Do we dare vote against the first Hispanic justice? *UPDATE*

I keep seeing headlines all over the place to the effect that Republican Senators will be afraid to vote against the first proposed Hispanic justice.  This may certainly be true for Senators, who are a weaselly, unprincipled bunch, I suspect, though, that for many voters Obama himself is causing the bloom to depart the identity politics rose.

I believe that many voters rushed to the polls to vote for Obama because they were caught up in the rapture of a historic first:  “The first black President.”  These moments are exciting.  Heck, I desperately wanted Michael Phelps to be the first person to get 10 gold medals in one Olympics.  I’d never heard of Phelps a few months before and suddenly, there I was, screaming hysterically in front of my TV.

In the political arena, the November rapture is now over, and the first black President is proving to be something of a problem.  In national security ways, he’s following the path of the last white president (and, for that, I am grateful).  In other ways, he’s proving to be indecisive, ineffectual, and suspiciously corrupt.  In other words, not withstanding his exciting skin color, he’s just your usual unprepared, inexperienced, Leftist, Chicago-style political hack.

Obama, therefore, is an object lesson in the superficiality of identity politics.  The fact that someone is the right color for the job doesn’t mean that he’s the right person for the job.  Voters — including Hispanic voters who trend conservative on social issues — may finally be willing to look at the candidate and not the color.

UPDATEThe Anchoress has a good post on the reality of how that race/identity card works.

The inevitable result of identity politics

Identity politics turns people into one dimensional characters, who must act out a set script.  If you’re black or Hispanic, you must be a Democrat, even if you oppose abortion, take a jaundiced view of gay marriage, and want school choice.  If you’re a woman, you must support equal pay for comparable work, even if that will destroy the economy and dramatically lessen the total number of jobs available.  If you’re a white male, you must be the epitome of all things regressive and evil.  Oh, and if you’re gay, you cannot be a principled conservative and must, instead, be humiliated and destroyed:

California GOP Rep. David Dreier and a number of other politicians are the unwilling stars of a controversial new documentary with an explosive premise – it’s time to blow open the closet door on prominent politicians who have hidden their homosexuality while actively working against gay causes.

The film “Outrage,” which opens today at the Embarcadero Center Cinema in San Francisco, presents interviews and documentation charging that a number of prominent legislators – including Dreier, the U.S. representative from San Dimas (Los Angeles County), GOPFlorida Gov. Charlie Crist and former Democratic New York Mayor Ed Koch – have remained closeted while publicly opposing legislation on issues such as same-sex marriage, HIV/AIDS funding, and gays in the military.

Liberals frequently confuse their compulsive need to typecast with hypocrisy.  Let me set the record straight.  Hypocrisy means to advocate one course of conduct or belief for others (usually with a sacrifice to them), while espousing another for yourself (usually to your benefit).

Thus, it’s hypocrisy when Al Gore goes around demanding that we all drive in cars made out of tissue paper, and live in houses that are freezing cold in winter and furnace hot in summer, all the time driving himself in a safe and comfortable SUV, and living in a series of energy-hog mansions.  It’s hypocrisy when Michael Moore demands that we all divest from Halliburton, but invests in it himself.  It’s out and out lying when Bill Clinton says “I did not have sex with that woman” or John Edwards assures the American people he never had an affair.

It is neither hypocrisy or lying, however, when gay men and women have a principled opposition to same-sex marriage, HIV/AIDS funding or gays in the military.  These same gay people, after all, are not being accused of sneaking off to Holland to get married, while denying those rights to American gays; of funneling money to those of their friends ill with HIV/AIDS while denying it to others; or whatever would be hypocritical behavior with regard to gays in the military.

Without any hypocrisy, it is perfectly possible to be gay, but believe that marriage is a specific institution unique to men and women.  You can hold to that position and still colorably demand full civil rights for gay unions that are then recognized nationwide.  Likewise, without hypocrisy, you can be gay, but recognize that cancer or heart disease or some other disease deserves equal access, not just to funding, but to fund raising.  And of course, you can be gay and believe that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is a workable compromise that allows gays to serve in the military without offending the heterosexual sensibilities that currently prevail in “this man’s Army” — all without being a hypocrite who voices one view and acts upon another.

