March 13, 2008

"I am sorry if anyone was offended. It was certainly not meant in any way to be offensive. We can be proud of both Jesse Jackson and Senator Obama."

I hope people are noticing what a ridiculous and even offensive non-apology this is! Why is Jesse Jackson making an appearance in Hillary Clinton's statement? It's like this, isn't it? And it's diminishing to say we can be "proud of" him. That's like patting him on the head and saying "good for you." And I don't see how anyone can think we won't notice the sorry-if-you-were-offended locution. It's not an apology! Now, maybe Hillary thinks she shouldn't have to apologize. Fine, then, be straightforward about it. Defend Ferraro if that's your real view. And, while you are at it, frankly own up to the fact that you've been asking us to give you bonus points for being a woman.

60 comments:

Balfegor said...

And it's diminishing to say we can be "proud of" him. That's like patting him on the head and saying "good for you."

She has such a tin ear it's hillarious. (ha) She's as bad as the President.

AllenS said...

"I am sorry if anyone was offended. It was certainly not meant in any way to be offensive. We can be proud of both Michael Vick and Senator Obama."

There, fixed.

ricpic said...

I'm proud of my black lawn jockey.

former law student said...

I'm proud of Hillary. She has come as far in life as any First Lady. In terms of lifetime achievement, she comes in second only to billboard-banning byway beautifier Lady Bird Johnson. In fact, Lady Bird showed far more executive ability and acumen than HRC by managing the LBJ broadcast empire. So, remember that Hillary would not have made it this far if she were not "Mrs. Clinton".

As Barack points out, few objective observers would consider it an unfair advantage to have a black father who gave you his Islamoterrorist-sounding name.

Original Mike said...

Balfegor said: She has such a tin ear

She certainly does. The thought of her on the foreign policy stage is unsettling.

former law student said...

thought of her on the foreign policy stage is unsettling

Along those lines: The first Mayor Daley, widely reputed never to read a speech ahead of time, once welcomed an official delegation from "Niggeria".

MadisonMan said...

Dreadful.

Sloanasaurus said...

It's fun to see civil war in the Democrat party. A civil war that is well deserved. They are eating themselves with their own orthodoxy.

At the very least it will make them more difficult to communicate liberal cynicism that a vote for McCain is a vote for racism. They will try though....

Middle Class Guy said...

Originally she was adamant about not apologizing. She did nothing wrong, it was taken out of context, blah, blah, blah. The typical arrogant excuses. Even Hillary tried to blow it all off with the usual oh, let’s talk about the issues…

Then it comes out that she said almost the exact same thing about Jesse Jackson in 1988.

save_the_rustbelt said...

Not to defend any of the three campaigns, but to pretend race and gender have absolutely nothing to do with the campaign is ridiculous.

Besides, talking about real issues is just so boring.

Like a bunch of third graders in a sandbox, beating each other with the plastic shovels.

Wow, are we in trouble.

Zeb Quinn said...

I'll agree with Obama insofar as his middle name goes. That is a handicap. But not the rest of him.

Richard Fagin said...

America's soft power would be moved up a "logarithm" rather than a notch. Does Mickey Kaus even know what a logarithm is?

More proof that liberals are mathematically challenged, but higher taxes and "soft" money will fix our economy, stupid.

SteveR said...

And, while you are at it, frankly own up to the fact that you've been asking us to give you bonus points for being a woman.

She lost me at asking for bonus points for 35 years of "experience".

Smilin' Jack said...

I hope people are noticing what a ridiculous and even offensive non-apology this is!...And I don't see how anyone can think we won't notice the sorry-if-you-were-offended locution.

Well, of course we notice it, but we aren't the intended audience. I suspect it may play just fine with wavering Hillary/Obama voters. People smart enough to see that it's a non-apology are also smart enough to know that Ferraro was simply stating the truth, and no apology should be necessary. But those people are also known, however reluctantly, as "McCain voters," so they're irrelevant to this issue.

Richard Fagin said...
America's soft power would be moved up a "logarithm" rather than a notch. Does Mickey Kaus even know what a logarithm is?


Yeah, I noticed that goof too, but put the blame where it belongs: Kaus was just quoting Sullivan.

corporate law drudge said...

