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January 29, 2008

Comments

OT: This might just be some sort of statistical outlier, but if not...

Everything you've said here is true.

And, the two leading contenders for Democratic candidate for President of the US are a woman and a black man. Both are eminently qualified, and both are running as members of the United States Senate.

Susan B Anthony and Frederick Douglass would, not doubt, shake their heads at how long it's taken, but I hope both would also be pleased.

Thanks -

hmmm...white...penis...white...penis???

I think penis will do wonders for civil public debate...

Unfortunately, there was nothing in that Long Island rag that comes as a surprise.

As an ex-resident of the Island of Long, I can vouch for the supply of ignorant racist yahoos, who are cleverly disguised as suburbanites.

This election will demonstrate the lowest-common-denominator effect... when people are scared they sink to the lowest level of fear - and there lives racism and sexism.

This is getting ugly - and it has by no means reached its nadir.

“Or I could just pick the candidate based on who I think would be best.”
-Michael, probably a college student

And back in the real world:

Whites voting for Obama in SC: 25%;
Blacks voting for Obama in SC: 80+%;
Hispanics voting for (/polling for) Obama in NV/CA: 25%

Modern tribal politics will lead us to nowhere other than bankruptcy and internal civil conflict. See LA for a preview (link).

Which is precisely why the Founding Fathers means-tested their electorate (lien free landowners). Only 12% of American Citizens were entitled to vote in 1789. It was a good 200-year run.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/CRIME/12/31/gangs.race.ap/index.html#cnnSTCText

Bill: and that has what, exactly, to do with disenfranchising people who don't own land? Likewise, the fact that in a three person race, Latinos voted 8 percentage points below a third for Obama shows what?

The Founding Fathers recognized that the bar for voting should be set at an achievable level, but not so low that people who couldn’t manage their own affairs would have a say in national affairs. Reasonably intelligent people could aspire to own land in 1789. As they can today. I don’t recall reading of any disenfranchment strife in the early days of the Republic. Other than the tax on whiskey.

Democracy in Plato’s day was 1.5% of the population. That system of government basically operated as a war-making oligarchy. 1.5% is too small.

Democracy in 2008 is one-person, one-vote. Pure democracy is the enemy of excellence, is driving excellence out, and our system of government will be bankrupt within a generation. Probably much quicker than that. Out unfunded liabilities are $70 trillion, growing by $3 trillion per year and accelerating. A dumb electorate enables leaders to make self-serving decisions, which we see on a daily basis.

The Founding Fathers had it right: around 12%. It could be made post-racial and post-feminist by instituting a simple colorblind / gender-neutral means test. But that won’t happen.

Instead, we’ll go broke and human nature will re-asset itself. In my opinion, the future human costs belong on the consciences of the nurturers.

OT: "This might just be some sort of statistical outlier"

Yup, it is:

-Connecticut 61 delegates Clinton 40%, Obama 40%
-California 441 delegates - Clinton 38%, Obama 33%
-New Jersey 127 delegates - Clinton 45%, Obama 27%
-New York 280 delegates - Clinton 51%, Obama 30%

Plus she's ahead in most of the other states too...

hilzoy: "But did CNN choose to highlight these issues? No: for them, the main storyline was black women being torn between voting their race and voting their gender, despite the fact that no actual South Carolina voter interviewed in the article suggested that she might decide how to vote on those grounds.

Well, an objective reading of the primary election results in South Carolina, and today in Florida, shows that black women as well as black men voted preponderantly along racial lines: approximately 80% in South Carolina and 70% in Florida chose the 'black' candidate over the white male and white female candidates.

On the policy issues you stated above --- health care, education and the economy -- there's not that much substantive difference between Clinton and Obama and Edwards, certainly not enough to explain the disproportionate number of votes for Obama as opposed to the others by blacks.

This is not surprising: when JFK ran for president about 70% of Catholics voted for him (as well as about 85% of Irish Catholics). In this election, although there will be exceptions to the rule, for black women race will trump gender by a wide margin. Isn't that obvious? If, for instance Obama was Caucasian (a white mother, and a white Kenyan father) do you think for one moment he'd be garnering the same kind of support from black woman?


