Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mississippi's Primary Results: A Wake-Up Call for Democrats

The headlines blare, "Sen. Barack Obama Wins Mississippi." Others declare, "Obama's Back!" and "Obama Momentum Continues." But what no one is brave enough to really address is the glaring racial divide that that state's Tuesday primary results indicate in the fierce battle between Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Mississippi, with its 33 delegates, is 37% black. More than 50% of Tuesday's voters were African-American according to exit polls. What's startling is that Obama picked up 90% of the black vote, capturing just 30% of whites. Clinton, therefore, won 70% of the white vote and just 10% of the state's black voters. This election was all about race. Black vs white. It speaks to the larger issue of whether or not white America--Democrats included--when it's done patting itself on the back for being so progressive, will truly vote to put a young black man, with virtually no national or foreign policy experience, in the White House. Last week's Pew Research survey showed a 20% defection rate among white Democrats to Republican presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain if Obama becomes the nominee. Hey, I don't make this stuff up. I merely report it. And if anyone thinks come November, against the historically ruthless GOP, that race will not be an even greater factor...well, I have some mountain-top property along the Afghan/Pakistani border I'd like to sell you....

Case in point: consider last week's outlandish, despicable remarks by Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King suggesting that terrorists would "celebrate" an Obama presidential victory. King pointed to Obama's opposition to the war in Iraq and his heritage in his scurrilous claim that the junior Senator from Illinois would put the nation at risk.

"I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al-Qaeda, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they will declare victory in this War on Terror," King regurgitated, adding that Obama’s middle name, Hussein, would stoke terrorists. "Additionally, his middle name does matter. It matters because they read a meaning into that in the rest of the world. That has a special meaning to them. They will be dancing in the streets because of his middle name." Such incendiary rhetoric is in abundent supply. The GOP attack machine is stacked with these venomous surrogates all too ready to go into bloody battle to ensure that Republicans retain power. And they will do so at any cost.

Which is why I'm incredulous over all the whining from Obama and his camp about Hillary's "kitchen sink" strategy of "dirty politics." If I were heading Obama's team, I'd be looking at Hillary's missives as boot camp; mere conditioning for the vicious onslaught that awaits him in a head-to-head against the McCain thugs. If the Obama folks think Hillary's playing dirty, they won't know what him 'em once the GOP says hello.....


Anonymous said...

Terrorists would celebrate a Democrat presidential victory.

Why does this surprise you and why is the truth despicable ?

Roy Hobbs said...

I agree totally with your comment. I don't think Senator McCain is a racist, but he heads a party whose growth, especially from my native South, has resulted from many racists disillusioned with the Democrats jumping to the GOP. Frankly, race should have nothing to do with making a judgment on Senator Obama. But as you rightly point out, it will and the judgment (if it can be called that) will doom the Democrats yet again. If Senator Obama were white, I still could not vote for him. He simply has not been in federal office long enough to be placed in the Oval Office.

Rick Gunter

Sidney Condorcet said...

I love how you completely side-step the Geraldine Ferraro imbroglio. Well-played. And i'm sorry, but just saying "The Republican's will do it too" doesn't make what the Clintons have continuously tried to do--pigeon-hole Obama as the "Black Candidate"--alright. Don't white-wash the concerted effort on the part of Hillary's campaign, ever since New Hampshire, to inject race into this. (From Bill Clinton, Robert Johnson, Ed Rendell, the picture of Obama in Somali garb, Geraldine Ferraro, Mark Penn, etc...)

I expect this divide-and-conquer, Southern strategy from Republicans, not from fellow Democrats. You wonder why people like me sometimes say we'd consider voting for McCain over Clinton. This is exactly why, Andy. Because Hillary works by a double standard. They demanded Samantha Powers' (pulitzer prize winning, anti-genocide crusader) head for calling Hillary a monster. Obama, in a classy way, accepts her resignation. But Hillary won't fire Ferraro or ask her to resign. That's total bullshit, especially as she's made matters even worse while attempting to defend her words. Her comment that the Obama campaign was attacking her because she's white was the most ridiculous statement I've ever heard. But that sits well with you? The Ferraro nonsense is clearly aimed at Pennsylvania. They want Obama to have to focus his press interactions on the race issue. Remember, Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh, Philly, and Alabama in between. The Clintons are exploiting race-based prejudices and are making race relations worse in this nation. You need to take a position on Hillary's race-based tactics, and not merely say "Well, the Repubs will be worse."

Anonymous said...

obama and his people realized it was their way to take advantage to use race baiting as tool to win the mostly red states he has won,he will now have to face what he has created.him and his followers has set back civil rights 60 years.if this is the best dems have to offer,they need and will lose to mccain.they and they themselves have ruined the dem. party

Anonymous said...

In the South many DIXIECRATS became REPUBLIKLANS Lott,Helms,Thurmond, Gramm of Texas etc. No difference. Here in Northern California we know about Rep King ...when Berkeley wanted to honor one of its greatest civil rights and city council members (retired) Maudelle Shireck (sp?)by naming the local Post Office in her honor King objected all the way from Iowa because she was a Socialist. He blocked the measure in the House!! I thought Iowa was better than that. But Tancredo in Colorado proves you can be a total asshole even from a decent state. (thankfully he is retiring)

Sidney Condorcet said...

