Hillary's Permanent "Mutnemom"?

A mostly political Weblog.
May 4 2008 3:47 PM

Hillary: Mutnemom Forever?

She's always on the ropes now.

(Continued from Page 33)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Abby Thernstrom liked Obama's race speech for its anti-black-victim-mentality passages.  I think she's a bit of a cheap date in that respect, but maybe I'm being too expensive. If only he'd left out the bogus parallel with "white resentments." ... In fact, wouldn't the best parallel to a black victim mentaility be the populist victim mentality that Bob Shrum always seeks to nurture--and, to a certain extent, that Obama seeks to nurture in this very speech with his talk about how the "real culprits of the middle class squeeze" are

a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests ...

I would tend to blame ... increasing returns to skill produced by trade and technological change!  They are hard to personify and demonize--they're just problematic trends we all need to confront. But the need to demonize is the problem with a victim mentality, isn't it? ...

Update: Marc Ambinder gives Obama credit  for saying "white resentments ... are grounded in legitimate concerns." The problem is he said that only after the populist passage cited above. The clear implication was not that resentment about welfare and affirmative action was "legitimate," but that these resentments were actually misguided symptoms of the legitimate anxiety, which would be anxiety over "stagnant wages," etc. caused by "corporate ... greed" etc.. ... If you think concern over welfare and affirmative action has an independent, legitimate basis apart from anxieties about the "middle class squeeze," it's highly condescending for Obama to tell whites (and similarly disposed blacks, for that matter) that, in effect, that they suffer from false consciousness--'I know you're really concerned about economics and declining wages and in your anxiety you let yourself be distracted into blaming welfare and affirmative action.' But that's what he says, as I read it and heard it. (Obama does allow that concern over crime is in itself legitimate, but spoils this 1992-era insight when he disses his grandmother--a "typical white person," he tells us today--for worrying about getting mugged.) ... 4:38 P.M. link

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Geraldine Ferrar ... Sorry, John Kerry speaks: Obama supporter Kerry says Obama's unique selling proposition is he's black. From First Read:

Obama supporter John Kerry gave an interview with a local N.H. paper, reports NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli. In it, Kerry said the color of Obama's skin makes him uniquely qualified for president and even reach out to the moderate Islam world. During an interview with the New Bedford Standard Times, portions of which were posted on YouTube, John Kerry says bluntly that Barack Obama has the potential to "bridge the divide in religious extremism" because he is black.

"It would be such an affirmation of who we say we are as a people if we can elect an African American president, a young leader who is obviously a visionary and got an ability to inspire people," Kerry said. "It will give us an ability to talk to those countries, to in some cases go around their dictator leaders to the people and inspire the people in ways that we can't otherwise."

The Massachusetts senator said Obama has an ability to perhaps even empower moderate Islam "to be able to stand up against the racial misinterpretation of a legitimate religion." Asked by a reporter what gave Obama the credibility to do so, Kerry said, "Because he's African American. Because he's a black man, who has come from a place of oppression and repression through the years in our own country. [E.A.]

I don't think Kerry's argument is crazy at all. I just don't think the Obama campaign can then sneer at Geraldine Ferraro for saying the same thing--i.e., that Obama is where he is because voters are "caught up" in the Kerry argument. Obama's camp can't have it both ways--arguing we should vote for him "[b]ecause he's a black man" and then arguing it's racist to say being black has helped his candidacy. ... 1:51 P.M. link

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Change You Don't Want to Xerox: Cautionary Obama precursor Deval Patrick's big casino gambling plan going down to defeat  in the Massachusetts legislature. ... 12:36 P.M.