Obama, Clinton, & The Perils of Identity Politics

In my previous diaries I've tried to strike an evenhanded tone of reconciliation, based on the belief that the differences between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are, in the scheme of things, really quite small.  I still believe that, and I am increasingly confident in the ability of good Democrats to eventually come together, even after a hard-fought primary.  

There have been plenty of fine discussions here about substantive policy differences between the candidates.  As an Obama supporter, I am willing to concede that Hillary has a marginally more palatable health care plan (of course, neither plan is as satisfying as that mythical beast, the single-payer system).  

And we should not forget the useful non-policy discussions.  Excepting blatant lies and over-the-top ad hominem attacks, I'm pretty sanguine about what some might consider to be sideline issues (Jeremiah Wright or the Clinton tax returns) if, in our discussion of them, we can come to some fuller understanding of the prospective candidates.  But one trend, especially in the comments sections, is troubling to me.

A by no means typical, but still common refrain among the more avid Hillary Clinton supporters here has been something along these lines (and I paraphrase):

I am Hillary.  I have been passed over and forgotten when it came time for promotions.  I have struggled every day with misogyny and discrimination.  I am Hillary.  I have had to demand and fight for every inch of reproductive freedom I've ever received.  I am the hardest working person in the room.  I am Hillary.  

Never, ever will I vote for Obama.

For me, there is a hundred-mile leap from the end of that first paragraph and the final sentence.  Who would argue with any of those reasons for identifying with Hillary?  They are strong reasons and constitute an emotionally powerful argument for not only her particular candidacy but also for the potentially huge cultural importance of having a woman break the ultimate glass ceiling.

But then there is that last sentence.  Has it become that much of a zero-sum game?  Must one hate Obama in order to truly love Hillary?  (And I do not seek to single out Clinton supporters.  Someone has surely made a similar argument for why they will never support Hillary.)

The implied reasoning behind such a statement is that to vote for Obama would be a betrayal of women.  As I mentioned before, I think it is a powerful appeal to pathos, but I also think it is essentially unproductive for the broader progressive agenda.  Such an argument is, after all, completely dependent upon an emotional response to accomplish its goal.  It would be hard to lay out the reasons why a president Obama would be bad for women, just as it would be specious to claim that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be bad for black people.  

I do not expect to win anyone over with this diary.  I make no arguments for either candidate here.  I ask only that we all take a moment to consider whether appeals to gender or racial solidarity might be out of place in this forum, a place dedicated to growing the grassroots progressive movement in America.  

To close, I bring this up only because I reel in horror at the thought that gender and race, two social constructions used time after time by those in power to divide, might this time be so deployed by those of us most committed to the concept of justice for all people.  

And I covet your thoughts on the matter.

Tags: Identity Politics (all tags)

Comments

53 Comments

I've been thinking about this myself

Being neither black nor a woman I must confess I've been quite stunned at some of the charges that fly around about sexism or racism. Maybe I'm just not wired to detect such things.

I've never thought either Senator or President Clinton are racists. The LBJ/MLK quote from Senator Clinton I thought was unwise, not racist. The fairytale quote I thought was an unfair distortion, not racist. The Jesse Jackson won South Carolina too was probably race baiting and the only really seriously bad comment they have made.

I don't think Geraldine Ferraro is racist, I just thought she was wrong and demeaning of Senator Obama's accomplishments.

I've heard about veiled sexism coming from the Obama campaign but nobody has pointed me to direct quotes so I can't comment on those.

I do get concerned with the level of self identification among Senator Clinton's supporters. And I think some of it is unfortunately driven by the candidate. Just this week when she said it was a double standard to ask her how she intends to win the nomination. It's not a double standard, she is behind in elected delegates, baring some monumental shift she will need superdelegates to overturn the will of the people so it's a valid question to ask how she intends to do this and how she would explain the results to Senator Obama's supporters.  But when she talks about a double standard some of her supporters self identify with double standards they feel in their own lives and they begin to identify Senator Obama as the person who has wronged them. It's really unfortunate and quite worrying.

by Obama Independent 2008-04-10 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: I've been thinking about this myself

Very nicely put, and I think this part of your comment:

But when she talks about a double standard some of her supporters self identify with double standards they feel in their own lives and they begin to identify Senator Obama as the person who has wronged them. It's really unfortunate and quite worrying.

is right on.  Not a condemnation of a candidate, but simply pointing out the processes that generate such feelings.

