Saturday, May 31, 2008

Driving Miss Crazy

What the hell is Geraldine Ferraro's major malfunction, other than shameless intellectual dishonesty and cheap class-baiting?

Here we are at the end of the primary season, and the effects of racism and sexism on the campaign have resulted in a split within the Democratic Party that will not be easy to heal before election day. Perhaps it's because neither the Barack Obama campaign nor the media seem to understand what is at the heart of the anger on the part of women who feel that Hillary Clinton was treated unfairly because she is a woman or what is fueling the concern of Reagan Democrats for whom sexism isn't an issue, but reverse racism is.

Oh, boo-fucking-hoo. Look, you want to know what real sexism is? Ask yourself exactly how many women -- from either party -- have any realistic chance at a presidential campaign in this country. Even people who count their fingers in fractions would end up with spare digits. Hillary Clinton is less representative of Vaginal Americans in general than ambitious wives of former preznits in particular. This undue set of advantages more than offsets any supposed incidents of "sexism", though if such have actually occurred at more than a purely anecdotal level, Ferraro is welcome to spend the rest of her life dutifully chronicling them. Anything to get her to climb out of our asses already.

I mean, fuck. Go get me a beer or something.

And by the way, I am not minimizing how far HRC has come in this race at all, by tagging it to her more famous spouse. In any competition, any advantage you can find and utilize should be used. But make no mistake -- those advantages were there, she has utilized them to their fullest, and she was the prospective front-runner last summer. But as time has progressed, more and more people have simply gravitated toward Obama. Deal with it.

It is a testament to the Clinton campaign's increasingly Nixonian bent that there simply must be some set of sinister, ulterior factors involved in her failure to capture the nomination outright. But maybe she just lost a fair fight. Maybe Obama has motivated more people who would otherwise have stayed home. Maybe people have tired of alternating political dynasties, that four or eight years of charmless, calibrated triangulations with henchmen recycled from her husband's tenure just doesn't sound as appealing as it's supposed to. The turnout for each of them has dwarfed that for any of the Republican candidates, even well before Poor Ol' Straight Talk rode his media pony back into the lead of that pack of spavined nags. That's significant, even if it has taken a backseat to the usual horserace nattering.

The fault also lies with the DNC's failure to sufficiently clarify the punitive measures to be taken against Florida and Michigan. This is the thread that HRC has been hanging on, and it is a flimsy one. Just schedule the fuckin' primaries, tell the states that this is how it's gonna be, rotate them around every election, and make it stick. This stupid idea that Iowa and New Hampshire have to be first every damned time is just ridiculous. Maybe the party will have their shit dialed in by 2012, but that's probably too much to ask.

Even California, having lobbied to get bumped up into Super Tuesday, when Clinton still had some post-NH momentum, has had a change of heart, heading into the week when we would have normally had our primary. This may have something to do with the startling consistency of HRC coming across as grasping and petty, and probably deft in a barroom with a broken bottle. But maybe he's just not that into you, honey. Do you really need to boil the poor bunny, or can we just walk away before it gets any uglier?

In the end, though, Ferraro cannot resist temptation, and not only has to go there, but returns to well-tromped ground:

As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama's historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama's playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They're not upset with Obama because he's black; they're upset because they don't expect to be treated fairly because they're white. It's not racism that is driving them, it's racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don't believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory "Our Time Has Come" they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.

The stupid, as they say in the 'hood, burns. Interesting how "Reagan Democrats" have been co-opted into this creative cobble of Archie Bunker types who don't hate black people, they just don't get them and they're afraid of them. Perhaps if Obama would just strut out wearing a giant clock around his neck and give his next speech in "-izzle" talk at least muthafuckas would know what time it is. Ferraro clearly is disinterested in any deeper notions of what this finely-parsed "racial resentment" might entail; her goal is merely to raise the usual concerns and doubt about whether these inbred morons can be peeled off by a Democratic candidate, or only a white candidate.

Because simply stepping up and telling these sainted "Reagan Democrats" with their quaint "racial resentment" that they have been getting hosed hard for the last eight years and that John McCain will at best simply pick a different orifice would be too easy. Sometimes you have to just grit your teeth and tell ridiculous people that they're fucking ridiculous. If they want to continue to vote against themselves, then fuck 'em. They'll die sooner that way anyway, and good riddance.

