Thursday, June 05, 2008

Democrats' Dilemma: Poison in the Well

Dave Niewert says right-wing talking points have been swallowed by Democrats in the protracted contest between Obama and Clinton. I think he's right. I drank a little of that kool-aid myself and didn't recognize it til he pointed it out.

That's how right-wing crap works. It's not meant to advance or even partake of discourse; it's meant to end it. One can argue the worth of Hillary's policies or her voting record or her position on the war till the cows come home; but when she's reduced to being a bitch, that pretty much ends the discussion. And when it's as pervasive as it's become in the past decade, its effects are paralyzingly toxic.

And it's important to remember that the same holds true regarding right-wing attitudes about a black man like Obama winning the White House. The most polite versions of right-wing cant hold that Obama's not experienced enough to be president, but the underlying drumbeat of this meme has been all about his foreign-sounding name or his supposed Muslim ties or his "weakness" on national security ... about his being a black man.

So when you hear Hillary's supporters argue that American voters will not elect a black man president in 2008 -- and use that as a major reason to support their candidate instead -- they're just regurgitating old right-wing crap. Toxic right-wing crap.

Progressives need to wake up and realize they're being played and refuse to buy into toxic crap that they should not, must not, be about. At some point we need to stand back and take stock and realize that damage has been done and it needs repairing, both for the short and the long term.

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