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 08:52PM | 0 recs
Re: I've been thinking about this myself

being a white woman, I have seen some of the sexism alleged, but certainly not to the extent that others have...  As to the racially charged themes, I'm in no real position to comment on.  

I will say that I didn't have a problem with what Ferraro said initially... I thought it unwise, but not too far out there...  Her defense of her statement again and again was what crossed the line for me.

by JenKinFLA 2008-04-10 08:55PM | 0 recs
Re: I've been thinking about this myself

I've seen some from the media, from Matthews certainly. And I saw a compilation of clips with a bunch of Fox twits laughing but I already loathe that channel. It's the charges of sexism from the campaign that I totally don't see.

by Obama Independent 2008-04-10 09:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I've been thinking about this myself

I agree, I thought the initial comment was, most of all, tone-deaf.  Not racist, necessarily, just out of touch.  When she went to fox news to defend herself I found it an odd choice.  Then there's a man I otherwise really like, Eddie Rendell, telling Fox and Friends that they have been providing the best election coverage!  Mon Dieux!!!

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: I've been thinking about this myself

Actually she asked why both candidates weren't being asked the question, since both need superdelegates to garner the nomination.  That's the double standand to which she's referring.

by TinaH1963 2008-04-10 09:31PM | 0 recs
Re: I've been thinking about this myself

I understood what she meant, I just thought it was wrong as I explained. When one candidate is behind, when they are going to have to get the superdelegates to overturn the will of the voters in order to become the nominee while the other simply needs them to ratify the voters decision it isn't a double standard to ask the candidate who is behind how they intend to accomplish this. Comments like that one, and boys ganging up and similar things drives the self identification of some voters in a way that is harmful should her candidacy fail to win the nomination, in my opinion.

by Obama Independent 2008-04-10 10:06PM | 0 recs
Re: I've been thinking about this myself

Ok...but I disagree with your take.  And HRC didn't imply, she said it outright, because it's true that both candidates have to get the superdelegates to vote for them.  It's popular to say that the superdelegates should choose the candidate with more pledged votes, but they don't have to, and that's what the rules say.  Many people have said it would be unwise to do this and I tend to agree, but the rules only say that the superdelegates need use their best judgement.  I think her complaint is that some keep insisting that the rules be complied with, but are willing to overlook the stated role of the superdelegates.  

by TinaH1963 2008-04-10 10:25PM | 0 recs
Re: I've been thinking about this myself

Just because they don't have to ratify the voters choice, does not mean that they should vote to overturn the votes of the party.  To overturn the choice of voters is a tough thing to justify, which is why she is being asked to justify it.

How do you justify?

by nklein 2008-04-10 11:02PM | 0 recs
Justify?

Many people have expressed their preference for HRC; more have expressed their preference for BHO (this of course excludes Florida and Michigan).  The role of the superdelegate is to exercise his or her best judgement.  Right now BHO has won more states, but HRC has won more big states.  Because we have an Electoral College, that matters.  BHO's total voter count is about 1% greater than HRC's.  He has a simple majority and that is undeniable, but he doesn't have a preponderance of the votes so far.  All said, if he's the nominee, I'll be voting for him.  But I don't think it's as cut-and-dried as some as making it out to be.

by TinaH1963 2008-04-12 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: I've been thinking about this myself

It certainly is in the rules, I don't know that anyone disagrees with the fact that it's in the rules. It's just dangerous and were she to succeed I don't think she'd be able to just shrug her shoulders and say hey, I just followed the rules. The superdelegates would need to explain themselves as many are ultimately answerable to voters and she as the nominee would need to be able to bring Obama supporters back to the table.

by Obama Independent 2008-04-10 11:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

Okay - I'll go.

I have two issues that I grapple with each day:

#1 - Emotional (and the true driving force). Yes, I love Hillary. I know I'm not suppose to LOVE a politician. But I do. I've been working my ass off for her (voluntarily) and I've given alot of my hard earned money to her campaign. I travel for her, make calls for her, hold house parties for her, made a website for her, all all this has been going on for over a year!!! My life has been on HOLD. I work in travel and have turned DOWN a trip to Egypt in November because GOD KNOWS WHERE OR WHAT I may be called upon to do for her. I'm not doin' my usual summer trip to Hawaii either because I plan to go to the Convention, either as a delegate or volunteer in August.

