Posts tagged ‘Clinton’

JibJab Strikes Again

The folks at JibJab have done it again. What I love is that they are equal opportunity offenders. This clip hits everyone from Bush to Cheney to both Clintons, McCain and Obama.

Enjoy!

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

July 17, 2008 at 11:15 am 2 comments

Ageism, Racism and Sexism

It seems as though in this election season we have hit the trifecta of “ism’s”. There have been accusations of racism where Obama is concerned, sexism where Clinton is concerned and most recently ageism where McCain is concerned. The mistake we make is lumping these three together. I see them as distinctly different.

In a class by itself is racism. The racist often has no acquaintances of the “opposite” race. His or her racist beliefs are grounded in stereotypes, what they’ve seen on TV or some extrapolation from the behavior of a select few to the larger group. Barack Obama’s candidacy shows how little racism relates to reality. He does not match negative stereotypes of African Americans. He is more like the so-called average white person than many of the white folks who discount him based on race. Racism, especially in the context of this presidential election comes up utterly absurd.

Sexism is a different animal entirely. This is not to say that sexism is defensible. It is not. However most males have had a woman in their lives. Men form their attitudes about women not only based on stereotype but very much based on behavior of role models. How did their mother behave towards them? How did their father treat their mother? How do they get along with their wife, daughter or sister? Mike Barnicle, columnist for the Boston Herald, has himself in hot water because he said several months ago that Hillary reminds every man of his first wife at probate court. Was this a nice thing to say? Certainly not. But it stems from Hillary’s then shrill manner reminding Barnicle of women he knows. The ways in which men and women relate cut deep into the male psyche. Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was an emotional trigger for many men. The women in our lives have behaved in ways that serve as context for Clinton’s behavior. This form of sexism is based on behavioral experience and cannot be accurately compared to racism based on total ignorance. (It should be added that there are other forms of sexism that do compare with racism. Assumptions about women’s mental and physical capacity, or what role they should play in life are equally offensive and irrational as racist assumptions. But much of the so called sexism suffered by Hillary related to behavior and how that behavior fit into the context of how men relate to the women in their lives.)

Now we come to ageism, a whole other bag of fish. To say, based on a number, that any random individual is incapable of being a good presidential candidate is absurd. The trick with applying the age issue to McCain is that it fits. It is not ageism, it is the accurate recognition of the role age plays in McCain’s candidacy. We can put aside the fact that he shuffles when he walks and that he doesn’t cut the most convincing presidential figure. Heck, FDR was in a wheelchair. Where McCain’s age seems to play a more relevant role is in his beliefs. The man is stuck back in the 60′s. How he can make occupation of Iraq equivalent to occupation of Japan or Germany shows that he does not understand the current situation. He is applying old models to new circumstances and he does not see the mismatch. He is rightfully “confused” between Sunni and Shia because he does not recognize that the Iraq instability is not the old Korea/Germany model of communism/socialism. It is not a social problem, it is a religious problem. McCain does not get it.

Does this mean that any candidate of McCain’s age would be similarly unable to move into the 21st century? Of course not. Being old does not mean you can’t stay current. However, in McCain’s case I think it does. For McCain, his age, where he has been and what he has seen have limited his ability to be effective.

So, while we acknowledge and examine ageism, racism and sexism in this presidential race, let us not oversimplify the matter. They are not the same phenomenon, neither in their root causes nor in their application to the various candidates.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

June 13, 2008 at 1:13 pm 12 comments

Has Hillary Hit a New Low?

This, fresh off the press, Hillary made the following comment to a South Dakota newspaper today:

My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it.

Surely, the Senator from New York cannot be saying what I think she is saying. It is unfathomable that she would raise the specter of assassination as a justification to stay in the race. If she means what her words cryptically imply, then she most certainly cannot seriously be considered for the Vice President position on the ticket. As Vice President, she would simply be waiting for a very different kind of 3am phone call to fulfill her political ambitions.

While I have not been a fan of Senator Clinton, this latest slip of the lip greatly disappoints and shocks me. As manipulative and cunning as I felt she was, I never believed her capable of this.

It’s time for the super delegates to bring this race to an end and for Hillary to return to the Senate and attempt to repair what little will be left of her reputation.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

May 23, 2008 at 4:46 pm 2 comments

Why are You a Racist?

