My whites are better than your whites

Has there ever been a political debate that has been oversimplfied more – if you want to dignify it with the word debate — than the punditocracy’s current Obama versus white voters storyline?

Barack Obama has a white working class problem, we’re told, except, of course, in Oregon, Wisconsin and a bunch of other places. But, according to that great oracle, Pat Buchanan, speaking on MSNBC last night, Oregon doesn’t count because it’s one of those weird latte drinking states.

Wisconsin also doesn’t count, I suppose, because eating a lot of cheese warps people’s minds.

Now, at least according to Buchanan, West Virginia and Kentucky do count, since, as we all know (or at least presume), they have the lowest per capita latte consumption in the western hemisphere.

And what better way to define “real Americans?”

All silliness aside, there’s no question Obama has an Appalachian problem. So does the entire Democratic Party, at least in terms of presidential elections. No Democrat is going to win West Virginia or Kentucky this year. The trending in both states is very much in the opposite direction. And there are a lot of other states neither Obama nor Clinton will win, including Kansas, where Obama smoked Clinton, and Texas, where Clinton beat Obama (in the primary).

The truth is that the Democratic Party is taking a chance this year with Obama. We’re betting that America is ready to elect an African American president. I believe we’ll win that bet, but it’s still only a bet. If we had chosen Hillary, we would have been making a different sort of bet, of course — one involving a female candidate. For what it’s worth, I think we probably would have won that bet as well, but it also would still have been only a bet.

The Democratic Party, for better or worse, passed on its one realistic chance for a “safe candidate” this year when it gave thumbs down to that (very good) white guy from North Carolina with the good hair and the well polished teeth.

Undoubtedly, Obama will lose some white votes based upon race that would have gone to, say, John Edwards, or even Hillary Clinton: on the other hand, Obama will likely pick up other votes — including many from new voters — that might not have fallen to a more traditional candidate due to other unique qualities he brings to the table.

And around and around the wheel will spin and where it will stop nobody knows.

That’s why they call it gambling — and democracy.

9 Responses to “My whites are better than your whites”

  1. hari seldon Says:

    It’s a sad commentary that it’s a “gamble” that Obama will win the general election. Unfortunately, there are too many fugitives from “Deliverance” who populate much of Kentucky, West Virginia, other Southern states and other rural areas of the country. What’s sad is that these are people who stand to gain the most from a Democratic president and a congress overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats.

    If we can win the presidency and a veto proof congress, my hope is we will see the highly civilized , humane course on which FDR’s and Lyndon Johnson’s domestic programs set us.

    The Republicans have spent the past 30 years trying to destroy these programs. If McCain wins this election, it will be due to the ignorance, fear and bigotry of people who are clueless that they’re voting against improving their own lives.

  2. Chuck Says:

    To quote OPUS, “is he a black guy with a white mother, or a white guy with a black father?”

  3. june61 Says:

    The democrats safe candidate is not so safe! I think they want to lose this election. Obama and his supporters are the ones that established race in this election cycle. Anyone white not voting for Obama is racist but all blacks voting for Obama is just fine! The democrats have lost all votes from my family. They have decided that Obama is their choice and they are welcome to the undefined political candidate from the state of Illinois. Politics there are very questionable and Obama is friends to all those questionable politicians! The rudeness and outright nastiness of Obama’s supporters to others is reason enough to leave the Democratic party. Many life long Democrats are moving on and away from this party and it isn’t just the uneducated and poor! Education and common sense gives one the ability to form their own opinions and not be dictated to by the mob rule. We are standing for freedom of choice and not the mob mentality!

  4. MikeH Says:

    june61 Says: We are standing for freedom of choice and not the mob mentality!

    June, from what you say and from the tone of your post, it sounds like you are part of an anti-Obama mob.

    Whether you like Obama or not, do you really think he is worse than McCain (aka McSame as Bush)?

  5. BOSTUNIV Says:

    To june61, to your comment (anyone white not voting for Obama is racist)
    give me the logic or math on the fact that blacks have voted for whites ever
    since they have been allowed to vote. whites have voted for whites ever since
    there has been voting.
    Now for the first time in there history in this democratic country…whites have the opportunity to vote what they feel (deep in their heart is the wise, logical ,sensible and intelligent thing to do with out prejudice and etc).
    On the other hand, Blacks have the opportunity to vote the same as a above and the candidate happens to be black.
    Now should we ding the blacks for a first time vote for a black man
    or should we ding the whites for purposely not voting for a candidate because of the color of his skin.
    By the way, after this election…the next time blacks vote…and they will vote. It will probably be for a white candidate…business as usual.
    I would like to commend the millions of whites who have support Senator Obama for the contents of his character and intelligence and not the color of his skin.
    You’re the ones who are feeling a warm breeze from Dr. King. That’s is what his whole legacy was about…Us loving and embracing each other for the contents of out character and not the color of our skin.
    the goodness and greatness of people comes in all colors and creeds.
    I would also like to thank these same whites for the open minds to recongnize Obama’s awesome academic credentials in the political world of science.
    This is why I voted for him…He is a brilliant minded ,honest, and real Politician with great character.
    And last but not least;thank you for not allowing the controlling media to throw you off the path of (what’s important).

