March 14, 2008

"Adventures in Identity Politics."

As I head back to Madison for a spring break that will begin un-spring-breakingly with a law school conference about "the institutions and the people who have theorized sex and race," I'm struck by this Charles Krauthammer column. Krauthammer pithily summarizes the narrative arc of the Democratic race: Hillary Clinton began as a moderate, but reacted to pressure by moving leftward. With no significant policy differences, personality and identity became central. On personal charisma, Barack Obama was crushing Clinton, but then — did Clinton make that happen? — identity politics found its way into the foreground. Krauthammer concludes:
The pillars of American liberalism -- the Democratic Party, the universities and the mass media -- are obsessed with biological markers, most particularly race and gender. They have insisted, moreover, that pedagogy and culture and politics be just as seized with the primacy of these distinctions and with the resulting "privileging" that allegedly haunts every aspect of our social relations.

They have gotten their wish. This primary campaign represents the full flowering of identity politics. It's not a pretty picture. Geraldine Ferraro says Obama is only where he is because he's black. Professor Orlando Patterson says the 3 a.m. phone call ad is not about a foreign policy crisis but a subliminal Klan-like appeal to the fear of "black men lurking in the bushes around white society."

Good grief. The optimist will say that when this is over, we will look back on the Clinton-Obama contest, and its looming ugly endgame, as the low point of identity politics, and the beginning of a turning away. The pessimist will just vote Republican.
I'm off to "obsess" about race and gender at a conference about honoring the "obsession" with race and gender. I think the race and gender issues are real — even if they are often misperceived or exaggerated. Krauthammer doesn't quite say if he thinks these issues are mere delusions. His point is that they wreak havoc on a political campaign.

Barack Obama had positioned himself as someone who transcended race, and he thrilled us with the hope that we could all transcend race with him. If we fell for him, it had to be in part because we could see that he was black, but we weren't talking about that, and it was working because he didn't and we didn't. But the Hillary Clinton campaign couldn't let us dream our shared dream. She had to rouse us. It was her only hope, and her dream was worth more to her than the great coming together over Barack Obama.

But it wasn't just Hillary driving the wedge into the happy good feelings of the coalescing Democrats. Krauthammer portrays the Republican Party as the passive beneficiary of ugliness on the Democratic side. But it's not as if the Republicans are above the fray. They are promoting the chaos. Now, I know they'll say that the opportunity only exists because the Democrats have so deeply invested themselves in identity politics, and indeed, this is the subtext of Krauthammer's column. The notion seems to be that the Democrats would have been better off if — like Republicans! — they'd ignored the race and gender issues all along.

96 comments:

rhhardin said...

Krauthammer doesn't quite say if he thinks these issues are mere delusions. His point is that they wreak havoc on a political campaign.

They're political obstacles, is the way to put it, in the way of eliminating themselves.

For gender, it's keeping women from recognizing that they are not men but something else, and finding how to apply their interests and inclinations other than as weaker and misplumbed males.

For race, it's keeping blacks from the dignity they think is being withheld from them ; by driving out the idea that blacks might take up a collection and help poor whites, in favor of the idea that whites have to give them more stuff.

In MLK's speech, he had whites as well as blacks singing ``free at last;'' why whites? Because they're free of their racism. Which is what blacks are not, as long as they're kept in line by ``black leadership.''

I don't consult white leadership myself. Blacks apparently need it though, in the liberal narrative.

Liberals on race have been taking their own dignity from helping blacks for years; conservatives say that's counterproductive, and conservatives are right.

Kirby Olson said...

I don't see how any difference can be found between Nazi rallies over racial identity and identity politics. Different identities, but the idea is the same.

Obama's popularity trades on this, and Ferrarro is right. But feminist identity politics is part of what made this zeitgeist.

The way his photo is on banners and is lifted above the crowd is extremely disturbing. It's like the fascist crowds around Hitler or Mussolini.

I am personally terrified of this phenomenon, and the way in which it's organized the youth into mindless enthusiasts swept up in the charisma of a candidate who promises a brave new world.

It's repulsive. But it's a wave that's been carefully planned for by decades of well-meaning feminists and now nothing can stop it. It has its own life.

Hoosier Daddy said...

They are promoting the chaos

To be fair, I recall Kos urging his readers to do the same thing to keep Romney in the race.

Chaos is the system allowing open primaries.

rcocean said...

They can't ignore identity politics because they have NO significant policy differences.

The choice is between a liberal with a dark skin and a liberal with a vagina.

Trooper York said...

Can we choose a liberal with a dark vagina?

Trooper York said...

That would be Elliott Spitzer. He is an evil pussy. So to speak.

Michael_H said...

"The notion seems to be that the Democrats would have been better off if — like Republicans! — they'd ignored the race and gender issues all along."

Good idea. Let's try it on this blog.

Richard Fagin said...

Professor, Obama may have thrilled you with his appearance of transcending race. We neanderthals weren't thrilled at all, or fooled. Colin Powell transcended race. John H. Johnson transcended race. Ed Brooke transcended race. Kenneth Chennault transcended race.

There is no doubt every one of the above examples encountered racism in one form or another, but not one let it stand in the way of his personal accomplishment.

George said...

The word "transcend" in its mundane sense means to rise or climb above.

But no one ever says "I'm going to transcend the clouds in the airplane."

When people use the word they are almost always thinking about triumphing over material existence in a religious sense.

"Barack Obama had positioned himself as someone who transcended race, and he thrilled us with the hope that we could all transcend race with him," writes Prof. Althouse.

It is impossible for one to physically transcend one's race any more than it is possible for a dwarf to transcend his height and become a giant; anyone thrilled by a candidate promising such hope in the bloody, ugly, smelly world of politics is bound to be disappointed.

Fen said...

