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Much progress has been made in combatting racial discrimination over the past 40 years.  Of course, we still have a long ways to go.

How long?

Sadly to say, even on a Democratic partisan message board, one finds race being discussed as a factor in choosing our nominee.  This is doubly sad because it is ILLEGAL for private employers to use such reasoning themselves.

Don't just believe me.  Believe that paragon of progressive virtue, the Bush administration.

More below the fold.

There have been too many comments (and any more than zero is too many) comments that say something like this:

Obama? he's black, and unfortunately in today's America, THAT means you're unelectable. Obama's rhetoric already indicates he's not going to accomplish anything of significance.

or this:

Obama is unelectable simply because he is black. I live in the South, and I know it for a fact. No southern state majority will vote for Obama, and most Western states won't either.

The nub:  Obama is black, therefore he can't win the general election, therefore we should nominate someone else.

I am not going to give these posters' names, or say which candidate they support.  That is besides the point.

The point is ending racial discrimination and our duty as progressives.

Let us start with a threshold question:

What is racial discrimination?

Some would argue that it only involves discriminating against blacks, Jews, Muslims, etc because one is personally biased against blacks, Jews, Muslims etc.  

In other words, if you have a practical reason to not hire blacks, Jews, or Muslims, then it's not really discrimination.

There's one problem with this.

The law says something different.  As it should, because then such 'practical' reasons become the exception that swallows the rule.  It allows racists to discriminate not because they're racists (heaven forbid) but because those other people are racist.

Here is what the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, under the Bush administration, says on the matter:

Customer preference is never a justification for a discriminatory practice. Refusing to hire someone because customers or co-workers may be "uncomfortable" with that person's religion or national origin is just as illegal as refusing to hire that person because of religion or national origin in the first place. Similarly, an employer may not fire someone because of religion and/or national origin. This prohibition applies to other employment decisions as well, including promotion, transfers, work assignments and wages.

If you discriminate because of concerns for 'customer preference' the EEOC will nail your hide to the wall:

The owner of senior communities in 14 states will pay $650,000 to settle a race discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC charged that a Fort Wayne senior community refused to hire African Americans and members of other racial groups for many years. The agency also said the facility failed to keep employment records, specifically application papers, as required by law. . . .

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Civil Action No. 1:05-CV-004, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, Georgetowne Place, owned and operated by Seattle-based Merrill Gardens LLC, perpetrated a pattern and practice of shunning minorities because of their race and/or color. During the EEOC's investigation, Carol Felger, the former general manager for Georgetowne Place, stated that residents at the facility preferred white employees, and did not want minorities to come into their rooms. . . .

"Employers should know," said Danny Harter, Director of the EEOC's Indianapolis District Office, "that supposed customer preference is no excuse to violate federal anti-discrimination statutes. Even if customers might prefer to be served by individuals who are a particular race or color or sex-or someone who is younger or does not have a disability-the employer is not entitled to commit discrimination."

To make things clear:  If you refuse to hire or promote someone because you anticipate a racist reaction to them, you are legally a racist and George W. Bush's administration will come down on you like a ton of bricks.

Now, one would think that we as progressives would hold ourselves to a higher standard than Bush holds private employers.

And we need to.

Because, if we allow the racism of those other people to guide our decisions, then we are not only part of the solution to racial inequality, we are part of the problem.

Can a black man win?  Well, he certainly can't if so-called progressives refuse to give any black man a chance.  An African-American has never been elected president before?  Well, no one's given an African-American a chance before.

There are plenty of valid reasons to oppose an Obama nomination.  Too liberal.   Not liberal enough.  Not experienced enough.  Not partisan enough.  Too nice.  Takes the wrong position on __ issue.  Doesn't show enough leadership.

However, the argument that he's a black man and that means that those other people won't vote for him and therefore we need to nominate someone else is not only invalid, it's anti-progressive and immoral.

And, by the way, for those who say "but we can't just ignore reality!":  Show me your proof that Obama can't win.  Show me your proof that a black man can't win.  And don't tell me it's because it's never been done before.

Originally posted to Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:40 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for opportunities to (166+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    clonecone, claude, Aexia, johnny rotten, PLS, Lois, vivacia, wystler, dansac, jennybravo, ghost2, folgers, kiwing, Cali Scribe, asimbagirl, rashomon, jxg, bread and roses, Yoshimi, jaslusher, rhubarb, GayHillbilly, John Campanelli, nepstein, polecat, autoegocrat, clone12, vawolf, zenbowl, DemInCville, grndrush, mataliandy, Caneel, nanoboy, dianem, Dazy, carolinadreamer, berith, Pithy Cherub, aimeeinkc, wishingwell, Cedwyn, lirtydies, Cixelsyd, aitchdee, mayan, hhex65, Eddie in ME, madame defarge, smash, Caldonia, penguins4peace, johnnygunn, mcfly, cato, Catte Nappe, The Zipper, ChiGirl88, djtyg, jj32, FenderT206, Pozzo, xndem, pat208, murrayewv, ebbinflo, historys mysteries, ghengismom, jrooth, Alegre, Sam I Am, goffnews, mjd in florida, PBen, Philoguy, Brooke In Seattle, jjhare, boofdah, Karmafish, aaraujo, exmearden, wiscmass, Nasara, orphanpower, Asinus Asinum Fricat, vivycakes, Jennifer Clare, gwilson, BachFan, PatsBard, vigilant meerkat, RogueStage, BlueInARedState, cwaltz, rcald, Albatross, dennisl, sailmaker, Fraggle, Pager, Potus2020, va dare, Statusquomustgo, bstotts, duha, pseudopod, thepdxbikerboy, theark, DBunn, GoldnI, Noor B, Reagan Smash, fisheye, Feeling Blue, dmh44, howardx, LV Pol Girl, 0wn, FishOutofWater, adamschloss, Nespolo, masslib, malharden, Rex Manning, ubertar, chicago jeff, vbdietz, MaskedKat, Biologist, willb48, chicago minx, arogue7, Lady Bird Johnson, davewill, bigpappa10834, Argyrios, ratador, BlueStateLiberal, ShadowSD, dotster, dpg220, brklyngrl, fromdabak, ReEnergizer, Dave Montoya, Pegasus, speck tater, terrapin station84, Archangel, beltane, billd, fatbyjhnsn, Happy Days, Mardish, pamelabrown, icebergslim, TDE, zombierain, Pitias, enarjay, Shaviv, LCA, joy sinha, Blogvirgin, JDB252, Jodster

    win and to lose.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:32:34 PM PDT

  •  Of course he can win, and so can Hillary. (20+ / 0-)

    These electability arguments are so 2004, especially considering the chumps we'll be running against.

  •  I'm glad there's a diary (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, Yoshimi, Geekesque, Albatross, Potus2020

    on this rather than having it get sidetracked on the other diary, which really wasn't about this issue.

    I'll get you, my pretty.....and your little dog too.

    by chicago minx on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:39:00 PM PDT

  •  I was confronted on the street by an (15+ / 0-)

    older man who said he would "never vote for a black or a woman."

    That man is entitled to his opinion but why should we progressives appease such ignorance?  If anything, that man's statement made me a stronger supporter of our two leading Democrats and this race more important than who wins in '08.

     

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      Part of me wants Obama or Clinton to win the nomination and pick the other as their running mate to really create mass wingnut hysteria.

      I support John Edwards for President.
      -8.13, -4.15

      by Eddie in ME on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:27:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had an opposite experience (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vivacia

      I have 2 friends - both female, both over 65.  Joyce is a life long, staunch, fox watching Republican.  Samantha is a Republican because her father was - more of an "Eisenhower Republican."  Both absolutely LOVE Obama!  Joyce was the real shocker to me.  When she talks about Obama, she's absolutely star-struck.  Her daughter recently went to Washington as part of a union delegation/conference & Joyce asked her to get her something from the Obama camp.  Just goes to show - you never know....

      Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare!

      by 1040SU on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:18:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bingo. (10+ / 0-)

    Even if customers might prefer to be served by individuals who are a particular race or color or sex-or someone who is younger or does not have a disability-the employer is not entitled to commit discrimination.

    And if every employer follows the law and hires minority applicants, then the racists who may "prefer" being served by others will have no such option and they will just have to get over their bigotry if they want to continue to participate in our society.

    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

    by GTPinNJ on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:39:24 PM PDT

  •  This goes for Hillary and women too. (6+ / 0-)

    But, I have not seen the "a woman can't win" argument used against her.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:39:51 PM PDT

  •  The Obama of 2004 should win, not the new one (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mini mum, Rasputin, Ocean Stater

    Senator Obama seems to have lost his edge in championing for the people, and now wants to be a compromiser with the Republicans.

    End the occupation of Iraq, protect the constitution and the middle class.

    by Opinionated Ed on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:39:53 PM PDT

  •  In the real world (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Geekesque, AJsMom

    there are plenty of people in this country who will refuse to vote for anyone other than a white protestant man.  These people may deny it in public but once the curtain closes behind them they will either abstain or vote for a different candidate.  This doesn't just apply to a black man but also to a woman, Mormon, Catholic, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, etc.  Are there still enough of these unenlightened bigots left in this country to deny us a minority president?  I don't know for sure and we may have a more definitive answer in just over a year from now, but I suspect there are.

  •  I would agree that his race won't be the problem (8+ / 0-)

    After all, racists aren't going to vote for the Democrat anyway.

    I'm more concerned about his rhetoric.

  •  We are about to make history, folks (19+ / 0-)

    The very first black man or the very first woman will be elected President of the United States of America in 2008.

    We live in the oldest modern democracy in the world and yet only white men have had the privilege to preside over it.

    This is as an important accomplishment and as important has the very first man walking on the moon (also notice only white men).

  •  Such comments not only appeal and cater to the (12+ / 0-)

    least common denominator, the most ignorant and hateful of our citizens, they are also ungrounded in data and based on anecdotal experience and preconceptions. According to Gallup, 94% of respondents would vote for someone who is black (88% would vote for a woman, 67% would vote for someone married for the third time, 57% would vote for someone who is 72).

    It is ignorant to perpetuate and justify ignorance.

    Do not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the world's grief...You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

    by Albatross on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:43:33 PM PDT

    •  "Those other people" are often more of an excuse (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jxg, berith, aaraujo, Albatross

      than a legitimate concern.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:46:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's right (0+ / 0-)

        Virtually no one would refuse to vote for a black man. It's just a shame that there are so many racist people who pretend to be concerned about the electability of a black man in this country with so few racist people who actually wouldn't vote for a black man.

        45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

        by dconrad on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:36:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Right. I don't buy it. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, Albatross

      It's simply to easy, and to common, for people to declare that somebody else's candidate can't win so there's nothing to see, resistance is futile, just give up.

      HRC does it for EVERYBODY, but some other people have to settle for race or gender reasons.

      It's a legitimate inquiry, but anyone who pretends to really know who just CAN'T because of his race is full of shit.  If Obama's race is such a downside, how come he's beating all the white people besides Hillary?  How come he gets more white support than Edwards?  How come the crowds he draws are more white than black?

      Clearly the evidence doesn't support that whites won't back Obama.  

      Where were you in 2002? http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/warspeech.pdf

      by Inland on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:52:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If he wins, maybe (11+ / 0-)

    all the hard-core racists will move to another country.

  •  but but but! (9+ / 0-)

    He's not "really" black, right????

    This racial stuff is horseshit.

    •  Well, really... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, buhdydharma, Albatross, Potus2020

      he's white.  His mother is pure causasian. In my mind, that makes him white.

      Why should it be otherwise?  

      Oh, you're saying that since his father is black, then he's black?  No. Since his mother is white, then he's white. As far as I'm concerned, if you have a drop of white blood in you, then you're white.

      (Isn't that the fundamental argument on the other side? One drop of "black blood" and you're black? Well, why shouldn't that particular bit of foolishness be turned on its ear? About time, I say.)

      The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

      by kmiddle on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:52:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque, buhdydharma, MacheteJames

        Race is socially constructed, which is why racism is so ridiculous.

        •  I have long been fascinated... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Potus2020

          by the genetics of skin coloration.

          Obviously, everything we are is inherited. I have my mother's green eyes, my father's left-handedness, my grandfather's hairline (dammit!) and on and on and on.

          For virtually every physical feature you can ascribe to inheritance, it seems to me that there is an "either/or" equation. I don't have half-green, half-brown eyes, I'm not ambidextrous, and my hairline...well, let's just say the genetics are in full blossom.  

          The only exception to this "either/or" equation appears to be skin color among folks whose parents have different skin tones -- it's "a little bit of both" equation. Why?  Why not have the child be either light colored or dark colored, instead of some admixture of both?

