Thursday, March 13, 2008

Give a Dog a Bad Name

This post by Josh Marshall over at TPM is just the latest in what Mr. Aimai and I call "blame the woman" or BTW for short, which is reaching what I hope will be its apotheosis before its eventual decline and fall. We just had Dr. Laura explaining to us that it was Mrs. Spitzer's fault that her husband was addicted to paying high priced whores for sex because if she had just been a better wife he would never have strayed. Now we learn that-"the Woman" (I think this should be said in a kind of Inner Sanctum tone of doom to get the right feel for it) is responsible for the sudden efflorescence of the charge that Obama's pastor says some very uncomfortably "black" things in recorded speeches. Actually, Obama himself apologized for Wright last week to a bunch of Jews saying he didn't always agree with his own pastor. And actually, of course, the whole subject of Pastor Wright, his daughter, and the very loose connection to Farrakhan was brought up by Tim Russert weeks ago at the debate. And actually it was a staple of right wing talk shows and, I believe, Scarborough's shtick some months ago. But according to Josh it's Hillary's fault.

If Obama's the nominee, we will see no end of this kind of stuff. And there's probably some small benefit of getting a preview. But the simple fact is that we wouldn't be seeing this stuff now if it weren't for the fact that this is the kind of campaign Hillary Clinton's campaign has decided to wage -- often directly and at other times indirectly by not reining it in in her supporters when it crops up on its own. Wright is news today because Ferraro's been news yesterday. Are her comments racist? That's a loaded, too copious, word. And there've been cases where the Clinton team has gotten a bum rap on these matters. What I do know, however, is that Clinton's campaign and her surrogates have injected the subject of Obama's race into this campaign too many times now for it to be credible to believe that it is anything but a conscious strategy.

Can someone explain to me how the latent and inevitable racism of all Americans is suddenly solely HRC's campaign's fault? If Obama were running against some other white candidate, or when Obama runs in the general, is it possible for one instant to think that these attacks on him and his church would never be made by the Republicans? The Southern Strategy since John Brown was to tar white liberals with the accusation that they were working with and for dangerous black radicals. The modern *republican strategy* since Nixon's Southern Strategy has been to accuse democrats as a party as being hostage to, or complicit with, a combination of dirty fucking hippies and dangerous black radicals (even if we, who remember some history, might remember those categories as being rather far apart in reality). The line of attack on an Obama like candidate was written down literally before he was born. If he's not officially christian he's a muslim, if he's officially christian he belongs to the "wrong sect," if he belongs to the right denomination his pastor is a problem. If his pastor isn't a problem his pastor's daughter is. Failing that there will *always* be another line of attack that is similar to this. In fact the "look at his pastor, he's a radical!" goes back *incredibly* far in American racist history and, of course, was used against Martin Luther King and every other prominent leader in the African American community. It just *slightly predates Mrs. Clinton's existence on this earth.*

You not only don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the windblows you *don't even have to have the evillest, wickedest, white bitch of all time running for president* for these slanders to happen to Obama.