Together We Will Get to the Bottom of This
Posted on May 24, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 53 Comments
I’ll be busy today doing various geek things, but while I’m away, I’ve left you a poll, touching on one of the great political questions of the day. Enjoy.
Hillary Clinton Will Stay in the Race Just in Case:
You know what I want? A pin that says “I Support Barack Hussein Obama”. Because, well, I do, and I don’t think his middle name should have ANY impact on that decision.
God, she looks psychotic in that picture! It’s perfect!
”It’s only waffer thin…”
So far, the results indicate one might want to get out of Portland. Jus’ sayin.
I want to know what Sen. Obama is thinking in that picture. Besides “Wait till she finds out I’m a time-traveling lizard man from Omega VII,” I mean.
Wait a minute, Obama is BLACK?
One of the things I love about the Internet: It was probably phenomenally easy to find a picture like that.
And once again Hillary Clinton astounds us all with her uncanny ability to mimic Stephen Merchant.
What an unflattering picture. I can just hear her saying: “…and your little dog, too!”
I picked the time-traveling lizard man, because that would be the one thing that might make Obama even cooler than he is now. ;)
Now, I am a fervent supporter of Senator Obama, and I have been quite fed up with Senator Clinton for a long time. I knew back when she kept her name on that Michigan ballot when most of the others removed theirs, that she might make something out of it later in the campaign. Well, I didn’t *know* that, but I distinctly remember having the thought “she wouldn’t do something slimy like that, would she?” It’s been all downhill from there, or downhill and through the sewer lines and straight into the septic system, even.
I do have a point of contention though, regarding the pictures of her, not just here but for the last few days on HuffPo, and I’m sure they’ve been elsewhere. It’s all just a bit over-the-top, IMO, to front-page such unflattering pictures. I mean, she’s really doing the work herself well enough that I just don’t think it’s necessary to dig up those ridiculous shots. But that’s just me I guess. I’m all for Schadenfreude Pie, but I can personally only tolerate tiny tiny tastes, any more and I just feel icky.
So, no more MSM for me this weekend, last night was enough hashing of her remarks to last me a good while.
Hey Mr Scalzi! Satire is a wonderful thing, but the number of times you use “feminism” as a foil for these (deserved) Hilary bashings is starting to wear a little thin.
On a more serious note, was feminism ever really a serious note in this race? Did we have 80% of women voting for a candidate who more represents their issues/experience? Germane Greer talking about the inherent misogyny in this or that candidate’s strategy? A number of candidates have set up feminists or women as a straw man in their mainly negative comments on Clinton, but that appears to be the only significant appearance of gender in this race (no pun intended.) I think the only thing we learned is that you can use Feminism as a rhetorical punching bag, even when it refuses to show up for the fight. Neither aspect of that scenario gives me a lot of comfort for the state of this country. This year you can blame a lot of it on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual candidates, so hopefully things are not as bad as they look.
Also, from a historical perspective, I find it a little disappointing that America’s first serious (running) black Presidential candidate is not a descendant of slaves or even of American free people of color. This is not a knock on Obama personally, but it kind of takes the edge off the Dream Accomplished message of his campaign for me.
Mmm, Obama covered in raspberry marshmallow creme.
Sorry, were we having a rational discourse here? I kinda got distracted.
(I’ll be in my bunk.)
Hmmm… to me it looks like she’s trying to do the Emperor Palpatine shoot-lightning-from-your-hands thing while Barack-as-Vader looks on blithely. As soon as we figure out who “Luke” is then we’ll know who Barack’s veep running mate will be.
Best poll questions I’ve seen in a while.
“Also, from a historical perspective, I find it a little disappointing that America’s first serious (running) black Presidential candidate is not a descendant of slaves or even of American free people of color. ”
What a stupid, stupid, stupid thing to say.
Amadou Diallou was an outright immigrant from Guinea, only in the US for 3 years. The New York police didn’t ask about his ancestry before they fired 41 shots at him.
Abner Louima is an immigrant from Haiti. The New York police didn’t plot out his family tree before they sodomized him with a plunger.
You’re disappointed that the white people didn’t get them all or something? Disappointed with the history that there were still some people of color NOT abused by slavery?