Who the hell knew it would be THIS f*in' difficult to elect a nominee? Not I.

But - okay - so I'm into the ebb and flow of this thing and I have to sit back and watch my sHero get trashed on a daily basis.

Do you know how many nights I've lost sleep over this thing? How many mornings I woke up wanting to heave my guts out at the thought that it's all over? Iowa....(new hampshire) to Nevada to Super Tuesday to she's out of money to TX/OH...to NOW.

And every f*in' day I have to listen to some new story on why she can't win or be the nominee.

So - yeah - I blame HIM. I'm sorry, but I do. HE is standing in MY way. HE is the one stopping HER.
HE is young and inexperienced enough that HE could have run ANOTHER year or ANOTHER time - but NOOOOOOOOO big EGO had to be President NOW. Why? This is my sHero's ONE SHOT. This is IT.

So - whatever it takes - she's gotta win.

If it means going to the convention and RIOTING - I'M UP FOR IT. At this point I've given up so much, why not?

It's no longer about "the Party" for me - it's about HILLARY.

Okay now #2 - Logical.

Man - I simply cannot vote for someone with such little experience! I Cannot. He is sooooo naive, so arrogant, so inexperienced, so lacking of knowledge.  Listen - we know NOTHING about him and his past. THAT BOTHERS ME. I don't like surprises. Rev WRight was a SUPRISE. Suddenly finding out about this college trip to Pakistan BOTHERS me - okay? It's not like Pakistan hasn't been in the news...how come he never said "Well, when I was in Pakistan in my college days..." I DON'T TRUST HIM.

So - yeah - I actually TRUST McCain more. I'm sorry. I have never voted Republican before (well, once when Reagan ran for reelection). But I do care about the country and I do think experience matters and I do think the Commander in Chief should be someone with foreign policy experience.

And - I'll get trashed for saying this - BO reminds me of Bush!! It's that same arrogance of experience doesn't matter, who cares I've never been to Europe....

I think the reason Kennedy/Kerry/Pelosi/Dean are backing him is because the think he is controllable or weak.

Here's the bottom line.  If Hillary wins and goes to DC as the President she will show up on Day One with an Agenda and inform the likes of K/K/P/D "Okay here is what we are doing". If Obama shows up on Day One as our Pres - he'll go to K/K/P/D and say "oKay now what do I do?"

by nikkid 2008-04-10 08:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

I have nothing to ask as your opinions are your own... regardless of the blood-curdling chill I have whenever I see McCain's name without an emphatic "I will never vote for.." preceding it...  but I do have one question:  You write that "HE is standing in MY way..."  That line confuses me...  Could you elaborate?

by JenKinFLA 2008-04-10 08:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

He is standing in MY way of seeing MY dream come true: A WOMAN PRESIDENT WHO IS NAMED HILLARY CLINTON.

I have watched Hillary since the 90's and have always hoped she would run.

I've come to the conclusion that it's not about ANY woman it's about the RIGHT woman, the FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT.

This is for the history books - when I'm dead and gone I want Hillary's name to go down as the First Woman President elected.

And you know why? Because I know just what a great job she will do.

She IS like Bobby Kennedy. She IS like FDR. She knows how to get stuff done and she is brilliant.

I am afraid we will not see the likes of a woman of this caliber again in my lifetime.

by nikkid 2008-04-10 09:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

He is standing in MY way of seeing MY dream come true: A WOMAN PRESIDENT WHO IS NAMED HILLARY CLINTON.

I have watched Hillary since the 90's and have always hoped she would run.

I've come to the conclusion that it's not about ANY woman it's about the RIGHT woman, the FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT.

This is for the history books - when I'm dead and gone I want Hillary's name to go down as the First Woman President elected.


It doesn't ring really true that its not about her gender (and this isn't simply directed at you) when the fact that she's a woman is interjected unnecessarily in every sentence.  