          Since it appears to be unique in nature (at least as far as I know, with regard to appearance), I wonder about how that works.

          If skin color were like other "plus/minus" inherited traits, then you could have a situation where "white" families would suddenly have a black baby (because someone with black skin was in their ancestry). Wouldn't that change our perception of race!?

          Fascinating, really. Maybe DarkSyde can do a diary about it.

          The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

          by kmiddle on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:36:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is VERY interesting. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kmiddle

            I'd never thought about that. And I happen to be mixed, half black and half white, just like Obama! :-)

            Hair is interesting. It tends to be hybrid, where in some cases you get hair exactly like on your mom or day or grandma or whoever, but sometimes you get a mix of your parents' hair.

            •  I just did a quick search... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Potus2020

              since I make my living doing that sort of thing; and the answer -- even today -- appears to be "we don't know".

              Wild. Skin color and hair. Just wild.

              That Intelligent Designer was one crazy messed-up dude.  

              The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

              by kmiddle on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:53:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  "Is he black enough?" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque, buhdydharma, smartdemmg

      Most coverage of the race issue has addressed "is he black enough" for black voters.  One typical point whines about all of the white support for Obama--so he must not care about the needs of the black community. (great logic)

      The newsweek cover story on Obama focused largely on whether he's black enough for the African-American community.  I would like to see a whole lot less coverage in the media about his race and far more on his policies and his character.

      "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember the professionals use water."

      by Happy Days on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:18:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A point worth making. (15+ / 0-)

    There is a large group of people, mostly those over 50, who just cant see past a persons gender or color. They see that those things make you who you are, rather than as an accident a person has no control over.

    Take some joy in the fact there there is a maturing younger generation, those of us in our 30s, who don't see things this way. Most of us see race as merely a cultural identifier, and nothing more. No more significant or insignificant to a persons character than being Jewish, no more important than being red-headed.

    The thing every individual has to ask themselves is "Do I accept this?" My father, for example, genuinely believes that the great majority of white people are bigots. He bases this on his experience in the Marines, his life experience in the Transit Union in the '70s, and other intangibles.

    My experience in the Corps was quite different, however. That was the one place where I felt racial jokes were just jokes. In the end, none of it mattered when shit hit the fan. Same thing in college. There were people who didnt like that fact that I can be an overbearing jerk, but never because of the color of my skin.

    This country is slowly, but surely moving in the right direction. A lot of people are simply going to have to get old and die, and us younger folks have to raise our children to see things the right way.

    I think most people feel that way, but not all. Even among liberals.

    "I get a cravin' like a fiend for nicotine, but I don't need a cigarette, know what I mean?" - Rakim

    by brooklynbadboy on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:48:36 PM PDT

    •  generational issue (6+ / 0-)

      Agreed, much like homophobia, racism has a deep generational element. That said, it is unacceptable (and may in fact contribute to the strenthening of those bigoted beliefs) to let either injustice go unchallenged.

      Most of us can see that interracial couples face challenges that couples who are not of other races don't face (just as interfaith couples do). However, most of us can also see that to discourage people of different races from relationships because what some people will say/will think/because it will be harder, only serves to enable those people who are racist. I think that Obama's candidacy (& Hillary's in regards to gender challenges) is analagous.

      Do not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the world's grief...You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

      by Albatross on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:55:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama has a unique almost non-racial appeal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, chicago minx

      I believe that blacks and whites will rally around him in droves when he becomes the Democratic nominee.  Whites who might not support some other black candidate will support Obama when they start seeing and hearing him more.  His appeal definitely transcends race.

      "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember the professionals use water."

      by Happy Days on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:20:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Brooklynbadboy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Governor McCheese

      is absolutely right.  Obama isn't electable because the largest voting block in the country is the 50+ group.  

      Even though the younger voters are more progressive, they also have a nasty habit of not showing up for elections.  Conversely, (white) baby boomers tend to show up at every election.  And they simply outnumber the rest of us.

      I appreciate that the diarist sees these statements as racist, but I don't agree that they are.  My belief is that some democrats/progressives are hopelessly optimistic, and lack the ability to face the harsh reality of our society.

      As brilliant and eloquent as Obama is, you put him on the ticket in either position 1 or 2, and you'll lose the southern states from Utah east to Florida.  Admitting that doesn't make me racist.

      Hillary is slightly more electable, but not by much.  I seriously doubt she'd carry Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia or Florida.  Hell, just the mention of her around folks I know garners comments of "I HATE her" and "If she gets elected, they better double her security cause she's gonna be shot at."

      But go ahead and sit in your east and west coast armchairs, and tell me how I'm misjudging my southern brethren.

  •  It's time for a Black President-VP ticket (0+ / 0-)

    in my opinion (Obama-Conyers: youth and experience).

    Obama would not win the south and much of the west--BUT THIS IS TRUE FOR ANY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE.

    Remember that Colin Powell would have been elected president in 1992 if he had chosen to run. A Black person can win in 2008.

  •  Blacks can win in the South; Michael Thurmond (9+ / 0-)

    & Thurbert Baker won solid re-elections (they are Attorney General & Labor Commissioner) in Georgia last fall as nearly every white Democratic candidate in the state running for office higher than the state legislature either had to really struggle (Barrow and Marshall) for re-election or (every white Democratic statewide candidate except the Agricultural Commissioner lost-the Ag Commissioner got maybe 2% more of the vote than Thurmond and Baker).

    Although Harold Ford didn't win, the fact that he matched Al Gore's percentage of the vote in 2000 (and did better than any Dem Senate candidate in TN since Al Gore in 1990) says that race didn't do anything.

    Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

    by DemocraticLuntz on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:50:51 PM PDT

  •  I think Obama is very electable. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madame defarge, jj32, Geekesque, Albatross, TDE

    I think race will be an issue he will have to combat though and I think the road will be tough - not amongst normal Americans, but up against a racist machine that does still have the power and money to do dammage to this country.

    I don't think that Kucinich or Gravel are electable even though race isn't much of an issue for them.

  •  A black man can't be elected? (8+ / 0-)

    Well, so far about 258,000 campaign contributors say that's just not correct.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:51:46 PM PDT

  •  I have no doubt... (8+ / 0-)

    that Obama has the right stuff.  And yes...there will be racial overtones and innuendos and baiting.  Tough shit...Time to push the envelope.  There are plenty of people who won't vote for a Dem.  Ever!  Screw 'em.  Toss 'em an anchor and go with someone who can unite people and who is fleet of political foot enough to win the nomination...whether its a woman, a black, both or neither.  I have no doubt Obama fits the bill.  And will give him every consideration as to who I choose to support.

    "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:53:18 PM PDT

    •  BTW... (8+ / 0-)

      I live in Massachusetts where, despite all the veneer of gooey liberal goodness, there's a history of a profound and wide-spread racism that lies under the surface.  Deval Patrick crushed the opposition in just about every town across the state.  

      "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

      by mayan on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:55:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  his election margins in some towns were amazing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lirtydies

        he won almost every town, and even in the places he lost he was close, and some of those towns where he got 70% of the vote are in parts of western Mass and horse country and the south shore and the north shore where I used to think no democrats even LIVED.  And not only did these people vote D, they voted for a black man.

        Stunning.  I'm glad my mother lived to see it.

        Her vote for him turned out to be the last vote she ever cast.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
        IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:14:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is true but (0+ / 0-)

          Mass is much more Democratic than the nation at large.

          •  not really (0+ / 0-)

            MA is only blue because of Boston.  the rest of the state is very reliably republican.  just as in NY, IL, MI etc., the population advantage in the one big Democratic city wipes out the heavily republican voting record in the rural and semi-rural areas.

            MA voted for Reagan twice.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
            IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:40:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not exactly (0+ / 0-)

              The entire Congressional delegation is Democratic and has been since RINO Silvio Conte died, even the districts that don't involve Boston. That MA voted for Reagan doesn't mean much, most of America voted for Reagan twice. It was also ages ago.

              •  well, that's true we are 100% blue (0+ / 0-)

                but statewide voting (as opposed to voting separated into districts) has favored Rs for a long time.  Reagan may have been ages ago, but Deval is our first Dem governor since Reagan left office.

                Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 06:59:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  this was also the case in Obama's 04 primary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jj32

          Obama won big margins downstate on his way to taking 53% in a 7-way field; needless to say, he won even bigger margins against Keyes in the general.

  •  thinly veiled racism and sexism (17+ / 0-)

    When someone says:  

    blankity blank is not electable because he or she is not white, not a man, not southern, not a Baptist, not whatever.

    They are projecting their own feelings onto someone else.  That mysterious "they" out there that they know so intimately that they know how they would vote, all alone behind a curtain between 30 to 60 seconds is in fact, themselves.

    •  Exactly. (13+ / 0-)

      It's like when people say: "Well, you know i'm not a racist. But everyone in my neighborhood, almost my whole family, and most of my friends are." LOL! I had that said to me when I was a cop.

      Needless to say, that guy got fired, arrested, and prosecuted for hate crimes for excessive use of force on a Mexican immigrant.

      He, and people like him,use the cover of 'other people'  to hide their own bias.

      "I get a cravin' like a fiend for nicotine, but I don't need a cigarette, know what I mean?" - Rakim

      by brooklynbadboy on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:04:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's been a long, long time coming (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TrueBlueMajority, smartdemmg

        But I know a change is going come, oh yes, it will!

        •  it's been a long time coming (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aaraujo

          It's been a long time comin'
          It's goin' to be a Long Time Gone.
          And it appears to be a long,
          Appears to be a long,
          Appears to be a long
          Time, yes, a long, long, long ,long time before the dawn.

          Turn, turn any corner.
          Hear, you must hear what the people say.
          You know there's something that's goin' on around here,
          The surely, surely, surely won't stand the light of day.
          And it appears to be a long,
          Appears to be a long,
          Appears to be a long
          Time, yes, a long, long, long ,long time before the dawn.

          Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness,
          You got to speak your mind,
          If you dare.
          But don't no don't no try to get yourself elected
          If you do you had better cut your hair.
          `Cause it appears to be a long,
          Appears to be a long,
          Appears to be a long,
          Time, such a long long long long time before the dawn.

          It's been a long time comin'
          It's goin' to be a long time gone.
          But you know,
          The darkest hour is always
          Always just before the dawn.
          And it appears to be a long, appears to be a long,
          Appears to be a long
          Time before the dawn.

          i want to see all the old great protest songs come back...

          the sam cooke song referenced by aaraujo is about five years older of course.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
          IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:31:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Love the Sam Cooke reference (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aaraujo

          It's been a long, long time coming
          but I know a change is going come, oh yes, it will

  •  Novak's statement (6+ / 0-)

    Media Matters has a article about Morning Joe, commentator John Ridley's curiosity as to what Robert Novak meant when he said this

    Republicans are very pessimistic about 2008. When you talk to them off the record, they don't see how they can win this thing. And then they think for a minute, and only the Democratic Party, with everything in their favor, would say that, 'OK, this is the year either to have a woman or an African-American to break precedent, to do things the country has never done before.

    Ridley ponders

    And so I was curious, just hopefully he could elaborate, what he means by hope. And, by the way, if he is talking about a Wilder effect here, referencing Governor Doug Wilder, I don't necessarily disagree with that. But is he saying that the Republicans' only hope come November is hoping that there is some latent bigotry in America who -- that wouldn't vote for a man of color or a woman for president?

    As far as I know Novak has not responded.

    Four out five sock puppets agree

    by se portland on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:54:57 PM PDT

  •  Obama just surpassed Edwards in the poll (13+ / 0-)

    numbers against Giuliani. Part of that may be a reflection on the fact that they aren't polling Edwards head to heads much anymore, but still Obama now averages a 1.5 lead on Giuliani and he's won 6 of the last 10 polls. Edwards has an average of a 1 point lead.

    Basically, all of our top 3 candidates are in good shape against all of their candidates. Any 1 of them can win.  

  •  I'm in Hastert's district (17+ / 0-)

    and I am astonished by the Republicans here who are going to vote for Obama, or at the very least are intrigued by him and impressed with him.  And it's not because he's from Illinois--these are people who have probably never voted Democratic in their lives.  Many Obama supporters on dKos have similar stories of rock-ribbed GOP die-hards who are giving Obama a listen.  

    I'll get you, my pretty.....and your little dog too.

    by chicago minx on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:58:21 PM PDT

  •  The GOP and the media (9+ / 0-)

    are both going to slime the Democratic nominee and give a cushion to the GOP nominee from day one regardless of who gets the nomination. That's what drives me nuts about anyone trying to say any Democratic candidate is unelectable for x, y, or z.

    There is no "other" magically more bulletproof Democratic candidate when fictions can be peddled as truths against them.