From a historical perspective, I’m pleased that people of color still find the U.S.A. a place worth living in, despite all that’s been done to make it not so.
“Satire is a wonderful thing, but the number of times you use ‘feminism’ as a foil for these (deserved) Hilary bashings is starting to wear a little thin.”
I’m not aware of using feminism as a foil. I am aware of Hillary Clinton decrying the role sexism has played in the campaign, which is why I used that particular example. While sexism is a feminist issue, it’s not wholly a feminist issue, nor is Clinton’s use of it wholly on grounded in feminism. It’s a fair target.
@10: “Also, from a historical perspective, I find it a little disappointing that America’s first serious (running) black Presidential candidate is not a descendant of slaves or even of American free people of color.”
I guess knowing that a descendant of US slaves without a white mother would never have gotten this far makes me marginally disappointed in America.
I might not have a problem with this … is Omega VII democratic?
Not to worry Tumbleweed, it’s completely a one lizard, one vote system there.
Florida and Michigan were right, see?
If you don’t hold your primary ‘way early, then the race is already over by the time you do. Their votes don’t really count. I don’t see how it matters much which way you do it – discount them because they were too early, or discount them because it’s already all over with.
At the library the other day, I overheard a youngish (well, to me) kid saying that he hated Hillary. I wanted to ask him when he’d met her, and what she’d done to him to make him hate her so.
Do you make the world better by holding and expressing such sentiments?
Someday soon, the Democratic convention will be held and this will all be over. Will you still even be on speaking terms by then? Are you creating breaches that cannot be healed?
“Oh, all that stuff I said about being a selfish, ugly bitch? (No, not Hilary. The entire feminist wing of the party!) You should just forget all that.”
One must never underestimate the Democratic talent for shooting themselves in the foot. Repeatedly. Gaze in awe at the self-destructiveness shown in the most recent Texas governor’s race. The winner was a republican that the majority voted against. Will we see it all happen again on the national stage?
Lutrawydra @ 10: Sexism has played a part in this campaign, but not in the way Hillary suggests. Several times when I have indicated my support for Obama, a woman standing nearby (not part of the conversation) has said something like, “WHY? Don’t you think a woman can be president?!” Certainly, I do. I just don’t want THIS woman. And I resent the idea that the only reason I don’t want this particular woman is because I am a sexist pig.
Seconded, only instead of a sexist pig I’m apparently a traitor to my gender.
I had high hopes for Hillary Clinton, HIGH hopes. And instead she has run a shoddy, half-baked campaign that absolutely cannot fathom its current troubles as being at all its own doing. The offensive flailing here at the endgame is just… topping on the sundae of FAIL.
Won’t someone please think of the infant badgers?
I think Scalzi’s reply vis-a-vis his satire is a fair defense.
With regard to the people who thought my comment on Obama was “stupid,” I quite clearly said this was not a comment on Obama as a person or as to his right to run for President on his own unique background. I also said “a little disappointing” not “totally outraged” or some such thing. If I had wanted to elaborate on this observation, which I did not because it was not really on point with this thread, I would have said that it was still a great symbolic development for the African American community and for our country as a whole, considering how many people, pro or anti Obama alike, are not familiar with his background and only see him as “the black guy.” I was making a sociological observation that it would have felt like more of a milestone if he was someone whose family history and personal experience was more similar to the majority of African Americans. I see that as an anti-racist statement because I am looking at Obama’s complete background, not just pigeon-holing him as “black” and also because I want to see our society do a better job in providing opportunity to the mainstream African American community. Honestly, even if you thought my comment was substantively dumb, it was a pretty far stretch to say I was “disappointed white people did not get them all.” If anything my comments are more in line with African American radicals who think Obama is not enough like them than with white supremacists, not that I particularly want to be associated with either. Anyway, I stand by my comment exactly as I wrote it.
WHERE did you get that spoon to stir the shit so welll….
As the saying goes…opinions are like assholes….
everybody has one…..
and most of them STINK…
and you still CAN’T FIX STUPID…
Now this is just funny….glad I found you.
Are you not in the land of FRUITS and NUTS…
why just fruits in the title??????