Yes Obama's race has something to do with his appear at least to a portion of the population.  But do you really think as many Obama supporters are saying this kind of thing?  Some might openly admit that they're voting for the black guy (I haven't seen any but I'm sure they are out there).  But I don't see many "protesting too much" while interjecting his race into each sentence.  Even the final sentence

I am afraid we will not see the likes of a woman of this caliber again in my lifetime.

You didn't say a candidate, or President or politician or thinker or leader or person.  You said a woman.  

by PantsB 2008-04-10 09:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

Yes, it is about electing the first WOMAN President for me.

I would not be working this hard for a male (sorry guys)....

by nikkid 2008-04-10 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

So conversely, She is standing in his supporters way?  That they might have a slightly different dream... ?

And here we are back at identity politics again.

by JenKinFLA 2008-04-11 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

I'm glad you point this out, because it really gets to the heart of this identity politics problem.

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

Well, we meet again Nikki.  I think I may have been paraphrasing you in the diary.  I certainly appreciate your candor and your fervor.  And I hope you will allow me a few comments in the same spirit:

From previous conversations I respect you, and yet I must say that I reject your rationale here.  The point I was trying to make in the diary was that YES we should be emotionally invested in our candidates, we should feel good about them and there is nothing wrong in identifying with them.  

The problem comes when that passion somehow mutates into an over-the-top hatred of the other candidate.  In a quieter moment, away from the barricades, I think you, too, would admit that your fierce anti-Obama rhetoric is a bit misplaced.  Could you really be willing to say in the light of day that the only thing that matters is for Hillary to win?  

I thought the candidates were only the vehicles of social change that emanates from the grassroots up.  

I'll single out one thing from your supposedly "logical" list, the Pakistan trip.  You say that you cannot trust him because he visited Pakistan as a college student.  Should I not trust you because you were going to Egypt?  This smacks of the WORST kind of racial and religious stereotyping.  

So, in respect, I have to say that I'm not buying it tonight.  But maybe I'm just grumpy because you didn't even address the point I was trying to bring up; namely, that identity politics might be counterproductive.  Don't worry, I already know that you are a very vocal Clinton supporter and an even more vocal anti-Obamite.  

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:06PM | 0 recs
Identity politics

I'll bite.  I'd like to believe that when I go out in the world I'm seen as a person,forest for the trees. but I'm pretty sure I'm seen as a black woman.  I wonder what people are thinking when they constantly talk about Obama's white side as though he's not seen as a black person--they just don't see color, they say.  I say this as a mother of a bi-racial child--people always see color (and gender).  Now this isn't to say that the times aren't a changin', but I've experienced enough ignorant stuff to last me a lifetime.  But I digress.  I support HRC because she is a policy wonk and I appreciate that.  I appreciate her mastery of it.  And I do like that she never gives up--and women often do.  As a woman, I would be overjoyed to see this particular woman in office as I am impressed with what she has chosen to do with her life.  But, if she doesn't win the nomination, I will vote for Obama, because as has been pointed out many times, their policy positions aren't that different, and I can see the

by TinaH1963 2008-04-10 09:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Identity politics

Thanks for the great comment.  I appreciate what you say and want to just take a split second to clarify that I in no way mean to suggest that racial and gender discrimination aren't real.  I mean only to point out my hope that they would not be used by otherwise well-meaning progressives to divide troops.  

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:27PM | 0 recs
Identity politics

You know, I don't think they will be in the final equation.  I think people will calm down--clearly though, there will be disappointment.  I keep thinking of all the women ran before and who were never taken seriously (Chisholm, Schroeder, Braun, etc.).  That's all.  I appreciate your blog, though.

by TinaH1963 2008-04-10 09:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Identity politics

A good point, and I wonder sometimes how they must feel when they hear the phrase, over and over again, "the first serious woman candidate for the presidency."

For that matter, I guess we also can't forget Elizabeth Dole (shudder).

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Identity politics

I've thought a lot about Elizabeth Dole in this primary cycle...  Primarily when I hear calls to support the woman candidate...  just on that basis.  There are a lot of women I will not support for office because I look at their politics.

by JenKinFLA 2008-04-11 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Identity politics

And I understand that, but I don't have that problem this time around.

by TinaH1963 2008-04-12 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

I don't care that he went to Pakistan, I've travelled all over the world and think his life in Indonesia is a PLUS. My issue is that he is not forthcoming about his past.