As a model for apologies, they should look to Spitzer's performance yesterday, which was appropriately abject and completely free from Clintonian equivocation.

AJ Lynch said...

The phrase "Soft power" sounds intriguing and wonderful. But seriously wtf does it mean? Sullivan is one wordsmith who actually believes his own BS of the week.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ann: I think that Jesse Jackson was included in the blanket apology because Ms Ferraro had made a similar remark about his candidacy in the past and Hillary thought she might as well grovel over that one as well as the remark about Obama. Plus it was a nifty way for Clinton to pair up Jackson and Obama in the public's mind. Subtle and deviously evil. Just what we have come to expect from the Clintons.

Ms Ferraro's statement about Obama was taken out of context and distorted by the people who want to have it both ways about Obama's "blackness" and ethnicity. It IS an integral part of his appeal to his supporters and one of the reasons that he has come so far with such thin credentials, yet we are not to discuss it lest we all be accused of racism. The topic is the 800 pound gorilla in the room.....oooh was that racist to bring up gorillas? Change it to elephant. So sorry if anyone was offended :-)

MadisonMan said...

It IS an integral part of his appeal to his supporters

(IT being BHO's race).

To some of his supporters. There are others who appreciate his stellar abilities in communicating. (Well, stellar compared to GHWB). The President is a bully pulpit. It's hard to bully effectively if you can't string two sentences together. Or if the timbre of your voice is nails on the chalkboard.

Trooper York said...
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Middle Class Guy said...
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Middle Class Guy said...
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gophermomeh said...

Thank you, MadisonMan - my sentiments, exactly.

Elliott A said...

Many of the "liberal elites" are very uncomfortable with non-whites. Because of the fuzzy class guilt they feel, they will work for minority causes and give the appearance of caring. They really don't care about these people one iota. Therefore, you continually get these "slips" which sound less that loving about minorities, blacks in particular. How many blacks (movie types or athletes excluded) live in Chippequa? When I visit my sister in the Philadelphia suburbs, I never see black faces in the supermarket or walking their kids down the street. Hers is a regular upper middle class place, not upper crust like Chippequa.

I don't believe they are hostile to these people, but they do their best to avoid them when they can. If they aren't in your neighborhood, church (at least the Jewish people have an excuse here) or stores, eateries, etc. all the other stuff is sheer hypocracy. What is sad is that the democrats have kept the minorities snowed for so long by giving them stuff. The new media may finally bring th truth into the light.

Middle Class Guy said...

OK Ferraro

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Elliot Spitzer comments here using the name George Fox.

Elliott A said...

I could go back to being Althousetoo and really confuse things. It is sad that despite the small number of Elliotts in the world (two l's and two t's does distinguish me) there are some bad apples.

Middle Class Guy said...

The crux of this is being hung by the rope of one's own making. For too many years ideologues have strived for gender and racial neutral language- political correctness, if you will. This has led to a very real problem. There are no longer hard and fast definitions of what is offensive. Perception is more powerful than reality, thus even the most well meaning person can be labeled a racist if they make an innocent and probably true comment or criticism. Of course, Blacks canot be racists under these rules and can pretty much say what they want. Truth is no longer a valid argument. Context is a mere child’s excuse. It is the perception that that counts. Reality has nothing to do with it.

Now, just about anything is considered racist, misogynist, homophobic, or what ever ist or ism you want to throw out. Innocent language is now hate speech. Ms. Ferraro, a product of the PC police should have known better. Her comments were bone headed and stupid. Plus, it was not the first time. PC people think they are immune from criticism because they are so pure and good. They cannot be an ist or practice an ism. Until they shoot from the lip and leave a carbon mouth print.

Even their apologies are insignificant and insincere. One apologizes and defends a position at the same time. “Oh hell, I did nothing wrong, but just in case you think I did, I am sorry. If I was a_____ this would not even be an issue. I am the real victim here.”

Henry said...

"I am sorry if anyone was offended. It was certainly not meant in any way to be offensive. We can be proud of both Jesse Jackson and Senator Obama."

And now, Al Sharpton is offended.

Middle Class Guy said...

Elliot A,
It is the love me, love me, I'm a Liberal syndrome. I will support you, embrace you, give you money, dtc. etc. etc. There is only one condition. NIMBY. Not in my back yard.