    So the idea that Hilary or Obama or Edwards have a "special handicap" because of any factor that gives somebody else a boost just doesn't stand up.

    If Obama is denied the nomination because the party faithful find him lacking as a candidate, fine, but if he is rejected because of a fear that a black man  "can't win" with "some people"... I think we are fucked. I don't want to be in the same boat with those "some people" under any circumstances.

    If they can't find something to say to disqualify the Democratic candidate, they will make up a lie, and it will get reported on. So I refuse to make my decision about 2008 out of fear. Especially out of fear that my party might lose the "I'm not racist, some of my best friends are black" racist vote.

    When I see 'Obama can't win because' or 'Hilary can't win because' or 'Edwards can't win because' comments, I cringe.

    When I see 'because he's black, or because she's a woman' I want to puke.

    That kind of thinking not only just helps the Republicans establish smears and gives the lazy cable news media something to point to to justify its laziness, it adds insult to injury by handing Karl Rove a weapon to say to black people "see, Democrats are..." after the fact while we are sifting through the rubble in 2008.

    I'd rather go down fighting than try to win by pandering to the worst instincts of a segment of the people who probably aren't going to vote for my party regardless.

    That aside, if you don't nominate a candidate who makes history, then you can't change that history.

    Deval Patrick is the first black Governor of Massachusetts because that kind of thinking about race was completely disregarded in the end. If Obama is the nominee, I will proudly support him with 100% of my efforts.

    "People have access to health care in America," President Bush said. "After all, you can just go to an emergency room." Q&A Session on 7/10/07

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:00:46 PM PDT

  •  New Esquire Cover features (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indefinitelee, jj32, Geekesque

    photo of John Edwards with the headline, "Can a White Man Still be Elected President?"

    I haven't read the article yet, but the ironic headline seems like a big call to Democrats to do the safe thing and nominate a white male.

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember the professionals use water."

    by Happy Days on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:04:07 PM PDT

  •  Nomination not being given away (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque, smartdemmg

    Each candidate must earn each of our votes to win the nomination.  If they have earned that vote and get the nomination, they will shown they can beat a really good field of candidates and must have intrinsic worth beyond their sex or skin color.  
    Just read these boards and you realize there are no "gimme's".  

    No one is going to get the nomination untested.  They will be ready to roll in November '08.  

    "The woman's life is misery; for God's sake, people, at least give her a few good songs". NYT review of The Color Purple

    by arogue7 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:04:14 PM PDT

  •  As I said when you first raised this... (8+ / 0-)

    in response to a comment of mine, many things are illegal, but that does not change the fact that the underlying problems still exist in the community.

    The 13th and 14th Amendments, and civil rights laws based thereon, sadly, could not force individuals to  change what was in their own hearts.  Nor have they even come close to achieving their purposes.  Indeed, they were all necessary because America IS a racist country.  There is individual and institutional racism.  It permeates throughout the society, despite the laws that are passed.

    Rather than trivializing the issue here at DKos, as I believe you have done here, and in other comments, by using race as a partisan bludgeon against others who point out the fact that it still exists, perhaps your outrage should be focused against the root causes of racism in America, historically and today.  That outrage is not something I see from this diarist, only partisan rancor.

    •  Do you think it's legitimate to state that the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, zenbowl, jj32

      Democratic party shouldn't nominate African-Americans for the Presidential nomination?

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:07:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The point is what YOU think. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, Geekesque, malharden, brklyngrl

      It really does not matter, sir, what happens in the minds of racist America that you believe in.

      What matters is how YOU govern yourself. Once you decide that everyone around you is a racist and that this should effect your behavior, you have done your part in perpetuating it.

      Like I said to the others..this is just a generational thing. A lot of old people are simply going to have to buy the farm before we can get beyond this. Some people, apparently, can't.

      "I get a cravin' like a fiend for nicotine, but I don't need a cigarette, know what I mean?" - Rakim

      by brooklynbadboy on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:17:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg

        blame it on the older generation.  That's a good one.

        It is a societal thing and it will remain until we, ALL OF US, decide to address it as a people.

        If you think the young people will not become just like the old, just wait.  You think you are different, but let me advise you, babies are not born bigots, but some become that way as they grow older.

        Funny, but the same thing is said by each generaion, that exalts it's differences, yet the same thing keeps happening.

        And when you, sir, stop with your own overt racist comments, as you did concerning the Edwards visit to New Orleans, then perhaps I will give you more credibility to lecture my generation.  

    •  Well said. (0+ / 0-)

      All I would add is in response to this:

      If you refuse to hire or promote someone because you anticipate a racist reaction to them, you are legally a racist and George W. Bush's administration will come down on you like a ton of bricks.

      First, if George W. Bush's administration had its way, every single law having to do with civil rights would be gone.

      Secondly, there is no similar penalty for voting like a racist.

      Anyone who could look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and say that race would have no impact the presidential race is denying reality.

      To be clear, I do not think that Obama should not run because of his race.  And I will not say that Obama cannot win, but it will be more difficult for him than if he were white.  Same can be be said about every person of color in every profession.  It's a sad reality in America.

      Shut up and impeach.

      by HarveyMilk on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:20:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This isn't trivializing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, zenbowl, jj32

      this is attacking the issue head on.

      Are you going to let bigots decide your vote?  Yes or no?

    •  So what do we do related to choosing minority (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      candidates then? That seems like a logical question from your response(and that is what the diary is about).

      Barack Obama 08
      It's says a lot about conservatism when they have to add "compassionate" to it

      by jj32 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:37:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, this is hardly trivializing. (0+ / 0-)

      yes, you are an eloquent writer, but you're just not right on this one.

      •  The reason it is trivializing... (0+ / 0-)

        is because, in my view, it has more to do with the way the diarist uses the issue to divide people here at DKos than the real issue of racism.

        Just look at the diarist's comments to mine, the way he insinuates and impugns.

        It is raised for partisan purposes, and has been done repeatedly.

        Thanks for the compliment, by the way.

    •  Using race to puff an Edwards candidacy (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, Geekesque, chicago minx, brklyngrl

      isn't right.  It's just not, and neither is your  interest in having Obama's supporters fight racism while you simply announce that the sad reality is that racism compels a vote for the white southerner from both the racists and the not racists.

      Where were you in 2002? http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/warspeech.pdf

      by Inland on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:09:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So why do you play a race card... (0+ / 0-)

        in your very comment?  How becoming.

        It's only your partisan mind at work when you say:

        you simply announce that the sad reality is that racism compels a vote for the white southerner from both the racists and the not racists.

        I don't believe you can point where I said that racism compels a vote on anything, because, in fact, I made no  such assertion.

        The intellect around here, and the need to project about others, are simply stunning.

        •  Yes, a truly intellectual attempt. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aexia, jxg, Geekesque, chicago minx

          The assertions that racism will work against the election of the black candidate and your support of the white candidate are separated by several millimeters.  How could anyone see a connection besides the first being a reason for the second?

          But thanks for your invitation to overcome racism in order for our candidate to be able to win and you no longer have to point it out as a reason to vote for Edwards with regretful dismay.  

          Your concern is touching, but misplaced.  

          Obama does quite okay with whites, in fact, better than Edwards does with whites.  Happy day for us all, huh?

          Where were you in 2002? http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/warspeech.pdf

          by Inland on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:37:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Citizen53, I must have missed your point. I don't (0+ / 0-)

      believe anyone on this website is naive enough to believe racism does not exist. That is not the point of the diary. The question is one of whether the existance of racism is an arguement for not supporting a particular candidate because you believe that he/she cannot win on the basis of race, ethnicity or sex.

  •  Well, they used to say (7+ / 0-)

    that a Dry-Drunk Intellectually-Incurious Frat-Boy Former Cheerleader Who'd Previously Failed at Every Business Enterprise He'd Ever Attempted couldn't win, and yet they were wrong...

    ...don't blame me, I voted for Ned!

    by theark on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:05:26 PM PDT

  •  But Alan Keyes lost badly in the 2004 Senate race (10+ / 0-)

    in Illinois--undeniable proof that the voters hate Black people.

  •  Nicely put, Geek (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross, brklyngrl, Pegasus, Happy Days

    Racist "electability" arguments are the lowest of the low.  Kossacks who spend their time trying to keep the bigots happy need to find a different line of logic.

    Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

    by zenbowl on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:10:14 PM PDT

  •  heres the thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenbowl, Geekesque, Happy Days

    heres the thing, most racist are probably republicans anyway, so whos vote is he losing?

    Has being black hurt Michael Jordan, Oprah? American society is ready, maybe not the republican party but who cares about them, we aren't courting their vote.

    Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses.. Evil minds that plot destruction Sorcerers of deaths construction..........

    by pissedpatriot on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:12:25 PM PDT

  •  Obama could win (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, zenbowl, chicago minx

    the Presidency it will just take the right circumstances to make that happen.  It was once said a Catholic could not be elected President and JFK won his election on a platform of progressive change and youth.  

    I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws? Bill Maher

    by gtghawaii on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:13:01 PM PDT

  •  Obama can win. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, zenbowl, jj32, Pozzo, chicago minx, brklyngrl

    Because in America, even after 6+ of Bush, the good outweighs the hate. If I believed that a black man (or a woman) was unelectable because color or sex... I would be moving elsewhere. Fast.

    The really sad part?

    If you replace...

    Obama? he's black, and unfortunately in today's America, THAT means you're unelectable. Obama's rhetoric already indicates he's not going to accomplish anything of significance.

    or this:

    Obama is unelectable simply because he is black. I live in the South, and I know it for a fact. No southern state majority will vote for Obama, and most Western states won't either.

    black with woman, and Obama with Hillary, the statements still are out there... usually from the same people...

    TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

    by Niniane on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:14:05 PM PDT

  •  This month's.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smallbottle

    Esquire has John Edwards on the cover with the question, "Can a White Man Still Win the Presidency?"

    Surely such racist propaganda must anger all of you as much as this has.

    Disunion by armed force is TREASON!...Andrew Jackson

    by Ocean Stater on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:19:55 PM PDT

  •  He is the least electable of (0+ / 0-)

    the major three candidates as the majority of recent polls indicate.

    However, we cannot assume that this is entirely, or at all, race related; it may be experience-related, possibly name-related, etc.

  •  There's always a first time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    Funny how one little mutation can make such a huge difference.     It's not like Obama has little beady eyes and a jaw tick or anything.  It's just melanin fer Gawd's sakes.  
    Racists are so ignorant.  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:21:58 PM PDT

  •  Anyone who says (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Pozzo, Geekesque

    "A black man can't win" has no idea what s/he's talking about.  Having said that, though, I think you're oversimplifying a bit as well by taking such a broad swipe at anyone who invokes race in the context of prognostication.

    There is abundant political science and social psychology literature about the effect of race on the psychology of vote choice.  It is undeniable that a black candidate, other things equal, will have a tougher time.  Does that mean we shouldn't try?  IMO, HELL NO!  I love Obama, and think he would be a fabulous standard bearer for our party (though I'm still undecided b/w him and my Tar Heel boy).  But I would bet every last penny of my net worth that this exact conversation will take place in every single caucus living room and school house in Iowa in January.  Instead of throwing a righteously indignant fit over this, Obama supporters should engage in constructive dialogue -- starting from the common ground that the race effect is real -- about why he's the best candidate in the field.  

    Undecided, due to abundance of good choices. Interestingly, I've never heard a Republican say that.

    by cardinal on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:22:50 PM PDT

    •  Prognostication and advocacy are two different (0+ / 0-)

      things.

      Sure, someone on the sidelines can raise the issue.  Still not helpful, but not the worst thing in the world.

      It's when people raise it in order to advocate against his candidacy that things stink to high Heaven.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:36:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, Geekesque

        I agree in theory.  Two points, though:

        1. The line between advocacy and prognostication can be pretty blurry, especially on a message board.  
        1. I do actually think the latter is helpful.  For example, it might give your caucus-goers a chance to formulate a better answer than "Fuck off, you racist fuckity fucks!!!!!!!!!" when this issue is inevitably raised.

        Undecided, due to abundance of good choices. Interestingly, I've never heard a Republican say that.

        by cardinal on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:53:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  all our top democrats are electable (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, Pozzo, Delta Terp, Happy Days

    my comment is the same to the people who say we can't win because of voter suppression, or election fraud...

    if we're expecting to win on a 50.1-49.9 margin, we haven't done our job. We need to persuade people that conservatism is a horrible idea en masse.

    there are only two sides -- with the troops or with the President

    by danthrax on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:24:00 PM PDT

  •  A legit question. Answer is black man can win. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, Pozzo, Geekesque, dconrad

    It's a fair question, just as asking if a woman (Hillary) could win or a Mormon (Romney) on a Catholic (JFK).