Ann: His point is that they wreak havoc on a political campaign.

I think you pulled up short. His point is also WHY they reak havoc, and WHERE ELSE they reak havoc.

We've had the gender and race cards played against us so often, there should be an equivalent of Godwin's Law created for them. Now, finally, its the liberals turn. Is it wrong to smirk at the thought of them being devoured by their own creation?

I think it'll be good for the country - HOPE and CHANGE - because maybe once liberals are victimized by their own race and gender politics, they'll be less likely to inflict it on us at work, academia, soccer games, etc.

Trooper York said...

Isn't a transcendalist a guy who dresses in womans clothes? That won't work out so good when you are running for president.That's why Chris Dodd had to drop out of the race when they caught him dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire at a mall in Stamford shopping for pearls.

Not that theres anything wrong with that.

Ann Althouse said...

It is "wreak," not "reak" (and certainly not "reek") havoc, in case anyone is puzzling over it

terrance said...

Is it correct to say that Krauthammer' is implying that ignoring racial and gender (and I would add religious) identifications, particularly the negative elements of identity politics may be politically beneficial in the short-run? It seems to me, however, to represent a failed long-term strategy for this country (and internationally). Personally, I am naive enough to believe that, although slow, arduous, and difficult, we can make progress on these deeply embedded dynamics.

On the other hand, if one does not believe that human kind has the capacity to ultimately resolve much of the bigotry associated with racial, sexual, and religious identity, that attending to it can only make it worse, then ignoring it may be the lesser of two evils.

rcocean said...

I didn't think "reak" was a word - but it is. It means "prank".

Original Mike said...

Professor Orlando Patterson says the 3 a.m. phone call ad is not about a foreign policy crisis but a subliminal Klan-like appeal to the fear of "black men lurking in the bushes around white society."

Hey! Professor Patterson stole that from Mortimer.

Balfegor said...

His point is that they wreak havoc on a political campaign.

I think he might be suggesting that obsession over these kinds of issues is not only poison to a political campaign, but corrosive to our society as well, more or less in the same way that an unseemly obsession with differing IQs between the races would be. It's fine for academics to puzzle over, but politicians and public figures -- people with a responsibility for setting the tone -- should refrain.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This article and the one above about Barack's mother are both from same poisonous fruit. The self indulgent, self congratulatory, navel gazing, unrealistic ideology, make it fit into MY dream, it's all about me generation of the 60's.

Obama's mother was a product of the 60's and having been there I know many like her. Idealistic, sure. Unrealistic, absolutely. Wearing blinders to any other viewpoints. Gonna show that older generation (her parents) that SHE is new, fresh and doesn't need to play buy any rules but her own. Believing that she is a free thinker but putting people into little identity boxes.

Frankly the world will be better off when the last aging hippie and feminist just dies.

Sloanasaurus said...

I Obama transcended race he would be splitting the black vote with Clinton. He isn't.

Trooper York said...

We had a woman in our store yesterday who reeked havoc. She smelled like really really overcooked chicken soup. We had to break out the Fabreeze.

Original Mike said...

Democrat politicians have been stoking the fires of resentment over race for many years, in the advancement of their own political ambitions. I think the best thing that could happen in the long run, for all of us, is for this to end up consuming them. Maybe that will put an end to it.

Middle Class Guy said...

Point, Krauthammer is a former Liberal ideologue, so he knows where of he speaks.

Identity politics and political correctness are now coming around to bite the Liberals on the ass.

No matter what they say or do, it is interpreted or percieved as wrong. The smart thing would have been to just STFU about race and gender and let the media fight and take the hits. But, being politicans, that is impossible. So, they all now suffer from feet in mouth disease.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Most interesting to me is how few Commonwealth blacks, and they tend to be really black, seem to be bothered by the "racism" allegedly permeating American society.

People from Uganda, Nigeria, Barbados, and all have not adopted the cultural attitudes engendered by racial identity politics of the last 40 years. Consequently they see America as a land of tremendous opportunity.

When hard working African-Americans are branded "Oreos" and "Uncle Toms" because they don't buy into identity politics -- i.e. they aren't "down for the struggle' -- the gulf only deepens.

Large numbers of African-Americans have become Black Trash, sharing a majority of cultural values with White Trash. One is largely urban, and the other largely rural, but the victimhood, the refusal to delay gratification, the blaming of others for their problems, and the whole cultural constellation of "Trash" are held in common.

That's one big reason why Bill Clinton has been called our first "black" president.

In the final analysis, identity politics is not only needlessly divisive ... it's intellectually lazy.

Balfegor said...

I Obama transcended race he would be splitting the black vote with Clinton. He isn't.

In fairness, it's not his fault so many Black voters are racists. He's just taking them as they come, not actively encouraging the beliefs Black racists, like his pastor, promote.

The reason he doesn't really transcend race is because, as our hostess says:

If we fell for him, it had to be in part because we could see that he was black, but we weren't talking about that, and it was working because he didn't and we didn't.

There was an implicit appeal -- one made explicit by many of his supporters, such as Andrew Sullivan -- based on the colour of his skin.

Bill Richardson does a much better job of "transcending race," because he's Hispanic, but roughly no voters -- Hispanic or otherwise -- reacted to him in the primaries as a Hispanic. No one wrote op-eds about how he's going to transcend race because he's Hispanic but he doesn't talk about it (Actually, I think he did, occasionally, in mundane terms). They reacted to him, instead, as a politician, a reasonably accomplished former governor and diplomat, whose race was precisely irrelevant. And he lost overwhelmingly.

Middle Class Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Middle Class Guy said...

Hey Trooper,
Do you know what today is?

Freder Frederson said...

"The low point of identity politics"?

