Saturday, May 10, 2008

And The Point Is....

When I read something like Alan Abramowitz's column on Obama, In These Primary Numbers, Warnings for the Fall
Sen. Barack Obama is the all but certain Democratic nominee, but voting patterns in Indiana and North Carolina show that resistance to a black candidate among some white Democrats remains a serious threat to his chances in November....
I have to wonder what the point is. Are we back to "the country's not ready for an African American President (so you had better nominate the white guy gal)"? Abramowitz gives us this conclusion:
Democrats must hope that disapproval of Bush could lead working-class voters to begrudgingly approve of a black presidential candidate.
It's fair to say that we can assume a voting bloc that is simply too racist to ever vote for an African American. Democrats can "hope" that they don't bother to vote for McCain. But the idea that the rest of the nation's "working-class voters" will go to the polls and vote against their interests simply to keep an African American out of the White House? To the extent that "hope" is involved, Democrats should hope working class voters will assign that notion to the scrapheap of elitist claptrap, by voting in such a manner (even if for McCain) that it's obvious that they're motivated by the issues and not by race.


  1. Alas, I think that the pool of folks who won't vote for a black candidate is larger than we might think. I say this based on many veiled comments that I have heard about black people...I'm not sure if you know where I teach, but it's in Detroit Public Schools. Most of the students in our school are black (black upper class, but that's another matter). I get all sorts of comments from otherwise liberal people both in A2 and from the suburbs of Detroit.(Not my proudest moment, but I did tell a real estate agent from Chelsea to go fuck herself after she threw the "those people" term at me).
    In fact, there are a helluva lot of people who claim to be so open-minded, but won't step foot into Detroit.
    Now, maybe it's not fair for me to think that these same people won't vote for a black candidate. But I think it's very telling that a lot of people aren't quite as liberal or open-minded as they would have you think.
    As for the working class, they consistently do vote against their interests, particularly when the "God, guns, gays" issues come up. I'm not sure if that will extend to race, but I have a feeling it will.
    In other words, I am bracing for President McCain to be sitting in the White House in a year.

  2. As for the working class, they consistently do vote against their interests, particularly when the "God, guns, gays" issues come up.

    We're variably told that it's "elitist" to make that suggestion, or that voting on "God, guns and gays" issues are them voting their interests. By the same people, of course, who view them as lower class or contrive "gay marriage" or "the war on Christmas" as menaces to the nation.

    But when push comes to shove, voting against a candidate "just because he's black" is racism - whatever rationalization or spin some try to put on anti-gay sentiments, it's a lot harder to spin racists as "values voters". Even if they are truly voting based on their values.

  3. Speaking of Gods, guns, gays...didn't Obama get in trouble for saying something along those lines????

  4. The "bitter/cling" comments - the response to that was a lesson for him on the type of thing you don't say (or at least have to say more artfully) when running for national office, and that even ideologically friendly reporters will run with a "scoop" if given the opportunity. Better that he get that lesson early in the campaign than shortly before the general election.

    It's reassuring to see how well he responds to the mini-scandals, as he's going to face a lot more negativity in the campaign against McCain.


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