Which one of you Elliots or Eliots is the real...
Forget it.

Michael_H said...

"We can be proud of both Jesse Jackson and Senator Obama."

She is as dreary and patronizing as a second-grade teacher handing out accolades for children who kept quiet during an assembly in the auditorium.

"And I'm giving them each a smiley face sticker for their good behavior."

Roger said...

I am quite frankly surprised Hillary didn't call them a credit to their race.

Dave said...

Ann, I think you have to run a clarification on this. In the article, Hillary is clearly referring to her husband's comments comparing Obama to Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988. It has nothing to do with Ferraro.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

Hillary Clinton was apologizing for everything people had been offended by when it comes to race, and specifically was apologizing for Bill's comment about Jesse Jackson in South Carolina (or at least how the comment was taken). She wasn't arbitrarily invoking Jesse Jackson's name. She was apologizing for a specific thing that was said about him. So, I'm not sure if I understand your argument.

Also, it's completely legitimate to say, we made a statement that was interpreted as racial, and we apologize for the statement because of the way it was interpreted even though the original intention was not racial.

Dave said...

She later addresses the Ferraro issue, saying:

"I certainly do repudiate it and I regret deeply that it was said. Obviously she doesn't speak for the campaign, she doesn't speak for any of my positions, and she has resigned from being a member of my very large finance committee."

So, there you go. Did you not actually read the article?

Cedarford said...

Middle Class Guy said...
Originally she was adamant about not apologizing. She did nothing wrong, it was taken out of context, blah, blah, blah. The typical arrogant excuses. Even Hillary tried to blow it all off with the usual oh, let’s talk about the issues…
Then it comes out that she said almost the exact same thing about Jesse Jackson in 1988.


Ferrero said it about Jackson because she was right then as well as now about Obama's race privilege. Ferraro was simply reflecting the views of her life and her former Queens constituencies - hardcore white Democrat ethnics who had been tremendously damaged by affirmative action in hiring in NYC, and who she was fighting transitioning to being "Reagan Democrats".

In the late 70s and early 80s, her people were being shut out of hiring in what had been the traditional NYC "step ups" for Irish, Italians, E European ethnics - jobs as teachers, firemen, cops, city admin folks - to "make up" for "centuries of discrimination against blacks" that left "all-white" work centers. And where city and court remedies - launched by a wave of legal activists - were always to give the black preference in that era.

So Geraldine and many other Democrat politicians walk a tightrope - playing identity politics and cheering women and minorities advancing - but at the same time opposing unfair race preferences against more Lefty Dems who feel more solid in their own career advancements that they endorse almost all reverse discrimination as leading to faster "social justice".

Until Bush II "broke the Reagan Contract" by favoring the wealthy over the middle class, Geraldine and others had been fighting a rearguard action to try and stem the drift of white ethnics to the Republicans. Now the shift "What's the Matter With Kansas" is going the other way.
But too many times Ferraro had to answer a Queens constituent letter from a Sal or Vanya or Connor or Wilfredo saying:

"they scored #3 on City-wide Firefighter Promotion exams taken by 313 candidates, physical and written and weren't promoted - the slots went to blacks with less seniority scoring 21st, 49th, 74th, 125th, 232nd on the exams - WTF??? Congresswoman Ferraro!!!"

She believes blacks can be very lucky in identity politics and in courts and policies - and that is her experience, and that is the truth. And that she was lucky to get some of the crumbs women got under identity politics..

And I think most Americans believe as Ferraro does - that Obama caught huge breaks in his life thanks to a momentary black biodaddy and being raised well by whites after that, while fully capitalizing on his skin color - in a way white males and women couldn't.

AJ Lynch said...

Saw a poll today that found black voters broke 81% for Obama and only 7% for Hillary! Since that only adds up to 88%, I guess 12% are still undecided.

Anyway, the results mean more than 11 out of 12 black (decided)voters are voting for the black candidate. Is that racist even a bit?

ricpic said...

Gotta hold on to those white ethnics, while simultaneously undermining them. What will we do? What will we do?...Got it! Always use the word Republican in tandem with the word Rich. Rich Republican. Rich Republican. Rich Republican. Then all we've gotta do is rely on the most common human failing, envy, by telling the dumb peasants that We'll get the Rich Republicans for them. Envy. Envy and the desire for revenge. The greatest winning combo of them all. We'll do it. And we'll win!!

