Rush Limbaugh program. Yeah, sure. Limbaugh was conveniently "sick" on the day of the TX primary, and in an amazing, convienient stroke of luck, the replacement guest played the entire interview with Clinton, the candidacy of whose wife, again, in an amazing coincidence, Limbaugh has been "strategically" supporting. Gotta love the scorched-earth strategy of the Clintons.

3. My question at this point is how much of Hillary's current support are these Republican saboteurs. Even if it's a few percent, these could be game-changing numbers.

Posted by: ppp on March 12, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Lampwick nailed it. Hee Haw.

Posted by: lobbygow on March 12, 2008 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

ppp,

As I posted a bit upthread from you, Olbermann reported poll analyses saying 24% of Clinton's vote in MS was Repub.

Posted by: nepeta on March 12, 2008 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

91% of black voters in MS choose the black candidate over the white one. No racism here, move along. 57% of white voters choose the white candidate over the black one in GA (real brain dead example from above) and "Oh what awful racists".The black voting pattern is repeated over and over this primary season. Why isn't voting by race racist?

Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. How would it imply, in any case that Obama could not be the potential nominee if he was not black? I mean, blacks have run before right? Black women have run before. How is it that they were unable to take advantage of the tremendous advantage of being a black candidate that Obama has? Or is it possible that a candidate with Obama's gifts would be a pretty good candidate whether he was black or not? Crazy talk I know, but just putting it out there.

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

It is unfortunate that race has taken such a large role in the democratic nominating process, but isn't it objectively true Obama has been helped by his race and the racially influenced votes by blacks? Blacks voting based on race is perfectly understandable and would not even be much of a problem except for the fact that Obama is locked in a close race, but it still is an advantage to Obama.

If black are about 20% of the democratic vote and Obama wins 90% of them, he starts with 16% lead and only needs to win 40% of the non-black vote to gain a majority, i.e., he can lose 60/40 among not blacks and still win a majority of the democratic primary voters. It seems to give him a significant advantage based on his race.

Posted by: brian on March 12, 2008 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Just watched Keith Olbermann's commentary on the Internets.

The lead-in ad had three young girls cooperating to get a single glass with enough milk so they could get their oh-so-dark Oreo's dipped in that oh-so-white milk. Portents and messages everywhere. Interpreting it has become such a chore.

I'm going back to reading policy and position papers.

Posted by: has407 on March 12, 2008 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK
It is unfortunate that race has taken such a large role in the zzzzzzzz
Posted by: paxr55 on March 12, 2008 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

http://55-40.blogspot.com/2008/03/shorter-btd.html

Posted by: bob5540 on March 12, 2008 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

but isn't it objectively true Obama has been helped by his race and the racially influenced votes by blacks?

Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. That is not what Ferraro said. What she said was that he could not have gotten where he was without race and that if he were anything other than a black man he could not have achieved what he has. We can argue all day long about whether race has been the decisive factor in this primary but that is quite a different discussion then the one that Ferraro initiated with her comments.

Posted by: brent on March 12, 2008 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Running a campaign this ugly and destructive, you start to wonder how Hillary can look herself in the mirror each morning.

Assuming, that is, that she still possesses a reflection.

Classy, that is. Please explain to me how Obama's campaign has not been dirty? How he has not played the politics of old? Can you?

And lobbygow, please explain your handle. I keep envisioning a lobbyist with the toe cheese.

Reminds me of the cheese I used to get as a grunt, except it was under my balls, we called it "dick cheese".

You see, after several days without a shower, or changing your underwear, the dead skin builds up under your balls. When you finally do get to shower, you can scrap that dead skin off from under your balls and fling it on the floor. It has a disgusting yellow color, hence, "dick cheese".

But you Obamazooids know all about that, right...

Posted by: elmo on March 12, 2008 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Hillary Clinton has been a puzzle to me of late, as have a few of her supporters. I am a minor Obama supporter. My wife and I sent him a $25 donation.

But I have liked Senator Clinton.

That may be why I have observed her campaign with a vague sense of surprise. It has been a jarring sort of disconnect to see some of her tactics.

I have watched her distort Obama’s record on reproductive rights, and I have told myself that many politicians bend the truth.

I have watched her and President Clinton distort Obama’s unwillingness to denounce John Kerry during the 2004 Presidential campaign for his war vote. It was possible, Obama allowed at the time, that Kerry saw some piece of intelligence in the Senate not apparent to others. Who could speculate for sure what Obama himself would have done with some hither-to unknown secret intelligence? The Clinton campaign characterizes Obama’s courageous anti Iraq war stance during his very first Senate try as “a fantasy.” And I have thought of that characterization as an unfortunate departure from ethics during the heat of a campaign.

Then my wife and I heard reports that a spokesperson for the Clintons had assured the Canadian government that her opposition to NAFTA was only campaign rhetoric – don’t take it seriously – and then falsely accused Obama of making that same assurance to the Canadians. My wife and I looked at each other and in unison exclaimed “She dirty.” But “dirty” describes a lot of politicians in this Rovian age. The Canadians now say the Clinton campaign did not really make such assurances either. Fortunately, Obama takes a higher road and is not repeating the story about Clinton. But Hillary seems not limited by such considerations. She continues the false accusation about Obama.

And now the tepid response toward the multiple Rush-Limbaugh-like outbursts by the (of late) Clinton campaign finance chair, one of dozens, Geraldine Ferraro. In past years, this would have provoked deep anger from Hillary Clinton. What gives?

It came to me that what was the most jarring has been the recurring, seemingly genuine, raw anger from Senator Clinton and a few of her supporters. It was most apparent over a minor inaccurate quote in a piece of literature put out by Obama about Clinton’s position on NAFTA. And that brought it into clarity for me. The quote did accurately describe her public position, but the words were not her own.

The public anger by Senator Clinton was way out of proportion. “Shame on you, Barack Obama!!!” Silly. Yet it struck me as something other than simple political posturing, something more genuine than more of the same.

I think the anger has to do with sacrifice, pain, and civil rights.

I do not see much that Senator Clinton and President Clinton have done for historically oppressed people. In fact, the greatest measurable accomplishment of the 1990’s was the increase in the black population within prisons. But they have suffered for the cause.

It is easy to forget the atmosphere that existed in 1992 when Bill Clinton was running for President. When Pat Buchanan was making comments about “America’s pampered minorities” many racists were in vigorous agreement. The atmosphere was poisonous. Such comments were becoming pretty close to mainstream.

When Bill Clinton won the Presidency, many were outraged. The Clintons represented much of what they saw as wrong with liberals. Most of all, most of all, most of all, the Clintons were seen by some as excessively sympathetic to African-Americans.

The rage at that sympathy was palpable, and well financed. The “vast right-wing conspiracy” was no myth. I could see no other plausible reason for the intensity of the hatred other than secondary racism.

Whitewater and various “gates” were investigated to absurdity. Lies were believed, no matter how silly. A suicide was even morphed into murder. Finally, they seemed to get him on the basis of a sexual dalliance. I believe it was because of the original racial motivation that Bill Clinton finally became known as the first black President.

It was only a few years ago, but it seems a lot longer. The landscape has changed, and it is tempting to forget the sort of very public hardship the Clintons faced in those days.

They suffered. More particularly, she suffered. It must have been searing.

I believe the agony and injustice still burns for her and those who care for her.

Now the very folks for whom her support was unwavering seem to have turned against her: Young people, black people, people of good will. Obama’s smiling face and cheerful enthusiasm for looking beyond historical injustice must seem emblematic of all those whose gratitude has drifted into the wind.

Senator Clinton’s varying campaign themes; experience, 35 years of working for change, the kitchen sink charges, the anger; all have in common her real reason for demanding our support: She has earned it.

Obama’s supporters have their three word chants. YES WE CAN. Sometimes joined with RACE DOESN’T MATTER.

The years of forbearance and endless suffering have produced the unspoken three word chants of the seething side of the Clinton campaign. They are the backdrop of the least attractive, unfortunate, historical strain of American liberalism.

Toward the voters: YOU OWE ME.

Toward Obama: HOW DARE YOU!

Posted by: Burr Deming on March 12, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Brent,

Ferraro did not say gotten to where he was; she said "in this position." I think she clearly was referring to the primary campaign, not some larger statement about where he has gotten in life.

Regardless, the numbers on black voting do show that his race has been an advantage in many democratic primaries and in the overall vote.

Posted by: brian on March 12, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

brent: ...but that is quite a different discussion then the one that Ferraro initiated with her comments.

Agree. That is what makes Ferraro's comments so offensive--if not hypocritical--to those who consider Obama a viable candidate. I consider myself one of those, but have not made of my mind.

Then along comes Ferraro and insults my judgement by suggesting I'm one of those "caught up in the concept". Up yours Geraldine; you're not doing your candidate any favors. (Now back to those policy and position papers.)

Posted by: has407 on March 12, 2008 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

That may be why I have observed her campaign with a vague sense of surprise. It has been a jarring sort of disconnect to see some of her tactics.

Cry a fucking river somewhere else, pussy boy. We have real world shit to worry about. Tactics? Get the fuck out. We all have "tactics". Save your Holy Water shit for the retarded...

Posted by: elmo on March 12, 2008 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Cry a fucking river somewhere else, pussy boy. We have real world shit to worry about. Tactics? Get the fuck out. We all have "tactics". Save your Holy Water shit for the retarded...

Posted by: elmo o

Stay classy, elmo.

Posted by: Jim on March 12, 2008 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Stay classy, elmo

You know me, Jim.

Posted by: elmo on March 12, 2008 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

I guess I'm a moron.

1) Would Obama be the candidate of Change if he were white? Really?

2) Brent, I think you doth protest too much. You're really gonna call Hillary and Ferraro racists? That's just dandy. Well, I guess that makes about 80% of the population racist. The point is that when you start calling shit like this racist (which is what Obama's campaign is doing, and what they've been doing since New Hampshire), then you devalue the concept of racism. At worst, as you noted, Ferraro's comments were based in a view of the world that may be anchored in the assumptions of a racist era. On the other hand, is it also racist that the media and Obama supporters keep mentioning Obama's campaign as "historic"? Is it historic because he's a Chicago politician? Because he's a Harvard Law School graduate? Pray tell.

3) Even assuming the worst racist intent from Ferraro, it was Obama's campaign which decided to make this national. And given the past efforts by his campaign to try to argue that Hillary is a racist, it is completely asinine to claim that Obama was not trying to inject race (and tar Ferraro in the process) into this campaign again. Or to wit, there's a local crazy dude (I think a Larouche backer) who supports Obama, and hands out flyers every day talking about Hillary's ties to the Masons and Stalin and Hitler. If Hillary were to give this guy's fliers to the national media, and then denounce them as "divisive", especially if she had previously sent out a memo and otherwise tried to get the press to report that Obama was comparing Hillary to Hitler, wouldn't that be a tad disingenuous and disgusting?

Posted by: Permalink on March 12, 2008 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

3) Even assuming the worst racist intent from Ferraro, it was Obama's campaign which decided to make this national.

As opposed to Geri Ferraro doing the honorable thing and keeping it as a whisper campaign on FoxNews and John Gibson's radio show? That vicious, bitter old dinosaur--who lost her seat and couldn't ever get another one-- was trying to sow racial division where racism still plays.

And it wasn't the Obama campaign who nationalized it, it was the blogosphere. You think race-baiters should be allowed to spread their poison in the dark?

Posted by: on March 12, 2008 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Hey the fat guy is here!

Is this where us repug racists hang out?
Way down at the bottom of a deadend Drum hump day thread? Hurling nasties about Obama the magic negro?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm6hlj-BV0s

Ain't we cool!

Hey Elmo and Perm...
Did you hear the one about the nigga that wanted to be President?

Posted by: Russ Limbaugh on March 12, 2008 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

elmo: Cry a fucking river somewhere else, pussy boy. We have real world shit to worry about.

Yeah, like those three little girls with their Oreo's and milk. A hard-nosed strategically-thinking and experienced mom obviously could have cut through the shit in short order... "Do it this way you ignorant little pussies. Any back-talk and Auntie Gerladine will paddle your asses."

Posted by: has407 on March 12, 2008 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Permalink:
You are a moron if you suggest only a black man can be a candidate of change...

Posted by: mirror on March 12, 2008 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Russ, you wanna play? Bet you don't. But if you ain't burned all the hairs off your ass, I'm always here...

http://blindintexas.blogspot.com/

has407...? I don't fuck with little girls with oreo's...

Posted by: elmo on March 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Dammit,

Originally African-American voters were as suspicious as anyone of Obama.

Then the African-American voters started to ditch her at the first race-baiting shot. Two or three more times and she lost them for good, with most of the white MSM and mainstream dems trying to pretend it wasn't happening. Given what Kevin just said in this post I can see he's got his head in the sand too.

Clinton went this way early on for herself. Now, I guess she is doing it for John McCain's benefit, because this acceptance of Ferraros line by Clinton has crossed the line from detestable to unforgiveable for many people... It amazes me that Kevin can't see how much this hurts deep inside for many of us to have a subset of the Democratic party going down this road in the new millenium.

Posted by: mirror on March 13, 2008 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

When are you going to post an update? Ferraro continued to repeat her remarks, almost verbatim and has implied more are coming. It may have started in some little known rag of a newspaper, but it's certainly gotten the attention of the MSM now. And if you don't find Hillary's tepid response to these overtly racist remarks of Geraldine just a little bit more than troubling, then I'd say you're asleep at the wheel.

Posted by: CB on March 13, 2008 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Classic dog whistle, in this "apology" to black voters from Senator Clinton:

"We can be proud of both Jesse Jackson and Senator Obama."

I'm guessing Calpundit didn't hear a thing.

Posted by: Creamy Goodness on March 13, 2008 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Permalink: You're really gonna call Hillary and Ferraro racists?

I wouldn't call them racist. Cynical maybe, and Ferraro definitely insulting, or with an agenda that seems to have transcended the rational. Or in a more generous moment, hard-biting never-give-in fighters willing to do whatever it takes to win. You may find the latter an admirable trait. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. In Ferraro's case I find her less than admirable and insulting in the extreme.

Even assuming the worst racist intent from Ferraro, it was Obama's campaign which decided to make this national.

Please. That's even more insulting. Ferraro has been around the block, and she's been harping on the same basic theme for some time. She must have had an idea of how it would go down (at least part 1). Either that or she is so ignorant of how things work these days that she should leave the stage and keep her mouth shut.

Posted by: has407 on March 13, 2008 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

p.s. elmo -- Yeah, never get between the kids and the Oreos. Like getting between a candidate and the nomination :)

Posted by: on March 13, 2008 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the link Creamy Goodness. I like the headline "..Clinton Apologizes to Black Voters".

What about me, the white voter, whom she has shown absolute contempt for by letting this fester?

a sad sad day.

I cant believe she topped the betrayal inherent in the "McCains ready to lead, I'm ready to lead, Obama has one speech" meme.

Posted by: mirror on March 13, 2008 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton went this way early on for herself

No she didn't. But it is in your head, so I guess that's how it is. Take the plug out of your ass and stop pretending you are above the fray...

Posted by: elmo on March 13, 2008 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

Let see 'if you don't vote for a candidate because the color of his skin,that will be racist.
But if yiou vote for a candidate only because the color of the skin,thats not racist?
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/epolls/#MSDEM

Posted by: Jose M Rivera on March 13, 2008 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

I cant believe she topped the betrayal inherent in the "McCains ready to lead, I'm ready to lead, Obama has one speech" meme.

Obama is a speech. One he betrayed when he said his view of the Iraq war resembled Bush's. He said that in one of his books, right? After the famous speech? Yeah, stick to your principals, Obamazooids.

Posted by: elmo on March 13, 2008 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

elmo: you are on it dude. nobody counts in this primary but the Clinton voters.

I had little opinion about either candidate and was an Edwards supporter. I figured Obama's got corporate backing like all the others so he aint so special. Once Edwards dropped out, Clinton had to work to lose me, she really did.

I can't see how you can suggest I'm saying I'm above the fray. My wife is under strict instructions to say "supreme court justices" if Hillary gets the nomination and I go strangely silent and close-mouthed near the November election, because that will mean I'm thinking about not voting against the evil Republican.

You can pretend you see something different from me, but this type of race baiting is a deliberate attempt to stear the racially uncomfortable non-black voter from taking a risk in voting for the guy who speaks to them personally even though he's black. Many of these voters would like to move beyond racial polarization too, and even more to move beyond their own prejudices, but Clinton wants to paint a picture of a future where that is not only impossible but noisily impossible.

Posted by: mirror on March 13, 2008 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

elmo: the problem isn't that Obama is not getting his due, the problem is that Clinton is no longer campaigning as a 21st Century Democrat. She is now campaigning like/a a Republican and it will help them.

Posted by: mirror on March 13, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Jose M Rivera: Let see 'if you don't vote for a candidate because the color of his skin, that will be racist. But if yiou vote for a candidate only because the color of the skin, thats not racist?

And if you vote for a candidate you identify with, who you think has your interest at heart, who can solve the problems you face every day, that's what?

And you can determine the difference between that and voting for a candidate "only because the color of his skin" from exit polls how?

And you think that because more women vote for Hillary, and more blacks vote for Barack, that proves they're voting stupidly how?

You think maybe there isn't something more substantial to the pattern? That maybe those people think there's a problem with gender or race? That the people they identify with can best address their problems?

Get a clue: That is no different than any election in the history of this country. It is not news.

Posted by: has407 on March 13, 2008 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

I guess I'm a moron.
The first step is admitting you have a problem. Good for you.

1) Would Obama be the candidate of Change if he were white? Really?

How are we supposed to know that? How does Ferraro know that he would not be? How do you? What set of assumptions about what he would be if he were white am I missing?

2) Brent, I think you doth protest too much. You're really gonna call Hillary and Ferraro racists? That's just dandy. Well, I guess that makes about 80% of the population racist.

When did I do that?

On the other hand, is it also racist that the media and Obama supporters keep mentioning Obama's campaign as "historic"? Is it historic because he's a Chicago politician? Because he's a Harvard Law School graduate? Pray tell.

Maybe its historic because he is black. Is that the same to you somehow as saying that it is impossible for him to be in the position to win the presidential nomination if he was not black? Why exactly would that be the case? Pray tell.

3) Even assuming the worst racist intent from Ferraro, it was Obama's campaign which decided to make this national.

I heard about this shit for at least 15 hours before I heard shit about it from the Obama campaign. Your facts, as with your arguments, are screwy.

Or to wit, there's a local crazy dude (I think a Larouche backer) who supports Obama, and hands out flyers every day talking about Hillary's ties to the Masons and Stalin and Hitler.

So now Larouche is to Obama as Ferraro is to Clinton. I take it back. Actually you're not a moron at all. You're some kind of super genius.

Posted by: brent on March 13, 2008 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

but Clinton wants to paint a picture of a future where that is not only impossible but noisily impossible.

Eat shit and die, liar. YOU want to paint that picture. Maybe it's because you were not breast fed...

elmo: the problem isn't that Obama is not getting his due, the problem is that Clinton is no longer campaigning as a 21st Century Democrat(what the fuck is a 21kD?). She is now campaigning like/a a Republican and it will help them.

Mother fucker please! This is you using the old wingnut tactic of projecting ones faults on the opponent! I wasn't born yesterday...

Posted by: elmo on March 13, 2008 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

Ferraro did not say gotten to where he was; she said "in this position." I think she clearly was referring to the primary campaign, not some larger statement about where he has gotten in life.

I assumed that was exactly what he meant. Where he has gotten in his life is in a good position to be president of the United States. Why should we think he could not have achieved that but for his race? By what logic is it impossible for him to have achieved what he has as a white man? I'm asking.

Posted by: brent on March 13, 2008 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

I meant to write that I assumed that was exactly what she meant.

Posted by: brent on March 13, 2008 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

Classic dog whistle, in this "apology" to black voters from Senator Clinton:

I would say that was actually a pretty good apology creamy goodness. I was worried that she was really gonna try and ride with Ferraro's comments and offer only the kind of tepid disavowal she had earlier. This was a much stronger statement and I am glad she did it. I don't think bringing Jesse Jackson back up again in the way she did was meant to be divisive although I certainly would have appreciated it if she had really just left that comparison alone and she certainly could have phrased it better.

Posted by: brent on March 13, 2008 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

mirror: She is now campaigning like/a a Republican and it will help them.

Ok, I might admit she's sometimes campaigning like a Republican. If by that you mean she's started running a no-holds-barred win-at-all-cost scorched-earth campaign. While that annoys me at times, it's not a deal breaker.

(At least so far. But unless she puts a muzzle on Ferraro and her ilk, or she pulls another McCain-better-than-Obama stunt, any support I might throw her way in the primaries is at risk.)

But claiming that Clinton is campaigning as a Republican is going a bit far. Yes, Clinton may be too conservative/centrist for some, but as far as I can tell, there is still far more distance between McCain and Clinton than between Clinton and Obama.

I have yet to make a determination of what the Clinton-Obama difference will mean in practice. Specifically, which one will push a more progressive agenda and get more done once they're in office. It's a tough call, and my jury's still out.

Posted by: has407 on March 13, 2008 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

I see elmo's his usual chipper self, representing the Hillary camp as only he can.

What's that, someone from the Hillary camp says something offensive and gets called on it? Elmo to the rescue with "manly" language and cries of anti-Hillary bias, that ought to set the record straight....

And as for your "point" about Obama saying that his position on Iraq was similar to Bush's, you intentionally left out the key words of that quote, which were "at this stage".

Media Matters already covered this but let's put the quote in context. He opposed the war from the start, and publicly stated so many times before the invasion. Then we invaded, overthrew Saddam, and chaos ensued.

His quote was from July of 2004, at a time when Iraq was at its most chaotic (at least up until that point). Sadr's followers had just been beaten back after taken over many cities and throwing the south of the country into open conflict, and the Iraqi Interim Government had just been established. So yes, at that point, when Iraq's interim government was barely off the ground, Obama thought the US stick around as a stabilizing force....which is neither inconsistent nor unreasonable.

But feel free to chop it up, and take it out context, and be as dishonest as you like.

Posted by: Joe on March 13, 2008 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

As I'm sure everyone reading the blog entry and this comment thread has seen, Ferraro's appearance on the Today Show today was LUDICROUS IN THE EXTREME. Ferraro says this talented, intelligent, and reasonably charismatic black only gets to where he is because of his skin color, and NOW she says everyone should be grateful to her for being a friend of the black man, that her comments were an "appreciation" of the "wonderful strides the black man has made" (or whatever her actual wording was).

I'm not devoid of all prejudices, but shooting off your mouth in such a pea-brained, ignorant, despicable way?? Incredible.

Posted by: Anon on March 13, 2008 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

Jesus Christ, this thread is still going?

Posted by: enozinho on March 13, 2008 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

enozinho: Jesus Christ, this thread is still going?

Yeah. And don't you forget it. Clinton and Obama wouldn't be where they are today if they were unconceived, aborted or dead. (Spin that one Ferraro.)

It's only by the Grace of Jesus and upstanding heterosexuals and their parent's willingness to go horizontal that we have these two fine choices, not to mention hundreds of entertaining blog comments to wade through.

Or would you prefer something else, policy and position papers perhaps, maybe with Oreo's and milk?

Posted by: has407 on March 13, 2008 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Geezuss, you people are just not going to let this go, are you? Okay, I got game again. I'll play.

This comment is dedicated to all the Obama-bots lurking about -- whose race-baiting, Clinton-bashing comments have stunk up the threads of The Political Animal, like a paper bag full of dog poo set afire and left to burn on Kevin's front porch.

You should all note that on the very same day that Geraldine Ferraro's innane remarks were being cynically trumpeted far and wide by the Obama campaign and the Clinton-hating media, Congressman Steve King (R-IA) had this to say about Sen. Obama:

"If [Obama] is elected president ... [al Qa'eda] will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name, and because of who his father is ..."

(I apologize for not being the best transcriber; that's why I provided a link above to the video. And here's the address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hmYJcMz8Ns)

For two whole days now, I've yet to note one Obama-friendly commenter here either opine about or condemn what were undoubtedly the most vile, racist remarks about the Illinois senator that I've heard so far this campaign. Not a single one of you.

Hell, I even brought it up in an earlier thread yesterday, but is anyone concerned about what the right-wing is cooking up for the prospective Democratic nominee?

Oooh, NOOOOOooo!!!

Instead, it's all Ferraro, all Clinton, all the time, which pretty much tells me -- and for that matter, any other thinking person who's at least trying to be intellectually honest with him- or herself -- exactly what your true motives are here.

I don't want to hear any excuses from you about your ignorance of the inexcusable. There are none to be had that are valid. You want to see some real, honest-to-God, 21st century racism, I just provided you all a link to it above. There it is, in all it's Confederate flag-waving glory.

Christ, even John McCain's campaign denounced King's remarks!

So, spare me and the rest of the reality-based Democratic community your righteous indignation about the severity of some ill-defined and dumb comments offered up to a small community paper by a political has-been like Geraldine Ferraro.

This really isn't about issue of race, per se. Rather, it's about your diliberate use of groundless accusations of racism to both smear the Clintons, and intimidate into silence anyone possessing the temerity to call you out on your bullshit. Plain and simple.

Now, I'm through with this issue. If all you emotionally-stunted individuals populating Cloud Obamaland want to call me names and continue to play the race card against the Clintons and other Democrats, then be my guest. I really can't stop you, I'm signing off -- and frankly, I just don't give a damn anymore.

(Oh, dear. I just paraphrased a famous line from one of the most racially anachronistic movies and novels of our time. How insensitive of me.)

And during the fall campaign against John McCain, I hope you all have a whole lot of fun flailing about haplessly, like a bunch of beached pilot whales trying to escape an illegal Navy underwater sonar test, as the GOP schools you in the fine art of the political bitch-slap.

(D'oh! There goes my insensitivity again, unhinged and unchained.)

Because believe you me, there may well be a significant number of Democrats that you've insulted over the past few months, who will decide that they'd rather stay home and watch football, rather than lift a finger on behalf of your dishonest, nasty, race-baiting asses.

At least in football, those of you who stoop to such dirty gutterball tactics would be flagged and penalized.

Aloha, and good night.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on March 13, 2008 at 6:25 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, Brent, you truly are asinine. As are many of your fellow Obamabots.

1) No one is saying that only a black man can be the Candidate of Change. This is called logic. The question I asked was, Would Obama be the Candidate of Change if he were white? If so, based on what? Sure, he's got great charisma, and he's young and handsome and all that. But his policies are generally to the right of Hillary's, and even if you cry and whine and claim that's not true, then you'd at least acknowledge that he's decidedly not progressive in his policy proposals. The idea of uniting Republicans and Dems is not Change either, unless you think Tom Daschle and Joe Lieberman (who were his first and reportedly most trusted political advisors) are Change also. His resume, while impressive, isn't particularly impressive for a Presidential candidate. So no, I am not saying that only a black man can be the Candidate for Change. I am saying that it's clearly obvious that, based on my talking to friends who are for Obama, and what I've seen in the media and poll #s, that for a good number of folks, the change represented by Obama is in his identity. I don't think he or Axelrod would even argue that. And furthermore, his identity is, according to himself and his supporters, critically tied to the idea of his multiracial (and immigrant/native) heritage. I think Ferraro's initial comments were a pretty clumsy (and insofar as how they were stated, stupid and incorrect) way of phrasing that point. But I do not think that is racist.

2) Since when did Jerry Ferraro represent the Clinton campaign? This is ridiculous. Even for all of you tards that want to ignore the race card here and pretend that Ferraro = Power, Ferraro was connected to the Clinton campaign by virtue of being on the Finance Committee. Every jackass lawyer in big cities is connected to political campaigns on that level.

3) Brent, while you may have heard about this story 2 days before Obama broke it, I did not (primarily because I no longer read Kos), and I'm a very well read political junkie. And I can guarantee you that people all over the country, including in PA, had not. Certainly not this enormous cache of Pennsatucky racists that is gonna now come out to vote for Hillary because they love em a good racist.

Your hypothesis makes no sense. The one that makes the most sense, based on what we've seen in the past, is that the Obama campaign (probably Axelrod, who's talked a bunch about race in the past, and the need to get out front of this) decided that, gee, pushing the Hillary Clinton is a racist story has worked for us in the past, and here's a giftwrapped story that no one knows about except some pajama-clad Kostards. Let's make this a national story.

And they did.

Again, I'd ask this. If this "racism" hurts Obama so much, why were they the ones to draw national attention to it. And please don't point me to Kos and other rabid Obama websites as examples that it was already nationalized.

Logic and reason totally gone out the window. You people are scurrilous and disgusting, and willing to drop the charge of racism-- which truly is a noxious and severe charge-- at the drop of a hat. Good for you, glad to see the character of Obama supporters, so many of whom are by their own admission recovering Republicans.

Posted by: Permalink on March 13, 2008 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

At this point, those are the right are far less willing to accept an uppity woman as president than a black man. Males with a paternalistic view of family dynamics feel personally threatened by women gaining power and authority. Obama appears to head a traditional paternalistic family with his wife in a support role to her man.

Posted by: bakho on March 13, 2008 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

you intentionally left out the key words of that quote, which were "at this stage".

Well damn, excuse me! Please tell then, dear Joe, at what "stage" does he plan on getting us out? What's that you say? When the Iraqi government can stand on it's own feet? Riiiigggghhhhttt...


Posted by: elmo on March 13, 2008 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

If all you emotionally-stunted individuals populating Cloud Obamaland want to call me names

OK, you're a poopoo head.

Seriously, though this thread is dead (or should be), and the The Donald is unlikely to be lurking (he did say Aloha, after all), I have to ask:

Does anyone else wonder when zealots on both sides claim the The Clinton/Obama campaign is spreading this, that or the other thing, whether it is really being spread more by the media/internets/blogosphere/zealots then by the "campaign?" It just seems that the spreading of [insert recent charge here] is done more by the flock, then the shepherd.

Sure am sick of it.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on March 13, 2008 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

No one is saying that only a black man can be the Candidate of Change. This is called logic. The question I asked was, Would Obama be the Candidate of Change if he were white? If so, based on what?

And again my answer is another question: how would we know that? Your fanciful scenario of why he is running on change is, frankly, a little stupid. I have actually never heard someone say, "he'll change Washington because he's black" and I doubt the polls you reference that suggest that exist anywhere but in your imagination but whatever. I'll play.

If Obama were white, he would be John Edwards except he would have not voted for the war. He would run as a Washington populist who decided to eschew lobbyist and big business support and was therefore positioned to change the way business was done. He would also make the case for rebuilding the Space program and sending manned missions to Mars. He would be from Florida but would speak with a slightly southern drawl and he would always wear bowler caps. Seem fanciful and ridiculous? Maybe so, but so is your absurd insistence and Ferraro's that you have any idea what the fuck Obama would be capable of if he was not black.

The bottom line is this. Ferraro, on numerous occasions it appears, made the specific point of saying that Obama would not be able to achieve what he has except through the "luck" of being born black. This is not just a stupid way of phrasing your incredibly awkward extrapolation of what she meant. It is an enormously dumb idea based upon some pretty screwed up ideas about race and how it works in our society and in elections.

Now, you keep on accusing me of calling her statement racist. The fact is that I have not but you seem a little bit too dense for something like that to get through so I expect you will continue to make the accusation. But just for the record, I have never thought the term racist was especially useful. It is not very precise and tends to bring a lot more heat than light to these sorts of conversations.

Finally, trying to pretend that Ferraro was not connected to Clinton's campaign is a little silly but its also irrelevant to any of these issues. She was certainly, before she made point of petulantly resigning today, more connected to the campaign than Larouche is to Obama's and I think you know that.

Posted by: brent on March 13, 2008 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Donald,

I assume you have probably moved on from this thread but just in case, I have to ask, what are you talking about? I have been reading angry commentary from Democrats and its subsection of Obama supporters regarding King's comments for days. I am sure that if Kevin did a post on the issue you would see plenty of that outrage. Certainly the Obama camp was pretty outraged and made that pretty clear. McCain was pretty smart to offer a pretty strong repudiation of his comments right away. Are you really hanging your argument regarding the apparently nefarious reasons for Obama supporter's displeasure with Ferraro on the idea that they obviously do not care about King? What exactly is it that you are insinuating is their motive for doing so?

Now I would say that I am not particularly surprised by what King said because he is, after all, a Republican. A Republican being a demagogue and an idiot is pretty much a "dog bites man" story and is not likely to convince anyone but his fellow imbeciles who are unlikely to consider voting for Obama anyway. But if what you are looking for is some sort of strongly worded rebuke from someone who is at least slightly leaning toward Obama than here ya go: "Fuck Peter King."

Posted by: brent on March 13, 2008 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Race emerging as issue in Democratic campaign

Chicago Tribune

Posted by: Lucy on March 13, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

For those of you confused by the dog whistle thing: If you were offended by those remarks, they were not for you;
If you hear them and think, Yeah, she's right, that half-black guy named Barack Obama has an advantage over the white candidates, then you are the dog.

Posted by: ched on March 13, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

It IS the SILLY AND STUPID season...but the good news is I'm finally slowly becoming empowered to move away from MSM idiots and blogs...they have occupied far too many waking moments since the debacle of 2000 and as I'm now nearing 70 it's time to LIVE LIFE and let the fools continue to pick and prod every tiny little comment that comes out in response to, yes probably,some silly little reporter...MY GOD no wonder we are a source of amusement for the rest of the world...and I'm not going to let the fact that our media/blogosphere is so HIGH ON ITSELF and every thought that comes into its/their heads that they will end up DESTROYING any opportunity for DEMS to out REPUGS this fall...be proud of yourselves...be very proud! BBF

Posted by: Dancer on March 13, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

"91% of black voters in MS choose the black candidate over the white one.No racism here, move along.

Who did those awful black racists vote for, by the same percentages, in 2000? 2004?"

The answer, in the Democratic primaries in those years, is no one. You could look it up if you were a smarter person (a smarter person, BTW, would not confuse the choice betweeen two white canadidates in a general election as indicative of voting on the basis of the race of the candidate).

Posted by: scratching my head on March 13, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Is there any political blogger who so regularly gets lambasted and flogged by his own readers, as Kevin does? I think not. Perhaps he should leave the contrarian angle to bloggers like Mickey Kaus.

Posted by: coffeequeen on March 13, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of Kaus, he has a great blog titled Psst! Ferraro Was Right, which proves the point without even considering the advantage of receiving 90% of the black vote based on racial grounds

http://www.slate.com/id/2186324/

Posted by: brian on March 13, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Donald:For two whole days now, I've yet to note one Obama-friendly commenter here either opine about or condemn what were undoubtedly the most vile, racist remarks about the Illinois senator that I've heard so far this campaign. Not a single one of you.
Hell, I even brought it up in an earlier thread yesterday, but is anyone concerned about what the right-wing is cooking up for the prospective Democratic nominee?

Are you joking? Of course those comments were vile and should be condemned, but there's no point in focusing on them too much at this point because Hillary is the opponent right now. It's like being in a street-fight while some looky-lou pops off shouting insults. You're not going turn your back on your opponent to go after that jackass.... Once this fight is done, you bet your ass our focus will be on idiots like that.


elmo:Well damn, excuse me! Please tell then, dear Joe, at what "stage" does he plan on getting us out? What's that you say? When the Iraqi government can stand on it's own feet? Riiiigggghhhhttt...

Playing dumb again are we? This was 2004. Do you really not understand that one's view of the war can evolve over 6 years. Hopefully this timeline of Obama's views on the war will help. Here's a rough summary:

2002 - Before the war: This is a bad idea, we should not invade.

2003 - After the invasion: We shouldn't have invaded.

2004 - A year after invasion, with chaos erupting all over: We shouldn't have invaded, but owe it to the Iraqi people now to try to establish a government and salvage this mess.

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 - We shouldn't have invaded, and our strategy isn't working, things aren't improving, we need to withdraw.

Wow, what a vile hypocritical fella this Obama is...

Posted by: Joe on March 13, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Moderators, Elmo is a troll. He contributes nothing to the discussion except vitriol. If mhr is regularly banned for virtually the same thing I think this should apply to Elmo.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on March 13, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Moderators, for my money you would help the dialog considerably by banning anyone that uses the word troll. Basically it means they have no more argument and have shifted to ad hominem attack.

Posted by: jerry on March 13, 2008 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

Jerry, please read elmo's comments, then decide who is legitimately arguing a point versus using ad hominem attacks. Here's a few gems from elmo in this thread alone:

1. Reminds me of the cheese I used to get as a grunt, except it was under my balls, we called it "dick cheese".

You see, after several days without a shower, or changing your underwear, the dead skin builds up under your balls. When you finally do get to shower, you can scrap that dead skin off from under your balls and fling it on the floor. It has a disgusting yellow color, hence, "dick cheese".

But you Obamazooids know all about that, right...

2. Cry a fucking river somewhere else, pussy boy. We have real world shit to worry about. Tactics? Get the fuck out. We all have "tactics". Save your Holy Water shit for the retarded...
3. No she didn't. But it is in your head, so I guess that's how it is. Take the plug out of your ass and stop pretending you are above the fray...
4. Eat shit and die, liar. YOU want to paint that picture. Maybe it's because you were not breast fed...

But I don't want elmo banned. He's an idiot who can't argue a point and is probably doing Hillary more harm than good. You're cool with me elmo, keep up the good work.

Posted by: Joe on March 13, 2008 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

you can find me on "google" by entering my name and on myspace.com/lorizz

Posted by: Lori Zarlenga on March 13, 2008 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Morphepuss, you need to get out of the fuckn' kitchen.

Joe, thanks for showing my highlights! You rock!

2002 - Before the war: This is a bad idea, we should not invade.

Show me, mastah Joe, where Clinton said "this war is a good idea"? Well, of course you can't. But she voted to authorize force if needed, sure 'nuf, but you know as well as I do, from her SPEECH just before her vote, that she thought an invasion was not warranted at the time of the vote.

When Obama was asked during the Kerry campaign how he would have voted...well, you know what he said...

Posted by: elmo on March 13, 2008 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

elmo: Show me, mastah Joe, where Clinton said "this war is a good idea"? Well, of course you can't.

Woah, show me where I stated Clinton said the war was a "good idea"? That's right, I didn't, and neither did Obama.

The fact is Hillary did vote for it though. She can try to spin it any way she wants, but that vote meant war and everyone knew it. She made a political calculation and didn't want to be on the wrong side of a quickly won "popular" war.

And when Obama was asked about Iraq on the eve of the Democratic Party convention in 2004, he answered exactly the way a loyal Democrat should. He could've thrown Kerry under the bus and said "Hell No!" Instead he takes the high road, says he wasn't privy to Senate intelligence reports and can't say for sure how'd he vote, thereby giving Kerry some cover, and then adding that "from my vantage point the case was not made." It was the perfect answer.

Posted by: Joe on March 13, 2008 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Woah, show me where I stated Clinton said the war was a "good idea"? That's right, I didn't, and neither did Obama.

Cool, finally we all agree that Hillary thought, as did Obama, that the war was a bad idea. I think we are making progress.

It was the perfect answer.

Yes, I agree! Damn, we are really making end roads here!

But, my friend Joe, that is the politics of old. When are we going to get the NEW coke...oh shit...I mean NEW politics that you speech of?

Posted by: elmo on March 13, 2008 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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