Jay: it's hard to check the other polls you cite without links. But one interesting thing about the CT poll is that it's post-SC.

If those polls you posed are accurate, jay jerome, then the news is good for Obama: he's gaining fast! Just last week he was behind on Califfornia by nearly twenty. A couple days ago he ws behind by twelve.

It's too bad our words force us into a dichotomy of pre or post. We aren't inn a post-racism stage but the nature of race issue has changed substancially. For example fifty years ago racism was quite respectable. Now it iswn't. Fifty years ago racists weren't afraid to express themsleves because they saw their views as normative. now racists know very well that their views are not normative. That's why they hhave to hide behind excuses like just jokinng or blame the victim by saying the victim was being too opolitically correct. Also fifty years ago the phenomenon of white people overcompensating for fear of being or seeming to be racist was not a signnificant force in our coluture, but now it is. i can't prove it but i think thhe reason the media is so good to Obama is based on the fear of appearing racist.

So we are inn a post phase but we are in a trasistional phase, transistionning toward post.

wonkie: I completely agree. To be clear: I think we've made huge strides on both race and gender. I just think that talk about post-racial or post-feminist eras is premature.

I meant we AREN'T in a post phase! Just a transitional phase.

I wonder if anyone's gotten Bill O'Reilly's taken on the Independent's "lapse in judgment"...

About this transistional phase..some people that I hhave spoken to thinkthat Obama can't win because America is too racist. Mostly it's people of my generation (baby boom) who say this.

I disagree with this. I think that there are lots of people who aren't African America who have no issue with voting for a black person. I also think that there are non-African American who will vote for Obama because he is black. The hardcore racists will vote republican and would whether our candiate is black or not. I think that many non-African American people are pleasantly excited about the idea of a black President.

Cached">http://www.indyeastend.com/1editorialbody.lasso%3F-token.folder%3D2008-01-23%26-token.story%3D72453.113117%26-nothing&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca&client=firefox-a">Cached version of Yo Mama Bin Barack (teh Googles have long memories); more post-racial goodness from the Hamptons.

Oh, and what dnA said:

People of color are expected to vote their race and gender because that's what white men generally do. There's over two hundred years of historical precedent for it. Even when they're given an alternate choice, they tend to vote for the white guy. They just don't think about it because they don't consciously think about the fact that they're more comfortable voting for white men, because it's usually white men that are running.

Accusing others of voting their race or gender when historically, no one has done that more than white men--is just a backhanded way of questioning the qualifications of any woman or person of color who runs.

Um, what is it with people suddenly using the term "va-jay-jay"? Did baby talk somehow become the new hip thing?

Beats me. I always call it a hoo-hoo-dilly.

Bill:

[...] Which is precisely why the Founding Fathers means-tested their electorate (lien free landowners). Only 12% of American Citizens were entitled to vote in 1789. It was a good 200-year run.

[...]

The Founding Fathers recognized that the bar for voting should be set at an achievable level, but not so low that people who couldn’t manage their own affairs would have a say in national affairs.

[...]

Pure democracy is the enemy of excellence, is driving excellence out, and our system of government will be bankrupt within a generation. Probably much quicker than that. Out unfunded liabilities are $70 trillion, growing by $3 trillion per year and accelerating. A dumb electorate enables leaders to make self-serving decisions, which we see on a daily basis.

The Founding Fathers had it right: around 12%.

I'd like to thank bill for being perfectly straightforward about his preferences and beliefs.

There's a case to be made for straight out elitism, and while I sadly -- and perhaps pessimistically, so go ahead, and surprise me, bill! -- don't have confidence that bill will make the best argument for overt elite oligarchy as a ruling principle, it does eliminate the need for a lot of distracting queries to figure out where he stands. That's useful.

"People of color are expected to vote their race and gender because that's what white men generally do."

I'm hesitant to argue here, and it may be arrogant of me, and may be wrong, but I'm not sure this is a good, or at least the best, argument.

Obviously, that white men have voted for their own is correct. Obviously, there's the thorough history of bigoted white male votes.

But we recognize that as wrong.

And we recognize that two wrongs, etc.