Whom he chooses for his vice president makes no difference to them. That he is pro-choice means little. Learning more about his bio doesn't do it. They don't identify with someone who has gone to Columbia and Harvard Law School and is married to a Princeton-Harvard Law graduate. His experience with an educated single mother and being raised by middle class grandparents is not something they can empathize with. They may lack a formal higher education, but they're not stupid. What they're waiting for is assurance that an Obama administration won't leave them behind.

Uh-huh. So let's get this straight, Gerry -- these poor, simple folk simply can't identify with the elitist Columbia-Harvard candidate and his uppity Princeton-Harvard wife, but they can identify with the Wellesley-Yale candidate and her Georgetown-Oxford-Yale husband who famously touted his own rags-to-riches epic, even after he left office. And Obama's actual policies and even his choice of running mate will matter not to these ardent (if uncertain) yokels, so directionless is the toxic passion of their inchoate "resentments". It's astonishing to consider the likelihood that Ferraro lacks the awareness to understand just how despicable such a person with the sentiments she projects truly is. Either qualifications are supposed to transcend issues of gender and race, or not. It's an all-or-nothing proposition, not this high-handed cafeteria-Democrat bullshit.

The "assurance" that this rube niche is "waiting for" about not being "left behind", I have absolutely no doubt that it doesn't ever occur to them -- nor to Ferraro -- that that might be exactly how blacks have felt about every old white man they've been forced to suck it up and vote for since forever.

This cheap, irrational race-baiting in the excuse of an increasingly failed effort, however noble the original intentions of that campaign, is just contemptible now. This is the sort of cornered-animal strategy people use when they are happy to let the lawyers move the goalposts, piss everyone off with two months of useless infighting, and sunder the party at the convention.

[Update: Per usual, The BEAST hits it nastier and better.]


George said...

Well said. The so-called Reagan Democrats are indeed Archie Bunker in real-life. It's almost laughable to me that any white person can complain of "reverse racism".

Heywood J. said...

Oh, it's totally laughable. These idiots should probably watch Bulworth or something, if only to remind themselves of the obvious -- that the way rich people keep poor people off their backs is by pitting poor white people and poor black people against each other.

It's never been all that complicated, but it seems to escape these folks every four years, while they sort out their daddy issues at the ballot box.

woodguy said...

Well said. I can't help but think that ol' Geri is carrying around some measure of anger/guilt/bitterness from her loss in '84. Perhaps that's one reason she's so obsessed with so-called "Reagan Democrats", who, quite frankly I'm suprised are able to find their polling places.

If by chance Obama loses, we can count on her standing next to Hillary, shaking her age-spotted fist and shouting, "I told you so", void of the knowledge that it was her and those of like mindlessness that orchestrated the outcome.

woodguy said...

That would be "devoid".

Heywood J. said...

There is an inordinate amount of fist-shaking coming from the Clinton kampfers. I assume it's a measure of their increasing desperation, their unwillingness to accept defeat, their unwillingness to understand that maybe they just lost a fair fight.

There is a very paranoid dynamic developing in all this, and it has found its voice in Ferraro's increasingly incoherent screeds. Frankly, I'm a bit embarrassed for the Globe in deciding to publish this chunder. One can almost picture Ferraro pushing her shopping-cart abode down the sidewalk, rambling this piffle.

One thing I know, sure as shit -- if the roles were reversed in this mess, the Clintonistas would be squealing to high heaven about the perfidy of agreeing with the other two main primary candidates not to run in MI and FL, and then turning around and doing so anyway.

One other thing that any wayward Clintonistas who might venture in here oughta think about, and that's that one can assess tthe stature of each candidate by fairly observing that Obama is running against McCain, while Clinton is still -- to the bitter end -- running against Obama.

You want this year's Nader, folks, you got it -- times fifty, in a pantsuit. All the self-righteous N8rh8rz have a potential spoiler on a much greater order of magnitude here. Where, oh where, is the rending of their sacred garments now? one asks plaintively.

You better think long and hard about just how bad you want this, because if she milks this to convention, sucking out the energy for eight weeks between the final primary and Denver, alienates her own base while energizing the Republican base (which everyone knows she will) and loses to McCain in a dogfight, she's fuckin' done. Over. Probably won't even retain her Senate seat in '12. Permanent pariah. Be careful what you wish for, folks, because the worse you want it, the worse you're likely to get it.

There's no shame in her conceding and being the running mate on an Obama ticket, while it's still technically possible. Thanks to Dick Cheney, the VP gets to do much more than just go to state funerals and look busy. Imagine what a post-millennial Catherine de Medici could do with the gig.