Pakistan has been brought up alot in this election - with Bhutto, with the Iraq war, etc etc. So why is it that we are only now hearing that he went to Pakistan for 3 weeks? I just think that it's something he should or might have mentioned before. Again - if he gets the nomination - you don't think the republicans will bring this up? It plays into the idea that he's "unknown" what else has he not told us? .....

Yes, I agree with you - the candidates are vehicles for social change.

But - there is also the aspect of a Leader. Someone you trust and believe in to lead the social change. Someone you trust to bring it about.  

That's what Hillary is for me.

And no I don't HATE Obama - not at all. I too was very impressed with his great speech at the 2004 convention. I've been impressed with alot of his speeches. I don't see the proof, however, that the speech translates into action or leadership.

I'm not impressed with his "present" votes. I happened to meet Alice Palmer in Houston (the woman who held his seat in the IL state senate) and I think it is horrible how he kept her from getting on the ballot for the election.

I don't think he is who he appears to be or says he is.....

by nikkid 2008-04-10 09:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

I'll leave it to others to judge the spirit of your Pakistan comment.  I should suspect someone who has been working full time as a volunteer on a campaign would be savvy enough to know what sinister implications might register with such a comment, especially given the persistent muslim smear.  

I'll also just suggest this:  try posting something without feeling the need to rehearse five anti-Obama talking points.

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

I think there are questions concerning both candidates, you brought up Obama's, Clinton's include lying about Bosnia, the Columbia gaffe, etc.  IMO, these do not define either one of our candidates.

You said about Clinton that she is "someone you trust and believe in to lead the social change."  That's exactly how I feel about Barack.

I believe we have two strong candidates, and it's a credit to our party, the Democratic Party.  I get so frustrated that after all the hell George W. put us through that people are even considering more of same by electing McCain.  

by hootie4170 2008-04-10 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,
I don't care that he went to Pakistan, I've travelled all over the world and think his life in Indonesia is a PLUS. My issue is that he is not forthcoming about his past.

Isn't the only reason that you know about this three week trip (that included both Pakistan and Northern India) that occurred twenty-five years ago because Barack Obama told the story as part of a campaign speech?  In what way is this not forthcoming?  
by PantsB 2008-04-10 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

A tiny comment, about comparisons to Bush, as an Obama supporter I find Senator Clinton's premium on loyalty over competence (Penn being the most stunning example) as quite Bushian. Tear me apart if you wish but that's what I see.

Still, I just have to disagree on several points. First on experience, I don't see Senator Obama as inexperienced, he just has different experience. He's been a community organizer, state senator, US Senator, lawyer, professor (yes small 'p') of Constitutional Law, President of the Harvard Law Review. And to me this is an appealing aspect. This country has been controlled so long by experienced Washington insiders that someone from outside that sphere is just the kind of thing we need.

Secondly know nothing about his past. If nothing else he's written two insightful books on his past and his outlook on things. How many other Presidential hopefuls in the past have done that.

On not having a plan. So far he's been able to plan a campaign, hire people necessary to implement it, and execute it quite well. Clearly he can plan.

And lastly on being controllable. I don't agree with this at all, but saying for a moment he is, is there something about Kennedy/Kerry/Pelosi/Dean that you don't trust? I'll take them over Cheyney/Rumsfeld/Ashcroft/Etc that have pulled Bush's strings.

by Obama Independent 2008-04-10 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

K/K/P/D all have good ideas and I do trust them, but I don't want them controlling the person in charge. I want the person in charge to lay out the agenda and work with them not the other way round.

by nikkid 2008-04-10 09:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

As I said I don't believe he is controllable. And if you look at his campaign he is demonstrating an ability to lay out an agenda, recruit talent to implement it, and is getting it done.

by Obama Independent 2008-04-10 09:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

The point of the diary, though, is that these attachments are strong on both sides and, if they drive us to vote against or to hate the other candidate, then they're very negative and hurtful.

For those of us who think we need a Democrat in the White House, you've just proven the diarist correct, in that your attachments to one candidate have bred such a hate of the other that you'd vote to elect John McCain, who'd pretty much do the opposite of most of the things your candidate would do.  