The film “Outrage,” however, typecasts gays, and denies them the right to examine issues through a lens other than their own sexuality.  I say this without knowing or caring whether the men and women named in the movie are actually gay.  What I care about, deeply, is the pressure the gay community imposes upon its members to abjure independent thought, and to march lockstep through a series of complicated and contentious issues.

For a community that, a mere 40 years ago, broke free of the shackles imposed against it, it’s a real tragedy that it now insists upon imposing similar shackles upon itself.

Enjoying Blago

Is it only me, or is there a wonderful lunatic charm to Blago?  I adored the way in which he appointed a megalomaniac black man to the Senate, forcing Reid either to seat someone he normally wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, or risk opprobrium as a racist.  Likewise, I really enjoyed Blago’s press conference today, in which he asserted his white knight status (and that despite the audio tapes), all the while castigating everyone else in Illinois politics.  If he’s going down, he’s going to take everyone with him — and since I have little respect for the Chicago political machine, including our president-to-be, I’m enjoying the spectacle tremendously.

Speaking of race relations, you may or may not have heard that, two nights ago, there was a big race riot in Oakland, California, stemming from the fact that a black man was shot to death by a policeman working for the Bay Area Rapid Transit district.  The real tragedy appears to be that the policeman simply got left and right hand confused.  He had a taser on one side of his belt and a gun on the other.  In the adrenalin rush of taking down a bad guy, he meant to tase and ended up shooting.  As someone who periodically puts dirty plates in the refrigerator and food in the dishwasher, I completely understand how those circuits can be crossed.

Accidental shooting or not, the grievance mongers were out in force in Oakland on Wednesday night, in full fledged riot mode.  What I found naively charming about the whole thing was that, this morning, Mr. Bookworm expressed surprise to me about the riot:  “I thought that, with Obama as the incoming president, we wouldn’t have these race riots any more.”  Yet another bill of goods the Democrats sold the voters, right?  Of course, you and I knew all along that the grievance mongers have too much invested in the anger of identity politics to give it up just because a vaguely black man got placed above his pay grade in the White House.

Identity politics run amok *UPDATED*

I hate identity politics.

I hate the fact that currently powerful identity groups are lining up to tap into the goods flowing from the Obama administration.

I hate the fact that Jews fail to recognize that there is a delightful secular element to American Christmas and that their little dears are not going to be psychologically scarred forever if they sing “Rudolph” or even, God forbid, “Joy to the World.”

I hate the fact that gay activists are driving a little old lady to a nervous breakdown (and destroying a thriving business during a recession) because the lady believes in traditional marriage.

I hate the fact that Barack Obama is going to allow more black and Hispanic wolves to victimize black and Hispanic sheep (who are those wolves’ primary targets) by trying to impose unnautral constraints on the criminal justice system.

And as you know, I hate the fact that Americans, in their constant selfish search for warm and tingly feelings in their own psyches, elected a know-nothing just to feel proud about voting for a black person.

Everyone member of those smug self-interest groups should be required to read Dennis Prager’s latest post, asking them to stop with the unbridled self-esteem, and to start feeling a little bit of shame about the frequent excesses their identity peers commit.  As for me, I’d remind them that identity politics become meaningless when societal cohesion has collapsed entirely and anarchy reigns supreme.

UPDATE:  Because it seems to fit in well here, I offer you the Young America’s Foundation’s 2008 top ten list of free speech infringements on college campuses, many of which pivot on identity politics.

Some uncomfortable watching

I’ve said before that I am not a racist — I’m a classist or values-ist.  Always have been.  I don’t care about your external color or sexuality or whatever; I do care about the beliefs you bring to the table.

What this means is that I’m pretty hostile to identity politics.  I never felt compelled to like Hillary just because she and I are both female; and I admire Joe Lieberman, although not always his political positions, because he’s a brave man, not because he’s a Jew (although I think it’s nice that he’s a brave Jew).  I definitely associate with my Jewishness when I feel people are under attack merely for being Jewish, which is the Holocaust all over again, but that’s entirely different from giving someone a pass just because he or she is a Jew.

And as I explained to my children, one doesn’t vote for Obama just because he’s black, which is as racist as voting against Obama just because he’s black.