Moreover, Geraldine Ferraro was a VP candidate only because she was a female. Hillary Clinton is only where she is today as a result of being the wife of a popular, two-term President. Otherwise, at best, she'd be behind Senator Boxer and a host of other female politicians...

Ezra Klein:
"Obama is not a woman, nor a white man. He's who he is. To say that if he were different, things would be different is to say nothing at all. As a white woman, maybe he would have led a military coup and established himself dictator. Who knows!? Hell, if he were a slightly less inspiring speaker, or had an off-night at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he wouldn't be in this position either. Similarly, if Hillary Clinton were a black man, it's unlikely that she would have been a national political figure for the past 15 years, as it's unlikely that she would have married another man from Arkansas, and unlikely that the country would have put an interracial, same sex couple in the White House. But so what? This is an election, not Marvel's "What If?" series."

35th 'n Shields said...

Since the Republicans (who we all view with disgust) will be doing it in the fall, it is your position that it is Ok for you (and the Clintons) to do it now.

So explain: what the hell is the difference between you (and the Clintons) and the Republicans?

Oh wait... I guess there isn't any difference.

Anonymous said...

Finally Geraldine Ferraro points out that the Afro Americans are the racists in this campaign. White people are voting for Obama in droves. Niney plus percent of blacks voted for Omaga in Mississippi. This is a racial issue now for sure and we all might as well face it. Hillary has probably lost another super delagate with Spitzer's resigning because his successor is black. There is no denying Afro Americans want a black president. And, the blacks feigning anger at Clinton, using him as their excuse, are manipulating the race by saying they will vote for McCain if Obama doesn't get the nomination. Or, maybe they will. OF course all Ostroy has written is true, From here it looks like it will be President McCain and four more years of agony for Democrats -- the people who try to legislate for the good of ALL. Because, even if Obama is the nominee he will not win against the Republicn smears.

BTW Geraldine F. said she would not have been the vp nominee if her name had been Gerald Ferraro. THey wanted a female candidatae then. She's trying to call it like it is.

Sidney Condorcet said...

Finally, Ferraro steps down. Conveniently, she waited until she did her multi-day media tour standing by her statement (indeed, flamming the flames even further). This was clearly a campaign tactic, and not some randon occurrence. The Clintons' were able to keep the media narrative focused on Obama's blackness so as to obscure and diminish Obama's Mississippi victory. George Wallace and Strom Thurmond would be proud!!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the Klan, what do you think about Robert Byrd (D-WV). He's the highest ranking klansman and he's a Democrat.

35th 'n Shields said...

This is from Buzzflash and it does a great job of describing the damage the Clinton's are doing.

Anonymous said...

OK so a lot of racist democrats in the south are going to vote for McSame rather than vote for a black guy. I can't begin to tell you how many good democratic men here on the West Coast will vote for McSame rather than vote for Hillary. It's not that they won't vote for a woman. They would happily vote for a woman-just not that woman. They hate her for some reason no one is able to explain. Her behavior lately is not helping her cause here.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't there a tremendous amount of coverage and condemnation for Chris Matth4ws when he said on world-wide TV that Hillary wouldn't be where she is if it hadn't been for Monica. There are a lot of tunnel-vision contributors to this blog. And, Matthews wasn't even reprimanded, much less, required to resign or apologize.

I'm very happy that so many idiots are leaving the Democratic Party because either Obama is black or they hate Hillary or women in general. We don't need that kind of baggage. There won't be enough of them to turn the tide forMccain because most Americans are smarter than that.

Anonymous said...

most Hillary supporters are the less educated.

Anonymous said...

A Republican friend from Mississippi told me she voted for Obama in the primary and then she'll vote for McCain. I can't believe none of the big shots in the Democratic Party seem to realize what the Republicans are doing.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Colin Powell, a firm Republican who lied to the UN is Obama's advisor indicates that this is about race and not ideology.

Anonymous said...

It's the economy stupid.

I don't care about anything else now but the economy and the survival of the USA. I want Bill Clinton as presidential advisor to restore a thriving, prosperous economy. Nothing else matters.

Anonymous said...

NEWS FLASH::::Mississippi is home to more racists than the national average.

NEWS FLASH::::A demcratic presidential candidate hasn't won in Mississippi in 3 decades.NEWS FLASH::::Most polls indicate that Obama does better in the general election than Clinton.


If you like Clinton, that's great. But you don't help your case with this type of selective argumentation and unjustified generalization, you simply ruin your own credibility.

Anonymous said...

Just reporting the facts is not enough. You are reporting selective facts that lead to mileading conclusions. You need to take a look at the Pew Research Summary to get a clearer picture:

"Obama has moved out to a broad-based advantage over Hillary Clinton in the national Democratic primary contest and holds a 50%-43% lead over John McCain in a general election matchup."