    Answer from polling is clear that Obama can win.  Democrats who are running against Obama will toss it out there, as will the Republican candidate if Obama wins the Democratic nomination.

    Life in the big city, doesn't impact Obama's chances in any way.

    •  No, the Republican candidate won't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      The Republican candidate won't toss that out there if Obama wins the Democratic nomination. In fact, if asked, the Republican candidate will strenously deny that it should be a factor.

      If the Republican candidate threw that out there, he would immediately drop 5 points in the polls, at least. And they know that.

      Now, if you had said that some Republican shill in the media echo chamber would throw that out there, I would be more inclined to agree.

      45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

      by dconrad on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:10:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree partially, Geek. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, Pozzo, Geekesque

    Before I move on, consider the following scenario:

    ---
    Joe Schmo is running a campaign for the House seat in a district dominated by a lily-white suburb.
    Being young and idealistic (not to mention dashingly good-looking), Joe recruits a bunch of college students to help his campaign for the summer.  He uses his connections to recruit young door-knockers from the city.
    Now, Joe has an army of reasonably well-dressed young black men and women, walking the streets of this all-white neighborhood, knocking on people's doors.

    Can you see the problem in this scenario?

    I would argue that whatever else it may be, it is NOT a racist strategy for Joe to recruit his volunteers elsewhere.
    ---

    What's my point?  I think his race has to be a consideration for Obama's potential supporters.  They are not wrong to think that there are some who could never support him because he's black.  I think they overestimate the number of people who fall into that category, but that's an opinion I can't support all that well -- it's more of a hunch.

    That said, I take every opportunity I can to point out to fellow liberals who won't support Obama "because the country will never support a black man" that they are part of the problem, and they should ask themselves if they are not taking part in the racism they despise.

    But where I diverge from you -- and I think it's a slight divergence -- is I feel like you are ascribing darker motives to these people than I might.  Not knowing the commenters in question, my feeling could be completely groundless.  But I am pretty sure that the people I described in my last paragraph have genuine concerns about this, and are not using it as a smokescreen for their own prejudice.  Which means they can be talked out of their position.

    BTW, you're lucky I didn't get Smoltz into my lineup in time to get credit for last night's game.  Because I'm pretty sure I'd be ahead of you if I had.

    •  I can't look inside someone's soul. (0+ / 0-)

      But I can appraise rhetoric, and the rhetoric I described is beyond lame and dumb--it's toxic and cancerous.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:38:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem in this scenario? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, jbeach, ChiGirl88, Geekesque

      Now, Joe has an army of reasonably well-dressed young black men and women, walking the streets of this all-white neighborhood, knocking on people's doors.

      Can you see the problem in this scenario?

      Everyone would assume they're Jehovah's Witnesses and refuse to answer the door?

      45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

      by dconrad on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:12:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque

        Only if it's a white and a black together.

        If it's two white guys with ties, they're Mormons.

        If it's two black guys, they're gonna rob you.

        (Incidentally, having been a white guy in a tie door-knocking in a poor black neighborhood at one point, after my 15th "no he's not home" I came to the realization that I looked like a cop.  Good organizers know the cultural assumptions they're working against and account for them.)

        •  It's always black folks in my neighborhood (0+ / 0-)

          I think I've met two white Jehovah's Witnesses, ever, and they weren't ones who came to my door. Of course, I live in an area with a large black population. (I also live across the street from a Kingdom Hall, but the JW's don't really come around that often.)

          I like your point about looking like a cop.

          45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

          by dconrad on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 12:48:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's all bullshit (6+ / 0-)

    Colin Powell easily could have won election as POTUS had he decided to run.  Easily.  Last time I checked, he was black.

    I really don't take Obama's race into account when thinking about his electability.  And I don't take it into account when I think about how kick-ass an Edwards/Obama ticket would be.

    He's black.  Who gives a shit.  He's a great orator, a wicked smart guy, and a walking ATM.

    I think he's not the best candidate right now because of his stances and attitude towards the opposition, not because of his color.  He's a good candidate but not the best candidate in my opinion.  He is however my second choice.

    "I want to shrink the GOP down to the size where we can drown it in a toilet." Iowa Underground

    by ThunderHawk13 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:26:39 PM PDT

  •  I'm for Hillary in 2008 and Obama in 2016! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    Hillary Clinton: America's First Woman President!

    by DCDemocrat on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:26:59 PM PDT

  •  Harold Ford (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Pegasus

    there's my proof.

    and the Wilder factor--people lying to pollsters because they feel embarrassed to admit they would never vote for a black man (although Wilder did win, just by a much narrower margin than the polls would have predicted)

    I like Obama.  I'd like to believe I live in a country where he can win.  I wouldn't refuse to nominate him b/c of being black.  but racists have plenty of other cover to hide behind--they're all claiming to be more worried about the experience factor.  yeah, right.

    on the other hand, my new governor won, and by large margins, in relatively conservative parts of the state where I never in my wildest dreams would have expected people to vote for a black man.

    we won't know whether the electorate is ready until we give them the candidate.

    i'm ready to take the chance.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:28:46 PM PDT

    •  Harold Ford's your proof? Ford did better in 2006 (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, jxg, zenbowl, Geekesque, brklyngrl

      in Tennessee than Al Gore in 2000 (Ford lost by only 2.72%, whereas Gore lost by 3.87%; moreover, Ford's loss in Tennessee scared them enough to pull out of Montana to focus there [had they campaigned hard in MT, Burns'd probably have gained enough to have won, and Mitch McConnell would be majority leader], whereas Gore's loss in Tennessee gave Bush the presidency).

      Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

      by DemocraticLuntz on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:41:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I dont think there was a (7+ / 0-)

      "Wilder effect" or "Bradley effect" in 2006. I remember reading an analysis which showed that Harold Ford and Michael Steele both got around the percentages that polls showed they would get.

      Barack Obama 08
      It's says a lot about conservatism when they have to add "compassionate" to it

      by jj32 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:45:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you're right (6+ / 0-)

        in fact, recent polling indicates that this effect no longer exists in any real sense of the word.  From the 2006 elections (black candidate reality/poll difference in parens):

        • Deval Patrick (D) vs. Kerry Healey (R), Massachusetts. Final polls: Patrick leads 54-30. Final result: Patrick wins 56-35. (+2%)
        • Ken Blackwell (R) vs. Ted Strickland (D), Ohio. Final polls: Strickland leads 57-37. Final result: Strickland wins 60-37. (-3%)
        • Lynn Swann (R) vs. Ed Rendell (D), Pennsylvania. Final polls: Rendell leads 58-36. Final result: Rendell wins 60-40. (+4%)
        • Harold Ford (D) vs. Bob Corker (R), Tennessee. Final polls: Corker leads 50-44. Final result: Corker wins 51-48. (+4%)
        • Michael Steele (R) vs. Ben Cardin (D), Maryland. Final polls: Cardin leads 49-45. Final result: Cardin wins 54-44. (-1%)

        Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

        by zenbowl on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:01:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's biggest hurdle (6+ / 0-)

    imho is Democrats who WOULD vote for him if he were the nominee, but who WON"T vote for him in the primaries because they believe OTHER people won't vote for him.  What a tragically silly mistake! I think he would win the general election easily, for various reasons.And I think there are many many whites of both parties that are actually excited about electing him simply BECAUSE he's black,racist as that is.

    Hate is too great a burden to bear.It injures the hater more than the hated.- Coretta Scott King

    by mem on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:30:55 PM PDT

  •  video debate question for obama re: troy davis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque
  •  My issue has always (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenbowl, MacheteJames

    been if you think along those lines, when is it "ok" for a minority to run for president then? It seems like every election you can keep using this argument that "people wont vote for a black man/woman/hispanic, etc." As you say, we have to given them a chance first.  

    Barack Obama 08
    It's says a lot about conservatism when they have to add "compassionate" to it

    by jj32 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:32:31 PM PDT

  •  loser mentality (13+ / 0-)

    I think the sentiment that he can't win because he's black, or that Hillary can't because she's female, or that Rchardson can't because he's Hispanic, are all part of a loser mentality that has become common among Democrats.
    It's a more flagrant version of the generally risk averse philosophy that has dominated Democratic politics for a long time.
    Lets get the war vote out of the way so we don't have to deal with it during the election, lets not impeach because people will hate us for being partizan, lets not stand up to the president on war funding because we'll be seen as hating the troops.
    Quite honestly what has made me angriest about the Democratic party for decades now, and I know from talking to others that it has cost them votes, is this pervasive fear of taking any kind of a stand  because they fear it will anger someone.
    The question I always ask is if you are afraid to fight for your own people, how the hell do you expect anyone else to trust that you will fight for them?
    Obama can certainly win, as can Hillary or Richardson or several other Dems. I personally believe that being bold, and more "in your face" would be a welcome change from a Democrat and would garner some respect from the many folks who have come to regard them as wimps.
    Nominating Obama or HRC or Richardson would be a clear sign that the party was acting on it's principles. Not that I'm endorsing any of them, I have yet to decide and am in no hurry to, but my decsion will most definitely be made on race or gender.
    How did that whole "electability" thing work out the last time?

  •  I dont think anyone in here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, Geekesque

    Is saying that its right to reject based a candidate on race. What they are saying is that it is an issue, if you are talking electability and that you cant' ignore reality. Hopefully, we've come far enough that race, religion and gender don't matter, but I think it would be naive to assume that. It's also somethign that no poll can accurately measure as a lot of people are uncomfortable talking about race.

  •  Obama might be able to pull together a real (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    rainbow coalition.  That is what has the Cheneys of the world scared to death.  The comments on the Rich Pundit Cruse and LA Times doing articles showing only 25% of the voters of California are white men.  While these guys are going to die soon thank god, they think they have the right to determine the world their grandchildren will live in.

    Suppression of the vote has been the focus for the last 12 years because they are terrified the majority may come to power.

  •  aaarrrggghh!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosbo, jj32, Geekesque

    My desicion will not be made on gender or race!
    Damnit!

  •  Show up with a tureen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    berith, mem, Geekesque

    And, by the way, for those who say "but we can't just ignore reality!":  Show me your proof that Obama can't win.  Show me your proof that a black man can't win.  And don't tell me it's because it's never been done before.

    An acquaintance of mine who is married to a black man and adopted a black child, and who has called specific people a "waste of protoplasm" because they did not want to adopt an African-American baby, listed all the usual caveats not only to Barack Obama's candidacy, but also to Feingold's, before Russ ruled it out.  The south would: never vote for a black, a Jew, or a northerner, and therefore we had to stick with the formula we'd been using at least in part since Lyndon Johnson, or Nixon's southern strategy.

    My county party is currently conducting a fun presidential straw poll out of our booth at the county fair (Edwards is winning, followed by Hillary and Obama, then Gore), and I heard older party members fret about the electability of a woman or a black.  My answer was that all bets are off, and we will be having a powerful realigning election in 2008.  We can not afford to play it timid, because voters will not be.

    At the fair booth, I would ask people if they wanted to cast their vote for a presidential candidate (plus Gore and Clark), and a common response is, "I don't know who any of them are, but thank God Bush won't be in again!"

    We can't afford to be timorous!  When it's raining soup we should probably show up not with a teaspoon, but a tureen.

    I have seen the fnords.

    by rhubarb on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:40:11 PM PDT

  •  I think that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    It's possible that race (or gender) could hurt several of our candidates in a number of places, but then, most of those places aren't inclined to vote Democratic anyway.

  •  I agree with your argument... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    but to plat devil's advocate for a minute:  Would Dennis Kucinich be 'electable'  if progressives would stop dimisssing him out of hand and give him a chance?

    He is the one whose values most resemble what we say we stand for.

    The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

    by cometman on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:42:11 PM PDT

    •  Candidates are complex human beings. (0+ / 0-)

      'Electability' does exist in some form or another, but no single characteristic defines a candidate's electability.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:54:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do people SAY crap like this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, Geekesque

    I haven't heard anybody. If they do, they're idiots, please carry on toasting them on sticks over a fire.

    Obama can win. If he's nominated, he might just drag in HUGE crowds of people who otherwise wouldn't bother to vote at all. He speaks well, he'll get us out of Iraq if we're not already, and his ideas are in the right place. I would be happy to see him as President.

    As for worrying about the racist-bastard vote... we don't get the racist-bastard vote anyway. I don't even WANT the racist-bastard vote. To HELL with the racist bastards, as soon as possible thank you.

    •  yes, they do, and some are African American (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, Catte Nappe, jj32, Geekesque

      Unfortunately, even some African Americans have said this in public:

      http://blueollie.wordpress.com/...

