Skip to main content

Divisive Politics

Leigh Johnson makes a very good point that to the extent that Hillary Clinton’s continuation in the race for the Democratic nomination calls our attention to the struggle of women in American society, she should continue. 

However, it is increasingly difficult to stomach the old style, divisive politics she continues to practice.  I have already talked about her recent suggestion that the US might need to “totally obliterate” Iran if it used nuclear weapons on Isreal and her repeated use of Rovean fear tactics, but today she has taken things a step further by turning to racial stereotypes in order to conjure up votes.
In summarizing an Associated Press article (perhaps this one?) about who had won what demographics in North Carolina and Indiana, Clinton told USA Today that the AP article:

“found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.  There is a pattern emerging here.”

Although the New York Times reports that she says the comments were not meant to be divisive, clearly, her suggestion that “working,” indeed, “hard-working,” Americans, are white Americans draws upon the longstanding stereotype of African-Americans as lazy. (Here too her comments are in the spirit of those of Karl Rove.)
When you add these comments to those of Paul Begala on CNN in heated debate with Donna Brazile in which he says that you can’t win with “eggheads and African-Americans,” it is difficult to see anything positive from the sort of politics the Clinton campaign is pursuing.
If I didn’t know better, I might be tempted to say that she is clinging to racial stereotypes out of bitterness … but perhaps it is better simply to say that it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, one I would swallow if she somehow became the nominee, but one I hope (and increasingly think I will be able) to avoid.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.