One alarming statistic out of the West Virginia primary was that some 21% of those polled said that race played a role in their voting decision and some 85% of that group voted for Hillary Clinton. Now, the immediate response of social conservatives is to ask why I am not disturbed by the 95+% of black voters that Barack Obama typically gets. Very simply, I do believe there is a difference between a large group of people voting for someone vs a large group of people voting against someone.  Most of the blacks who vote for Obama do not do so because they don’t want a white in the White House. The historical devotion of blacks to the Democratic party, which has always offered up white candidates, supports this. With Obama, they are voting for a black, not against a white. The same cannot be said for 17 or so % of the white folks who voted against Obama.

What troubles me much more than the numbers is our inability to dig underneath them. After every primary, we are left with the cold numbers and left to draw our own conclusions but do we ever really get any closer to a productive discussion about the possible racial issues behind the numbers? One of the things we hear a lot from the pundits is that it is a generational thing. The idea being that young folks today know better than to be racist. First, I think that it is somewhat of a myth. The old song from the musical South Pacific, “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught” still holds true today. As I look at some of the West Virginians featured on the evening news saying “I don’t want no more Husseins” or “we’ve had trouble with blacks”, I do think that perhaps they have younger relatives who are mortified to see their kin represented this way in the media. But there are lots of other young folk who know nothing better than the mental rot being fed to them by their older relatives. Their generation will carry racism into the future.

So it is not sufficient to blame our current racial divide on generational differences and implicitly suggest that we don’t need to do anything cos once all the old bigots die off, we’ll be a free nation. The current presidential race highlights how imperative it is to begin a serious national discussion on race. Some of the West Virginians quoted saying nonsense this week, are surely “God fearing” church going folks. What is their minister telling them every Sunday that leaves them so wary of blacks? What are the educational and government leaders telling them? Why are these people not being inundated with a positive message that makes their racism seem absurd to them?

What is special about this moment is that we can look at a leader who has such a complex racial background that he makes clear, by just existing, that we all have much more in common than we have apart. Barack Obama’s candidacy provides us with a ready excuse to have an open, productive and enriching conversation about our differences, and how those differences make us stronger. I suppose my great fear is that our country will pass up this opportunity. We will allow the ignorant to remain trapped in their ignorance. We will continue to make laws to change behavior but make no attempt to really change hearts and minds.

The time has come to not just stand pat on the statistical questions. After the pollster asks “Did race play a a role in your vote?”, the next question must be “why are you a racist?”

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

May 16, 2008 at 11:59 pm 24 comments

Obama’s Time to Get Down

Barack Obama has essentially sewn up the Democratic nomination and therefore, from my perspective, he can afford to be a bit daring.

The pundits and most everyone else in the mainstream media has written off Obama’s chances in West Virginia and Kentucky. They don’t fit his demographic. My advice to Barack: it’s time to get down. Actively campaign in West Virginia and Kentucky, and don’t do it on the economy; don’t do it on the war. Do it on race! Be bold and say the following to the voters of West Virginia and Kentucky:

“The media says that Hillary Clinton will win by a landslide in your state. They cite your economic situation, your education and yes, your race as the reasons you will not vote for me. Even Hillary says that I cannot win the white vote. So, I ask you, citizens of West Virginia and Kentucky, do you really want to be defined by the media? Are you content to have them paint you as hopeless bigots who are in the pocket of Hillary Clinton? I’ve been accused of being elitist. What could be more elitist than Hillary and the media taking your vote for granted? There’s no way you’ll vote for me because you are backward, cash poor, poorly educated white folks. Is that characterization alright with you? Don’t let the folks who want to pigeon hole you define you. Forget about my being “post racial” and transcendent. Show America that you are post racial and transcendent. Show the pundits that we can shake their preconceptions upside down and that we can change America.”

That’s right. I say, now that Obama truly has the momentum, let’s take the gloves off, put this racial stereotyping of voters on the table, and make it clear to West Virginia and Kentucky that they have been pegged as totally predictable. I think that is Barack’s best chance at keeping Hillary’s lead in these states to single digits.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

May 9, 2008 at 12:16 am 1 comment

An Unfortunate Metaphor

Earlier this week, Senator Hillary Clinton said that her daughter Chelsea would be at the Kentucky Derby placing a bet on the “only filly in the race”, Eight Belles. The parallel she was making between the Derby competitor and herself was quite obvious.

The outcome: Eight Belles came in second, broke both front ankles and had to be euthanized  right there on the track.