  6. june61 Says:

    To the Obama supporters above: The reason to vote for a candidate is not because they are white, black. blue or purple! A vote should be for the person most able to serve this country! You talk of Obama’s character and intelligence, but so far all I’ve been able to see is someone that is capable of giving a good speech. He has done nothing since becoming a US Senator and he did nothing for Illinois. He owes a lot of his success to the corrupt friends and politicians that put him there. There a great many black people that are capable of leading this country, both men and women! They are much better qualified than Obama and have a record to show that! Don’t speak of Dr. King or any other great black leader, as I know what blacks have gone through and I know that prejudice exists! The accusations that come from Obama supporters continue, no matter, whether one is white or black. Each individual will answer for their own prejudice, I do not judge a person for their colors!

    From Steve: This is a moderated site, meaning we are building a community here — be it a fairly small one — as opposed to providing an open mike to all comers (there are plenty of open mikes out there in the Internet for those who want one). Bottom line: now that Obama has become the presumptive Democratic nominee, calls to vote for someone else in the general election generally will not be posted here. In this particular case, however, it seems fair to allow june61 to respond to the earlier comments.

    On a more substantive note, however (and I’m not speaking of june61 here, but to the broader issue), I feel the need to pile on a little myself. Because the truth is that it is insanity for any Clinton supporter to vote for John McCain over Barack Obama, or even to abstain from voting.

    Yes, that is your right as a citizen, but it’s equally my right to take you to task for it.

    One can’t care about ending the war in Iraq, protecting the environment, supporting equal rights for women and minorities and the like and still vote for George W. Bush’s third term. To do so defies logic. And to do such a thing based upon anger over the primaries is to put one’s personal feelings above the good of the country — not a pretty thing.

    Speaking as an Obama supporter, there was a time or two during the primaries when, angry myself, I found it difficult to imagine voting for Hillary. But I always knew that if she became the nominee in the end I would vote for her. The stakes are just too great right now to go on strike.

  7. alwayshope Says:

    This fight has sure brought out the crankiness in all of us. When the decision is finally final though, we will soon tire of being being mad at each other. We’ll have the moron commander uniter decider guy out there along with old McSame pushing those tired failed ideas, offering their brand of tough love and trying to scare everyone into hopelessness.

    It may be a bit of a gamble, but if not now….when? This is the time to do something historic and important. 82% of us say we’re on the wrong track, but those numbers only tell us that we remember who we are and where we want to go. They don’t tell the angry feelings of betrayal beneath that response. There should be three choices to that question….
    a. Right track
    b. Wrong track
    c. Handbasket
    The mood of the people will be reflected in their votes this fall. I’m not worried so much about November as I am about an October surprise.
    When these ruthless, reckless idiots realize the thumping they’re gonna get, well, who knows what they’ll do. bomb, bomb, ……….? Close the polls in democratic districts? yellow alert? I’m not worried about beating them, I’m worried about getting all the weasels out of their undisclosed locations.

  8. juliinjax Says:

    Alwayshope has spoken my fears about the Fall. The Repugs know they are going to lose, no matter the media spin and all the distractions that try to divide us. The Rethugs are now a wounded, cornered beast and will react as such.

    June61: Despite the spin to the contrary, Obama is one of the good guys, but I can understand the trepidation: He has built a movement with his campaign, and movements can seem cult-like and mob-driven. It gave me a slightly creepy feeling to hear thousands of people chanting OBAMA, OBAMA at one of his earlier rallies. But I have to disagree about the “corrupt Chicago politics” spin you are disseminating: think about the Ohio and Pennsylvania primaries and the Street Money issue. Obama’s campaign wouldn’t play that game, altough they had plenty of money. They just wanted to win CLEAN, and unfortunately lost by quite a bit. It is a different type of politics, it bypasses the established Party machinery. Different is often scary, but I don’t think you can support the argument that they are CORRUPT.

  9. Larkrise Says:

    The old saw: “Cutting off your nose to spite your face”, comes to mind when I read that there are those who will vote for McCain, or refuse to vote at all, if Obama is the nominee, and Hillary is not. Like Steve, I would vote for Clinton, if she were to be the nominee. This country and its people simply cannot survive four more corrupt years of Conservative, right-wing, extremist policies. The economy will not be able to withstand the ideology. Healthcare, education, the environment, civil rights, consumer safety, and on and on, will be damaged to the point that life will be unendurable. We are in the midst of a train-wreck, as it is. So much harm has already occurred, that turning it around and healing it, will take more than four years. No one single person, even a President, will be able to repair all of it. Standing back and pouting like babies is not a viable strategy for any voter, who desires change and a society that respects all of us, not just the wealthy. No one candidate is perfect. No one human being is perfect. The wise person knows that life is often about compromise, while keeping the greater good in mind. “My way or the highway” has not made us a better country nor a better people. Rigidty is a destructive trait. It is not a characteristic of strength, but is one of inner weakness. The pundits adore accenting the negative. It makes them feel powerful. They are all about getting attention. All voters needs to think for themselves. The pundits need to fill airtime. The rest of us need to survive.

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