      Scroll about midway down:

         Both said they had been courted by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, but believe his winning the primary would drag down the rest of the party.

         "Then everybody else on the ballot is doomed," Ford said. "Every Democratic candidate running on that ticket would lose because he’s black and he’s at the top of the ticket _ we’d lose the House, the Senate and the governors and everything."

         "I’m a gambling man. I love Obama," Ford said. "But I’m not going to kill myself."

      Listen to that. Ok, I made one intentional omission: in the first line of the first blockquote, I omitted the word "black"!

      ps: I am wearing my Obama shirts every chance that I get! ;-)

      When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

      by onanyes on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:02:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is funny (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        onanyes, chicago minx

        since Obama was highly sought after during the 2006 elections, especially among candidates running in "red" states like Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee, and Indiana to name a few. Apparently, Claire McCaskill, Jim Webb, Baron Hill, Brad Ellsworth, and Harold Ford Jr. didnt have a problem campaigning with Barack Obama.

        Barack Obama 08
        It's says a lot about conservatism when they have to add "compassionate" to it

        by jj32 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:21:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do people NOT SAY this? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      So far I have had conversations on the candidates with a lot of my friends an family. The electability of various candidates, and specifically the possible effect thereon of Barack being black or Hillary being a woman has never failed to come up. Hasn't been the deciding factor in any of these discussions, but it always comes up. I don't know what country you're living in where people don't discuss this, or if they do, they're "racist bastards".

      45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

      by dconrad on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:45:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's going on here? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pradeep, Fiona West

    What is see is the diarist is not disagreeing with the assertions that a black man cannot win the presidency, but is harshly critical of those who do believe this.

    And then he is going so far as to say that such statements should not be allowed on Dailykos.  My reaction:  "Epithet deleted."

    Is this site to be reduced to articulating politically correct statements that are to be reinforced by exclusion of contrary discussion?  Are we to be nothing but a simplistic venue for learning how to parrot the party line?

    Does the diarist deny that racism, as well as every other kind of irrational group antagonism exists in this country, and has an effect on how people vote?

    The comnents he cites do not approve of this situation, that he/she believes a black man can not be elected, or that a black man SHOULD not be elected. He/she was stating his opinion.  

    The premise of this diary should be refuted by those who value open and diverse debate.

    •  A black man can win. This black man can win. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, Pozzo, speck tater

      There is plenty of evidence to suggest that.  There is nothing to suggest that he can't win because he's black.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:55:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I agree a black man can win.... (0+ / 0-)

        But that is not the point of your diary.

        You are condemning those who believe differently, and don't want them to post their opinions.

        Do you fail to see the difference?

        •  The point of this diary is that Democrats should (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jj32, speck tater

          not advocate racial discrimination, should not enable or empower racial discrimination, and should not use a black man's race against him in a primary contest.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:04:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We needed a diary for that? n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  Yes. We have people in this diary (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Aexia, jj32

              stating that it's acceptable to state that we shouldn't nominate Obama because he's a black man, and a black man can't win.

              Seriously.  I can provide links (with uprates) if you want.

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:10:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are you sure (0+ / 0-)

                I many suggesting that discussing race in terms of its effect on politics and elections as worthy discussion.  Others decide to hear what they want to hear.  Is see very little of what youre implying.

                You know where I stand on suggestions of "we shouldn't nominate Obama because he's a black man" - my record of ratings and comments is open-source on this site.

                •  Link for you: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jj32

                  http://www.dailykos.com/...

                  Do you think it's legitimate to argue (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:pb, Yoshimi, wordene, Albatross, Pegasus
                  that we shouldn't nominate Obama because he's a black man, and a black man is per se unelectable?

                  Legitmate, yes (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:pb, BWasikIUgrad, dennisl
                  And certainly not troll worthy.

                  Accurate or sensitive to the delicate sensisbilites of Kossacks, no.

                  It's not an argument I'd make, one because I don't think it's correct and two, because it's a distraction from policy differences, but I don't care for loose charges of racism, which you're especially fond of throwing around.

                  If you want to make a case that it's in poor taste or plays to ugly sentiments, that to describe a frame is to reinforce it, then I'd say that's probably fine.

                  To accuse people of racism for making a rather mundate comment--that won't fly.

                  The fact that you uprated a comment stating that "don't vote for the black guy" is 'legitimate' is also open record.

                  "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                  by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:25:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  And they say (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Geekesque

              well, that's just the way it is, everybody  knows it and we can't fight it, there's no use.

              I'll get you, my pretty.....and your little dog too.

              by chicago minx on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:18:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Thought-Provoking Diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    I like the concept.  Of course, I don't how many times I've read, here and elsewhere, that an avowed atheist could not be elected anything in the US.  That is undoubtedly true, and you'd probably advise any atheist running for office to keep his or her mouth shut about it.  I guess that's just as illegal, but it's hard to ignore what a benighted, fucked-up country we live in.  Bottom line - I'd do anything to beat the Republicans, so sue me.

    •  I have discussed with friends whether Hillary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hypersphere01

      can win the election as a woman, and various aspects of that -- the need to come across as tough enough on defense, but not get caught in war-mongering postures -- etc.  This does not make me anti-woman. I am a woman and a feminist and I would be infuriated by the suggestion that my thinking and talking about the realities of sexism in the US makes me as guilty as the sexists.

      I call bullshit on that.

      I have discussed with friends whether Obama can win the presidency as a black man at this time in the US.  It's trickier, because I'm white and my motivation can always be questioned; but I still reject the suggestion that thinking and talking about the realities of racism in the US makes me as guilty as the racists.  

      I call bullshit on that.

      This is a site where ideas can be debated. I have never commented or written here about whehter Obama can be elected, and frankly have not come to a conclusion one way or the other.  Personally, I think inexperience is a bigger drawback than race. But those who don't want people to question his electablity because of race should provide arguments for his electability, instead of just telling people to stop thinking forbidden thoughts because that proves they are bad.

      Pertinent arguments would be his poll numbers in the south (especially if there is any racial breakdown), the election of black officials in the south and west in the last decade (such as the election of the first black governor in Virginia, mentioned above), maybe comparisons of polling numbers and exit polls for black candidates.  Maybe people who say Obama isn't electable because of race should be asked to explain why Virginia can now elect a black governor but couldn't vote for a black president.  Ask them to produce their evidence. In other words, do what DKos usually does.  Grapple with the substance of the comments, don't just tell people to shut up and go away.  Because racism and sexism are real, and they won't go away just because we refuse to talk about them.

      •  Racism and sexism will NEVER go away (0+ / 0-)

        if progressives decide to be complicit and engage in racist and sexist behavior by refusing to nominate a black man because he is black or a woman because she is a woman.

        Make the inquiry, sure.  Have a rational, fact-oriented analysis.

        But don't you dare oppose someone here because they're a woman or because their skin is dark.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:58:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I disagree with you... (9+ / 0-)

    1) Recognizing the prejudices latent in America does not make one prejudiced himself

    and

    2) Your comparison is silly because an employer is in position to exercise leverage on behalf of a candidate while a party begging for votes is not

    and

    3) electability matters

    For instance, I know for a fact that today in America a dwarf will not win the presidency if nominated by a major party.  Neither will a self-evowed athiest, nor a man with a gnarly speech impediment, or some disfiguring skin disease.  Too many people just have too many inherent biases in these cases.  I would certainly gladly vote for any of these people if I agreed with them on the issues, but that's me.  Too many other people just won't.

    Does it make me a prejudiced person to recognize the unfortunate reality that these biases exist?  Hell no!  And I want to win this time.  I want to win more than I want to score a moral victory, I think we can all agree that for the future of this country and this planet it is imperative that a Democrat wins this time.

    And as mentioned, your comparison with employment is a canard.  A corporation can force its employees to accept a dwarf, athiest, speech impared, or disfigured person in their midst, if their jobs are on the line.  Not so with the electorate, which we must convince and cajole to support our guy.  

    All of that having been said, I personally think that a black man actually can win the presidency.  As I read it, there is plenty of racism in this country, but it is almost entirely confined to people who will be voting Republican no matter what, so we could win with Obama.  But that is my analysis, and someone else might think that this country is still too racist to convince enough people to vote for a black man.  If that is their honest evaluation of the situation, that is valuable input to our discussion and certainly doesn't make they themselves racist to offer it for our consideration.  Please don't be the thought police.

    It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the intelligent half of the country virulently against him.

    by fizziks on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:54:20 PM PDT

    •  Again, if it's mere reality, where's your proof? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, jj32

      Seriously, I'm stunned that people just assume something and state that they're 'just being realistic.'

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:56:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fizziks, I agree with you.... (0+ / 0-)

        and posted the same sentiments directly above.

        Somehow the diarist, and very sadly almost all who have commented on this diary, can not make a distinction between disagreeing with a comment, and feeling that the comment should not be made.

        The response it to refute it, not to attempt to ban it.  

        •  Should we allow Holocaust denial? eom (0+ / 0-)

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:34:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK, I'm invoking Godwin's law (0+ / 0-)

            Calling anyone who questions Barack Obama's electability a racist is one thing. Now you're comparing them to Holocaust deniers?

            I swear to god, Geekesque, if I hadn't seen you around here for so long (hey, your uid is barely half mine), I would be tempted to add a "troll diary" tag. Are you serious? I think you need to think about this a little more.

            45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

            by dconrad on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:57:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um, do troll diaries make the rec list? (0+ / 0-)

              And, "don't vote for the black guy" is pretty damn indefensible.  But that poster wants it to be acceptable.

              But, okay.

              How about "gays spread disease and destroy our culture"--should that be acceptable around here?

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:02:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We're talking at cross purposes (0+ / 0-)

                I'm trying to say, and I understand him as trying to say, that it would be okay to question whether being gay would keep a candidate from being elected in some race, and if you believe so, to prefer some other candidate in the primary.

                (And not any gay candidate in any race ever, just in some particular race.)

                And you seem to be saying that anyone who raises that as a concern is really a homophobe, and this is how it manifests itself. (Or racist, if it's a black candidate, or sexist, if it's a woman.)

                But in another comment on this diary, you did say that you think it is okay to discuss the subject. I don't know if I just missed some more extreme comments from some of your interlocutors, but at least above, arodb didn't say anything like, "'Don't vote for the black guy,' should be acceptable."

                If Barney Frank made a run for President, and someone raised the question of whether he is electable in a national race, do you think that's the equivalent of saying, "gays spread disease and destroy our culture"?

                45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

                by dconrad on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 12:40:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with most of what you said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel

      I do think Barack Obama could win next year (the Republicans have fatally damaged themselves; they've fallen, and can't get up), but I agree with you, and not the diarist, that it is reasonable to discuss this and absolutely doesn't make you a racist.

      But when you say this, "there is plenty of racism in this country, but it is almost entirely confined to people who will be voting Republican no matter what"

      Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ah! AH! Ha ha ha ha ha, oh, please, please stop, ha ha ha ha ha ha!

      Oh, man, that is good. You should take that act to the Laugh Factory. I'm sorry, but that is the silliest thing I've heard in a lo-o-ong time.

      45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

      by dconrad on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:53:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "A black man can't play in the major leagues!" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, jj32, dgone36

    wasn't that said at one point?

    What's Obama done as Senator? Click here.

    by jkfp2004 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:00:43 PM PDT

    •  the difference (0+ / 0-)

      is that a black man who is a good enough athlete can hit a baseball, catch a baseball, throw it, etc.

      Physics is very non-racist. ;-)

      On the other hand, non-black people actually have to vote for a black person.

      Don't get me wrong: I think that Obama CAN win, but the situation is very different.

      When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

      by onanyes on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:04:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The irony there is that now they don't want to. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia

      The percentage of native born African-Americans in the major leagues is at its lowest since the mid-60s.  

      More recently they said that about the Japanese and now Ichiro is one of the 5 best players in baseball.

      What did you do with the cash Joe?

      by roguetrader2000 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:13:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I find it ironic that we all laughed at O'Reilly (0+ / 0-)

    for trying to summarize a large vibrant community with a few anonymous, odd comments that dont reflect whats really going on...

    And then someone here does it and its a recommended diary.

    And I really dont want to re-go into my comments suggesting how much I disagree with any suggestion that Obama's race should determine motive in primary support.

    •  Well, except that one of those comments got (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia

      12 uprates.  All by supporters of the same primary candidate.  

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:12:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah so there it is (0+ / 0-)

        This is about primary politics?  You said upthread it wasn't.

        Some people felt it shouldn't be TRed even if they disagreed.  Given that it was an Edwards diary - most of the people there to even read the comment would have been Edwards supporters.

        You can't red the minds of all those raters.  I surprised youve taken upon yourself to determine the motivation of other members on this site.

        •  Either people oppose that argument on (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jj32

          principle or they don't.

          My point is that OBVIOUSLY there are people here who think that it's okay for Kossacks to argue that we shouldn't nominate Obama because he's black.  

          David Mizner said it's a legitimate argument.

          Lots of other people agree with him.

          This diary is pointing out that NO it's not an acceptable or decent or even defensible argument.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:20:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree with your assesment of David's comment (0+ / 0-)

            It is my interpretation that David sees any suggestion that others hold that argument as a false charge.  Discussing racism is ok, and good for our party - to be very well prepared for Obama possibly being the nominee.  Its not a reason to not vote for him - in the end thats cowardly if not racist.

            I think you hear what you want to hear.

            •  You ignore his unambiguous answer. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Aexia, jj32, malharden

              Q:  Do you think it's legitimate to argue that we shouldn't nominate Obama because he's a black man, and a black man is per se unelectable?

              A:  Legitimate, yes.

              Sorry, but I'm the only one here reading with clear eyes.

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:33:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh come on (0+ / 0-)

                Legitimate to argue... sure it is, its free speech, people can say what thy like.

                And decent people can call it out for its bulls***.  David is against censorship.  You know very well he doesnt hold that view and had said so.

                No youre not.  Youve thrown some meat to the Obama supporters who have been in a funk lately - aimlessly wandering, wondering why they have no traction.

  •  This Diary is a Circular Firing Squad (5+ / 0-)

    Geekesque - we're the reality-based community. We can discuss what we believe reality to be, and we can work to prove or disprove the quality of our assertions.

    But this diary is feeling way too PC and groupthink to me. You've whipped up a lot of emotion but it isn't moving the discussion forward. Just sayin'.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:04:17 PM PDT

    •  Racial discrimination is not a "PC" concern. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, berith, malharden, smartdemmg

      It is a core progressive and societal concern.

      The EEOC is not a "PC" body.

      Referring to anti-racism efforts as "PC" is Limbaugh territory.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:13:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What is PC, is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Raven

        saying that anyone who so much as suggests that Barack Obama's race might be an impediment to him getting elected is a racist.

        You're trying to stop them from saying it by shaming them for broaching the subject. Demand that they produce some numbers, offer that 94% survey as counterevidence, offer his Senate election as counterevidence, but don't try to shut down the discussion by calling people racists.

        Personally, I believe we can elect anyone next year, and although Barack Obama isn't my first choice I'd be happy to have him as President.

        But I don't like the tone of this diary.

        45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

        by dconrad on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:02:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are missing the point. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aexia, jj32, dconrad

          The following is acceptable:

          Obama's race would be a potential factor, and possibly an obstacle, in the general election.

          The following is unacceptable:

          We shouldn't nominate an African-American, because no African-American can win.

          Do I make myself clear?

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:05:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  If Obama can win the nomination,he can win it all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pozzo, Geekesque, Lady Bird Johnson

    I don't accept the premise that white Democratic primary voters are significantly more open minded about race than general election swing voters.

    Obama doesn't need Republicans to vote for him.  He needs to get his fair share of unaffiliateds. I think that the increase in black turnout in the general election will more than offset the white folks in the middle who would have voted for another Dem, but won't vote for a black man.

    If Obama fails in the primaries, I hope its because he sounds too much like Lieberman and not because white Dems are racists.

    What did you do with the cash Joe?

    by roguetrader2000 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:09:18 PM PDT

  •  I just don't think it's true. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    Being black has less of a handicap than being a woman, less than being from the northeast, and less than being part of a losing team, and less than being for the war before you were against it.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.  Obama's doing fine.

    Where were you in 2002? http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/warspeech.pdf

    by Inland on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:11:46 PM PDT

  •  Well, here's why! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, berith, Pozzo, Geekesque

    We'll vote for him! It those other people who won't vote for him.

    Seventy-nine percent (79%) of American voters say they’re willing to vote for an African-American presidential candidate. However, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 55% believe their family, friends, and co-workers are willing to do the same.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/...

    Interesting disconnect. Everybody sees themselves as more tolerant than everybody else?

    "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." Plato

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:14:17 PM PDT

  •  He's overcome other things just as hard (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, Geekesque, Governor McCheese

    They also said black people would never vote.

    If the Republicans promise to stop telling lies about us, maybe we'll stop telling the truth about them..

    by Romaniac on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:24:19 PM PDT

  •  I will be flamed for this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ParaHammer, Geekesque

    Of all the black candidates who have ever run for the Presidency I think that Obama has the best chance. He's not my first choice because I don't think that he has enough experience yet.

    However, I do think that Obama can connect with white America. He seems moderate and acceptable to swing voters in the white suburbs. To be blunt he doesn't come off like someone from the ghetto. He doesn't fit the "urban, ghetto, scary black politician" mold in the eyes of those voters.

    While Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would never have any shot of becoming president, because rightly or wrongly (and I say "wrongly", though this applies more to Sharpton because of the Tawana Brawley controversy), they come off as being too "threatening" to white America, Obama doesn't have that baggage. Swing white suburban working class voters don't see him as being "from the ghetto".

    I think that Obama can win for those reasons. He can reach those voters in ways that previous black candidates couldn't.

    •  Don't forget Shirley Chisholm in 1972 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ParaHammer

      If Jackson and Sharpton have less credibility, it's because they were never officeholders.

      •  But I think that my point about white and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque

        suburban voters is valid. While those voters saw Chisholm, Jackson, and Sharpton in a negative light, Obama doesn't have their baggage. He doesn't come off like he is from the "ghetto", nor is he "threatening" (to enough suburban whites and other non-blacks) to make it impossible for him to win. While Jackson and Sharpton come off as representing unlimited welfare, illegitimacy, higher taxes, criminals' rights, and so forth, Obama doesn't illicit the same impression from white voters. Obama comes off as young and moderate.

  •  He would not be the 1st Black President of the US (0+ / 0-)

    Technically, he would be the first "since Reconstruction."

  •  Illinois '04 is instructive. (7+ / 0-)

    What Obama did in 2004 convinces me he can get elected.  Not the general election; that outcome was sealed the day Jack! Ryan was pushed out of the Republican nomination (and even then Jack! consistently trailed Obama in the polls).  The primary, however, marked a real change in the way Illinois voting patterns by race broke down.  

    Illinois is less progressive than a casual observer might imagine given that it has sent two African-Americans to the U.S. Senate over the past 15 years.  The 1983 and 1987 Chicago mayoral elections were as racially polarized as any elections I have ever seen; Harold Washington became (and was reelected) mayor without cracking 20% of the white vote.  Braun's primary victory in 1992 came as a result of a three-way primary in which two white men, Sen. Alan Dixon (whose base was downstate) and millionare Al Holfeld split the  white vote.  Braun narrowly squeaked by with a third of the vote, beat a Republican nonentity in the general, and was trounced after one term by neophyte Peter Fitzgerald after never solidifying the Illinois vote behind her.  

    The 2004 primary saw several Democrats salivate at the chance at taking out Fitzgerald.  Millionaire Blair Hull, Comptroller Dan Hynes, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, and Richard Daley staffer Gery Chico were widely seen as the favorites in a seven-way field, with Hull (money) and Hynes (connections) seen as the two most likely candidates.  All of the above were white.

    I visited my old neighborhood Hyde Park in the early winter of 2004 to see lots of Obama signs in the window.  I assumed the pattern would play out the way it did when Washington and Braun were running.  Obama would get support from the African-American community and a few Hyde Parkers, and either lose or squeak through a divided primary.  That didn't happen.  Obama won a seven-way primary with 53% of the vote, beating his closest competitor (Hynes) by 30%.  This was not a victory caused by Chicago's dominance over the state (though Obama certainly cleaned up in Cook County).  He won in rural areas, suburban areas, and areas in the southern part of the state that have had active KKK chapters in the past 20 years.  

    I watched the returns come in that night and vowed I would never underestimate Barack Obama's ability to convince the majority of voters that he is the right man for the job.  To do so in Illinois flies in the face of a racially polarized history, and speaks volumes about both him and the electorate.

    •  Also from 2004 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nuisance Industry, berith, jj32, Geekesque

      from Time magazine, a story from Dick Durbin about traveling with Obama.

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

      Obama is riding on a bus in southern Illinois with Sen. Dick Durbin, his mentor in Congress, when they approach the hardscrabble town of Cairo. Durbin tells him that his first visit to Cairo was in the 1970s, when it was still one of the most segregated towns in Illinois, with a history of lynchings, cross burnings and riots. Durbin, then a young state lawyer on a mission to promote racial harmony, was worried when his driver warned him not to use the telephone because the operator was a member of the White Citizens Council; when he checked in to his motel, a visitor knocked on his door demanding to know what the hell he was doing in town. After the story, Obama and Durbin are apprehensive as their bus pulls into Cairo. But as they turn the corner, they see a crowd of 300 supporters wearing blue buttons saying OBAMA FOR U.S. SENATE. Some in the crowd are black; most are white. To Obama, the story of Cairo confirms Martin Luther King Jr.'s observation that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice.

      Where were you in 2002? http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/warspeech.pdf

      by Inland on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:56:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It convinced me too. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      I'll get you, my pretty.....and your little dog too.

      by chicago minx on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:34:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oprah Winfrey -- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    could beat almost any opponent for POTUS.  That should put to rest all the naysayers spouting that this country isn't ready for a black or woman.  It's not a simple question of skin color or sex -- it's about the candidate, stupid.

    I'd much rather be considering Obama for POTUS in four or eight years than now.  However, compared to the others in the race, he looks good -- not great, but good.  

    What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away.

    by Marie on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:38:48 PM PDT

  •  I'll truly TRULY believe that a black man can win (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jkb246

    when...

    1. There is no more racial profiling in America
    1. When disproportionate amount of the people in prison aren't black
    1. When LA cops stop planting drugs on black/hispanic people and sending them off for a long stretch in prison
    1. When cops in general stop excessively beating or shooting the crap of unarmed black men
    1. When white people can say the word "nigger" without any problems
    1. When the drug war is over
    1. When the South turns blue.

    Until all these things happen, I'll HOPE (LOL, Obama's favorite word) that a black man can win, but I won't hold my breath.

  •  That's total BS. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, Geekesque, speck tater

    Of course a black man can win.

    But more importantly, Senator Obama can win, because he's Senator Obama. Race is ancillary, but I really doubt it'll be an important factor once the election rolls around.

    (1) D.I.E.B.O.L.D.: Decisive In Elections By Ousting Liberal Democrats.
    (2) R.A.T.S.: Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia.
    (3) -8.75, -8.10

    by Archangel on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:41:52 PM PDT

    •  In the states where race will be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque, chicago minx

      an important factor, Dems do not stand a chance to win anyway. We need to put forward the best person to promote progressive issues in a way that will actually bring results.

      No secret who I think will be the best to forward our values and vision.

      "In the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it." Barack Obama

      by speck tater on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:30:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am so glad to know that any discussion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pradeep

    of the electability of Barack Obama is racist, and of Hillary Clinton is sexist. Is there a term for those who attack the electability of Dennis Kucinich, as well? Heightist, maybe?

    45% of Americans for impeachment of George Bush, 54% for Dick Cheney. ARG Poll

    by dconrad on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:42:34 PM PDT

  •  Even though there are... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    ....a goodly number of racist Americans, only hardcore racists will vote against Obama because he's black. And they won't vote for any Democrat, so they hardly matter. More mildly racist Americans might well vote for Obama since he (and I hate to say this) "transcends race." He can be that black guy who racist whites don't associate with negative black stereotypes. Sort of like Michael Jordan or any number of popular entertainers or other public figures.

  •  It's not racism to consider the possibilities (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waytac, Pozzo, Geekesque

    It's pretty much standard practice to take everything into account when considering whether a candidate can win the election. Hilary can't win because she's a woman. Obama can't win because he's black. Edward's can't win because his wife has cancer. Everybody loves to play the "can't win" game. Bush coudln't win because he had a history of drunk driving. Clinton couldn't win because he had a reputation for liking women a bit too much.

    Sometimes it's because of location. Can a non-Southern candidate win the election? Religion. Can a Catholic/Mormon/Muslim win an election? You'll hear it broken down by demographic. Can candidate X win the black/hispanic vote? Can they win Florida? Can they win Mississippi?

    Obama being black is a relevant topic, and it's no more racist to consider that than it is sexist to consider whether Hilary Clinton can win if she's a woman. Heck... I've seen various discussions about wether she's too masculine to win as a woman.

    There is no proof that Obama can't win because he's black. There is no proof that Clinton can't win because she's a woman. There is no proof that Edwards can't win because he's not a frontrunner. You can't have proof of these kinds of assertiongs. But you're not going to stop people from speculating, and I don't think it's fair to call somebody a racist/sexist because they recognize that racism/sexism exist in our society. If people start saying that Obama shouldn't run because he's black, that's a different matter.

    •  Is it a possible factor? Sure. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, dianem, lirtydies, jj32, dconrad

      Even a potential obstacle?  Maybe.

      Am I saying we shouldn't discuss it?  No.

      Am I saying that it's unacceptable to say we shouldn't nominate him because he's black?  Yes, and I'll go to war over that point any time someone tries to make it.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:11:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It'll be a pretty dull world... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque

        ...if only white christian men are allowed to run for president because they're the only ones who ever have won.  I think it's very cool that we have two not so traditional candidates running for the Democratic candidate, and they both have a real shot.

        That said, I still like Edwards best. Clinton is a bit too calculating for my taste, and Obama needs seasoning. He looks like a kid. Of course, a lot of people look like kids to me nowadays (when did I start getting old?) Edwards looked like a baby when he ran with Kerry, but I think the run seasoned him a bit. Obama has plenty of time. I see this as a practice run. He's getting experience in the spotlight. If he keeps his nose clean, and I expect he will, I think he could make it in a few years. I'll support him if he makes it this time, but I'm hoping for Edwards.

  •  I don't know why people seem so afraid to talk (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbeach, munky, Geekesque

    about race issues. It seems to me it is relevant, and admitting so doesn't make someone racist. I'm a huge Obama supporter and can't envision a scenario where I don't give him my TN primary vote. But does it not bear mentioning what the south's record is for voting African Americans into the Senate? Acknowledging what we're up against is necessary for progressives who plan to volunteer on Obama's campaign in southern states.
    Also, I'd like to read, and maybe I missed it, an intelligent analsysis of why Hillary has earned more support from African Americans than Obama has. That one stumps me.

    •  No one is saying that we shouldn't talk (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, jj32, terrapin station84

      about race.

      What we're saying is that we shouldn't use his race against him in a primary contest.

      Hillary is doing well amongst African-Americans because, well, she's doing well amongst all Democrats.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:22:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As for analysis, my guess is Hillary's husband (0+ / 0-)

      and association with Clinton, one of the American presidents in recent memory who has actually produced positive results for the African-American community.

      They see Hillary as being of the same team and same mindset as Bill Clinton, and thus approve of her. Whereas IMHO they see Obama as not being proven to produce positive results for them.

      It's not like they doubt Obama, I think; it's more like in Hillary they have a known producer of results, and in Obama they have someone who they haven't seen do a lot yet.

      that's my $.02...

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:46:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't be stumped. Early polls are useless. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      Most of the country is not watching yet, and a large majority haven't even formed a preference. Even in New Hampshire where you're likely to trip over a candidate if you're not careful, a CNN poll says only 10% of voters have definitely decided on their vote, 26% are leaning towards one of the candidates, and 64% are completely undecided.

      "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" - J. Madison

      by berith on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:52:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  is it really racist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbeach, munky

    To acknowledge that candidates face various unfair hurdles when trying to get them elected? I am not so sure that it is. Let's say Robert Byrd were to run. Does anyone seriously doubt that people would qusetion whether he's too old for the presidency? Are you yourself engaging in age discrimination if you question whether his age will make some people less likely to vote for him? How about a gay candidate for Governor of Utah? Anyone really think that that wouldn't be an issue? Are you a homophobe if your analysis of which candidate you think can win includes the fact that people won't vote for him because of this?

    •  For the umpteenth time: (6+ / 0-)

      Okay:  Race is a factor and a possible obstacle to overcome.

      Not okay:  Don't nominate the black guy, because a black guy can't win.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:37:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We can't have another GOP term. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      Period.

      This means, IMHO, now is not the time for Hillary's candidacy, definitely. This is because already %52 of those polled say they will vote against her.

      Obama doesn't poll as negatively. So I don't consider him out of the question, like I do Hillary.

      But, contrary to this article poster and many of the commenters, I do think someone's electablity is an important issue - *because we simply cannot afford another term of insane, dysfunctional, divisive, corporatist and delusional Republican leadership.

      Period.

      And voting for a 'best possible man' rather than 'best possible man who can WIN' got us in this mess in the first place, back in 2000.Remember Nader?

      So, I'm not saying Obama can't win. He seems like a good man.

      But an analysis of all relevant factors as to why he can't win is important to the discussion of him as a candidate. And that includes the viability of other lunkheads who we share our country with, voting against him because of his race.

      In my opinion, that's reality.

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

      by jbeach on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:53:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure. Think of it this way: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        malharden

        Candidates are electable or unelectable.

        Races are not electable or unelectable.

        Genders are not electable or unelectable.

        Religions are not electable or unelectable.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:54:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But doesn't that beg the question (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geekesque

          of whether a candidate of X religion or X race or X geneder is electable. It seems to be a distinction without a difference to me.

        •  Sure, I can get with that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geekesque, Governor McCheese

          But I also think that race can be a deciding factor, concerning a candidate's electability.

          One thing that's unfortunately effective in overcoming race as a factor, is some other set of attributes conservatives find appealing. Perhaps I'm generalizing, but it seems to me that the South has the most direct racism, and the South has the most virulent conservatives...

          So if someone has an appealing resume, such as Colin Powell did years ago (before he humiliated himself by supporting the Bush administration to the degree that he lied to the UN - but that's a sad separate story), his race as a factor could probably have been outweighed.

          So no, it doesn't automatically make someone unelectable - but race and religion are definite factors which IMHO must be weighed in realistically.

          I think we're on the same page here...

          "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

          by jbeach on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:05:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Remember that realism is not the same thing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Governor McCheese

            as pessimism or cynicism.

            If you're going to be realistic, it means you have to look at reality--the world as it is not the world as you're inclined to believe it to exist.

            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

            by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:08:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think they could question it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chicago minx

      but if a 55 year old were to run, it's idiotic to worry that he's too old.

      Such is the nature of the deep CONCERN over racism that causes the predictions of Obama's demise.  We already see how Obama appeals to whites.  He appeals to whites more than Edwards does.    

      But go ahead, write another obituary for the Obama campaign so nobody bothers to check him out. It IS Thursday, after all.  

      Where were you in 2002? http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/warspeech.pdf

      by Inland on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:18:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  a proof: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    I think the proof that America is inherently racist is in Bush's public embrace of Blacks.

    Why has his admin attacked every progressive tendency in America BUT racial equality? Because the racists know that all this public posture is just that, a posture, with a wink.

    Certainly, not ALL Americans are racists, possibly not even a majority any more, but it is still a big issue for many people.

    I completely agree with your moral premise, and I commend your speaking up.  My own lack of enthusiasm for Obama has nothing to do with his race.  I would love to think that he CAN be elected in 2008 in the United States, but I am not sure I believe it.

    The quickest way for that to become possible might very well be in his becoming the VP to whomever wins the primary.

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:05:54 PM PDT

  •  When opinion polls show millions of Americans ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pradeep

    ... won't vote for a candidate who is African American, then it's entirely appropriate to discuss a candidate's skin color. African Americans have a somewhat different experience than caucasian Americans, thanks to the racists. Until the racists are totally gone, discussing a candidate's race is necessary.

    •  Nobody's saying don't discuss race. (0+ / 0-)

      What we're saying is don't oppose black candidates because they're black and therefore 'unelectable.'

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:12:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a bit too cute (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pradeep

        The only real difference between what you deem acceptable speech and unacceptable speech is if someone thinks this particular issue (in the context of electability) is surmountable or not.

        Are you really sure you want to label as racist everyone who thinks America is too racist to elect a black president and so it would be counterproductive to nominate him?  Really?

        •  Racist is as racist does. (0+ / 0-)

          If someone actively opposes a black candidate because they're black and thus in their eyes unelectable, that person is OBJECTIVELY a racist, is engaged in racial discrimination, and is 100% complicit with the forces of racism in this country.

          Whether in their heart they believe blacks are inferior is unknowable and rather besides the point.  

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:27:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What about the 1920s? (0+ / 0-)

            There is NO WAY a black man could be elected president in 1920. Was it racist in 1920 when progressives refused to even consider nominating a black presidential candidate?

          •  I'm not buying it, sorry. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            munky

            Refusing to vote for Obama in the primary because one thinks America will not vote for him because America is too racist may well be defeatist and counter-productive to progressive ideals on race in America, I'll grant that.

            However, it is a fact that many people in the US will not vote for Obama simply because he is black.  That should be taken into consideration when deciding if one should vote for him in the primary.  

            I'm not voting for Obama for a variety of reasons...in my opinion he's too green and too willing to put 'civlity' over partisanship for example, but the racism in America is certainly one of those reasons.  He'd make a great VP choice though.  Personally, I'm pulling for a Edwards/Obama ticket.

            I'd feel the same way if instead of race being the issue it was sexual orientation.  According to your reasoning, that makes me a homophobe.  Guess I should go gay-bash myself.  

            •  You are complicit in and part of that racism. (0+ / 0-)

              by virtue of the decision to oppose him on racial grounds.

              Especially since there is no empirical evidence that the color of his skin would prevent him from being elected,  or that he is less electable than John Edwards.

              And, yes, gay people can be complicit in homophobia just like black people can be complicit in racism.  Behavior is what counts, not platitudes about "I'm personally against racism."

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:11:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The problem... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                munky

                is that you conflate opposing him because he is black with opposing him because he can't win since America is too racist (leaving aside for the moment if that is true or not).  Those are not the same thing.

                Would you, in all honesty and assuming your overall goal is to defeat the Republican candidate in the genreal election, vote for a gay or atheist Democrat primary candidate?  

                •  The problem is that THEY ARE THE SAME (0+ / 0-)

                  THING, objectively.

                  That's the entire point of the EEOC reference.  It doesn't matter WHY you're discriminating, all that matters is that you DO discriminate.

                  In all honesty, I would have to know more about the gay and atheist candidate.  I'd have to see how the country and media had responded to them.  I'd have to see how much money they were raising.  I'd have to see how much grass roots support they had.  I'd have to see their polling numbers.  I'd have to see their leadership skills, their records, and their political acumen.

                  If they had all of those strengths to the degree that Barack Obama has them, you bet your ass I'd support them.  

                  The real question, based on the foregoing, is why you consider John Edwards more electable than Barack Obama.

                  "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                  by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:27:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I might agree IF (0+ / 0-)

                    and only if such was the SOLE basis for ruling Obama out.  Considering, among other things, the FACT that America has this little problem with race isn't racist.

                    Also, you think an openly gay Democrat is likely to win the general election in 2008?  An openly atheist candidate too?  

                    •  Which gay Democrat is running in 2008? (0+ / 0-)

                      If you're going to hold his race/electability against him, at least make sure that your assumption is empirically sound.  

                      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:47:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I figured as much (0+ / 0-)

                        I thought you'd try a dodge.  The question is hypothetical, and of course you know that.  If you are unwilling to answer, just say so.

                        •  I refuse to reduce any candidate, hypothetical or (0+ / 0-)

                          otherwise, to a single aspect of their person.

                          You'd have to tell me about a dozen things about this gay Democrat before I could form an opinion.

                          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                          by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:52:01 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  One more time (0+ / 0-)

                            Asssume he is identical to Obama but instead of black he is gay or atheist and your goal is to defeat the Republican in the general election.

                            Would you, in all honesty, not consider America's homophobia and hostility to atheists when deciding if you should vote for this perosn in the primary?  Remember, we are assuming you want to win the general and not just prove your liberal cred.

                          •  So, you're assuming that he was polling first (0+ / 0-)

                            in South Carolina for the primary, raising 50% more money than any other candidate, and leading each and every Republican in head-to-head matchup polling?

                            You bet.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 06:02:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You bet I'd support him, that is. (0+ / 0-)

                            And I certainly wouldn't urge people to oppose him because of who he was born.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 06:03:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What do poll numbers have to with it? (0+ / 0-)

                            What if he was clearly polling badly because of his sexuality, would you still support him?  If not, isn't that you being homophobic by your reasoning?  You would not be supporting him because America hates teh gay and you would be therefore facilitating anti-gay discrimination.  

                          •  I would never oppose someone because (0+ / 0-)

                            of who they were born and how electable that makes them.

                            "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                            by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 07:45:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  What utter foolishness (0+ / 0-)

                You do both Obama, and America's black community a great disservice by your kneejerk, reckless accusations of racism.  How I wish this was an isolated incident - sadly I have seen a number of Obama supporters spewing this nonsense.