George said...

Any minute now the new banner on Drudge will be that ABC clip...

Sen. Obama's former minister is not happy with America. I didn't know preachers were allowed to say "G*ddamn"...much less damn America to hell.

Imagine sitting through 52 weeks x 20 years of sermons like that.

Middle Class Guy said...

Between Geraldine Ferraro and the legally blind Governor Patterson, I could not help thinking about the David Chappel skit about the blind black White supremacist.

former law student said...

Also, it's completely legitimate to say, we made a statement that was interpreted as racial, and we apologize for the statement because of the way it was interpreted even though the original intention was not racial.

If the original intention behind saying "Obama only got where he is today because he's a black man," isn't racial, what is it? Can you make any statement about race without being racial? How about "Niggers are stupid and lazy"? "Orientals are inscrutable." "Whites are greedy exploiters."

Roger said...

Cedarford has it nailed--he's telling you what people believe--not what the "attentive public" THINKS people believe. It would be interesting to know how many people on this blog live in a neighborhood where the mean income is less than 50K; where the mean price of a home is less than 100K. Where the mean educational level achieved is 12.0 years of education. Which, of course, applies in spades (OOPS) to the punditariat. The commenting public, me included, does not really know what the real public thinks.

Kathy said...

It is sad that despite the small number of Elliotts in the world (two l's and two t's does distinguish me) there are some bad apples.

My rabbi's first name is Elliott, too -- and yes, spelled with two l's and two t's -- and he is so very very much NOT a bad guy. Maybe it has something to do with doubling up on those consonants.

Elliott A said...

Thank you, Kathy, it sounds like I'm in good company. I thought Althouse was rare until I found a famous one was born first. Not bad company there either.

Methadras said...

Cedarford has it spot on. The only thing I can add to what he has said in the fact that he explicitly implied it, is that this totally and completely proves out that Leftist/Liberal policies with respect to political correctness in all governmental institutions and in the general citizenry has been an absolute dismal failure from it's inception to now with this latest drama.

The grand marxist socialist experiment that has been running in this country thanks to the Democrats heavy handedness since the 30's to assure that all citizen are cared for by the state, should be once and for all be cremated and have it's ashes spread where no one can resurrect them again. It's one thing to have good ideas, since any idea once conceptualized rarely ever dies, but it's a completely different thing to perpetuate a bad idea and Cedarford examination of the root of this topic is a bad idea.

You can be a leftist or a liberal all you want and you can hang on to ideas that are as bankrupt and hollow all you like, but do not dare or pretend to disseminate them to the rest of us that reject them on merit alone for they are without value.

blake said...

One* wonders if "former law student" knows of any First Ladies prior to Ladybird Johnson to make such a bold statement about how far Hillary has come.


*One, meaning "me". "I wonder..."

Middle Class Guy said...

former law student said...
How about "Niggers are stupid and lazy"? "Orientals are inscrutable." "Whites are greedy exploiters.".

You forgot the disclaimer:
It is legitimate to say, I made a statement that was interpreted as racial, and I apologize for the statement because of the way it was interpreted even though the original intention was not racial. The only reason you are even mentioning this is because I am white.

AJ Lynch said...

Prediction time:

America would love to elect a black president and so put all this racial animus behind for good.

America would vote for a candidate like Barack Obama if he had 5-10 more years of Senate experience and if his name was Barry Smith or Jones or Alhouse or Jefferson or Sloan or Madison or Cedarford or Drillsgt or Revenant.

That is a fact and the truth IMHO.

Freeman Hunt said...

I am sorry if anyone was offended. It was certainly not meant in any way to be offensive. We can be proud of both Jesse Jackson and Senator Obama.

"I've always been good to you people!"

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

former law student: I was obviously referring to the apology for Bill Clinton's remarks about Jesse Jackson. People should probably read what she actually said a little more carefully.

Daryl said...

What I love about this episode, is that everyone thinks it's racist to compare Barack Obama to Jesse Jackson, but none of the Dems will say why.

I want to hear it from their mouths: what's wrong with Jesse Jackson? Is it his shameless pandering and demagoguing? Is it the way he extorts money from businesses?