JJS/Wrenlet: my comments were not in defense of Hilary, who has run a lousy campaign. I did mention that I though the individual characteristics of these particular candidates might be more significant than gender/race issues. I was making an observation on the public discourse I have seen on new shows and blogs, where “feminists” seem to be more a boogie-woman of the commentators imagination than a real social force pushing for Hilary or against Obama. Frankly, I am glad that at least some women were pushing you as hard as the black community did on race. Not because it means Hilary should have won or did not get a fair shake, but because it means they were sticking up for what they saw as their interests. And to top it off, I think you gave them a fair and reasonable answer; so free debate wins.
You must have missed the news when Sen. Kennedy endorsed Obama, and the head of the New York chapter of NOW denounced it as a “betrayal.” Or when NARAL’s PAC endorsed Obama, and other representatives of the organization called it “an unconscionable slap in the face” and “disrespectful” of Hillary.
The “boogie-woman of feminism” is in the public discourse because her campaign and her supporters have put it there.
Wait a minute? Clinton is a girl?
JJS and Wrenlet,
You said it better than I could.
Wrenlet @29: I forgot that the head of one chapter of NOW said something and a minority of members of NARAL said something. CNN dragged out that story for weeks–damn 24 hour news cycle! Thanks for the much needed correction to my heedless remarks.
Are you all blind? She’s doing the Macarena and… and… stealing my name. Also that’s Vince Foster’s earing if I’m not mistaken.
John, I just want to thank you for using checkboxes rather than radio buttons. I wouldn’t have been able to accurately offer my considered opinion otherwise.
(Yes, of course I checked all 10.)
Leaving aside the question of whether it matters if Obama is or isn’t a “descendant of slaves,” it’s worth noting that we don’t know that he isn’t. It’s entirely possible that I am, and I’m as white-looking as anyone. The same is true of all modern “white” people with American ancestors dating back to before the Civil War, including Obama’s white mother. If you have such ancestors, unless you have a complete and certified record of them all and supernatural certainty about paternity at every step, you don’t really know. What we do know is that for hundreds of years, few things were lied about more frequently and comprehensively than (1) interracial sex and (2) paternity. They were certainly the Great Unspokens of Southern plantation life.
The point isn’t that Obama has or hasn’t got some special connection to the slavery experience. The point is that all family histories are inevitably tangled, messy, and splotched with “white lies.” Excessive identification with particular supposed “bloodlines” is kind of silly, when you get down to it.
Patrick, the genetic argument is a bit of a red herring. (You might also note I said “or even of American free people of color.” ) First, I did not make this an argument, on a political level, about whether Obama should be President or whether he was worthy of being counted as African American. He should be (over Hilary and McCain, in my opinion) and he is. The passing observation, which in retrospect I should have kept to myself, was directed at the group experience of the vast majority of African Americans in this country. I think it is a milestone for a black man to be seriously considered for the highest office in the land (though I think Colin Powell could have grasped that ring had he chosen 12 years earlier.) However, the fact that we had to wait for a relative outsider to accomplish this gives food for thought: how deep the success story go? Is this moment more a palliative for liberal white guilt than a reflection of significant progress for the rank and file? I realize that most white Presidents come from atypical, privileged backgrounds, but occasionally one does not. It would have meant a lot more for that to be the case for the first African American nominee.
Also, while I used the word “descendant”, most of my argument has been couched in terms of historical/cultural experience. Obama could have lots of American slave ancestors, but if he does not know about them and they don’t impinge on his consciousness, then it really does not matter as far as this goes. If I had said that Obama needed a particular “bloodline,” that would have indeed been a bit silly. If that was the impression I gave, then let me correct that. Obama can have any possible background that comports with qualifying constitutionally; if he is a good person for the job, then his background should not count in whether one votes for him or how one evaluates his individual accomplishments. However, if you want to situate him historically and culturally, then I think it is perfectly valid to discuss his ancestry and his life story, and to relate it structurally to the African American community as a whole. Family histories are convoluted, but they are still relevant. (For example, Madeline Albright discovered that she might be technically considered Jewish, when she lived most of her life without knowledge of this secret history. Should this change the internal narrative of her life experienced as a non-Jew? I would say not. Could someone use her case to highlight the phenomenon of covert “conversions” as a survival strategy? Certainly. The two viewpoints can quite reasonably co-exist, both for the external observer and for the affected individual’s revised sense of self as well.)
