Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Super Saturday

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Waiting on Super Saturday results, a few political links:

* The Cleveland Plain-Dealer endorses Obama. It’s the largest newspaper in Ohio, which is good—but pragmatically speaking it’s never really been Cleveland Obama has to worry about, it’s the rest of the state…

* Pearl Jam has also endorsed Obama with the world’s worst song, “Rock Around Barack.” I wish they hadn’t. Thanks Kendra for infecting my brain with this.

* At Daily Kos, DHinMI suddenly remembers the existence of Puerto Rico, whose 63 delegates at the final caucus on June 7 which could well determine the Democratic nominee. If you’ve ever wondered what a flag with 51 stars would look like, by the way, here’s the planned design.

* I’ve seen links to Robin Morgan’s “Goodbye to All That #2” more than a few times this week, and been emailed it once or twice as well. I think there’s a lot to be said for many of the points it raises, especially regarding the unrepentantly misogynistic language that has been flung at Clinton since the ’90s and into ’08. (On other points, such as the experience and the celebrity-worship stuff, the piece is much less clear-eyed or fair.) Still, I’m not sure this election has come close to settling The Great Question of whether America is more sexist than it is racist—while it does seem as though America is more willing to be openly sexist than openly racist, there’s still a whole range of other behaviors that go on behind-closed-doors and under-the-radar that cut the other way.

The fact is that Clinton has spent roughly half the time arguing that she’s an independent woman and the other half of the time arguing that Hillary 44 would be a complete restoration of Bill 42—that her campaign is so reliant upon her spousal relationship with a former president necessarily flows against claims of Hillary’s independence from Bill. She’s muddied these particular waters herself.

Further, I don’t think that this primary needed to be about identity politics in the first place, and to the extent that it has come to be about identity politics I think it is largely the Clinton camp’s fault, which has played both the gender card (to its benefit) and the race card (which hugely backfired) when it thought either would work for them.

This primary has been ugly in just about every way a primary can be ugly, but it’s myopic to wring your hands over just the ugliness that hurts your preferred candidate. In the heat of the campaign, any pundit can be guilty of that tendency—I know I haven’t struck a completely fair balance either—but we should try and correct for it when we can.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 10, 2008 at 12:56 am

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