If they won't say why Barack Obama is better than Jesse Jackson, then I don't think they have any standing to demand that the two not be compared.

Daryl said...

former law student: If the original intention behind saying "Obama only got where he is today because he's a black man," isn't racial, what is it?

Another strawman. Sheesh. Ferarro didn't say he only got there because he's black (i.e., that his only qualification is being black), she said that he wouldn't be there but for his blackness (i.e., that his accomplishments, however swell, would not have been enough for a white man or a woman of any color to become the presumptive nominee). There is a big difference.

Revenant said...

This is ridiculous.

We know for a fact that a lot of black Democrats are voting for Obama because of his race. The one and ONLY way that this doesn't translate to "Obama's race is a benefit to him in the Democratic primary" is if at least as many Democrats are voting AGAINST Obama because of his race.

So which is it? Is the Democratic Party chock full o' white racists (jeepers, maybe we really ARE reliving the sixties) or is Obama where he is because he's black? One or the other of those statements is true. Much as I like to tweak the Democratic Party's racialist obsessions, isn't the latter possibility the most likely?

Anyway, Ferraro definitely deserves some kind of chutzpah award for decrying the role of identity politics in Presidential campaigns. Would anyone outside of her home state even know who she was if Mondale hasn't hoped to grab the female vote?

JohnTaylor88 said...

Anyway, the results mean more than 11 out of 12 black (decided)voters are voting for the black candidate. Is that racist even a bit?

No. At the start of the race, Hillary had a majority of African-American voters, and Obama's authenticity as a black person was in doubt. African-Americans only began to vote for Obama in large percentages once Hillary Clinton's surrogates started making racially-tinged comments. It's a two-person race. You can't expect them to vote for the most racist candidate in a two-person race. That's irrational and absurd.

AJ Lynch said...

John Taylor:

So you are saying Clinton is the more racist of the two and that is why black voters are overwhelmingly voting for Obama? And that is the only or main reason?

And if Bill Clinton and company had not made certain statements, significantly more blacks would be voting for Hillary?

Fen said...

America would love to elect a black president and so put all this racial animus behind for good.

Nope.

Americans have seen the results of that at our own workplaces. From the employee who has to shoulder the workload of an AA hire, to the manager who's every valid reprimand is met with an EEO complaint.

A friend of mine has to put a poor perfomer on probationary review [pre-firing]. The employee has a history of low volume, low quality work that is bottlenecking 40 other jobs. But my friend has to double-check that his personal insurance is up to date first, because the government insurance may not protect him if [when] the employee tries to sue him for "racism".

Yah, lets play that game in the Oval Office, while Al Queda is plotting to nuke us. Unbelievable.

Fen said...

love to elect a black president

How about we elect a good President? The best of three remaining candidates, based on their positions, not their skin color. In case you haven't noticed, we now live in very dangerous times.

I left the GOP because of McCain, but he's really the only adult at the table.

former law student said...

OK Christopher, why did Bill compare Obama's performance in SC to Jesse Jackson's performance in SC a quarter-century ago, if not to minimize his accomplishment, implying Obama had only Jesse's limited ethnic appeal? I understood the "we" that you said HRC referred to, to be HRC and GF.

Sheesh. Ferarro didn't say he only got there because he's black (i.e., that his only qualification is being black), she said that he wouldn't be there but for his blackness

Ferraro said he only got there because he was black, not as you are saying I said, he got there only because he was black. Ferraro said: "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.[i.e. black]" Ferraro thus asserted that his blackness made the difference between being frontrunner and also-ran.

AJ Lynch said...

Fen:

I meant a "competent experienced black president"

Daryl said...

Former Law Student: Ferraro thus asserted that his blackness made the difference between being frontrunner and also-ran.

Yes, it made the difference. A "but-for" relationship, like I said. (Quick, somebody ask "what's a but-for?") But-for his blackness, he wouldn't be the Dem frontrunner.

It's the difference between his blackness being necessary (but-for) and sufficient (the only reason, by itself)

You know what Ferraro said was 100% true. So you put different words into her mouth, and then condemn those new words. It's very silly, and totally unbecoming of a law student, current or former. YOU, A FORMER LAW STUDENT.