Sunday, May 04, 2008

Topic of May 2008: The Democratic Primary

I've been discussing the topic of the ongoing Democratic primary anyway, so I am going to make it official: May 2008 is going to be on that primary. Like the Energizer Bunny, the primary just keeps going and going and going.... No doubt both candidates – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, in case you didn't already know – are beyond tired of it. But not me. I find it endlessly fascinating to watch the party of political correctness go out of its way contorting itself trying to please both of their traditional "victim's groups" of blacks and feminists. Sooner or later, the axe is going to drop on one of the candidates, and either the blacks or feminists are going to go away empty-handed and most likely bitter – even more bitter, actually, than the religion and gun clinging voters of Pennsylvania (I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that one comment from Obama. Ask anyone who knows me in real life).

In truth, the nomination is Obama's to lose. In order for him to lose the nomination, he'd have to have SO wild, outrageous and colossal an implosion that even his famed eloquence couldn't talk himself out of it. I don't see that happening; especially when Clinton makes so many foolish and amateurish mistakes of her own – like her now-famous line of dodging sniper fire in Bosnia. Had Clinton been conducting herself like a pro – especially, had she handled her campaign like her husband handled his - she most likely would be doing better than she is now. Clinton is where she is only because of the power and influence that her and her husband have over the party. Without that, she would have fallen faster than the Dallas Mavericks did in this year's playoffs (can you tell that I'm still upset about that?).

While I chide Obama about his gun-clinging statement and how arrogant that sounded, Clinton has failed to “close the deal” on a nomination that she assumed was hers because she is arrogant. She couldn’t imagine it going to anyone else – especially an upstart like Obama.Despite the fact that Obama pretty much has the nomination locked up, I still think that the process should go along as it’s supposed to - even if it ends up at the convention floor. The whole point of having "super delegates" was precisely to make a decision such an event. Well, that moment is here, so let's not deprive them of it. It's their own petard that they're about to be hoisted by. It's their bed that they made, and now they must lie in it. They need to walk the walk. And other such metaphors.

Howard Dean is trying to force either the super delegates to vote or one of the candidates to drop out, but he should stop doing that. He should let the people decide by allowing all the primaries to have their say (including Florida and Michigan), and he should let the process play out as it has been written. For him to be making such statements makes it sound like he's trying to change the rules midstream so as to save face.

Here's the problem with the super delegate option: That was really meant for times in which there are two white dudes to decide between. Having to decide between two black dudes or two white women probably would be only a little more difficult. In a situation of deciding between a black dude and a white dude, most likely the nod would go to the black dude - especially if it's someone as eloquent as Obama. That might also be the decision if it were the case between a black woman and a white woman.

To understand the reasoning of selecting the black candidate over the white candidate, you'd have to understand the term "white liberal guilt". White liberals feel that "due to the oppression that the African American race had endured in American history, we owe it to them to give the black candidate the nomination as one small means of making up for that evil time in which African Americans were enslaved. Granted, this won't make up for the many decades that the U.S. had institutionalized slavery, but it's a good start." So thus, in the instance of choosing between a black and white dude or a black and white woman, "white liberal guilt" says that you select the black candidate.

However, in this election season, there's an additional wrinkle at play here, and it's an aspect of “white liberal guilt” called “while liberal male guilt”. That is, just like the country owes African Americans various means of making amends for this country’s past sins, such is also the case when it comes to women. Did you know that the black man actually got the right to vote before women? Blacks actually had very, very limited voting rights early on, and gained even more rights after the Emancipation Act in the 1860’s. Women didn’t get the right to vote until the 1920’s – six decades later!

That, plus the fact that we live in a paternalistic, male-dominated society means that we – that is, the country – owes womankind for all the abuse and mistreatment that they’ve endured over the course of American history. So if there were ever a time that a female candidate (well, actually a female Democratic candidate, since Elizabeth Dole tried to run some years ago – but for that other party) ran for office, then we should support that woman as one way of making up for the sins of the past. Granted, this won’t make up for the many decades that the U.S has had institutionalized sexism, but it’s a good start.

Okay, that’s all well and good. And indeed such an occurrence has happened. Actually, such occurrences have happened, for not only do we have a black candidate for-whom-we-owe-the-chance-to-run, but we also have a female candidate, for-whom-we-also-owe-the-chance-to-run. DAMN! Why did this have to happen both at the same time??

Thing is, both the Obama and Clinton camps are saying that they'd rather be judged on the issues rather than about something that they have no control over. In fact, the Democratic Party would also say that their race and gender doesn't matter. However, it does. When it is all said and done, there is virtually no difference in the views between Obama and Clinton - they're both very left-wing Democrats. In fact, all that really matters for ANY Democrat running is that they are of a very left-wing philosophy. Thus, all that is left to decide between the two candidates is whether they want to appease the black vote or the feminist vote. A decision worthy of Solomon, to be sure.

So thus, we are now waiting to see what the Dems end up doing. Lately, it's looked more like a matter of whose campaign will implode first rather than who is going to make the better candidate. I don't envy the position that either of them are in right now. Well, Tuesday may help clear things up, or they may make things worse. Only time will tell. I, for my part, hope Hillary wins both primaries, because I just made the Democratic primary my topic of the month, and I'd hate to end it so quickly! GO HILLARY!

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