I think what's essential is to then recognize what I've all my life referred to as the Mirror Fallacy: that comparing majority and minority positions is not to compare the same thing, no matter that they are in some sense "opposite."

They are, nonetheless, hardly identical positions.

And so actions taken by the minority do not have identical effects as those taken by the majority.

That's not, it must be clearly stated, some sort of free-floating license for claiming, or needing to defend against the claim, that therefore there are no moral or ethical or any other sort of restraints on a minority position.

It's merely to note the factual distinction in power.

If 98% of the population chose to enforce a certain style of dress, 2% of the population trying to enforce another style of dress wouldn't have a similar effect on overall society.

Thus, when a large majority in a society, be it gender based, or ethnic, or religious, or whathaveyou, votes to a large degree on that gender or ethnic or religious or whathaveyou basis, because they are a majority, they have the effect of winning.

When a small minority votes to a large degree on a similarly group basis, they don't have the effect of winning. They merely have the effect of lending minority support to a candidate who can't win in the race without the support of a bunch of the other groups.

These are, it seems to me, different things, and it seems to me that this is a better foundation for a better argument.

But it's late, and I'm medicated, and probably not very bright, so I'm perhaps not right.

Here's an article about the racist moron contingent that might play a significant role in November--

Link

In Bill's defence, I would say that there's very convincing evidence from history that allowing universal suffrage tends to lead to "bankruptcy and internal civil conflict".

Take, for example, Britain. Universal suffrage became law in 1928. Since then, of course, we've seen the tragedy of the Manchester Civil War, the genocide of the Geordies, the complete collapse of the British currency in 1968 to be replaced by a barter system based on sheep, the ethnocentric regime of Noddy Holder and the continuing pogroms in the West Country. All thanks to universal suffrage.

And this sorry story has been repeated across the world. Sweden is now little more than an icy desert, its once-prosperous population at the mercy of gangs of bandits. New Zealand, the first nation in the world to introduce universal suffrage, is now inhabited solely by Orcs. The death camps of Montreal continue their atrocities against the Quebecois. (Though, ironically, under federal law, the fascist slogans over the gates still have to be provided in both English and French.)

How easily it could all have been avoided!

There was something a little less mocking (but equally dismissive) in the New Orleans Black Data (an independent newspaper that, as far as I can tell, has no online presence). Basically, Obama was dismissed as "half-white" and was therefore out of touch with issues that might concern actual blacks.

That this was printed in New Orleans, which has in the past (and still is, most likely) been a sort of racial Cuisinart, is irony of the nondelicious sort.

But the oblique Star Trek reference was good for an unhumorous chuckle.

A slightly different spin. Bryan doesn’t see it being about race or gender:

And on the Democrat side, the choice is between a man who has been endorsed by the lawyers who are representing the terrorist detainees at Gitmo and a woman whose word is absolutely worthless. What a choice.

Who says that Republicans can’t be race/gender blind?

Gary's last comment, weary and medicated as it was by admission, is one we should all read and hang out with. One I agree with, for the most part, but I think it deserves a bit more than me-too.

OTOH, the Union Leader article he links to doesn’t pull any punches:

COURTING VOTERS in Iowa and New Hampshire, last August Sen. Hillary Clinton signed a pledge not to "campaign or participate" in the Michigan or Florida Democratic primaries. She participated in both primaries and is campaigning in Florida. Which proves, again, that Hillary Clinton is a liar.

Clinton kept her name on the Michigan ballot when others removed theirs, she campaigned this past weekend in Florida, and she is pushing to seat Michigan and Florida delegates at the Democratic National Convention. The party stripped those states of delegates as punishment for moving up their primary dates.

"I will try to persuade my delegates to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida," Clinton said last week, after the New Hampshire primaries and Iowa caucuses were safely over.

Clinton coldly and knowingly lied to New Hampshire and Iowa. Her promise was not a vague statement. It was a signed pledge with a clear and unequivocal meaning.

No beating around the bush there. ;)

Oh, shiyat. If I'd known she was going there, I would have registered Democrat.

I hope she fails, with extra-spicy blowback.

