Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Proud Son of Gaffney

Remember the Definition of a Washington "Gaffe"? - Alex Massie
Say It Ain't So - Josh Marshall @ TPM
The Contingency of Candidacy - Matt Yglesias
What If? - Ezra Klein

So Geraldine Ferraro makes an stupid comment and the blogs light up like Vegas. The comment, that Sen. Obama would not be where he is if he wasn't black, was clearly not helpful for the Clinton camp, of which Ferraro is a supporter. The argument amongst the more leftist bloggers is whether the comment is true or not. For the most part, everyone falls on the side of true, but the question lingers of what that means exactly. Apart from Massie, the other bloggers have come to the conclusion that yes Sen. Obama would not be where he is today if he were someone else. It's a tautalogy. Of course if Sen. Obama were someone else he wouldn't be the black Democrat running for the presidency. But being black with a foreign sounding name and a diverse heritage and childhood do not make him somehow lucky. I'm fairly sure that millions of black men are not finding it exactly easy to make their way in the U.S. The same goes for women, gays, atheists and several other maligned groups. It's exactly his blackness that make Sen. Obama unique, just as Sen. Clinton is unique as a white woman running for the same office. So while Ferraro's comment is true, it doesn't mean anything and it certainly isn't an advantage for Sen. Obama. What the comment also says is that Ferraro would rather make the issue about race than about the issues of the campaign. Thus, once again, a Clinton surrogate is attempting to inject race into the nomination when the person being attacked has taken a strong stance that we as Americans should transcend race or gender. It's sad to see a woman come out against another maligned group of people for the sake of politics, particularly a woman who has long advocated for civil rights. Even a true comment is sometimes a stupid one.

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