Good grief, I thought that came back in 2000 when Karl Rove engineered those push polls in South Carolina implying John McCain had fathered an illegitimate child by a black woman. Maybe it was when Ronald Reagan was inventing "welfare queens" driving Cadillacs or Jesse Helms campaign ads had a white guy lose a job to a less qualified black one.

But I suppose Krauthammer is right, after all the Washington Post, the bastion of the liberal MSM that he writes for, did publish a column just a couple weeks ago about how stupid and controlled by their emotions women are. Oh, never mind, that was written by a conservative.

Wasn't someone keeping track of Ann's "cruel neutrality"? I guess what she meant by that was she planned to be cruel to Obama and Hillary and neutral towards McCain. Has she had one positive thing to say or pointed to one positive article about either Hillary or Obama since she declared her "cruel neutrality" or said anything negative about McCain?

Gahrie said...

The notion seems to be that the Democrats would have been better off if — like Republicans! — they'd ignored the race and gender issues all along.

Precisely. And not just the Democratic Party. The whole country, incluiding "people of color" and women would be better off if we could all begin ignoring race and gender and start treating each other like individuals.

Radical thought huh?

Trooper York said...

Everyday is that day for you my friend if you treat your lady right. Of course I like to cook the steak as I rub it with olive oil, herbs, and garlic. And then your lady can do the same. Except today is a Friday in Lent so you know what is on the menu. Fish.

paul a'barge said...

Given Obama's pastor, no way is Obama above racialism. He is hip deep in the murk of all that venality.

Middle Class Guy said...

Freder Frederson said...
Maybe it was when Ronald Reagan was inventing "welfare queens" driving Cadillacs or Jesse Helms campaign ads had a white guy lose a job to a less qualified black one.


Um, I do not know where you live, but Reagan did not have to invent welfare queens driving Cadillacs. They were very real and numerous. There were also other welfare frauds that made people wealthy. Most were never caught. As to reverse discrimination, that was very real too.

Middle Class Guy said...

Trooper York said...
Except today is a Friday in Lent so you know what is on the menu. Fish.


So go to church in the afternoon, drop a little to the priest and get dispensation; for the both of you.

Freder Frederson said...

As to reverse discrimination, that was very real too.

Yeah, being a middle class white guy is hell. Can't dance, can't play basketball worth a damn, can't cook decent fried chicken.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"The low point of identity politics"?

Good grief, I thought that came back in 2000.....


Oh but Freder that kind of stuff is simply expected by the GOP didn't you know? Or are you not the least bit distressed that such liberal icons like Bill and Hill are now being trashed for being racist?

Maybe it was when Ronald Reagan was inventing "welfare queens" driving Cadillacs

Funny you say that. When I was a teen living up in NW Indiana (Gary, Hammond, East Chicago) I sometimes worked at my church's food pantry on Saturdays and remember quite well the number of the 'poor' who came twice a month to stock up on free goodies which filled up more than a few Caddies. Heck I even pointed out to the Monsignor once that I didn't think this one lady should be getting free food when she had a brand new car (yes, still had the mfg sticker on it).

Oh and most were white too Freder as are the majority of welfare recipients.

Hoosier Daddy said...

can't cook decent fried chicken.


Bullshit. I can cook damn good fried chicken and catfish and can get my swerve on as good as anyone and I'm as white as rice.

As for dancin, I can still get my swerve on. Probably why I got laid a lot in my youth. While the 'cool guys' were wallflowers, I was gettin it on. Girls love a guy who can dance.

Tim said...

"The notion seems to be that the Democrats would have been better off if — like Republicans! — they'd ignored the race and gender issues all along."

Yes, absolutely.

Of the many reasons I'm a Republican, and could never be a Democrat, high on the list is that I consider myself an American rather than some hyphenated American with some need for some program from some government to address some concern deriving from some hyphenated American status.

One's "other" race or gender has been organized, thanks mostly to the Democrats and the Left, as a reserved, first class ticket to the taxpayer funded, government provided grievance relief banquet. And, not being satisfied with shaking down the taxpayers for unearned goodies, they've distorted education with their utterly destructive multi-culti programs, private life with their sensitivity training programs, athletics with Title IX programs, affirmative action and state-sponsored neo-paganism such as global warmism and earth day, to name just a few from a growing list.

It's a load of high grade steaming sh*t, and the fact this social cancer is now consuming the Democrat Party is spectacularly wonderful. I cannot begin to tell you how much I am enjoying that utterly stupid war - but they deserve every painful bloody minute of it - as a penitential down payment for inflicting that sh*t on the American people for the last five decades.

ricpic said...

I don't need Orlando Patterson's imprimature to fear black men lurking in the bushes. I figured that out all on my own. It's called empiricism.

Trooper York said...

I was a pretty good basketball player back in the day. I grew up at the same time as Bernard King when he went to Fort Hamilton and since I was the tallest guy, I had to cover him in pickup games at Shore Road. I generally held him to about 60-70 per game. Something I which made me very proud. Of course I only did that by making him laugh his ass off.

Can't dance for shit though. My wife won't let me dance. Think Ralph Kramdem doing the hucklebuck.

expatinsingapore said...

Ms. Althouse, I understand your obsession with gender and racial politics- because in all honesty were you not a woman, I doubt you would have risen to the level you have.

In two parts.

The first being your profession. Some time ago you would never have risen to the degree that you have as a law professor, because frankly you are not that bright. Given your age et al, when you started your career etc... you were able to get as far as you did because you were a woman.

I have followed your blog for many years now and it is too apparent that had you lived in a non-affirmative action period, you would simply be a run of the mill lawyer.

And of course, to the second point, your popularity among many on the right because you voted for Bush in 2004.

It is quite amusing now for you to turn on your fellow conservatives because they very accurately (but in your case personally!) diagnose the trauma of the entire race-gender-class-sexuality myopia that is destroying both higher education and our culture at large.