H'mmm

In SC, 80 per cent of blacks voted for the black candidate
76 per cent of whites voted for the white candidates.
So within the margin of error (3/4 per cent) people voted along racial lines. I"d have to say that in SC we are DEFINITELY not in the post racial era.
however, on the issues all three candidates are pretty close. (I know that there are differences on the Iraq war and Guantanamo, but for the average voter, these aren't big issues right now).
To be blunt, when three people are saying pretty much the same thing, then race and sex (SEX, not gender, saith the pedant) are an easy way to decide between them.
I think that for Obama his big job as he moves toward states where racial bloc voting is less of a feature, is to emphasize the differences between him and Hilary and tell the electorate why these differences are important enough that they shouldn't just take the easy way out of deciding elections based on appearance.

That's just a flat-out lie by the Union-Leader. Not that I expect an editorial in a Republican paper to be kind to Hillary Clinton, but it's simply false to say she campaigned in Florida.

OK, what happens now?

AP: Edwards ends presidential bid

Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voter's sympathies but never diverted his campaign, The Associated Press has learned.

The two-time White House candidate notified a close circle of senior advisers that he planned to make the announcement at a 1 p.m. EST event in New Orleans that had been billed as a speech on poverty, according to two of his advisers.

The decision came after Edwards lost the four states to hold nominating contests so far to rivals who stole the spotlight from the beginning - Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

Maybe it was just me, but that last link opened a jabbering set of audio that annoyed the hell out of me.

Here is a non-jabbering link.

[...] The two-time White House candidate notified a close circle of senior advisers that he planned to make the announcement at a 1 p.m. EST event in New Orleans that had been billed as a speech on poverty, according to two of his advisers. The decision came after Edwards lost the four states to hold nominating contests so far to rivals who stole the spotlight from the beginning -- Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

The former North Carolina senator will not immediately endorse either candidate in what is now a two-person race for the Democratic nomination, said one adviser, who spoke on a condition of anonymity in advance of the announcement.

Pools open immediately on how long "immediately" will last.

it's simply false to say she campaigned in Florida

Depends on what the meaning of “campaigned” is I guess.

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday she was going to Florida to assure Democrats that "their voices are heard" and to underscore her commitment to seeing the state's delegation seated at the national convention.

Though the Democratic presidential candidates largely have heeded the national party's request that they not campaign publicly in Florida, Clinton said it's time to pay attention to voters there who are showing heavy interest in Tuesday's primary. Early voting is under way and drawing strong interest, she said.

"Hundreds of thousands of people have already voted in Florida and I want them to know I will be there to be part of what they have tried to do to make sure their voices are heard," Clinton said in Memphis, Tenn., before heading for Florida.

Clinton worked overtime to deflect attention from her loss, hoping to claim credit for a strong showing in Florida when little was actually at stake. No delegate will be allocated, and none of the candidates have made an effort in the state. While there has been heavy activity in early voting largely driven by state issues. An issue on the ballot would lower property taxes, and it has Democrats and Republicans campaigning hard.

In addition, the state's Democratic Party has pushed the early voting issue hard, in part to seek some attention. Faced with a need to deflect Obama's momentum, Clinton was happy to help.

She arrived in Sarasota taking care to abide by the details of the agreement, because events in Sarasota and later in Miami were not open to the public.

With a wink at the deal, Clinton carefully staged her arrival so she left her airplane with palm trees in the background for photographers. Asked if she was happy to be in Florida, she said: "How could you not be. It is absolutely glorious. It is a perfect day here in Florida."

Sorry, Gary. No audio for me, but I've got NoScript for Firefox installed, which saves me a lot of jabber, clutter and intrusion.

And I say that "immediately" will expire before Super Tuesday. Friday morning?

"Sorry, Gary."

Sorry, back, also, for repeating most of the same story.

And, to be sure, there's a lot of cross-posting on the huge news of the moment.

On another topic, Mukasey says... what does he say?

What Mukasey said was torture to read, if ambiguous about torture as a subject.

Donald Johnson's NYT link above is the most depressing thing I've read all week. Sebastian, von and OCSteve, I'd be interested in your thoughts. It appears from that article that the three of you are not typical of disenchanted Republicans, at least not in the South, as concerns Obama. And it appears the "make people afraid" strategy continues to work.