All of this is a lead-in to a very uncomfortable video that’s making the rounds.  I caught it on both American Thinker and Wizbang (which also has a chart showing how many Democrats benefited from Fannie and Freddie).  Here’s the video.  It’s long, fascinating, boring and important:

There are two take away messages.  The first we already know:  Republicans were trying back in 2004 to reform Fannie and Freddie, with some of them accurately predicting precisely what started happening last year, with the subprime meltdown, and this year, with the bank implosions; and Democrats were blocking these efforts.

The second take away is a new message and a very disturbing one.  While it’s true that the video seems cut to highlight the point, it is still plain that black House members rallied around Fannie and Freddie because Franklin Raines is black.  They were protecting one of their own and to Hell with the nation.  That’s a peculiar kind of 21st Century identity politics that I find horrifying and that, for America, proved to be devastating.

Bitterness and anti-immigrant attitudes

It turns out that Barack Obama might have been on to something with his bitterness speech. In case you’ve forgotten, he said:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, a lot of them — like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they’ve gone through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, and they cling to guns, or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Where Obama got it wrong was that he focused on the wrong bitter people.  Down in Los Angeles, in the gun-ridden, crime-ridden, gang-ridden communities that taught that sprawling City, people are indeed getting increasingly bitter, although it’s a liberal government’s refusal to enforce the law that’s raising their ire:

When Jamiel Shaw Sr. stood up last week to call for a change in Special Order 40, it touched an already raw nerve in the black community. Shaw’s son, 17-year-old star football player Jamiel Shaw II, was gunned down within shouting distance of his house. The suspect, 19-year-old Pedro Espinoza, is an alleged gang member and an illegal immigrant. Special Order 40 has prevented law enforcement from probing the immigration status of some suspects and deporting criminals with dispatch. Even if Special Order 40 were modified, there’s no guarantee that Jamiel would still be alive, but to a community convinced that Latino-on-black racial violence is on the upswing, it’s still a matter of simple justice.

And that’s true despite the statistics Police Chief William Bratton (seconded by the Los Angeles Times) piled on the public table in recent weeks, numbers that back up the claim that, with the exception of young Shaw and a handful of other cases, the majority of the killings of blacks are by other blacks, not Latinos. That won’t ease black fears that some Latino gangs are bent on wiping them out.

The author of the above op-ed goes on to say that African-Americans are right to feel that this is all a racist thing, with the Hispanics trying to kill them because they’re black and the City government ignoring them because they’re black.  As to the first point, when one considers that gang warfare has been a fixture of American urban life practically since there were American urbs, I doubt that’s the case.  That is, the Hispanic gang members are gunning blacks down, not because they’re black, but simply because they’re the other gang, and this is a pure turf battle.

I also doubt that there is racism in the City’s response.  Instead, I suspect the City’s unwillingness to acknowledge black concerns this has more to do with a City wedded to a stupid liberal policy that makes it a haven for illegal immigrants (because liberals know that “no person is illegal.”)  To me, this snotty liberal attitude is evidenced by the fact that Bratton assured blacks that the policy is not a problem, since blacks are killing each other faster than Hispanics can.  In other words, what you’re seeing here isn’t racism run amok; it’s liberal politics and identity politics run amok.

In any event, I think the African-Americans in LA have the perfect right to be bitter that the City of Los Angeles does nothing about an influx of criminals into their communities, criminals who should be deported instantly before they get guns in their hands and victims in their sights.

The racial candidate

At American Thinker, James Edmund Pennington definitively explodes the myth that Obama is a “post-racial” candidate. In other words, Geraldine Ferraro had it absolutely right when she said, without any of Pennington’s careful analysis, that Obama ascended as quickly as he did solely because of his race. And as Pennington points out, that ascension must now be enshrined, solely because of his race:

The current agony of the Democratic Party, which grows more acute every day, is laden with an unspoken truth. As the unending Clinton-Obama struggle drags on, the core unutterable reality for Democrats is simply this: because of the composition of the Party’s domestic coalition, its continued electoral viability makes absolutely necessary perpetual capture of 90+% of the black vote.

Because of this grim fact — of the Party’s own making — the Clinton/Obama fight is over. Obama has won, and every leading Democrat knows it. In short, because of his race, Obama must be awarded the Democratic nomination. So much for the myth of America’s first major post-racial candidate.

