We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We have been avoiding adding any verbiage to the racial dimensions of these primaries. In general, we hate the subject of race. However, a piece by Sykes at Am. Thinker - Barack Obama's Race Problem: White Liberals - nails the condescension of the liberal elites and of the lefty bien pensants. (thanks, Reader). A quote:
In the wake of Clinton's New Hampshire victory much of the punditocracy seems to be surprised by the sudden resurgence of race as a central factor in the presidential race. They shouldn't be.
Democrats, after all, are a party shaped and obsessed with identity and grievance politics, so the clash between sensitivities of race and gender will inevitably be magnified. Who is more offended? Women or Blacks? In New Hampshire it was women, who protectively rallied around an emotional Hillary Clinton who has been unfairly beaten up by the boys.
Now the focus is turning to the sensitivities of African Americans, who are offended by the subtle racial digs of the Clinton campaign. The political backlash of "denigrating women," is being replaced by a backlash against "denigrating African American."
Deep down, guilty white liberals feel guilty about other people's attitudes and behavior, not their own. To the contrary they are smugly certain of their own racial virtue; in fact, (they will tell themselves) they care so deeply about black people that they feel an obligation to protect them from an unenlightened electorate. Don't be surprised if many white liberals end up voting against Obama, while telling themselves they are doing it because they are so supportive of minority aspirations.
That's Obama's racial problem.
Update: Just found another worthwhile bit on the subject from David Brooks in the NYT today - The Identity Trap. A quote:
All the rhetorical devices that have been a staple of identity politics are now being exploited by the Clinton and Obama campaigns against each other. They are competing to play the victim. They are both accusing each other of insensitivity. They are both deliberately misinterpreting each other’s comments in order to somehow imply that the other is morally retrograde.
All the habits of verbal thuggery that have long been used against critics of affirmative action, like Ward Churchill and Thomas Sowell, and critics of the radical feminism, like Christina Hoff Summers, are now being turned inward by the Democratic front-runners.
Thanks BD,thanks Reader for a most interesting take on what appears to be a bit of a conundrum..
For my part I see a country becoming more ungovernable with each decade.
It is admirable that MF would eschew the discussions of race, gender, and the like but to do so would be the harmatia of some very important issues that need constant attention and deserve this forum and it's contributors level headed attention. If we in the center cannot hold then the fringes will flank us and we will be forced to capitulate without having our say. Not the best of positions.
There's a CS Lewis connection on this one too. Feeling guilty about others' sins while smug about one's own attitudes is the same mechanism that is in place when politicians indulge in national apologies. They aren't apologizing, they're accusing. Confessing someone else's sins is a sign of enormous arrogance.
Assistant Village Idiot