Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is Hillary a Racist?

People have been writing a lot about Hillary Clinton's support among racist voters in Appalachia recently. My contention is that she is simply a political opportunist who needs whatever edge she can get to steal the nomination from Barack Obama. That's politics. It's ugly but when the most powerful job in the world is at stake, it gets ugly. The thing is, Clinton worked her entire life to uplift the condition of African-Americans by many accounts, and I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I abhor the racists that you can see in the clip embedded in my last post, and I think she should come out to reject their votes on principle, but it is what it is.

She's started to repeat certain talking points about her support from "hard working voters, white voters" and it's raised some eyebrows around the US. The media has been giving it to her pretty good over those remarks. So what do we make of these remarks:

Why does the gas station owner have to be Indian, and why does he have to have the name of the single greatest populist leader of the 20th century? Isn't that racist, or dangerously close to it? In fairness, I've been known to make fun of Apu on The Simpsons over the years. A good friend brought it to my attention that there may be something racist in that impression, or at the very least racially insensitive. I've done my best to change my ways, and hope that I'm a far more mature and sensitive person at 37 than I was at 27 or 17. Hillary Clinton HAS TO know better than this. It's a shame that she's sunk this low.


mike's spot said...

Hey Plugh- here is some totally non-Hillary related news.

Obama on memorial day:

Obama also spoke about his uncle, who was part of the American brigade that helped to liberate Auschwitz.

from CBS news:

now unless I've gotten significantly dumber- Auschwitz which I think is near Berkinau, is in Poland, which was liberated by the Russians, NOT the Americans.

Small nitpick- I just don't like bullshit.

A quick foray into my google-foo reveals that the majority of death camps were liberated by the Russians, then the 2nd place falls to the US and the Brits liberated fewer still.

we did Buchenwald and Dachau both pretty big ones. So now I'm left to wonder- is Obama A- confused about where his grandfather was stationed
B- confused what side his grandfather fought for
C- Thinks there is more impact by saying Auschwitz over whichever camp his grandfather was really involved in liberating
D- (probably most likely) it was a stupid mistake
or E- is a liar.

why do all politicians think we [voters] are stupid?

Mike Plugh said...

Truth be told, I don't know anything about Obama's great-uncle. I don't know if his campaign decided to make up a lie, although in this climate I'd think they'd know better than that. I think they've shown themselves to be some of the best "on message" campaign organizers we've seen in a generation.

I'd tend to think it was a simple mistake, but I don't really know.

In his autobiograpy "Dreams from my Father" Obama writes about his grandparents, "The eloped just in time for the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and my grandfather enlisted. And at this point the story quickens in my mind like one of those old movies that show a calendar's pages peeled back faster and faster by invisible hands, the headlines of Hitler and Churchill and Roosevelt and Normandy spinning wildly to the drone of bombing attacks, the voice of Edward R. Murrow and the BBC. I watch as my mother is born at the army base where Gramps is stationed; my grandmother is Rosie the Riveter, working on a bomber assembly line; my grandfather sloshes around in the mud of France, part of Patton's army."

He talks about how his grandfather never saw combat, and so on. I think he's clear about his grandfather's service, not his great-uncle's. That much I'm sure of. He wouldn't BS about his grandfather because it's been out there for so long as a part of his record.

If I had to guess, he doesn't know his WWII history as well as he should and dropped in a subconscious cue to the only concentration camp that he has readily accessible in his memory banks. The truth is that his great-uncle was a member of the squad that helped to liberate Berkinau, so it hardly seems a newsworthy flub except that it happened on Memorial Day weekend.

The last thing about this is, it's not at all issue related and as such has no bearing on his ability to be president. Making a mistake like that hardly seems worthy of scrutiny in light of the real, issue-oriented flubs that McCain has made.

1. Sunnis or Shiites?
2. Iran training Al Qaeda? (ask Joe Lieberman)
3. Plan for alleviating the mortgage crisis? Turn to Phil Gramm, his chief economic advisor and active lobbyist for UBS, the Swiss bank $37 million down after engaging in mortgage trading.

And so on....under the radar John McCain's campaign makes Hillary's look like a tightly run ship. It's all coming out now though. Check out my most recent post.

mike's spot said...

I'm swinging over to your McCain post now.

You all settled across the couple ponds?