Anonymous said...

You mention the PEw REsearch report that states:
"One-in-five white Democrats (20%) say that they will vote for McCain over Obama"

But you fail to mention that the report also finds that 10% of white Democrats will vote for McCain over Clinton.

That's a bit misleading, don't you think?

You also fail to mention that the very same Pew Research report you cite, also finds that Obama has the advantage over Clinton in beating MccCain in the general election!

that all important finding shoots down the entire argument of your article!

why did you leave it out?

Anonymous said...

Andy, it's about time you come out from behind your curtain and admit frontally that you back Billary. Because all you post are criticisms of anything related to Obama with nary a peep about the Clintons.

Let's be clear here - the Clintons were the first to use the race card and that's what got things going back in South Carolina. They raise the same racist question you raise - and you do raise it in a manner that plays the race card as well, notwithstanding your weak comment "Hey, I don't make this stuff up. I merely report it. And if anyone thinks come November, against the historically ruthless GOP, that race will not be an even greater factor...well, I have some mountain-top property along the Afghan/Pakistani border I'd like to sell you...."

What you are doing is basically saying that a black shouldn't be on the ticket and seek to blame the Republicans which is weak weak weak.

I have news for you Andy - there are probably more mysogynists out there who would NEVER vote for a woman than whites who would never vote for a black. Mysogynists come in every flavor...........

And speaking of racists, I believe that WE Democrats bear more responsibility than anyone else.

91% of blacks voted Democratic in the 2000 elections. That's even more than Barack is getting.

No one has a greater entre to the black community than we do. But then there comes the weasly attitudes like yours where you run away from a candidacy blaming the "tewwible Repugnicans". You want their votes, but not their voice....

And who has a better ability to help the blacks uplift themselves but declines to do so? It's our very own party!!!!

It is a new kind of enslavement - we refuse to use our entre into the community by working hard to inspire blacks to value education, to eschew violence, crime and drugs, to support the nuclear family - the pillar of our society. Instead, we invest in identity politics, imbuing them with a sense of victimization, blaming the big bad "Repugnicans".

But it is OUR doing - we have the power to help Blacks and have had that power for almost 50 years. Yet we've never lifted a finger to provide inspiration and leadership.

We are like drug dealers when it comes to blacks - keep them in insular communities with bad schools and dangerous communities so they continue to be dependent upon us.

Let me tell you something Andy - the worst nightmare to the Democratic party is a black man who stays with his wife and kids, gets a good education and earns a nice living. Because then he doesn't need your phoney "help" - and sees it for what it is.

Go ahead Andy. Blame the Repugs all day long for the sad "fact" that Obama simply can't win because of racism.

Bottom line is deep down inside, most of the Democratic Power elite don't want a black any more than the Repugs.

And as to Hillary - she has as much or as little foreign policy experience as Obama - which is to say NOT MUCH.

Then again, Ronald Reagan - who I suppose you despise - had none either and he brought down the USSR. Now he wasn't my favorite by a long shot. But you have to give the man his due and see that the lack of hands on direct experience doesn't mean he can't do the job admirably.

Anonymous said...

Did you REALLY mean a VISCOUS onslaught?
(glutinous, gelatinous, thick, viscid, mucous, mucoid, mucilaginous, gummy, gluey, adhesive, tacky, adherent, treacly, syrupy; technical viscoelastic; informal gooey, gloppy.)

Anonymous said...

At 4:49 anonymous said:
"...Reagan brought down the USSR"

That is not correct. Reagan may have done many things, but HE did not bring an entire country down by himself (it est: Reagan administration). Reagan was simply the president during the collapse of the communist nation. Ian Bremmer refers to this as J Curve - i.e. when the political regime of a country changes radically, the economy of the country goes down the drain.
The USSR was screwed over by late 70s-early 80s when Andropov and the elite party members realized what serious economic hole they have dug themselves into. Perestroika ("Re-construction") was there to revitalize the economy with Gorbachev supporting the process AND relaxing some of the restrictions, hoping that fewer roadblocks would help to keep the economy going. Basically, the country was f-ed before Reagan even started campaigning for the GOP candidacy.
Today, most Russians, angered by the economic collapse experienced in the immediate years after the collapse of the union, passionately dispise Gorbachev for either letting the country crumble into pieces or for personally causing the demise of the country. Russian could easily hate Reagan, but instead they focus the hate on Gorbachev (not that they *like* Reagan anyway).
I'm not saying Reagan didn't help in the destruction of the USSR, my point is that he surely didn't bring the country down. Essentially, ANY American president, willing to have economic talks with Gorbachev, would have just as equally "brought down the USSR".

Anonymous said...

"If I were heading Obama's team, I'd be looking at Hillary's missives as boot camp;" - Ostroy

Wow. The naivete is shocking. If Camp Clinton were seriously talking POLICY issues THAT would be boot camp. What Hillary's "missives" are today are nothing less than substantial artillery rounds for the GOP's general election radio and TV spots.

Yikes Andy. Get a grip.