Under no reasonably foreseeable set of future developments, including the possibility Obama’s exposure as a fatally compromised candidate, can Obama be denied the nomination. Doing so would subject the Democratic Party to the unacceptable risk that it would alienate its most dependably monolithic voter bloc. Hence, the daily gnashing of teeth by Party elders and the demand, which grows more hysterical each day, that Clinton concede a contest that at present is nothing more than a hard fought stalemate.

Without keeping focused on the Democrats’ self-chosen demographic cul-de-sac, the growing demands for Clinton’s withdrawal would be inexplicable, indeed, outrageous.

You can read the rest — and you’ll be happy you did — here.

The reductio ad absurdum of identity politics

What do you do when the person who matches you in the external identity calculus — say, she’s a woman and you’re a woman — proves not to be the women’s champion you hoped? Even worse, what do you do when the person who is the champion you hoped, doesn’t match you in external identity — for example, he’s male and you’re female? Turns out there’s a very simple answer: You redefine the identity of the person who matches your political goals. That’s what a PBS show host has done, after finding Hillary a disappointment.

Young women have rushed to latch onto Obama’s comet coattails. A friend of mine who is fundraising mightily for him says “Obama is a woman” because he’s more pro-choice than Clinton. After all, on that most stereotypical of women’s issues, Clinton refers to the “tragedy of abortion.” She loses progressives as she attempts to navigate the non-existent common ground on this most divisive of issues. Obama, on the other hand, talks about the tragedy of unwanted pregnancies. In what seems to be the sunset of the era of the religious right, that’s quite the courageous stand to take.

If Clinton loses the nomination, do women lose? Rights? Power? Visibility? Clout? Are they not taken as seriously by the political establishment? A month ago I would have told you yes. Now I believe the answer is no. Why? Because metrosexual, pro-choice, pro-health care, anti-poverty Obama is, in every political sense at least, more of a woman than Clinton. (Emphasis mine.)

I hope you got all that. Women were supposed to vote for Clinton because Clinton is a woman. Now that Clinton is failing (and flailing), the question for them is how they can justify taking their vote from her. A little abracadabra and the answer presents itself: Women declare that the next best candidate, all external and biological signs to the contrary, is in fact a woman. It is to laugh, as a friend of mine would say, but for the fact that the consequences of this type of insane “political” analysis have the potential to be so deadly serious for us all.

Hat tip: American Thinker

But we stood by them in Selma!

My post title imagines what I bet a lot of the older generation of Jewish Americans will think when they learn about the latest campaign tactics from the party that knows how to do identity politics. Steve Cohen, whose name is a giveaway as to his Jewishness, is running for reelection in Tennessee’s 9th District. His opponent is Nikki Tinker, whose name is not a dead giveaway but who is in fact black. An African-American minister who does not reside in the 9th District has decided to become involved in the campaign. Here’s his campaign poster, a copy of which ended up mailed to Cohen himself:

Truly, I don’t think either Hitler or Torquemada or the Mufti of Jerusalem or Father Coughlin could have done any better than that in terms of sheer, old-fashioned appeals to antisemitism as a way to manipulate the masses. It is a disgusting piece of work. More than that, Tinker, who is clearly no belle, isn’t lifting a finger to disassociate herself from this vile garbage:

What does Nikki Tinker think about anti-Semitic literature being circulated that might help her unseat 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen in the Democratic primary next August?

A fair question, which Tinker declined to answer this week after a flier stating that “Steve Cohen and the Jews Hate Jesus” began circulating in Memphis.

The question goes to the character of the woman who wants to represent the 9th District, and 9th District voters deserve an answer. But Tinker declined to return a phone call about the flier.

“Of course we wouldn’t have anything to do with that,” said Tinker spokesman Cornell Belcher, referring to a flier that has been denounced by the Anti-Defamation League.

” … We’d be interested in denouncing this sort of nonsense as well but, again, we haven’t seen it.”

That’s a great excuse, isn’t it? “I can’t comment on antisemitism as a tool in the political race because I haven’t actually touched the piece of paper on which the antisemitic sentiments are written.” Clearly, this is a woman who takes personal responsibility seriously (and that was meant to be snide, not straight).