  •  Geek, I have a slightly different problem with (5+ / 0-)

    the comments.

    All of us can make "electability" claims about all the candidates until the cows come home, but the truth is, none of us have much beyond our gut feelings one way or the other.  Whatever "evidence" is out there in terms of polling or whatever isn't all that convincing anyway.  It's early.  

    Folks thought Kerry was "electable" because he had this great military background.  Well, we know how that conventional wisdom turned out.

    So if someone has the opinion Obama is not "electable" for whatever reason, well, that is their opinion.  I think they are wrong - that's mine.  I also happen to think that assumptions about how the racial attitudes of various groups of Americans play out in this are likely to be wrong, anyway. The meaning of race in the 21st century U.S. is pretty complicated.

    Which brings me (finally) to my point.  The meaning of race is socially constructed - it isn't something static, external, or a matter of neat checkboxes.  It exists in the context of countless individual interactions and instititional processes and how we talk about it, how we react to Obama's racial identification, changes its meaning.  In other words, we, all of us, together, have some effect on how and why race matters for good or ill.  Saying that America is, or is not, ready for an African-American president, or a female president, becomes in some sense a self-fulfilling prophecy.  By saying we aren't ready, we reinforce the assumptions that "a black man can't win."  By saying we are, we challenge those assumptions.

    Whether or not you want Obama to be the nominee, I would hope that most people on this board want to move society in a progressive direction, not help hold back the day when race or gender is no bar to seeking the Presidency.

    So believe want you want - it's your opinion.  But stating your opinion has consequences that matter.  So consider that in making your choice.

    Good diary on customer discrimination, though  THat itself is an important issues.

    If we want hope to survive in this world today, then every day we've got to teach on, teach on. - Ysaye Maria Barnwell

    by Femlaw on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:08:03 PM PDT

    •  Comment o' the day. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Femlaw, chicago minx

      That's what REALLY drives me nuts--people make that assertion when all evidence is to the contrary.

      Polling shows him beating each and every Pug.  He's raising more money on Wall Street than any Pug.  He's generating far more excitement and grassroots support.

      But, he can't win because he's black?  Puhleaze!

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:11:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque

        If we want hope to survive in this world today, then every day we've got to teach on, teach on. - Ysaye Maria Barnwell

        by Femlaw on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:16:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  AMEN, PUHLEAZE.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque, chicago minx, smartdemmg

        and an extra "weaze" in it.

        If he was such a non-issue, nothing, don't mean a thing, candidate, why has he out raised every single person, on both sides in the money game?  That states volumes alone.

        People need to hang up their "down trodden" coat and put on the "uplift" one.  If you continue to believe that a black man, woman, or hispanic can never be president, then we have lost already.

        It is belief that make real changes.  It is belief that get people fired up and ready to move.  It is belief that make people write checks that never did before and just show up at the campaign doorstep to volunteer.  That is what Barack Obama is doing.

        The man is making independents look at our party, republicans, bringing the couch potatoes to the stump, etc.  This is exciting for the Democratic Party.

        So, to say and believe he can not win, is just believing the same old "status quo", and my belief is that they are the ones who will NEVER CHANGE.

        "I want my voice, to be read"

        by icebergslim on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:20:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A much better way of putting it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      "Saying that America is, or is not, ready for an African-American president, or a female president, becomes in some sense a self-fulfilling prophecy.  By saying we aren't ready, we reinforce the assumptions that "a black man can't win."  By saying we are, we challenge those assumptions."

      Yeah, I prefer the above to "you are a racist if you think he can't win".

    •  Good post but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      I do have to take issue with the John Kerry wasn't electable meme. It was not wrong to vote for John kerry as being electable, if indeed that was one's reason for backing him. Kerry was electable. He came with a couple of percentage points of winning Ohio and thus, the presidency. Just because a candidate falls a bit short, it doesn't follow that he was unelectable. Also, he was probably better than what was left of the rest of the field in terms of electablity, in my opinion.

    •  I agree: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque, Femlaw, chicago minx

      It's very easy to say that someone can't win, and there's more than a little self interest that goes into it.  But the real evidence is lacking.

      I personally think that it's easier for a black man than a white woman, but I don't have much to back it up. And the fact is, we aren't running Generic White Woman or Generic Black Man.  To even categorize them in that way is to lessen them as individuals.  The only real question is, is america ready to see them as individuals?  Well, the woman is running one and the black is running two, and both match up really well against the white male republicans.  So there ya go.

      Where were you in 2002? http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/warspeech.pdf

      by Inland on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:27:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    However, the argument that he's a black man and that means that those other people won't vote for him and therefore we need to nominate someone else is not only invalid, it's anti-progressive and immoral.

  •  They were talking about it with HIllary today (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, exmearden, Geekesque

    She is a woman. Will men vote for the woman?? It's sad, but it's part of Backwards American life. How many 1st world nations have female leaders??

    From Worldwide guide to women in Leadership

     Current female heads of state and government
    There are 192 members of the United Nations and 2 independent states outside. 17 have got female leaders at the moment.

    Of the monarchies, there are reigning Queens in 3 countries. That is Denmark, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom - and the latter is represented by female Governor Generals in Antigua and Barbuda, Canada and Saint Lucia, who function as their countries' de-facto Heads of State.

    The 6 female Presidents are in Chile, Finland, Ireland, Liberia, The Philippines and Switzerland.

    At the moment there are 5 woman Prime Ministers; in Germany, Jamaica, New Zealand, Mozambique and The Netherlands Antilles. For more details see: Situation in 2007

    I'm Black and it's not a Black thing. It's an ignorant thing that has made this country great (Snark) since the times of slavery. When we all grow up we will be able to discuss politics without gender and race.

    •  Don't forget the media (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosbo, Geekesque

      There is another diary here tonight that discusses the role of the SCLM in the political process. How they destroyed Howard Dean and are trying to take down Edwards with crazy haircuts and other non important facts.   Now bring that over to this conversation.  Wait it's the same conversation.

      Tucker can't be President,Novak,MAtthews,O'Lielly, etc. So they make it impossible for anyone else to be unless they can what is is "have a drink with them"

  •  Bill Clinton's classy reply to Eliz. Edwards (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DCDemocrat, x, Caldonia, Geekesque, malharden

    Great diary.  Progressives should highlight, and work to eliminate, discrimination and prejudice wherever it appears.

    Sadly, one of our own candidates' spouses stooped to that level this week.  In an uncharacteristically zany remark, Elizabeth Edwards accused Hillary of trying to be a man.  Bill Clinton was asked about it on Good Morning America today, and here was his classy reply:

    President Bill Clinton was just as classy as Hillary in responding to Elizabeth Edwards. Even though this is not the first time Elizabeth Edwards has made desperate and unkind personal attacks against Hillary, Our Man Bill displayed his quality when he appeared on Good Morning, America today:

       "I like Elizabeth Edwards and I admire the struggle she’s going through. And I admire the fact she’s supporting her husband. She ought to be. But the thing I like about this presidential race is I don’t have to be against any of these candidates. I like them all. But if you look at the record on women’s issues I defy you to find anyone who has run for office in recent history who has a longer history of working for women, for families and children than Hillary does. I’m proud of Hillary’s record and her lifetime commitment. I don’t think she’s trying to be a man. I don’t think it’s inconsistent with being a woman that you can also be knowledgeable on military and security affairs and being strong when the occasion demands it. I don’t consider that being manly. I consider that being a leader."

    http://www.hillaryis44.org/...

    Support the Clinton Climate Initiative http://www.clintonfoundation.org

    by Berkeley Vox on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:41:00 PM PDT

  •  I have hoped for years that my country (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    was moving forward and not backward.

    Part of my yearning stems from being the mother of three adult or nearly-adult daughters.

    Part of my angst is generated by the memories of some of the firestorm surrounding Geraldine Ferraro's Vice Presidential candidacy when she was selected for the ticket alongside Mondale. Most of the issues of failure in that election centered around the lack of enthusiasm for Mondale and some of Ferraro's questionable non-release of tax statements. But nonetheless, I heard the word "unelectable" too often coupled with the word "woman".

    Much of my fear now rests on the inescapable fact that this country has had an idiot and a malcontent as President and that a significant number of the country still supports him - 26%?

    Most women I know, of any given race or religion - let me repeat that - most women I know are more qualified, more intelligent, more capable, and more honest than any current individual in the Bush administration, man or woman.

    We haven't come far, at least in my lifetime of half a century, if we still consider race and gender as factors of electability.

    How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives. - Annie Dillard
    Visit me at exme arden

    by exmearden on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 04:43:10 PM PDT

  •  Obama's biggest fans are white (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    and even some of the most racist people I have ever had the displeasure of meeting, are somewhat warm to Obama. Perhaps they are simply trying to absolve themselves of past racist sins or present attitudes, but the fact is that the number of people who vot AGAINST Obama, simply because he is black, could very well be nulled by the people who will vote for him simply because he IS black.

    On the record, I am supporting Obama, but my heart is with John Edwards.

    I don't think race will be a huge (or at least insurmnountable) issue. I do think that the benefits of having a president of color will be too numerous to list in this response.

    Kill them with kindness. If that fails, just kill them.

    by JesusQ on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:00:11 PM PDT

  •  There is strong evidence that a black man can win (0+ / 0-)
    1. 94% say they would.
    1. The evidence states these polls are accurate.
  •  While I have my doubts about how ready the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque

    US is, I think the best way to resolve this debate is to go through the process we have for selecting our candidate without prejudging him/her based on race, sex, ethnicity, religion or lack of religion.

    He should not get negative coverage here or in the media because of his race. If he goes through the process and wins, he is our candidate pure and simple. I will support him wholeheartedly in that case, even though he is not my first choice.

    Leave the matter of religion to the family altar.... Keep the church and state forever separate. U.S.Grant

    by shigeru on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:34:37 PM PDT

  •  I Thought a Black Republican Was Most Likely.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geekesque
    ...to become the first African-American President because the candidate would have to be perceived as 'non threatening.'  IMO, Obama is a 'non-threatening' candidate, which is a liability for my political sensibilities, but it's what makes him a viable candidate today and I do believe that Obama carefully crafts his image to be 'non threatening.'  Nonetheless, race can and does play a factor in a close election in which a major candidate is African-American and it's not only among Republican voters.  There is plenty of evidence to support this conclusion even when the candidate is 'non-threatening.'  Tom Bradley and David Dinkins were two of the kindest, most gentlemanly candidates ever to stand for office in the bluest of blue constituencies when they ran for California Governor and NYC Mayor, respectively, yet race played a  factor in their defeats. Tom Bradley's defeat even resulted in the coining of the polling term called 'the Bradley Factor,' meaning that white polling respondents will lie in stating support for a black candidate (so as not to acknowledge their own biases) but end up voting for the opponent in the polling booth.

    If 'electability' is major concern in choosing a nominee, then Obama's race is a factor that would  be considered among others.  However, most people balance their choice among a number of factors.  There are times when one agrees with a candidate on core issues so much that other factors which could be detrimental weigh less.  Jesse Jackson ran a grassroots, underfunded campaign for President that was totally anti-establishment with the promise of an Administration that would definitely be 'threatening' to the existing power structure yet Jackson won several primaries and caucuses, including strong performances in states with small minority populations. Even though Jackson was the more 'threatening' candidate, his position on the issues galvanized a significant portion of the electorate to look beyond race.  It will be interesting to see whether Obama's more cautious campaign will have greater success in muting race as a factor.

     

    •  Dinkins lost largely because NYC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      malharden

      had a horrible crime rate and economy during his first term.  To be honest, it's a testament to Rudey's assholishness and unlikability that it was even close.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:42:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There Were Two Dinkins-Giuliani Elections... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque

        ...and they both had VERY CLOSE results.  There was  maybe a 3% shift in the electorate between the first and second elections.   To what do you attribute Giuliani's near victory the first time around when neither candidate was the incumbent ?

        •  I could ask in response to what one (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          malharden

          could attribute Dinkins' near-victory despite the utter disaster that was NYC during his term in office.

          The fact of the matter is that NYC was incredibly polarized along racial lines during those elections, exponentially moreso than the US is now.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:55:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hey Geekesque (0+ / 0-)

    I can't believe I missed this diary on Thursday but I just found it. You are so correct about this!

    If racism is defined as descrimination based on race, then not voting for Obama because you think the color of his skin makes him unelectable is, at best, indirect racism.

    And people can say what they want, but if someone doesn't think that this country can transcend prejudice and isn't willing to fight for justice, then he or she doesn't belong on this site or in the Democratic party.

    Serenity now, insanity later.

    by chicagovigilante on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 09:55:00 AM PDT

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