Despite dividing your comment into emotional/logical, there's not much convincing logic that leads someone who consistently votes Democrat to vote McCain over the Democratic nominee.

And, yes, this applies equally well to supporters of both Obama and Clinton, so long as they claim they'll vote McCain over the eventual nominee if their chosen candidate doesn't win the nomination.

by freedom78 2008-04-10 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton,

Nikkid -

Thank you for so eloquently stating the EMOTIONAL attachment some of us feel towards Hillary and her campaign. Kuddos.

by Lacy Davenport 2008-04-11 06:11AM | 0 recs
Funny how you people project

feelings onto HRC supporters.

Must one hate Obama in order to truly love Hillary?

Can you point out where you find "hate" in the quote you provided?

I am Hillary.  I have been passed over and forgotten when it came time for promotions.  I have struggled every day with misogyny and discrimination.  I am Hillary.  I have had to demand and fight for every inch of reproductive freedom I've ever received.  I am the hardest working person in the room.  I am Hillary.  

Never, ever will I vote for Obama.

I've read that over and over and can't find the word "hate" or the sentiment. Do I need some special decoder glasses that come with every limited edition Unity Pony?

by LatinoVoter 2008-04-10 09:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Funny how you people project

I had no intention of projecting hatred of Obama on anyone, only to seek to tease out that extreme vitriol towards one candidate that sometimes follows a fierce advocacy of another.  To me, these sorts of things usually happens when people have become so identified with their candidate that they are pushed into thinking that the sorts of things that any reasonable candidate would do in a campaign are somehow personal attacks on them.  

But I stand by the general sentiment, that it takes a huge leap to go from saying I love Obama to saying that I will never vote for Clinton.  Or vice versa.  

If hate is too strong a word, I concede the point.  Let's call it rage toward a candidate.  

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:21PM | 0 recs
So you admit

that you were trying to bait, and you think that's better how?

If hate is too strong a word, I concede the point.  Let's call it rage toward a candidate.

"rage," really? Another one of those uncontrollable and deep emotions that you're attributing to HRC supporters. Could it be because a lot of her support comes from women? You think these supporters are filled with "hate" and "rage" because they're women and prone to fits of emotionality.

At least you're not openly trying to blame it on them being on the rag.  

by LatinoVoter 2008-04-10 09:38PM | 0 recs
Re: So you admit

Honestly, where are you getting this?

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:39PM | 0 recs
From your diary

and your comments.

by LatinoVoter 2008-04-10 09:42PM | 0 recs
Re: From your diary

I've obviously failed if that's what you took away from it.  Since I explicitly pointed out that I felt such comments on the part of supporters of either candidate were misplaced, I thought we could take the point seriously and abstractly.  

I find it strange that you feel "rage" and "hate" are gendered terms.  I certainly did not use them in that spirit, and I don't really think that any of the other commenters here interpreted them that way.  

If you are willing to engage the question, though, I'll phrase it as directly as possible:  Do these appeals to racial or gender solidarity actually weaken our movement?

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:48PM | 0 recs
Re: From your diary

No, you didn't fail. That person's just trying to pick a fight. Don't even bother responding to him/her. Anyone who makes an accusation like, "At least you're not openly trying to blame it on them being on the rag," doesn't really want to have a civil discussion.

by sricki 2008-04-10 10:17PM | 0 recs
Re: So you admit

Don't feed the troll

by hootie4170 2008-04-10 09:45PM | 0 recs
Re: So you admit

I'm new here, I didn't know I was speaking with a troll.  Incidentally, what does that mean exactly?

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:49PM | 0 recs
Troll in the dungeon! Thought you oughta know...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_tr oll

by Obama Independent 2008-04-10 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: So you admit

That's completely inappropriate.  The diary implied nothing of what you inferenced from it.

by nklein 2008-04-10 11:33PM | 0 recs
I will vote Democrat

I will vote for the Democratic nominee period.   I, too, have given much of my hard earned to the candidate of my choice.  I have volunteered in many ways to Obama's campaign when I am not working my two jobs to support my two boys.  I live paycheck to paycheck and like to think of myself as "educated" when it comes to politics.