I think my dear Lady, thou doth protest too much.

And your protests become evident in your very many, shrewish responses to comments on this blog.

Indeed, none of your responses to your critics has ever struck me as the slightest bit intelligent.

And so, one can only suppose that dear Dr. Krauthammer (who unlike you is a person of true -albeit at times misguided-brilliance) has hit too close to home.

Believe me, I know true academics, and you my dear are not one.

But then again, I doubt very much that the good o'l University of Wisconsin has ever been a stickler for excellence.

terrance said...

I don't believe that the 'moral' of Krauthammer's piece is that we should ignore racial, ethnic, gender distinctions and prejudices and view other's as separate and unique individuals. He may or may not believe this, but I don't think this is what he is saying. Although, he infers that the Republicans are not as explicitly caught up in identity politics as the Dems (at this time it seems to be the case, overall however, I actually doubt this assertion) I also think that identity politics, in part, defines and distinguishes the two political parties, their existences are partially dependent on racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic differences, identities, perceptions, and judgments.

Freder Frederson said...

as a penitential down payment for inflicting that sh*t on the American people for the last five decades.

Yep, this country sure has gone downhill since that interfering Supreme Court decided that "seperate but equal" wasn't working, people of different races should be able to get married and Congress decided that States shouldn't be able to prohibit up to 30% of their populations being treated as full citizens.

But then again, I thought it was the Republicans who were responsible for the Civil Rights Act.

garage mahal said...

But the Hillary Clinton campaign couldn't let us dream our shared dream. She had to rouse us. It was her only hope, and her dream was worth more to her than the great coming together over Barack Obama.

Who's "us"? Half the people voted against him thus far. Deal with it.

I think some Wolcott is in order:

If only returning to the womb were a viable escape option from Hillary's taloned deathgrip! Probably such posts are indicative of the low morale pervading Sullivan's side pocket of the universe, his readers mirroring and amplifying his own downcast, defeated mood in a dispersed pity party. Hillary Clinton's bounce-back on March 4th had Sullivan drowning his sorrows ("I just had a Jager shot, and hope to get drunk very soon"), and staggering like a ghost through the stricken ruins of his dashed hopes, lashing out at Hillary like Sebastian blaming everything on "mummy" in Brideshead Revisited. Or perhaps Sullivan is closer in the depth of his despair to Sebastian's lover Kurt, sadly, bitterly contemplating his wounded, pus-ridden foot. For Sullivan, Hillary is the psychic pus that torments him so (she's not just any old "monster,"she's a "fratricidal maniac"), Obama the healing, uplifting ointment.

Roll that around in your head awhile.

expatinsingapore said...

My dear Freder.

Please learn some history.

A greater percentage of Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act both in the House and Senate!

Smilin' Jack said...

Barack Obama had positioned himself as someone who transcended race, and he thrilled us with the hope that we could all transcend race with him.

By "thrilled us" I have to assume you are referring to yourself and a few other people who desperately need more excitement in their lives.

If we fell for him, it had to be in part because we could see that he was black, but we weren't talking about that, and it was working because he didn't and we didn't.

I don't remember people talking about anything else in relation to Obama. What else is there to talk about?

...her dream was worth more to her than the great coming together over Barack Obama.

"...the great coming together over Barack Obama." Urrgh...if Hillary can save us from that, well, go Hillary!

SaintCroix said...

The notion seems to be that the Democrats would have been better off if — like Republicans! — they'd ignored the race and gender issues all along.

Republican here. I'm confused. What are the race and gender issues?

former law student said...

It's true that the Republicans transcended identity politics. Their candidates this year ran the WASP male gamut: From McCain, to Huckabee, to Romney (Mormon now, but a Norman Conquest kinda name), to Brownback, Gilmore, Hunter, Thompson, and Thompson. Even a couple colorful ethnics crept in: Giuliani and Tancredo. I don't know where to classify Ron Paul: WASP or name-truncated ethnic a la Muskie. As a white male I can identify with all of them, but what of the lesser people?

Middle Class Guy said...

Freder,
That was cute, but you still did not refute the fact that reverse discrimination caused many more problems than it solved.

Of course, being typical of your ilk, you would readily accept the fact that you were denied employment or a promotion because a less qualified person of what ever so called minority had to get the job- whether he could do it or not. You would just say to yourself it's for the common good and society benefits if I lose out.

Right.

Freder Frederson said...

It's true that the Republicans transcended identity politics.

But Condi is Secretary of State!

Freder Frederson said...

That was cute, but you still did not refute the fact that reverse discrimination caused many more problems than it solved.

Frankly, I have worked for more idiot white sons or relatives of the boss than I have incompetent people who may or may not have been promoted because of their race or gender.

Wealth, class, and yes, being white and male, in this country is still a bigger advantage than it is a disadvantage. If you feel you are oppressed or disadvantaged because you are a white male, then you are just pathetic. You don't know how good you have it.

former law student said...

that reverse discrimination caused many more problems than it solved.

Yes, suddenly black people appeared where they didn't belong. And there was a nationwide shortage of bootblacks. My plumber is black, and I'm sure it was only AA responsible for taking him on as an apprentice, instead of saving the jobs for the white plumbers' kids.

SaintCroix said...

If you feel you are oppressed or disadvantaged because you are a white male, then you are just pathetic. You don't know how good you have it.

What's so noxious and, yes, racist and sexist about identity politics is that it is suddenly okay to reduce individual human beings to their race and gender, and that is all you see. The individuals disappear. Vote for the black man! Vote for the white woman! White males are privileged! Blah blah blah. There are millions and millions of white males in this country. I just saw a homeless one the other day. If you haven't met all of these people, you can't really talk about them with intelligence. So shut up.

John Stodder said...

I see a more psychological side to all this. Having been around politics for years, I've run into more than a few liberals who, in private conversation, turn out to have what I would regard as at least mildly racist or sexist attitudes. It used to shock me, the extent to which people like this behaved as if the worst stereotypes about ethnic minorities and women were true, even as they advocated policies that were supposed to benefit them.

What seemed clear to me was that they had conflicted feelings of guilt and shame, and tried to resolve these feelings through their politics. As if there was a little voice in their heads saying "I'm a bad person, but my liberalism makes up for it." This is not true of all liberals, but more than a few.

The Obama-Clinton campaign has attacked the comfort zone liberals like this build up around themselves, particularly Hillary's campaign, in a couple of ways. Hillary and her supporters are far more explicit in its call for identity politics, i.e. Gloria Steinem's refrain that choosing a black candidate over a female candidate is a betrayal of feminism.

But Obama's campaign is subversive in a different way. He seems to be saying, quite reasonably, "I'm not campaigning as a victim of racism." To the kind of liberal I'm talking about, this assertion inspires vertigo. Voting for Obama could be a validation of one's goodness, except for some of these liberals, his victimhood is the only way they can get over their discomfort about voting for a black president.

That's why the 3 a.m. ad has proven to be devilishly effective. It takes the old "but would you want your sister to marry one" cliche and turning it into "but would you want your commander in chief to be one." Hillary's claim of Obama's "lack of experience" is, I think, a kind of coded message to guilty racist liberals, appealing to their deep-rooted belief that blacks really aren't qualified for a job like the presidency. To such liberals, the proper role for blacks is to be grateful beneficiaries of liberal largesse. They're proud of an America in which a guy like Obama can go to Harvard Law and become a senator, and feel like they should get some of the credit for it. But for Obama to take the next step causes all these conflicted and unresolved feelings to combust.

But there's Hillary again, ever-helpful, saying "I'll make Obama my vice-president." To a more color-blind political observer, this was a bizarre statement. She's telling us he's not qualified to be president, but now wants him to be her vice-president? But her underlying coded message is, "Racist liberals, I am offering you a way out of your dilemma."

Freder Frederson said...

If you haven't met all of these people, you can't really talk about them with intelligence. So shut up.

I assume "Middle Class Guy" is who he says he is (but then again, I am really not a character in a 1926Fritz Lang film). Maybe he is a homeless guy typing away on a computer at a public library somewhere. He certainly sounds like someone who has been held down by "The Man". If he is, then I apologize.

Richard Dolan said...

Krauthammer never suggests that race or gender are irrelevant categories, and even less does he say that the Rep team is or should be blind to them. It's the "obsessing" and the "privileging" of race/gender as the touchstones of moral and political legitimacy -- i.e., the utter lack of perspective combined with the determination to subordinate all other categories or modes of analysis to them -- that creates the insoluble problem that the Dems find themselves in.

Typically in a presidential election, the voters who are up for grabs in an election -- meaning those who don't vote reflexively for the D or R candidate -- make a choice based on how they view a candidate's character and judgment combined with some general assessment of the candidate's policy positioning -- candidate X will be better because he/she favors smaller gov't/lower taxes/less military engagement abroad/is concerned about "people like me," whatever.

Krauthammer's point is that, in the primary fight between H and O, the Dems have substituted the race/gender meme for those more traditional ways in which the wider electorate will make its choice. So, in the primary, the result of all that "obsessing" and "privileging" about race/gender is that the Dem electorate is being asked to decide whether black-young-male is "better" than white-old-female, by using the race/gender criterion to decide who "deserves" the Dem nomination. To frame an electoral choice is those terms is, as Krauthammer says, "not a pretty picture." But that's where this primary is at, and there is no obvious way out for the Dems.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

But Condi is Secretary of State!

And eminently qualified for that position. So... are you saying that Condi is an affirmative action appointment?

There is a difference between being "ethnic" and achieving and being "ethnic" and getting preferential treatment because your company has a mandated quota system. Affirmative action has had its place and time to break down the barriers of discrimination for
ethnics and women in areas that they historically were denied access. But to promote incompetent people merely on the basis of race or gender is what has caused the backlash against a policy that is really not needed in today's society. The problem of identity politics and the same in the workplace is only continued and enhanced by AA and other types of policies.

I worked for a nationally known brokerage firm and they decided to implement "diversity training" because pretty much 90% of brokers were/are white men. The had a quota that they wanted to fill for blacks, hispanics, orientals and women. Actively recruiting people to become brokers on the basis of race and then putting them into offices where the demographics of the investing clients was just not going assure any successes. Recruiting people on basis of race and gender and giving them big books of business that they were completely unable to handle because they (the diversity hires) were not up to the task and lacked the job skills and personality traits, thereby ensuring that the clients were upset and the hired brokers would be doomed to failure.

Great plan. /sarcasm. But it satisfied the AA guidelines and the feel good political culture.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Wealth, class, and yes, being white and male, in this country is still a bigger advantage than it is a disadvantage

Minus the white part that pretty much holds true for any country Freder. Money talks and bullshit walks has pretty much been how the world has been since Ug the Caveman figured how to make fire.

As for the identity politics, maybe you can explain to us conservatives why is it the racism charge is being leveled against such progressives like Clinton, Ferrero et al.?

I'm still waiting for Doyle/Verso to jump and tell us all to just wait, wait for the GOP smear machine to kick in. Wait for it. Its coming. Any minute now.

former law student said...

There is a difference between being "ethnic" and achieving and being "ethnic" and getting preferential treatment because your company has a mandated quota system.

If Huckabee got his position as second-highest Rep vote getter on merit, I don't understand the Republican view of merit. I would have bounced him in the first round.

Actively recruiting people to become brokers on the basis of race and then putting them into offices where the demographics of the investing clients was just not going assure any successes.

Shouldn't you be hottin' up a pot of vittles, while darning socks for your young'uns, instead of talkin' this man-talk?

Trooper York said...

"Shouldn't you be hottin' up a pot of vittles, while darning socks for your young'uns, instead of talkin' this man-talk?"

Now that's hot.

Trooper York said...

It's just that I have a lot of problems with my socks.

Middle Class Guy said...

Freder,
My point is there are welfare queens and there were people who were either fired, laid off, and not promoted because of AA.

You made the accusation that it was all made up, rumors, and inneuendo, when it was a fact of life. When faced with reality, you go into the typical liberal hatred attack mode.

Unfortunately, you reap what you sow. Now, the so called disadvantqged miinorities are getting a taste of their own medicine. Many qualified minorities and women are being denied positions because- are you ready for this- they need more white people to balance out diversity.

madawaskan said...

I really doubt that Kos and Limbaugh have much effect.

Daily Kos -go watch that sitemeter for awhile...

It's been a "recent" notion that Europe et al loathe America since George Bush.

Well guess again or-

Uh-Bullshit.

Have any of you people ever lived overseas-Liberals with all the love for all that is foreign?

America was/has been resented for a long, long time.

That's something thr military brat club has known for awhile-it's easily overcome on a one to one basis but there it is.

Anyways a lot of the hate America Club of Europe likes to hang out at Daily Kos. A lot of the rest of the crowd likes to sit around and bitch-

They don't vote. Look at the Kos Kiss of death endorsement record.

Now for Limbaugh-honestly the guy couldn't get Republicans already registered to vote for anybody but McCain in the Republican primaries.

But ya he's creating chaos on the Democrat primary by first getting these people to switch and...

Liberals don't want to take responsibility for anything and they shouldn't - ever- by the looks of how they govern themselves without any checks on what the can do.

Finally - Kraut, Steyn and a lot of others are Canadian-there's things about America that simply escape them but that's for another comment.

Let's just suffice it to say-

I went to France just about three summers ago and it was after Steyn had written this article about some 'hood in Paris that he had been afraid to be in-as a big male.

Fast forward-I got lost in this one neighborhood and French people were going out of their way to be nice to me-it wasn't at all what I had expected and I said to myself-if this happens to be the same part of Paris that Steyn wrote about -I'm going to laugh because as an American gal I've been more petrified in D.C. and North Las Vegas.

Turns out it was the same place.

This is the same guy who is seeing Mirages of Mexicans at CPAC by the way-and let me tell ya-it just might be because he's Canadian.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Shouldn't you be hottin' up a pot of vittles, while darning socks for your young'uns, instead of talkin' this man-talk?"

Now that's hot.


Ha ha What's also hot is that I have a half hour appointment today that will net me twice as much as Ashley Dupre makes in an hour. Plus I don't even have to wash up afterwards. :-) It's good to be the Dust Bunny Queen. (stealing from Mel Brooks)

TMink said...

A trio of points: Republicans and Democrats differ more in their intended victims than in their philosophy or approach to gaining power. Either party would do the same if they saw the opportunity.

Conservatives are not interested in race and gender because we are interested in personal responsibility. Personaly responsible people have transcended race and gender even in times when institutionalized racism and sexism were the norm. As governmental interference is reduced, there will be less opportunity for institutionalized racism and bigotry, so personal responsibility will once again be valued.

Rush is having a lot of fun! He is playing on the fears of liberals by exagerating his ability to influence the electoral process. He is not able to sway the election in the manner that he pretends to, and he knows it, but not everyone gets the joke.

Trey

Freder Frederson said...

Actively recruiting people to become brokers on the basis of race and then putting them into offices where the demographics of the investing clients was just not going assure any successes.

You claim that discrimination and racism is not a problem in today's society, yet at the same time you imply that clients prefer white male brokers.

Do you notice any irony or inconsistency in your argument?

Hoosier Daddy said...

America was/has been resented for a long, long time.

Pretty much since 1776 to be precise.

Chip Ahoy said...

How do you pronounce pedagogy? Is it like "go"+"gee wiz"? I'm kinda stuck on not knowing how to say that word.

Identity politics totally sucks.

TMink said...

Racism is just that, racism. There is no such thing as "reverse racism." Racism and bigotry are wrong in whatever guise they exist.

Trey

Freder Frederson said...

Have any of you people ever lived overseas-Liberals with all the love for all that is foreign?

I have, during the Reagan and Clinton years. And if you think that Americans are always hated overseas, you are just wrong.

Tim said...

"Pretty much since 1776 to be precise.

Although, unlike Cuba, which prohibits people the freedom to leave, we do allow people to leave; yet Alex Baldwin, Oh-Bah-Muh's minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright and their ilk never, ever seem to leave this most racist, sexist, hateful nation that ever existed.

Why is that?

Freder Frederson said...

Where's Cedarford when you need him?

former law student said...

Conservatives are not interested in race and gender because we are interested in personal responsibility.

So white males are the most personally responsible people?

Rush is having a lot of fun!

Sure, I hear that oxycontin is a hoot. Which reminds me that Rush managed to duck out of jail time or even a criminal record for his prescription fraud. Going to four different doctors to get scripts for 2000 painkillers in four months would seem to be prescription fraud. I never imagined one could take that many "painkillers" in that short a time; what quantity does it take for law enforcement to infer you are a dealer?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Where's Cedarford when you need him?

I just heard him on the radio. No wait, that was Reverend White.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Conservatives are not interested in race and gender because we are interested in personal responsibility.

"So white males are the most personally responsible people?"

You think that all conservatives are white males? Thomas Sowell will be somewhat surprised.

former law student said...

Thomas Sowell will be somewhat surprised.

He wasn't on the ballot. My Republican primary ballot was monochromatic.

Crimso said...

"being white and male, in this country is still a bigger advantage than it is a disadvantage"

Where do I go to cash in on that?

Sloanasaurus said...

being white and male, in this country is still a bigger advantage than it is a disadvantage

If true, I wonder if it has anything to do with something like two-parent families. But, I digress...

madawaskan said...

freder-

Where did you "see" the word "hate" and "always"?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Thomas Sowell will be somewhat surprised.

He wasn't on the ballot. My Republican primary ballot was monochromatic.


That's funny because I didn't see many conservatives on the Republican primary ballot either.

Or were you simply moving the goal posts on TM's original statement when it was clear he was referring to conservatives in general and not those on the GOP ballot.

madawaskan said...

former law student-

You want to see something monochromatic?

Go look at the pictures on the

DNC Leadership page.

madawaskan said...

Oh hell let me make it easy for you and the rest-

Here is the link-

Link

Here is how it is entitled;

http://www.democrats.org/a/party/ourleaders.html

Who is pictured there?

Pelosi
Reid
Dean, Howard
Sebelius
Schumer
Van Hollen
Gronstal

About as white as you can get.

Hoosier Daddy said...

About as white as you can get.

Yeah but they have a couple of chicks in there so they still get diversity points.

They only count as tokens if they were GOP.

former law student said...

I assumed TM was addressing the point of Ann's post, which contrasted the Republican Presidential race to the Democratic one:

But it wasn't just Hillary driving the wedge into the happy good feelings of the coalescing Democrats. Krauthammer portrays the Republican Party as the passive beneficiary of ugliness on the Democratic side. But it's not as if the Republicans are above the fray. They are promoting the chaos. Now, I know they'll say that the opportunity only exists because the Democrats have so deeply invested themselves in identity politics, and indeed, this is the subtext of Krauthammer's column. The notion seems to be that the Democrats would have been better off if — like Republicans! — they'd ignored the race and gender issues all along.

If he was off on a tangent, I apologize.

madawaskan said...

Hoosier Daddy-

Well ya-and hell Pelosi and Gronstal got nice tans don't they?

That counts for somethin'...in DNC land.

I think although the way they count and keep score...

Who knows?

Kirby Olson said...

Identity politics is Marxist. It's rhetoric and it's divisiveness don't fit into a liberal system.

So now legal studies and other groups are trying to change the whole legal system toward a Marxist paradigm.

And the more that happens the loopier it will get, and the more the Democrats will be trounced by the liberal (Lockean) rhetoric and ideology of the Republican party.

If Democrats do win in November we are going to get a landslide of increasingly MArxist rhetoric and legislation over the next four years.

And slowly the poisonous atmosphere of the universities will seep out of the universities and into government and business until there's a general collapse.

But if the Democrats are defeated this fall, I think they will slowly reassess their tactics, and start to be Lockean liberals again (where universal principles such as life, liberty and private property matter more than race, gender, and class).

Thank you very much.

Trooper York said...

Latka Gravas, political pundit.

rhhardin said...

Racism is just that, racism. There is no such thing as "reverse racism."

An example of A=A not being a tautology. The first ``racism'' is taken broadly, so as to cover what you're talking about ; and the second ``racism'' is taken narrowly, so as only to include the negative pregnancy wanted.

The second racism, the one with the negative pregnancy, of course is racism against blacks.

The claim is that the second is the right handle to take hold of both.

So it's a claim, not a tautology.

Beth said...

Going to four different doctors to get scripts for 2000 painkillers in four months would seem to be prescription fraud.

Rush was behaving conservatively, taking personal responsibility for satisfying his drug addiction.

Just like David Vitter took personal responsibility for dealing with his constant boners by contracting with prostitutes.

Only a fascist Marxist liberal would think either man had gotten away with a crime.

Original Mike said...

Beth said: Only a fascist Marxist liberal would think either man had gotten away with a crime.

Am not.

Cedarford said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
Where's Cedarford when you need him?

I just heard him on the radio. No wait, that was Reverend White.


Good one!

Though white Christian and Jewish con men tend to gravitate towards the business community rather than the pulpit, and their religions are less tolerant of politicking during services, and their women do not generally tend to go off in emotional delerium and offer the Revs or Rabbis all the sex they want.....

Rev Wright, not White, is really not atypical in what he says and how much he gets laid from other black Revs. Even Saint Martin, Himself (who espoused the communist line in sermons his Main Man, Stanley Levinson, wrote for him after King explained the Jesus stuff to Stanley that would go with the anti-American text).

Wright's stuff could just as easily come from a long line of black Revs interested in making money and tapping bitches, including Lesser Saint Jesse. Many Black Revs operate in the open as Democrat Party bosses, use their churches for fundraising and voter indoctrination in a way that would get any white or Latino church, or Jewish synogogue stripped of tax-exempt status by the IRS. He is a little closer to the Muslims than most black Revs, though.

******************
I notice that progress in Iraq has toned down Freder's treason and anti-Americanism a lot. I'm not trying to goad him. I'm actually proud of him that he is not so oblivious he ignores the obvious.
*****************
One's "other" race or gender has been organized, thanks mostly to the Democrats and the Left, as a reserved, first class ticket to the taxpayer funded, government provided grievance relief banquet. And, not being satisfied with shaking down the taxpayers for unearned goodies, they've distorted education with their utterly destructive multi-culti programs, private life with their sensitivity training programs, athletics with Title IX programs, affirmative action and state-sponsored neo-paganism such as global warmism and earth day, to name just a few from a growing list.

It's a load of high grade steaming sh*t, and the fact this social cancer is now consuming the Democrat Party is spectacularly wonderful. I cannot begin to tell you how much I am enjoying that utterly stupid war - but they deserve every painful bloody minute of it - as a penitential down payment for inflicting that sh*t on the American people for the last five decades.


Absolutely GREAT venting, Tim!

I've got the popcorn broken out and am enjoying the show.

I'd add that this "whose identity entitlements are greater in claim to being President" doesn't just shovel that shit down simply Democrat Party throats. There is a world of discomfort in academia as black studies profs and womyn's studies profs employed in useless pomo work have to hash out who has more moral authority. In the liberal Jewish-owned parts of the media, where the whole race-gender-class narrative they feed to the lesser Americans may have to be rewritten. Activists judges wondering who they would screw over if it wasn't a victimized black or woman confronting a white male oppressor in court, but who would have the highest moral superiority and entitlement to judicial activism if Hillary-Obama or similar wars of identity politics make it into the legal arena, as they now threaten to.

And youth - after the euphoria of the Black Messiah or "We Need a Woman in Charge" wears off, young folks will begin to wonder why the two most unqualified candidates are the Dem finalists and how their victimhood stands up to a war hero who suffered a bit of victimhood himself...

Yep, popcorn and beer time. And next phase will be Obama showtime as he tried to distance himself from his "inspiration", the Black Reverend Wright....I don't think just putting out a general platitude that Barack objects generally will be accepted. He will be grilled specifically on matters like we are part to blame for 9/11, that our A-Bombs were terrorism, etc....which will finally pin the bastard down to stands on matters of war or peace he has avoided so far so he could have it all ways with the voters...

Beth said...

"Am not."

I know you are, but what am I?

Couldn't resist.

Hey, we may have just summed up about 90 percent of discourse on the internets this weeki.

titusgrandjete said...

Good evening fellow republicans.

How is everyone today.

It is Friday, the start of a lovely weekend.

There seems to be quite of bit of anger here today.

Let's try and work on that.

All the talk of race and "ethnic" stuff leaves me feeling like a need to go out and get some chocolate or perhaps some cinnamin. I am getting a little hungry if you know what I mean.

I went to Bikram (hot) Yoga today and the screamer was there. She is a big queen that groans and screams through the entire class.

I then went to open gym at doggy daycare and was there with all of the wifes and lovers of the Wall Street sect.

Next up I was at the gym for pecs and tris and a sit up class that killed me.

Finally I did a little of light shopping tryin to do my part to kick the economy back into place.

I got the cutest little pair of Puma Tennis shoes but the twist is there were designed by Jill Sander so it wasn't you average run of the mill Puma tennis shoes.

Next French Connection for a couple of cute little t's and an adorable spring windbreaker.

Next Armani Exchange where I got a fabulous pair of jeans, a couple of black belts and a funky little hat.

Next Burberry for a couple of sports shirts, khakis, and black sweater (can never have too many black sweaters).

And finally diesel where I picked up 3 pairs of jeans. Each jean has a different fit; one low waisted, skinny fit; the second low waisted loose fit and the third low waisted baggy fit. They all look fabulous. Waist 30-which I was very excited about today.

Now I am lounging around the loft, with the rare clumbers, reading the latest VF, french doors open, overlooking the fabulous city.

Weather wasn't bad today. Overcast but decent temps.

Wish you were all here, love ya,
have a great weekend.

Toodles.

titusgrandjete said...

Oh and if you haven't heard about designs for the summer you heard it here first, get shopping:


"It’s all about . . . the 1980s, design from Cuba, creative recycling, bear necessities, Bangkok’s sprawling metropolis, the designer Philippe Starck and more."
NY Times Magazine

Original Mike said...

I know you are, but what am I?

I don't remember the retort to this. I'm getting old.

Hey, we may have just summed up about 90 percent of discourse on the internets this weeki.

Yes, the more things change, ...

TMink said...

Former law wrote about me: "If he was off on a tangent, I apologize."

Damn ADHD, was I off on a tangent or trying to stay on task?

I THINK I was commenting on the end of the quote you supplied, but I know I make it difficult sometimes.

Sorry. And thanks for reading it and trying to make sense of it.

Trey

TMink said...

FLS wrote: "So white males are the most personally responsible people?"

Not at all. Some of the most responsible people I know of are neither white nor male!

Rev. King chose non-violence at a time when blacks in America were being horribly mistreated and abused. That is amazingly responsible. It is awe inspiring.

Gandhi did the same sort of thing. The power of their character and self-control is amazing. I think that given the oppression they faced, their achievements and character are more sharply focused and stronger.

As a Conservative, I believe that personal responsibility is a more salient factor in success or failure than is race or gender.

Take the erstwhile governor of New York. (Please!) From a place of privilege, wealth, the best schools, being white AND male, and he threw it all away because of a lack of self control and personal hypocrisy!

I am not sure that coming from that background makes his failings worse, that kind of hypocrisy would have also proved the undoing of a Hispanic lesbian transgendered person too. Right?

Trey

Gary Rosen said...

Who could be more into "identity politics" than C-fudd, with his sweaty obsession with Jews, nattering on about "blood and soil" like his idolized media jockey Buchanan?

Fen said...

I think you pulled up short. His point is also WHY they reak havoc, and WHERE ELSE they reak havoc.

We've had the gender and race cards played against us so often, there should be an equivalent of Godwin's Law created for them. Now, finally, its the liberals turn. Is it wrong to smirk at the thought of them being devoured by their own creation?

I think it'll be good for the country - HOPE and CHANGE - because maybe once liberals are victimized by their own race and gender politics, they'll be less likely to inflict it on us at work, academia, soccer games, etc.

Althouse: It is "wreak," not "reak" (and certainly not "reek") havoc, in case anyone is puzzling over it

Yah, I backspaced over my "w". Spellcheck would have caught that.

Interesting response though...