And I say that "immediately" will expire before Super Tuesday. Friday morning?

It'll be whatever morning the Obama campaign - er, I mean, "whichever of the two campaigns gets Edwards' endorsement, and it could honestly be either of them, really" - needs to make sure they dominate the news cycle and doesn't have something lined up.

There's also the potential that Edwards might wait until after Super Tuesday to endorse. if Obama doesn't get knocked out of the race on Super Tuesday, Edwards pulls the trigger on him; if Hillary lands the punch, though, Edwards endorses her in the name of party unity.

Edwards is one of the two big, potentially game-changing endorsements left. The other is Gore. It'll be interesting to see how they line up in the next week.

Although Phil didn't address lil' ole me, I'll answer.

I'd say it's fairly common that most of the unhappy Republicans out there are almost reflexively against Obama. I don't know how common, but my wife is one of them. She does listen to talk radio, though, and so she's probably been snowed under a bit.

Me, I think I'd vote Obama against any of the remaining field, but if it came down to McCain vs. Clinton, I'd lean strongly in the McCain direction, McCain-Feingold notwithstanding.

I don't even think of you as an ex-Repub anymore, Slarti. You're sui generis.

ajay has already supplied a felicitous deconstruction of Bill ...

but let me add:

"I don't recall reading of any disenfranchisement strife in the early days of the Republic. Other than the tax on whiskey."

I blame the Scots for setting the precedent for our current mediocrity. The King warned us about them.

I knew things would really get out of hand when those palefaces dressed up like Indians and dumped the tea into Boston Harbor. Real Indians looked up from their own disenfranchisement strife a few miles to the West and took that as a peculiar but good sign that they might have a shot someday.
One can understand why they still might have reservations about that.

The black slave had his and her own impediments to enfranchisement (chains, whips, mean dogs, ownership papers), not to mention strife.

Thomas Jefferson was too busy enfranchising Sally Hemmings.

Women of course were so tightly corseted as to be shackled themselves. Abigail Adams often tried to harangue John about her disenfranchisement. She'd slam her cutlery down on the table and launch into a tirade but run out of breath half way through the word "disenfranchisement". John just waited her out.

Also Bill: "Instead we will go broke and human nature will REASSET itself."

That's either a fascinating spelling error or a great pun. I sense a land-grab coming on.

"Modern tribal politics will lead to nowhere except bankruptcy and internal civil conflict. See LA for a preview, etc".

See LA for a preview?

See the Civil War for the full movie and outtakes of the enfranchised slaughtering 400,000 of their fellow enfranchised (more or less) as the disenfranchised looked on in bemusement thinking to themselves "If that's how they act, tell us again how we drag down the stupidity quotient?"

That said, I agree with Bill in a way, but only in as much as I think stupidity is evenly distributed throughout the population. Universal sufferage just means all of it finds equal expression. ;)

What mattbastard said and linked.

The other day, NPR interviewed an older male Democrat in South Carolina about his voting preference. I quote as accurately as I remember: "I don't want to violate political correctness but as far as Obama goes, I don't think we're ready for that."

I have two things to say about THAT.

First, Richard Nixon's southern strategy obviously is still far from being fully implemented, and ....

.... despite undeniable and amazing strides forward in racial and sexual equality, there is an enormous residue of racism and sexism and homophobia building under the surface, pressurized from the effects of "political correctness."

We get the occassional geyser effect periodically (usually on talk radio), but the Clinton and Obama candidacies have increased the frequency, from all quarters. That Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo get only a few percentage points of the vote gives me no comfort. It's like that dome building under Yellowstone. What does it mean?

When private political discussions break out among my white male friends (all very fine people), there is an inevitable racist and/or sexual comment from somebody, I'm sorry to say. Same with my Mexican friends, I'm sorry to say.

Then there are those two lovely numbers, 9/11, which gave too many folks license to let it rip.

I've always believed the anger about political correctness, going back to the 1960s, with some exceptions is simply pent-up hatred of the Other, not an issue of free speech or stifled opinion, or an issue of courtesy run amok.

hilzoy: Jay: it's hard to check the other polls you cite without links. But one interesting thing about the CT poll is that it's post-SC.