This same editorial notes that this is not the first time that Cohen’s not-blackness has been used against him, although it is the first time the antisemitic card has been played in this way:

Inciting tension between African-Americans and Cohen was the aim of several members of the Black Baptist Ministerial Association who took Cohen to task last summer for his support of federal hate crimes legislation. The real motive behind the attack was revealed in later comments by at least one of those involved.

“He’s not black,” said Rev. Robert Poindexter of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, “and he can’t represent me, that’s just the bottom line.”

My first thought when reading this, which is reflected in my post’s title, is that when I was growing up, Jews took very personally the antisemitic sentiments that, I am sorry to say, have long permeated large segments of the African-American community. And they take it very personally for a specific reason, and it’s not because all of us (blacks and Jews alike) are minorities together. It’s because Jews feel that, when blacks began to agitate against Jim Crow, once one got outside of the black Christian communities, it was Jews who took up that banner just about as aggressively as anyone could. Jews threw themselves into the Civil Rights movement and it pains them beyond belief that those whom they view as the beneficiaries of their efforts and sacrifices have turned on them in such an exceptionally nasty way.

Aside from being visible evidence of the black/Jewish schism in American, one that continues to mystify Jews, the flyer also shows the reductio ad absurdem of identity politics. Although we do not live in a theocracy or a race-ocracy, that’s precisely how this Democratic race is being played out. If you’re black, don’t bother your pretty little head with difficult thoughts about Tinker’s politics, beliefs and capabilities, as opposed to Cohen’s. Instead, rest easy and vote for Tinker because she’s black and Christian and against Cohen because he’s white and Jewish.

This type of electioneering tactic is not only disgusting, it’s demeaning to the African-Americans who are the intended recipients of this type of garbage, since it circumvents any appeals to their higher reasoning. It’s also unsurprising and, in that regard, the Captain sums it up about as well as can be said:

Once again, the Democrats find themselves in the position of playing racial, ethnic, and now anti-Semitic politics. We have seen it at the grassroots level now, and at the highest levels of the party, especially from the Clinton campaign. Small wonder that a relatively low-level officeseeker feels comfortable in using these tactics in 2008, given the example Bill Clinton has provided already this year.

We’ve [meaning “conservatives” listened to insults from Democrats for years for far less than this.

What I have to say is that, if you select chickens solely by the color of their feathers, and without regard to their egg-laying capabilities, when those chickens come home to roost, you’re going to end up with a visually impressive coop that produces nothing but chicken poop.

Philip’s Complaint, or Liberal political thinking in a nutshell

I’ve never been able to read Philip Roth’s novels because I cannot stand his navel gazing (or should I say penis-gazing?) characters. They are, for me, profoundly uninteresting — I find them infantile and narcissistic in their concerns. Perhaps my the problem with his writing is his thinking. Why do I say this? Because Roth unloads about politics in Spiegel interview, and pretty much highlights everything that’s infantile and narcissistic about liberal thinking with regard to the Bush administration and the upcoming elections:

Roth: Unfortunately, yeah. I didn’t, until about two weeks ago — until then it wasn’t real. Then I watched the New Hampshire primary debates, and the Republicans are so unbelievably impossible. I watched the Democratic ones and became interested in Obama. I think I’ll vote for him.

SPIEGEL: What made you interested in Obama?

Roth: I’m interested in the fact that he’s black. I feel the race issue in this country is more important than the feminist issue. I think that the importance to blacks would be tremendous. He’s an attractive man, he’s smart, he happens to be tremendously articulate. His position in the Democratic Party is more or less okay with me. And I think it would be important to American blacks if he became president.

SPIEGEL: It could change society, couldn’t it?

Roth: Yes, it could. It would say something about this country, and it would be a marvelous thing. I don’t know whether it’s going to happen. I rarely vote for anybody who wins. It’s going to be the kiss of death if you write in your magazine that I’m going to vote for Barack Obama. Then he’s finished!

[snip]

SPIEGEL: Do you actually believe that Obama could change Washington or could change politics?

Roth: I’m interested in what merely his presence would be. You know, who he is, where he comes from, that is the change. That is the same thing with Hillary Clinton, just who she is would create a gigantic change. As for all that other rhetoric about change, change, change — it’s pure semantics, it doesn’t mean a thing. They’ll respond to particular situations as they arise.

