Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Reflection on the Race
Richard Cohen, in the Washington Post, reflects on the Democratic nominating process:
...I see little to be happy about... this messy nominating process has eroded the standing of both candidates.The role of gender in this race has been purposely exaggerated - Hillary after all was the runaway front-runner when we started out, and I don't recall anyone challenging her at that time over her gender.
Gender was not a significant factor in Hillary's failed campaign. The anger about perceived sexism was whipped up by her campaign in its final days precisely because it added some energy (albeit negative energy) to her flagging cause. Al Sharpton uses similar tactics - making charges of racism where no real basis exists to support the charge. It is not an attractive ploy, but it has been the model for Hillary's desperate misogyny gambit.
The sexism charge has also been peddled by that self-righteous bigot, Geraldine Ferraro, as a useful cover for her own regrettable "racial resentment". The Clinton campaign has made dishonest use of a real problem facing women everyday as a means of explaining away a sloppy, disorganized and dysfunctional campaign, and to deflect attention from a campaign that targeted "working Americans, white Americans"
Barack Obama's victory, and Hillary's outstanding near-tie, stand as monuments to the reasonable liberalism of most Democrats. This nominating process may have gone on too long, but in its course over these past months it proved that we are better than our biases and prejudices. Millions of men voted for Hillary; millions of whites voted for Barack. There is a lot to celebrate right now - and even more to come in November.
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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