Let It Not Go Unsaid…

by

that Barack Obama’s win last night in South Carolina was astonishing, and the Clintons’ reaction to it was hateful, racist, and small.

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14 Responses to “Let It Not Go Unsaid…”

  1. msmiranda Says:

    Oh, lord, where do I begin …

    I have always loved Bill. Until this past week. I am now seriously disillusioned. Billary must be stopped. John Edwards, who I have always believed is the candidate who would have the easiest time winning the general election, can’t do it, so Obama is our only hope. If the GOP nominee is Romney, he may just have a shot. If Hillary gets the nomination, we are f**ked nine ways to Sunday (or whatever that saying is) no matter who the GOP nominates. The utter stupidity of the Democrats in getting on the Hillary train mystifies me. Did we learn nothing from McGovern, Mondale, and Dukakis???? By which I mean, letting intra-party dynamics get in the way of the only thing that matters — who can win in November.

    I am not a political expert. I majored in poli sci but that’s about it. But if I know that Hillary can’t win and they don’t, then something is definitely wrong.

  2. urbino Says:

    If the exit polls and such are any guide, it probably is the case that Hillary’s main base of support didn’t learn anything from McGovern, Mondale, and Dukakis. Many of them have, understandably, never heard of those people. I say that because according to the numbers, the poorer and less educated you are, the more likely you are to vote for Hillary. (I have to say I’m mystified by support for her among the poor, especially with Edwards in the race.)

    Her other main base is women of her generation, whose support for her is understandable. For them, my guess is it becomes a question of whether Bill’s “contributions” to her campaign will drive a wedge between them and Hillary.

  3. urbino Says:

    Interestingly, in the tight GOP race in FL, McCain is going Clintonian.

    Meanwhile, the Kennedy’s are lining up behind Obama. First Caroline (JFK’s daughter), and tomorrow, apparently, Teddy. There’s a reliable-seeming rumor that Gore will endorse him soon, as well.

    An unrelated Caroline Kennedy story:

    She went to law school at the same place I did, and had the same Civil Procedure professor. The prof told us that Caroline never came to class. Not once, the entire first semester. When she showed up for the final, the prof asked her why she hadn’t come to class. Caroline’s response was, “I just never want to have a bad day.”

    The older I get, the wiser Caroline seems.

  4. captmidknight Says:

    JU said:
    “Barack Obama’s win last night in South Carolina was astonishing”
    ______
    I’m not so sure it was so astonishing. ISTM that South Carolina was a place where he could expect to do well. Whether said or unsaid, the racial component was a big factor, with the large Black section of the electorate (over 50%, I think) voting in more of a solid block than other groups – something like 80% for Obama.

    “the Clintons’ reaction to it was hateful, racist, and small.”
    _____________
    Not much to argue with there. Pretty much says it, IMHO.

    Nobody in the Clinton camp seriously expects much of the Black vote to go to any Republican – as to why that is, I’ll leave for greater minds than mine to discuss – so, as long as Hillary was the presumptive nominee, the only real issue was turnout in the black communities. The Clinton’s real nightmare was that a truly viable Black candidate would emerge within their own party, which has happened in the form of Barack Obama. For whatever reason, very few in the Black community would consider voting for a Republican, but it must give Hill/Bill Inc pause to see how quickly many of the movers and shakers in the Black community will drop them when presented with a legitimate Black alternative in their own party. Could it be that many of the Black leaders realize that they and their people have been taken for granted and used by the power brokers in the Democratic Party for years? Some say that it goes back as far as LBJ, but beyond any doubt, the Clintons have been the most successful practitioners. I saw Al Sharpton on one of the cable news shows, and I think he may be enjoying the chance to get a little back on the White Democratic Establishment.

    No matter how ugly the Clintons get – and I think that will be a function of how real a threat they feel Obama is, going forward – they are pretty confident, if Hillary eventually gets the nomination, the Black community won’t go over to McCain or Romney or even Rudy from NYC. I think they do risk many in the Black community staying home on election day, though, and I’ll bet that the Black leaders who supported Obama will remember for a long time. Of course, the Clintons may feel that they can avoid a backlash by offering Obama the VP spot or some other high position. It would have to be something substantial, though. Bill showing up at a few Black churches or renting some more office space in Harlem probably won’t do it this time.

  5. urbino Says:

    I think you overestimate the racial identity politics in SC. African-Americans have long been big Clinton supporters. They didn’t start turning toward Obama until sometime after the Iowa caucuses. They didn’t really flood toward Obama until Hillary’s campaign turned nasty and racial. Also, Obama did nearly as well among white men and Latinos as Hillary did. The results in SC don’t reduce to race, as much as Bill might want to say they do.

    All that said, the thing I had most in mind when I said Obama’s win was astonishing was the size of the win and of the turnout. It’s the first time any Dem contestant has gotten a majority. He doubled Hillary, beating her by nearly 30 points. Nobody was expecting that. (The biggest predicted number I saw last week was 15 points.) And the size of the turnout Obama produced was, well, astonishing. A lot of Dem insiders are going to look at that and realize that if he can do that elsewhere, he puts some Southern states in play that the GOP will otherwise have locked down.