You got that? Republicans should lose because they’re “so unbelievably impossible,” as fatuous a statement about national politics as I’ve ever heard. And Obama should win solely because he’s black and “articulate,” the favorite liberal code word for a black who isn’t an embarrassing representative of his race. Incidentally, my last, italicized phrase is deliberate, and harks back to the acceptance speech Hattie McDaniel made, at the studio’s urging, when she accepted her Oscar for her performance in Gone With The Wind, the first Oscar ever awarded to a black actress:

“Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting for one of the awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel, and may I say thank you and God bless you.” (Emphasis mine.)

You do appreciate, don’t you, the fact that Roth is completely uninterested in Obama’s abilities, background, politic beliefs, political experience, associates, ideology, indeed anything of substance? All that matters to Roth is that Obama is a credit to his race. How utterly embarrassing that our great tradition of democracy should be reduced to this kind of inane banality.

That same absence of deep thinking colors Roth’s commentary about Bush. Keep in mind that Roth, via his “profound” (but humorous) books, is considered one of the great social thinkers of the Baby Boomer generation. That “intellectualism,” however, assuming it actually exists, abandons him when it comes to describing why Bush is bad. He throws in a few conclusory statements about the war and global warming, but he just can’t get a handle on substance. (As an aside, we’ll assume, just to be nice, that this interview was recorded before recent news that the Greenies’ purported remedies are actually speeding global warming. Of course, that may not be a problem, because we’re possibly entering a period of solar induced global cooling. But let me undigress.) What you really have to do is just take Roth’s word for it that Bush is bad, really, really, really bad. Really bad.

SPIEGEL: What will remain of the current president, George W. Bush? Could he be forgotten once he leaves office?

Roth: He was too horrendous to be forgotten. There will be an awful lot written about this. And there’s a lot to be written about the war. There’s a lot to be written about what he did with Reaganism, since he went much further than Reagan. So he won’t be forgotten. Someone has said he’s the worst American president we’ve ever had. I think that’s true.

SPIEGEL: Why?

Roth: Well, the biggest thing would be the war, the deceptions surrounding the entrance into the war. The absolute cynicism that surrounds the deception. The cost of the war, the Treasury and the lives of the Americans. It’s hideous. There is nothing quite like it. The next thing would be the attitude towards global warming, which is a global crisis, and they were utterly indifferent, if not hostile, to any attempt to address it. And so on and so on and so on and so on. So he’s done a lot of harm.

Of course, it’s not all Bush’s fault he’s so appalling. It’s your fault and my fault too. That’s because we’re brutal. Did you know that?

SPIEGEL: Since your book is set in that week during the 2004 elections, can you explain why Americans voted for Bush once again?

Roth: I suspect it was the business of being in a war and not wanting to change, and political stupidity. Why does anybody elect anybody? I thought highly of John Kerry when he began, but he couldn’t stand up against Bush. The Democrats aren’t brutes, which is too bad, because the Republicans are brutes. Brutes win.

Funnily enough, a lot of the brutal behavior, lately, seems to be coming from the rank and file Democrats, not the Republicans. An easy example is the fact that Democratic speakers on the circuit don’t need to hire bodyguards. Republicans do. That’s because Republicans get physicall attacked when they speak on college campuses. Ann Coulter was attacked. College Republican student organizations are attacked. Condi Rice was threatened by a Code Pink loony tunes who got within inches of her. The list goes on and on and on. You can add your own, but you’ll be hard put to find corollaries on the other side; that is, conservatives attacking liberals. But back to Roth….

“Brutes.” “Hideous.” “There is nothing quite like it.” This man, this spokesman for a generation, clearly hasn’t thought beyond the Democratic parties’ last list of talking points. He’s got all the nasty conclusions of the kindergarten set, but with a more sophisticated vocabulary:

“Mommy, I hate Tommy.”

“Why, darling?”

“Because he’s a meanie.”

“But what makes him a meanie?”

“He does mean things.”

“What mean things does he do, darling?”

“He’s mean to me.”

And so on, ad nauseum. It’s tolerable in a child because you know they’ll attain reason and leave that phrase behind. It’s intolerable in a literary lion, a spokesman for his generation, who has never been able to emerge from his prolonged and clearly debilitating adolescence.

I’ve vented my spleen, so I’m going to leave the last words to that great philosopher, Bugs Bunny: “What a maroon. What a nincowpoop.”