It was the same Rasmussen site you provided (the other states were hyperlinked on the same page).
And the CT poll was conducted before the Florida primary, and her thrumping of Obama there no doubt will give Hillary a two or three point bump in the CT polls (and elsewhere) in the next few days.

For further consideration, here's some interesting exit poll data from the Florida primary, also taken after the SC primary.

John Thullen -- If I understand the political correctness part of your post, then yes, I agree. People make fancy arguments about how we need to enforce political correctness because hateful speech makes some people feel less safe and everyone has a "right" to feel safe (and so on). But PC enforcement doesn't make the underlying hatred go away, it just forces it underground to fester, where it likely becomes even more virulent (your Yellowstone dome analogy). Typical example of unintended consequences and the cure being worse than the disease...a lot like the effects of a certain brand of feminism that was being discussed in another thread.

Ajay, your second-to-last sentence nearly cost me my coffee, but I've perfected a lunge-and-slurp technique that retrieves it while still airborne.

John Thullen -- If I understand the political correctness part of your post, then yes, I agree. People make fancy arguments about how we need to enforce political correctness because hateful speech makes some people feel less safe and everyone has a "right" to feel safe (and so on). But PC enforcement doesn't make the underlying hatred go away, it just forces it underground to fester, where it likely becomes even more virulent (your Yellowstone dome analogy). Typical example of unintended consequences and the cure being worse than the disease...a lot like the effects of a certain brand of feminism that was being discussed in another thread.

I think it's the case that this would happen no matter what people do to combat racism. Overt behavior is, of course, verboten, and people would complain about that no matter what. If you speak out about attitudes, people would complain about thought control and political correctness. I'm not sure there's a perfect or even preferred strategy.

gwangung, if by "this would happen no matter what people do" you mean people would be unhappy about what other people were doing, then yes, of course. If you mean the Yellowstone dome phenomenon John Thullen described, then I disagree, because I think there are better and worse ways, or more accurately more and less effective ways, to "combat racism." Not only better and worse ways, but some ways that actually worsen the situation, rather than bettering it or at least leaving it unchanged, which is what I meant and what I think the "Yellowstone done" analogy implies.

I don't think there's a perfect strategy either, but I think some strategies *can* be preferred over others. That isn't to say they're easy to implement. They require humility, patience, respect for other people, and the ability to take the long view, for starters. But they do exist. I've been involved with some of them over the years, not in relation to racism but in relation to "gay rights" (so-called). (In the state where I live there were 6 gay-rights-related statewide referenda between 1995 and 2005 or so; plenty of opportunity to see a variety of approaches at work.) No magic bullets: quite the contrary. And therefore no sound-bite descriptions, either. But telling stories and listening to other people are part of the agenda, not bullying, browbeating, persuading, guilt-tripping, blaming, or otherwise trying to force other people to change their minds, or more accurately, their hearts.

ajay: bravo. (Or brava, depending.)

To have John Thullen regularly making me coat my keyboard with whatever caffeinated beverage I'm consuming at the time is a gift beyond all hope or expectation. To have two people who can do that on one little blog -- well, words fail.

JanieM:

"But PC enforcement doesn't make the underlying hatred go away ...."

Yes, but I don't think the PC enforcement cure (yes, it goes to silly lengths sometimes) is worse than the the disease. I think PC was originally conceived as a peaceful social movement designed to change people's thinking by introducing a certain amount of heightened courtesy (civilized people don't think or talk in racial and sexual generalizations; if you can't help thinking it, at least have the good grace to refrain from publishing books generalizing about IQ according to racial groups) into discourse as an alternative to a verbal, angry "shut up", a punch in the face, or burning the streets down.

The Democratic voter I quoted above thinks PC is merely a question of his speech being inconvenienced by niggling manners, when it is really a polite way of avoiding burning his house down, because it is pretty effing clear that he is making hiring decisions, renting decisions, zoning decisions, marrying decisions, and political decisions based on faulty, uncivilized thinking.

The NPR reporter should have advanced the conversation to "Shut up", at least, since politeness didn't work.

