January 15, 2008

"What we have here is worthy of a Tom Wolfe novel: the bonfire of the multicultural vanities."

Writes David Brooks:
The Clintons are hitting Obama with everything they’ve got. The Obama subordinates are twisting every critique into a racial outrage in an effort to make all criticism morally off-limits....
Ha ha. Exactly. Are you deeply troubled that such serious matters should be so rudely politicized, or are you laughing at the farce?

Meanwhile, the 2 campaigns have supposedly called a truce with respect to any dispute over Martin Luther King. Does that mean race won't be a point of contention anymore or are we just seeing Obama showing off his graciousness while reminding us of Mrs. Clinton's MLK gaffe once again?

28 comments:

rcocean said...

Interesting and well written. Compare this column to Bill Kristol's. The contrast highlights Bill's mediocrity hackery.

Middle Class Guy said...

This race issue was the scandal that should not have been, and silly us, we all fell for it. Imagine, two candidates in a tiff over who has the right to invoke MLK, who has the right to the Civil Rights claim, and who is the Civil Rights President. This was pure childishness by little children who have no business in the adult world of governance.

Then we have those pesky little code words. For the uninitiated, code words are terms that are offensive because they actually mean something else. They are always defined by the offended party, of course. There is no such thing as a code word.

The Civil Rights era is over. The movement has outlived its usefulness. It is dead. No one told the Democratic Party that yet. The only people keeping it alive are those who are in need of relevance, like Jesse Jackson, and those who make vast sums of money off of it, like the Urban League and the NAACP.

We all fell into their trap. We all had this ridiculous discussion or rant on race. We were all made to feel guilty or smug. Now, it is over. Let us all hold hands and loudly sing Kubayah.

Clinton and Obama have proved that neither has the qualifications to be president. They are trivial, light weight, and marginal. This race nonsense proved it.

David said...

Troubled, but laughing (usually a good response to trouble.)

Hillary once compared the then Republican dominated House of Representatives to a "plantation."

The Democratic Party has been the real plantation party in American politics, and now that a African American leader with national and biracial appeal has emerged, people like Hillary can't get good help anymore.

Simon said...

It's instructive, though, to look at the terms of the ceasefire, as told by Obama: “I think that I may disagree with Senator Clinton or Senator Edwards on how to get there, but we share the same goals. We’re all Democrats, ... We all believe in civil rights. We all believe in equal rights. We all believe that regardless of race or gender that people should have equal opportunities.” Translation: all of us are Democrats, and Democrats support civil rights and equal opportunities, unlike Republicans, who don't believe in those things. Instead of calling one another racist, let's concentrate on getting the real racists: the evil Rethuglican machine." He can't help himself from letting the ugly partisanship that underlies his supposed "new kind of politics" poke through.

Greybeard said...

Laughing.
Heartily.

rhhardin said...

They're not serious until they ridicule the audience for this crap. Those are the very people they want to flatter, however.

That's what makes them unable to escape meaninglessness.

George said...

Does anyone know the explanation for Oprah's decision not to campaign on Sen. Obama's behalf in South Carolina?

Even if she is not showing up in person, surely with all her money, she is using it behind the scenes....

Also notice the split in Jesse Jackson's family...

"The divide in the African-American community can be seen within the family of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a Greenville, S.C., native who won the state's Democratic presidential primary in 1984 and 1988. While Jackson has yet to campaign for either candidate, his son, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, has canvassed and cut a radio ad for Obama, reminding South Carolinians of their history....

Jacqueline Jackson, the wife of Rev. Jesse Jackson, wants to launch a president too, but a different one: "Hillary believes that the way we treat our children reflects our nation's values."

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well what I find ironic is that its been the liberal Democrats who for years have created the atmosphere where any criticism of an African-American is viewed through the prism of racism. It' wasn't the GOP who look for those 'code words' that they feel are thinly disguised racism. I think the MLK statement much along the same lines as Trent Lott's plug of Thurmond.

Sorry Dems, you created that big shit sandwich now you too can take a bite.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Does anyone know the explanation for Oprah's decision not to campaign on Sen. Obama's behalf in South Carolina?

My wife watches Oprah all the time and she told me that a lot of her fan based was getting irritated at her fawning over Obama. I didn't see anything in print on this but I don't doubt it considering her fan base. They seem more interested in which celb is on or what family crisis is being resolved rather than presidential politics.

dbp said...

Democrats invented this nasty thing called Identity Politics, they had a lot of fun using it on Republicans. So, do I enjoy seeing Democrats use it against each other? Sure!

There is a miniscule, but non-zero chance that this will make the other side realize how destructive their ways have been. That there is any chance of this--however small--should be counted as a good thing.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

This was pure childishness by little children who have no business in the adult world of governance.

(Oprah's fanbase)seem more interested in which celb is on or what family crisis is being resolved rather than presidential politics.


I was struck by both of these comments showing up in the same thread; I agree that the garbage over a racist codeword is there only to distract us from the fact that what few ideas either of these folks have are bad ones, and the whole hub bub is for entertainment and meant to draw a certain kind of individual- those wo see a soundbite and decide on a candidate, and then stop thinking about politics for four more years- yet I would have thought that individual was an Oprah viewer.

Have they already made up their minds for a candidate and have therefore lost interest in endorsements?

Was their irritation because they have decided against Obama or for him, and Oprah's constant fawning was making them question their decision?

The Drill SGT said...

rcocean said...
Interesting and well written. Compare this column to Bill Kristol's. The contrast highlights Bill's mediocrity hackery.


while I like David's stuff, he did confuse Ward Connerly with Ward Churchill in this column IMHO.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Was their irritation because they have decided against Obama or for him, and Oprah's constant fawning was making them question their decision?

It may simply be because her fans don't feel the need for political pandering coming from thier idol. There are more than a few celbrities I hold a jaundiced view toward simply because of how they wear thier political stripes on their sleeve. Example, I always enjoyed Alec Baldwin in his movies and thought him a stellar actor. I actually find it difficult to watch him now seeing how unhinged he his (personally and politically).

It may also be that Oprah is seen by her fans as 'above' nasty politics. Who knows although I may be wrong, her fan base would seem to be more supportive of Obama than not.

Ben (The Tiger) said...

Yes.

Yes, and yes.

former law student said...

I picture Obama singing to HRC:

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
...
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

P.S. Tom Tomorrow has an excellent cartoon this week, showing how nothing succeeds like failure: how Kristol rode a steady wave of being wrong in print, right to the New York Times.

rastajenk said...

Well, then he ought to feel right at home.

Hoosier Daddy said...

P.S. Tom Tomorrow has an excellent cartoon this week, showing how nothing succeeds like failure: how Kristol rode a steady wave of being wrong in print, right to the New York Times.

He should include Krugman and Dowd along with him. Talk about overrated and consistently off the mark.

Then again the NY ed page is more about screed then accuracy.

Roger said...

Does anybody think this racial/gender thing is going away? A truce? Right.... Obama is one shrewd SOB. Team Clinton beshatted itself, Team Obama played the race card, and now Team Obama is playing the peacemaker not giving Team Clinton time to clean themselves up. This guy is good.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Was their irritation because they have decided against Obama or for him, and Oprah's constant fawning was making them question their decision?

Having never once watched her show or any other weekday daytime show I can only speculate.

Maybe they were irritated because they want to be entertained when they tune in and listening to a political campaign is off key for the programing they expect. The same irritation when you go to a Linda Ronstadt concert and get lectured about the eeeeevviiiiil republican bushhilter etc. I paid for my ticket to hear you sing, turned on the show to be entertained.....shut up and perform or lose your audience.

Entertainment /= political campaigning. Unless it is Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich speaking....there's entertainment.

AlphaLiberal said...

I doubt that's everything they've got. Got to keep the powder dry.

AlphaLiberal said...

"The Civil Rights era is over. "

Really? Why are you so anxious to end the Civil rights era?

Racism is alive and well in America, where children of color die in greater numbers than Euro kids. Schools teaching black children are under-funded.

Imprisonment of African-American males is off the charts with continuing inequities in punishments for blacks as compared to whites.

Plus, we have the GOP (GRand Old Perverts) continuing to use the racist "Southern Strategy" long after Ken Mehlman apologized for it.

And, conservatives want no more talk of civil rights...

Revenant said...

Really? Why are you so anxious to end the Civil rights era?

Nobody has to end it. It ended years ago. Civil rights won.

antiphone said...

Nobody has to end it. It ended years ago. Civil rights won.

Right Revanant, and we never hear about anti-Semitism anymore because that’s extinct too. Oh wait, Ron Paul…

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"The Civil Rights era is over. "

Really? Why are you so anxious to end the Civil rights era?


Just because that phase of the Civil Rights struggle is past doesn't mean that it has "ended". Just like anything in life (marriage, children, business creation, civil rights struggle, feminism movement, the earth's climate) things progress and change. Nothing is stagnant and unchanging.

Having overcome some of the major hurdles and with the passage of the Civil Rights Legislation through Congress....yes that era is over.

We are now into a new era, however, the Jesse Jacksons, Sharptons and others (hdlouse) of that era don't want to admit to themselves that things have changed and that they are basically dinosaurs that are impeding the next stage of the evolution of Civil Rights.

Revenant said...

Right Revanant, and we never hear about anti-Semitism anymore because that’s extinct too. Oh wait, Ron Paul…

The Civil Rights movement didn't exist to end racism (and a good thing, too, since that would be impossible). It existed to end government racism and to drive racism out of acceptable public discourse.

Both missions succeeded decades ago. Racism is completely unacceptable in public forums and the only racist government programs today are those supported by the handful of remaining "civil rights activists", e.g. affirmative action and racial quotas.

Middle Class Guy said...

Alpha Liberal said:
Racism is alive and well in America, where children of color die in greater numbers than Euro kids. Schools teaching black children are under-funded.

Imprisonment of African-American males is off the charts with continuing inequities in punishments for blacks as compared to whites.

Plus, we have the GOP (GRand Old Perverts) continuing to use the racist "Southern Strategy" long after Ken Mehlman apologized for it.


Children of color and other children who die in large numbers are the result of poverty and poor parenting. Under funding is an excuse used to keep incompetent teachers, administrators and principles employed. They keep accusing the establishment of under funding to cover up their sins of omission. It also excuses the best educational tool not used- parental involvement in children’s education.

Imprisonment of Black males is off the charts because crimes committed across the board by Black males is off the charts., especially in large urban areas. Is your solution to find high proportions of Blacks not guilty just because they are Black?

The so called Southern Strategy was originally developed by Southern Democrats long before Mehlman was born. It is dusted off and used at will by either side.

Middle Class Guy said...

How long are movements supposed to last? The Civil Rights Movement was initiated to pass civil rights legislation, guaranteeing rights to all. The legislation was passed. Movements, by definition, have a lifecycle which ends when the major goal is accomplished.

BTW, the Labor Movemnt should have died years ago too.

Movements are kept alive for one reason, and one reason only; money, cash, kachingos.

From Inwood said...

Middle Class Guy

You say

How long are movements supposed to last? ... Movements, by definition, have a lifecycle which ends when the major goal is accomplished...Movements are kept alive for one reason, and one reason only; money, cash, kachingos.

It’s like The March of Dimes. It helped lick polio & so it had to find a new, um, raison d’ĂȘtre.

Brooks is spot on as are most of the commenters here, except the usual “it’s all the fault of the GOP & White Males anyway” commenters. What, depends on the meaning on “it’s: in my previous sentence? OK ‘it’s’ means in this context all the things left undone which they say ought to have been done & all things done which they say ought not to have been done.

Drill Sgt

Brooks was correct in his reference to “Ward Connerly”, a good guy, rather than “Ward Churchill” a horror.