UPDATE:  Just to keep things on the up and up, I edited the first paragraph to reflect some accurate criticism a reader made in a comment at my old blog site, regarding an ambiguity in my writing.

Idle thought about a McCain v. Obama race

John McWhorter, who supports Obama, has pointed out what he sees as a profound problem with the Obama campaign, which is the way identity politics has made it impossible to treat Obama as an adult, rather than a child, for fear of being called “racist”:

Yet there is an element of surprise, a tincture of dismay, in how many view the sliming of Mr. Obama. If Grover Cleveland or John Kerry got slimed, what do you expect? But if Mr. Obama gets slimed, well.

There is a tacit sense that decent people would make an exception for him. Otherwise, why would so many think of it as news that the Clintons or anyone else would get nasty in trying to push past him?

Let’s face facts: People see this commonplace phenomenon as news because of a tacit idea that as a black man, Mr. Obama should be treated with kid gloves.

Lawrence Bobo, professor of sociology at Harvard, gives it away comparing the Clintons’ attacks on Mr. Obama to, specifically, the Willie Horton ad and the 2000 vote count. That is, events traditionally classified as “racist” — as if Republicans have not sought to best Democrats in ways disconnected to race. Upon which the Swift-boat thing is germane. Mr. Bobo appends that to his list, too — but misses that the guiding theme is not racism but hardball.

Welcome to reality: being judged by the content of our character means that we black people will not be exempt from hardball. We should not be seduced by the fantasy that we must pretend to be fragile.

Well, yes. This is what I’ve been saying all along. I recently wrote a post saying that one of my fears about Obama as a candidate is that it would be impossible to run against him in the ordinary rough and tumble way we’ve come to expect in a Democracy. Any negative comment would be deemed “racist,” and the Republican candidates, all carefully groomed and controlled by their handlers, wouldn’t even want to get near that.

It did occur to me, though, that McCain might be the candidate who would stand up to Obama, who would not fear being called a racist. He is a man confident and feisty enough to get into a fight on its merits, and not pull his punches for fear of collateral damage. I don’t know how well those qualities would serve in the increasingly surreal world of the White House, but it might be just what is needed to level the playing field against America’s first black presidential candidate (something that would be more fair to Obama, too, since it would treat him like an adult and not a child or a half wit).

It all depends how you look at it

JL tipped me off to a Time Magazine web page about Super Tuesday which inadvertently distills in a nutshell the difference between how Republicans and Democrats approach the election.  Here is how Time reports the Fox News National Exit Poll results:

GOP Results
Republicans: McCain 40, Romney 36, Huckabee 18
Evangelicals: Huckabee 33, McCain 31, Romney 30
Conservatives: Romney 42, McCain 31, Huckabee 20

Those most concerned about:

Immigration: Romney 48, McCain 25, Huckabee 15
Economy: McCain 40, Romney 32, Huck 18
Iraq:
McCain 51, Romney 20, Huckabee 15

Democrats

Blacks: Obama 81, Clinton 17
Whites: Clinton 50, Obama 44
Hispanics: Clinton 62, Obama 36
White women: Clinton 57, Obama 45
Young whites: Obama 64, Clinton 35

Since I’m a bit slower thinking than JL is, it took me a second to figure out what’s bizarre about that information.  The way Time reports it, the breakdown between the votes on Republican candidates revolved around profound issues affecting American today:  National Security (which is coyly stated merely as “Iraq”), Immigration and the Economy.  Apparently all the Democrats care about, however, is sex and race.

I’m willing to bet that the pollsters didn’t even bother to ask the Democratic voters about substantive issues because the pollsters understand that such voters truly don’t care about those things.  Their Bush Derangement Syndrome, after eating away at them for the last 8 years, will instantly be relieved by Bush’s inevitable and automatic departure from the White House (and inevitably that we can trace back to George Washington, when such concepts were not at all inevitable).  And as to anything else, it seems apparent that, in choosing their candidate, the voters have figured out that the Democratic candidates have indistinguishable political positions, and they’re only fighting about which Democrat will enter the history books as a “first” — that is “the first woman President” or “the first black President.”  I don’t know about you, but I continue to find it terrifying that, in a time of substantial upheaval, both in terms of American security and the American economy, about half the voters couldn’t care less.