In a campaign where words matter, one can only be amused by Hillary’s choice of metaphor. (As a side note, the race was won by a horse named Big Brown. Comedy writers could not write anything better than this.)

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

May 3, 2008 at 8:06 pm 1 comment

What Pennsylvania Taught Our Children Last Night

My daughter is four years old so the most sophisticated comment she can make about the current Democratic primary race is, “did Obama win?” In a few years she will be able to understand more of what goes on in these races and I wonder what lessons she will take from their outcome.

Let’s look at the just concluded Pennsylvania primary.

Candidate A:

  1. Said that her Christian opponent was not a Muslim “as far as I know.”
  2. Agreed to the “rules of the game” when primary season began but now wishes to change the rules in any way that will win her victory.
  3. Has executive judgement that prompts her to hire a lead strategist who would engage in business practices that boldly contradict her stated platform. Rather than outright fire said strategist, she essentially demotes him and his poisonous influence can still be felt in her campaign.
  4. Years ago advised her then President husband that his response to unenthusiastic working class voters should be “screw ‘em”.
  5. Totally fabricated a story about being under “sniper fire” during a visit to Bosnia thereby trivializing every man and woman currently risking their lives in a war that should never have been authorized, a war she voted to approve.

Candidate B:

  1. Put aside politics as usual and refused to denounce a reverend respected in the religious community who made controversial comments that are protected by our most sacred doctrine, freedom of speech.
  2. Attempted to bring his country together and put his reverend’s comments in context by delivering the most important speech on race relations since Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech more than 40 years ago.
  3. Had the guts to tell an audience of supporters that the way Republicans win elections is to use wedge issues like gun control, religion, and immigration to distract voters from the real issues that affect their daily lives. He told his supporters that it was not sufficient to throw the usual talking points at these voters. These voters were falling for the Republican okeydoke because they had given up on anyone in Washington helping them with real issues like health care, employment and rising costs. They needed to know that they were being heard and understood.
  4. Consistently takes the high road in his campaign, most recently passing up an opportunity to rub his opponent’s nose in her own deceit during a presidential debate.

So, to whom did Pennsylvania give a 10 point margin of victory? Candidate A. What lessons did they teach our children last night?

  1. Lying is ok if you just call it a “misstatement”.
  2. Rules are for losers. To win, you have to make the rules fit your situation.
  3. One great way to win is to insinuate falsehoods about your opponent.
  4. Say whatever pleases your audience at the moment. You may get called on it but there will be no lasting consequences.

I can only hope that the good people of Guam, North Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia, Oregon, Kentucky, South Dakota, Puerto Rico and Montana think about what they are teaching their children before they go to the polls.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

April 23, 2008 at 12:54 pm 8 comments

Clinton Admits She is a Liar and Nobody Notices

It seems that all anyone can talk about today is the dubious journalistic integrity demonstrated by ABC’s Presidential Debate hosts, and the below par performance of Barack Obama.

What seems to have flown under the radar is the following quote from Hillary Clinton regarding her Bosnia comments:

On a couple of occasions in the last weeks I just said some things that weren’t in keeping with what I knew to be the case and what I had written about in my book.

Now maybe I’ve lost my grasp of the English language but the last time I checked, when you say something that you know not to be the case, you are … LYING. Up until last night, Hillary has said she misspoke or that she was tired. In Wednesday night’s debate she said unequivocally that she had lied. She then boldly suggested we should overlook it.

We are seeing here the height of hubris. “I will tell you to your face that I am a liar and guess what, you’re still going to vote for me.” Hillary has taken the same old Washington politics and brought it to a whole new and absurd level. I can only hope that Pennsylvania does not reward her for it.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

April 18, 2008 at 12:35 am 4 comments

The Bitter Speech – An Eyewitness Account

It is amazing to me how we take sound bites and dissect them ad nausueam, divorcing them from any context and thereby distorting their meaning. Such has been the case with Senator Barack Obama’s now infamous comments made at a fund raiser in San Francisco two weekends ago.

Continue Reading April 14, 2008 at 11:16 pm 1 comment

Honesty Distorted as Elitism

Comments that Barack Obama made in San Fransisco about folks in Pennsylvania and Ohio have been pounced upon by Hillary Clinton and John McCain’s campaigns.

I hope that the citizens of PA and OH don’t fall for this tactic. …

Continue Reading April 11, 2008 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

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