As pertaining to Mydd, it is sad that people with horses in this race consistently attack the other Democratic candidate.  I, take it personally here when people say Obama is Muslim extremist, that he is a race baiter, that he is a misogynist, that he is going to get creamed by the GOP & 527's.

Foreign policy experience continues to be an argument, but people seem to forget that Bill Clinton's foreign policy experience was just as non-existent.  However, in their eyes he was one of the best presidents we have had...and I agree.

I guess what I'm sick of is how people, who don't even know me, try to minimize my support of Obama to me being naive and drinking the kool-aid.   My reasonings have been very thought out and even put in diary form on Mydd.

What grounds me though, is my discussions with in-person Hillary supporters.  They offer their reasoning for their support and can see the validity in my reasoning for support of Obama.  I have yet to meet anyone, and I live in PA, who proclaims to be a true democrat that would even consider McCain should their candidate lose in the primary.

To be honest, if a person feels that way, I do not consider them a Democrat anyway.

Vote for McCain and...expect more war in Iraq and new ones, expect new SCOTUS and the eventual reversal of Roe v Wade, expect no relief in sight on the economy, expect more people to lose their homes, expect to struggle to afford healthcare,  expect more of the same because that's exactly what you will get!

by hootie4170 2008-04-10 09:24PM | 0 recs
Re: I will vote Democrat

hear hear!

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 09:29PM | 0 recs
RE:

Some have argued that, in a democracy, the more deeply interested the people are, the more deeply partisan they become, to the point that democracy itself is destroyed.

While we're not talking about the destruction of democracy, here, the prospect of some of the most knowledgeable and interested political minds among the general public being so invested in one candidate that they'd forsake all progress on the issues they care about in order to punish a like-minded candidate with whom they happen to lack that personal connection...well, that's stunning, especially so on a site that upholds the virtues of direct democracy and a highly interested public.

by freedom78 2008-04-10 09:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton, & The Perils of

I'm glad you wrote this. I've been wanting to write something like this for awhile now. I've been mulling over it, and I was going to call it "A House Divided". I firmly believe this is the one thing which could sink us this year. I fear a lot of people are identifying too strongly with their preferred candidate. Some of us are taking things more personally than we normally would.

by sricki 2008-04-10 10:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton, & The Perils of

please do write it.  i think that, at least on this site, it will mean more coming from a clinton supporter

by Bargeron 2008-04-10 10:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton, & The

I'm still planning to, but I've been putting it off because it will inevitably take on a very fatalistic tone. I'm a woman and a Hillary supporter, and I know exactly why so many Clinton fans hate Obama (and for some people, it is hate -- your wording was appropriate).

When I was a little kid, I used to say typical childish things like, "I hate math!" or "I hate broccoli!" My father put a stop to that when he asked me, "Do you lay awake at night thinking about how much you hate math and broccoli? Do you toss and turn and lose sleep over those things?" When I said no, he told me, "Then that means you just dislike them. True hate is overwhelming. It consumes and distorts everything, and it makes you unable to judge and reason and understand." I never forgot that, and that's one of the standards I use to judge whether I hate something -- do I lie awake at night for days or weeks or months thinking about how much I hate something or someone?

Based on that standard, I'm pretty sure I hated Obama for what seemed like a very long time (though it wasn't really, in the scheme of things). I identified too powerfully with Hillary. I think some people around here really do feel something toward Obama which is outright hate or which closely resembles it, even if they haven't admitted it to themselves. I hope that hate is fleeting, as it was in my case. I was finally able to let go of it, but it required a great deal of introspection. What my mother told me about hate when I was a child was, "The person you lie awake thinking about, the person you exhaust yourself hating, is the person in control of the situation. The person you hate is in control of you." That's why I've never been able to stay angry very long. I can't hold grudges. I had very intelligent, thoughtful parents, despite their frustrating, conservative political ideology.

by sricki 2008-04-10 10:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton, & The Perils of

sricki...I love the title...it's perfect for this type of discussion...you should write it!

by hootie4170 2008-04-10 10:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama, Clinton, &

Heh, thanks. I'm so melodramatic. Bad habit left over from being an English major for two years in undergrad -- until I got scared I wouldn't be able to make any money and changed majors.

by sricki 2008-04-10 10:39PM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads