[Guest post by DRJ]
The NY Times’ Politics Blog The Caucus has surveyed the internet regarding the Democratic race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. There seem to be as many opinions as there are blogs. The one that most interested me was Nora Ephron’s 4/20/08 entry at the Huffington Post (emphasis supplied):
“Here’s another thing I don’t like about this primary: now that there are only two Democratic candidates, it’s suddenly horribly absolutely crystal-clear that this is an election about gender and race. This may have always been true, but weeks ago it wasn’t so obvious — once upon a time there were eight candidates, and although six of them withered away, their presence in the campaign managed to obscure things. Even around the time of Ohio, when there were primarily three candidates, the outlines were murky, because Edwards was still in there, picking up votes from all sectors.
But now there are two and we’re facing Pennsylvania and whom are we kidding? This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men. How ironic is this? After all this time, after all these stupid articles about how powerless white men are and how they can’t even get into college because of overachieving women and affirmative action and mean lady teachers who expected them to sit still in the third grade even though they were all suffering from terminal attention deficit disorder — after all this, they turn out (surprise!) to have all the power. (As they always did, by the way; I hope you didn’t believe any of those articles.)
To put it bluntly, the next president will be elected by them: the outcome of Tuesday’s primary will depend on whether they go for Hillary or Obama, and the outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain’s temper will be a problem, don’t bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what’s more, they think it’s normal.“
That’s the gist of it, although Ephron slings still more insults at white men in the final paragraphs when she opines that for Hillary to win, she has to convince Democrats that she can attract more “racist white male voters” than Obama can.
I’m not generally into identity politics. One reason I like the internet is that you can’t tell someone’s gender, race or religion unless they tell you and even then you don’t know if it’s true. It’s easier to understand the real person from the written word because writing forces us to get to the core of who we are and what we believe. In this case, Ephron’s writings obviously expose her as someone who has no respect for white men. She comes across as angry and bitter, some of the same qualities she sees and denigrates in white men.
I agree with those who view the Democratic Presidential race as good news for the Republican Party. Clinton and Obama are beating each other up more effectively than Republicans could do at this point in the election cycle. Ultimately, I expect many Democrats will come together behind a nominee but, for now, they aren’t a gathering of true believers. They seem to have a fair share of bitter, angry, and disillusioned believers.
UPDATE 1: Tom Hayden and his peaceful, organic wife join Ephron’s club.
UPDATE 2 – ABC News jumps on the bitter bandwagon: “Dems’ Bitter Path to the Bitter End”