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View Diary: How Obama Rode The Race Card to Victory (271 comments)

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  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    I appreciate you conceding the point.   I really would be open to a different interpretation if there were insiders claiming it to be a deliberate strategy on the part of the Clintons.

    But absent that, I really have a hard time believing it for a variety of reasons:

    1. Nothing in their history suggests they would do such a thing.  They have been nothing if not committed to the notion of racial reconciliation so it would be out of character for them to embark on a deliberate strategy of injecting race into the campaign.
    1. It doesn't make logical sense.  They wouldn't have anything to gain by making race part of the narrative. They could only lose their considerable black support, as well as that of a lot of whites (particularly liberals). I usually tend to believe that the most logical explanation is the correct one, and in this case logic doesn't support the notion that they would deliberately alienate their black supporters and many white supporters to try to win more whites who weren't already with them.

    If you have any kind of open mind about this, I really do suggest you read the article that was the basis of the diary.  You'll have to ignore some stupid stuff (like the last paragraph and a complete cheap shot about plagiarism),  but by and large I think the article presents a dead-on accurate picture of how all the people you cited above came to the conclusions they came to.

    If you don't have an open mind and aren't interested in another perspective, though, then don't waste your time reading it.

    Here's the link:  http://www.tnr.com/...

    •  If I ignore the "stupid stuff", there's nothing (0+ / 0-)

      to read. But I will get to that later.

      In my earlier response, I wrote something to the effect that I thought you were in denial about the Clinton strategy to marginalize Obama. I deleted that because, as fun as it sounded to be snide, it was unfair and personal and did not add to the discussion. I found your last comment to be equally offensive for the same reason and I wish you had exercised the same discretion.

      As to your points #1 and #2, I would say that that the Clinton history is the strongest proof that they WOULD do such a thing, but not for the reasons you think. You assert that their history of advocacy for the AA community supports the idea that would not use race, per se, as a campaign strategy. I agree with you partially, and I have said repeatedly that the Clinton strategy was NOT racist in nature--for the very reasons you mentioned. However, I do think the Clintons have shown that they will discard individuals or groups who are no longer useful or relevant to their political needs. We have seen this repeatedly in the campaign where they have marginalized and dumped on states that have gone for Obama and individuals who have come out and endorsed Obama. My contention is that they chose the strategy they did because they could see the movement in the polls in the AA community toward Obama and decided that they were going to lose that group anyhow. As far as the general election goes, I think is readily apparent by now that Clinton had no strategy beyond winning the nomination by Feb 5. I can only speculate that they assumed that blacks and liberals would have no where else to go and they would come back.

      I find it interesting that I am using a rationale similar to yours--I also believe the most logical explanation is the correct one--but coming to a different conclusion. So much for individual "logic" ;-)

      As far as Wilentz's "article" goes, I am contiually appalled at the depth that supposedly learned individuals will go to to denigrate themselves and their reputations to serve the Clinton campaign. I have never been able to figure out the origin of this intense hatred of Obama--this article certainly describes the depth of it, but gives no insight into it's cause. I can't take any of it on face value since so much of it is distortion and lies.

      When you start out with a sentence like this:

      After several weeks of swooning, news reports are finally being filed about the gap between Senator Barack Obama's promises of a pure, soul-cleansing "new" politics and the calculated, deeply dishonest conduct of his actually-existing campaign.

      You have already told me that everything that will follow will be a dishonest smear. It's like george bush saying "my fellow americans...."--I know that everything that will follow is a lie. None of his assertions are sourced--except for vague references to information from the Clinton campaign ("Clinton campaign officials later told me.....").

      Wilentz provides a detailed picture, but I would hardly call it accurate. It read as though he was just channeling taylor marsh.

      One of the problems with analyzing these events is that a lot of things occurred in a short period of time, so they are being lumped together, and reactions were coming from the media, bloggers, and campaign officials simultaneously, so I think that reactions and statements were conflated and ascribed inaccurately to one campaign or another. You had the Shaheen statement, the Kerry statement, the Cuomo statement, the Andy Young statement, the MLK statement, the "fairy tale" statement, the JJJr statement and the Bob Johnson remark all happening in close proximity. Some of these were random, some may have been related, but they all were interpreted within the heated atmosphere that surrounded that phase of the campaign. It also coincided with the period in which Bill Clinton, I think, completely lost his composure and made the campaign a personal crusade.

      For the reasons I have mentioned, I have tried to stay away from those events, because I don't think they are all related. When I talk about what I think was the Clinton strategy to marginalize Obama, I focus on Bill Clinton's statements in South Carolina and on the campaign begining to use the narrative that states with high AA voting percentages were "insignificant".

      Someday, someone will go back and investigate all these events in more detail and write a definitive narrative--but Wilentz's foaming rabidity won't contribute to it.

      Der Mensch irrt solange er strebt.....

      by Azdak on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 03:48:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hear you (0+ / 0-)

        That first statement was stupid and it's the kind of thing I was referring to when I said to ignore the stupid stuff. I don't put much stock in Willenz, but I do  think that his narrative about how race got injected int his was 100% correct.

        I'm sorry about my last sentence above. I didn't mean to be snide, I really sincerely meant that if you had already completely made up your mind, then we were both wasting our breath talking about this more. I apologize if that came across wrong.

        As for your comment about Bill Clinton's statemetns in South Carolina, which ones specifically are you referring to?   Again, if I saw something that maybe I hadn't seen before, I would be open to reconsidering how I understand what happened on this issue.

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