I think I'm pointing this out in that I've gotten the "anti-PC" reaction to all sorts of behavior, from rather innocent behavior to denials that lynching has racial overtones to defensive protests that the Peking Chinks was NOT a racial stereotype.

Yes, the tactical plans should be adjusted (and, for the most part, ratcheted down), but I think the overall strategy of not letting things go unremarked is still one I'd prefer to pursue.

Ha! Aunt B. on Edwards' departure:

[W]hite Democratic men will be in the unprecedented position, for the first time in American history, of choosing between their race and their gender!

"[W]hite Democratic men will be in the unprecedented position, for the first time in American history, of choosing between their race and their gender!"

Yes. Anyone who didn't observe this would be a complete idiot.

It doesn't take much to otherwise observe it.

Congratulations about observing it would be bizarre.

Gary: but congratulations for observing it in a nice, snarky way are always in order.

JanieM:

Just want to say, your methods are my preferred ones, as well.

But I like giving folks the choice of good cop/bad cop. ;)

Maybe the Democrat mentioned above arrived home after his 15 seconds of fame on NPR and was read the riot act by his granddaughter for being an incorrigible dope.

gwangung: "I think the overall strategy of not letting things go unremarked is still one I'd prefer to pursue."

I'm with you on that. Part of what I was thinking of is that there is a wide range of ways to respond so that things don't go unremarked. Part of what I meant by patience and the long view is that even if someone overtly denies that "Peking chinks" is a racial stereotype, that doesn't mean that your response might not have an effect over time. Most people (me included) have a hard time admitting wrongdoing when confronted with it, so it's not always easy to know whether such exchange has had any effect in the longer term or not, especially with strangers, with whom you will never see the aftermath. Someone who's defensive and will never admit having done anything objectionable may nevertheless think about it over time and make some adjustments, both on and under the surface. And the style of confronting the problem can make a difference in that longer-term response.

On the contrary, Gary, I'll wager that the majority of white males -- to which august species we both belong -- did not, in fact, make that observation, and that people who make it should be congratulated for pointing it out. It has nothing to do with idiocy, and everything to do with privilege.

Phil: I'd be interested in your thoughts.

I read the article and my first thought was that it was a caricature. The entire thing read like it was a NE liberal’s conception/stereotype of what it must be like south of the Mason Dixon line.

Buford … sitting at Bucky’s…
…voters stuttered…
Some white voters…
White men, in particular…

“You get Peloski up there and they say we’ve lost the war, and that just fuels our adversaries,” said Mr. Hickman, incorrectly pronouncing the name of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

How does the author know it was incorrect? I think maybe he was making a Polish joke. Might as well get another ethnic reference in here… Seriously though – as author/editor, do you a) correct the name, b) [sic], or c) use 8 more words to be sure everyone is clear that the rube mispronounced her name?

Now I have no doubt that racism is alive and well in parts of the South. I haven’t lived there for years, but even then it wasn’t generally that blatant and in your face, and I doubt that the entire region regressed since then. The entire article read like the author was really looking for a racist angle. Talk to enough people and you’ll find some good old boy who will offer up what you’re looking for.

It made me curious enough to check out the author, Adam Nossiter. I was surprised to see that Mr. Nossiter is a long time reporter, covering the south for many years, and especially NOLA the last few years. But reading some of his other articles it also struck me that many of them seemed to push an agenda concerning racism.

I ran across a few blog posts ranting about just that - bloggers taking issue with Nossiter interjecting race where they felt it had no basis. Spam filter won't allow the 4 links, but I'll keep them if someone is really interested.

Then I hit this and said, “Oh! THAT Adam Nossiter…”

In addition, Mr. Ford was trying to become the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction.

In the end, that barrier may have been too difficult to overcome in a state that is only 17 percent black, as some analysts suggested before the vote. As the scion of a politically influential family from Memphis, Mr. Ford was faced with overcoming the suspicions of rural whites skeptical about his race, his background and his city.

…the commercial played on Mr. Ford’s reputation as a man about town but also spoke to — or so critics charged — age-old white Southern fears of miscegenation..

The crowd in the room packed with Corker supporters told its own story: It was almost entirely white.