    For whatever reason, very few in the Black community would consider voting for a Republican

    Is that really that difficult to understand?

    but it must give Hill/Bill Inc pause to see how quickly many of the movers and shakers in the Black community will drop them when presented with a legitimate Black alternative in their own party.

    I’m not sure what Black movers and shakers you’re referring to. I haven’t heard any major Black leaders endorse Obama. At least, if I have, I can’t remember them. Who are they? The movers and shakers I’ve seen moving to Obama’s camp are white. So, again, I think you paint a picture that’s more driven by racial identity than the reality.

    Could it be that many of the Black leaders realize that they and their people have been taken for granted and used by the power brokers in the Democratic Party for years?

    I know this is a popular theme in GOP circles, but, again, I just don’t see the data points to support it.

    Some say that it goes back as far as LBJ

    I don’t know who these “some” are, but their ignorance of history is boundless. I’m no fan of LBJ, but to suggest he took black voters for granted is comical. By forcing voting rights legislation through Congress, LBJ fractured what had theretofore been the Democratic Party’s governing coalition — the white Southern conservatives bolted. Not only did he do it, he did it knowing the effect it would have on his party; the effect it did have on his party; the effect it still has on his party: it handed the South to the GOP. It was The Great Switch in 20th century American politics. The Democratic Party became the party of civil rights, and the GOP became the party of white flight.

    Which, btw, is why African-Americans won’t vote for Republicans. At the same time LBJ was knowingly harming his party to get voting rights legislation, the GOP made a calculated decision to appeal to and embrace the people that LBJ’s support for civil rights drove out of the Democratic Party. Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” was real and explicit, and remains pretty much intact. Reagan used it. Bush 41 used it. Bush 43 used it. And one need only have observed the GOP race in SC to know that they are still using it.

    Aside from the racism itself, the thing about the Clintons’ campaign that has taken so many Dems so aback is the very fact that in its appeals to racial fears, it looks like a GOP campaign.

    Now, since LBJ, I think it has become increasingly the case that Dem pols have taken black voters for granted. That much of the popular GOP theory, at least, is true. But the rest of it is pretty difficult to square with history. And as applied to the Obama campaign, at least thus far, it’s pretty difficult to square with the data.

  6. urbino Says:

    Completely unrelated:

    Here’s a NYTimes article about The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Mrs. P.

  7. msmiranda Says:

    JU — Amen to all that.

    Also: Do you agree with my argument that Hillary can’t win the general election? If so, do you think Obama has a better chance? Since it looks like this race may go to the convention (we’ll see what happens next week), and my state’s primary is Feb. 12, I am now struggling over who to vote for. Should I vote for Edwards, the candidate who is honestly my first choice, or throw my support behind Obama to help stop Hillary?

  8. mrspeacock Says:

    Thanks for the Hugo Cabret article! I had no idea it had just won the Caldecott.

  9. Whitney Says:

    I’m pretty much keeping out of the political debates…wait, I am totally keeping out of political debates…because I don’t know where I stand yet. I loved watching Bill Clinton fall asleep on MLK day. Did anyone see that? CNN made me laugh out loud for once.

    Anyway, in relation to this post…thanks Miranda, for “Billary.” I needed that this Monday morning. I didn’t get much further than that, either, unfortunately.

    Happy Monday & Aloha.

  10. mrspeacock Says:

    I loved watching Bill Clinton fall asleep on MLK day. Did anyone see that?

    Yes! Hilarious. I especially loved the glance at the watch.

  11. urbino Says:

    Thanks for the Hugo Cabret article!

    De nada.

    Do you agree with my argument that Hillary can’t win the general election?

    I don’t think so. I do think Obama has a better chance, but I still think anybody on the Dem side has an advantage over anybody on the GOP side, this time around.

    Should I vote for Edwards, the candidate who is honestly my first choice, or throw my support behind Obama to help stop Hillary?

    Tough call. I say go with your heart. The one thing about voting for Edwards, though, is that if he stays in and this does go to the convention, the winner may be whoever he decides to throw his delegates to, and it’s not at all clear to me which way he would go. In that situation, the pressure from the Clinton establishment would be pretty intense.

  12. alsturgeon Says:

    “…the Clinton’s reaction to it was hateful, racist, and small.”

    The Clinton’s reaction to it was Sherman Hemsley as George Jefferson???

  13. Chris Geyer Says:

    I tried a trackback from my site to here, but I’m not sure it worked, so I’ll ring in here with a comment and say: great discussion. I posted my own thoughts on this significant moment over on dawgnotes. Stop by, won’t you?

  14. urbino Says:

    Thanks, Chris. I tried to comment on your post, btw, but it kept telling me to go away because I had “questionable content.” Not sure what that meant.

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