Monday, May 12, 2008

Farmer Bob (Bob Herbert reaps what he sows)...

NY Times columnist, Bob Herbert, is a farmer.  Who knew!?

For months now Farmer Bob and the Obama sympathetic media have carefully tilled the fertile liberal fields, sowed the seeds of racial politics, and now are reaping what they have sown.

His May 10th article - "Seeds of Destruction"puts forth the ridiculous position that "the Clintons" are saying, "He [Senator Obama] can't win!  Don't you understand?  He's black!  He's black!"  

That is a lie and calculated for divisive effect.  

In broad strokes, Hillary Clinton's coalition are women, white, older, working class, lower income, high school education or less.  What the media calls "Joe six pack," "the regular folks," and, at times, "dinosaurs."  In broad strokes, Barack Obama's coalition are black, younger, upper class, higher income, college educated.  What the media calls "wine drinkers," "intellectuals," "the elite," and "progressives."

Both Hillary and Barack seem to have those two broad coalitions locked down - granted, a bit of syphoning has happened, but the above is correct in the main.

Back to Farmer Bob - The Clinton message has been her coalition is made up from voters who are necessary to win a closely contested Presidential election, which 2008 is shaping up to be.  Her coalition is not the fringe, the far left, but the middle, left of center voter - a coalition that includes Reagan Democrats.  On the other hand, the Obama coalition (the far left and "egg heads") are made up of those who have always voted for the Democratic party nominee, regardless of who that candidate may be.  This can't be said for all of Clinton's coalition.  

The Reagan Democrats, those more socially conservative Democrats who vote Republican when they feel the Democratic candidate is positioned too far to the left for their sensibilities, will support Hillary based on her political position on the left spectrum.  Will the Reagan Democrats vote for Barack Obama?  Did they vote for the "progressive" Dukakis who is by all accounts less "progressive" than Senator Obama?  Maybe they will, but it doesn't seem likely, especially with the relatively moderate John McCain as the Republican candidate.  This is not a matter of race, but rather a matter of political philosophy, and Mr. Herbert does himself a disservice suggesting otherwise.  

The good farmer has claimed, "I don’t know if Senator Obama can win the White House. No one knows. But to deliberately convey the idea that most white people — or most working-class white people — are unwilling to give an African-American candidate a fair hearing in a presidential election is a slur against whites."  

I don't know if Senator Obama can win either.  If he can, indeed, change the electoral map to make up for the deficiencies he acknowledges he has in the "must have" Democratic general election states... A tall order, but he may be the one to pull it off.  Nonetheless, I believe Hillary has a better chance to win, but if Barack is the nominee, he will have my full support, and I do feel he is a better choice than McCain.  To the rest of the quote - This is patently false and at no point has this idea been put forth.  Race and gender have been playing a role in this primary from the beginning.  How could it not - the first serious black candidate for President and the first serious woman candidate for President.  Of course we are speaking of this.  However, I do find it interesting that those who are screaming loudest "to move past this," the issue of race, are the same folks who continue to bring it to the fore and are reading racial undertones into comments where there are none.  

Regarding the rest of the article -  it is more ad hominem attacks.  Nothing substantive to Hillary as a Presidential candidate, just reckless commentary from a true believer.  

(The word "out there" is if Obama doesn't win the Party's nomination, some of his supporters, many black supporters, will not support Senator Clinton - not on political or philosophical positions, but ones of spite... shame on you.  This also goes for the women who make similar claims if Hillary doesn't win - spite, race or gender is not a serious, responsible platform to choose a President.  Let us keep our heads about us and our eyes on the prize)

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