Anyway, this current article is just prepping the ground in the event Obama loses the nomination - it will be due to those racists in the south. The 2006 article above is a preview of what Nossiter’s post-loss article will look like.

Always with the p-word, Anarch.

Thullen, damn you to the inner circle of Hell for that. I wasn't drinking a carbonated beverage; I was eating popcorn. Popcorn hulls in the sinus cavity hurt more than you'd think.

Um, possibly Thullen should get an asbestos keyboard and heat-resistant monitor so he can continue his assault on our nastogastricities.

To expand on what OCSteve said, I've noticed that some southern rascals are perfectly content to sit around and feed the prejudices of one damned yankee or another until said prejudices do a Mr. Creosote in print.

Not saying that's what happened, just that I wouldn't be surprised if one or another anecdotals wasn't at least slightly insincere.

Slart: "southern rascals"

I can see that.

Buford, sitting in the shade in front of the general store with his retired buddies:

"Hey boys, don't look now but here comes that fancy-pants NPR reporter who thinks we're all a bunch of hicks 'round these parts."

"I've got an idea. Watch this and lemme do all the talking."

Then, after the fact, taking the reporter in with narrowed eyes to detect the desired result, and then plenty of wheezing into their Mountain Dews as the sucker skulks off to interview the mayor.

Always with the p-word, Anarch.

Actually, I never use the p-word because I think it's a crap (and often obscuring) descriptor. This is one of the rare exceptions.

About this transistional phase..some people that I hhave spoken to thinkthat Obama can't win because America is too racist. Mostly it's people of my generation (baby boom) who say this.

Trust me, there are plenty of people my generation who say this too. My take -- and this is purely based on my experience, mind -- has always been that most of modern American racism is like most of modern American homophobia: it's a thoughtless hatred of The Other that disintegrates, often rapidly, when forced to interact with real live people. The die-hard racists and homophobes are relatively rare. Which doesn't make it any better for those who run into them, of course, nor for those who are subject to the thoughtlessness, but it suggests hope for the future.

Whether we're there now, though, is another question entirely.

Gary:

I have to say, your response mystifies me. I took Aunt B's remark as a snarky jab at the same type of sloppy reporting that hilzoy's complaining about here (and, more to the point, the exact same sloppy report). Did you take it differently? Am I missing something here?

I'd say it's fairly common that most of the unhappy Republicans out there are almost reflexively against Obama.

Because he's a middle-of-the-road Democrat, or because "he's a Muslim"?

Interesting discussion on political correctness breaking (broke?) out above. I don't disagree with any of the points made, but I would tie it in to JanieM's observation made about the New York NOW chapter's press release here. My observation would be that any political issue in American life comes to be determined by issues of power, and, to turn a phrase around, when you have to drive a nail in, every tool is used like a hammer. That political correctness should end up in the service of power issues, and people use it either in a way that tries to ostracize people, or employ it as interpersonal jiu-jitsu to try and take their opponent down shouldn't really be a surprise, and it certainly shouldn't be taken as an indictment of what political correctness originally aimed to do.

It is rather funny that we should see a cite about the Muslim whispering without bothering to note that Democrats are doing much of the whispering. If Obama loses because of that, Democrats can't be so smug about racist Republicans.

"and it certainly shouldn't be taken as an indictment of what political correctness originally aimed to do."

But it might well be an indictment of what political correctness actually does in the real world.

As with torture, the aims aren't all of the story.

I'd suggest that confusing the intention and the goals with the actual implementation is the reason why the political correctness debate plays out as it does. Even more like the torture debate, sadly...

California gets closer. (Via Calitics.)

About this transistional phase

Transistional phase is largely a function of device architecture, and device size. Possibly doping levels, too, but I don't recall exactly.

That's all I know about transistional phase, these days. Once upon a time I was an aspiring integrated-circuit kind of guy, but I missed that boat. A quarter century ago, though, so things might have changed.

:p

"Um, what is it with people suddenly using the term "va-jay-jay"? Did baby talk somehow become the new hip thing?"

I know I am gonna take heat for this but...
New usage is from Oprah.
Yes, I saw her say it.

Cringe.

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