Dude, why does ANYONE in America play the feminist, black, sexist, et cetera cards anymore in elections???
If I hear one more person ask me if America is ready for a black President, I might hurt them!!!
As to why she’s still in it, well, Ron Paul is still in it on the Republican side…. why don’t you ask him??? He CLEARLY can’t win, yet is sticking to it!!!
Anny, from your lips to God’s ears….I am ready for the first disabled robot from Rigel 7 President if it can save us from drowning in our own ****.
Come to think of it I did vote for him in 2000, but he did not have enough tungsten to animate him in the debates. He needed tungsten, tungsten to win.
Insomnia is a *****.
Hmm, I have this feeling that the picture in question may have been photoshopped. Not a Hillary fan, but isn’t that a little unfair? (unless, of course, it hasn’t been photoshopped, in which case, what was she thinking???)
I had heard vague rumors during the support group meetings. That is why I had to take matters unto my own fingers.
When Barack was walking a bit too far from the FBI agents I used those fingers to grasp both his lapels and draw him very close. “We don’t need no stinking badgers.”
As the agents escorted me away without me having to use my feet I saw a change in his eyes.
Maybe I had saved a badger or maybe I had trusted only a vague rumor. My concern was only for the young ones, especially the infants.
Maybe it is only raw Chicago politics verses raw Southern politics.
At least the badger may be safe.
Delynn@40: There’s probably a fair chance that it didn’t look nearly so weird “live”. Taking a picture at just the right moment can make almost anyone look goofy.
Hillary is clearly trying to make the quite appropriate ‘awkward turtle’ gesture. She’s down with the young people of today, with the MySpace and the YouTube and the Playstation 360.
In that picture, Hillary looks a lot like Bilbo Baggins, in the scene at Rivendell where he sees The Ring on a chain around Frodo’s neck and starts to reach out to grab it.
Anny Mouse: “As to why she’s still in it, well, Ron Paul is still in it on the Republican side…. why don’t you ask him??? He CLEARLY can’t win, yet is sticking to it!!!”
Paul’s being in the race hasn’t prevented McCain from becoming the presumptive nominee, and acting accordingly.
Clinton would whine and moan if Obama did that. He has to dance around the fact that she can’t win.
It’s worth pointing out that the Democratic candidate in that race was a virtual cipher, whose sole claim to recognition was that he filed ethics charges against Tom DeLay. Of the other candidates, one was a joke (literally — and he had substantial support), one was a disgruntled Republican running on the “anyone is better than Perry” platform, and one was the incumbent who really didn’t have to do much more than let his opponents self-destruct.
I’m sorry he won, but I can’t say I’m surprised — and better him than either of the other two non-Dem options.
Please, for heaven’s sake, throw away the shovel and STOP DIGGING already.
Why is it when a woman aims for the White House, it’s only because she’s a woman and if a Black man aims for the White House, it’s an achievement just because he’s managed to mop up all that raspberry marshmallow creme, even though the wafer thin mint stuck in his throat and his lizard tail kept getting in the way of his personal love fest with a baby badger?
Of course, no one has even mentioned the fact that Hilary has just landed her first bunny hop live on tv – are you guy’s biased or what?
I don’t think women should worry that no female candidate will ever have a chance of becoming President because Hillary Clinton doesn’t. One day, in our lifetime, there will be a female President of the United States — it just won’t be her.
(Judging by the above photo, though, Hillary has a pretty good chance at running for Governor of Omega VII: “I am one of you! I know what it means to be betrayed and opposed by those pesky Earthlings!”)
I agree, and — please feel free to check the numbers on this — I believe right now we have more female governors and more female members of Congress than ever before. I can easily see a woman running well in, say, 2016.
Hillary Clinton is not the Last, Best Hope for Feminism.
Lol… blacky black blackness, indeed.
Obama WILL be caught sodomizing an undersized badger. Investigation will reveal it is a consenting adult badger of small stature. Both GOP and media will be vastly disappointed.
The badger will join the Obama campaign as a spokescritter and make a questionable speech. Obama will demand that no one criticize the badger.
Hillary Clinton Will Stay in the Race Just in Case:
– The Congress and Senate passes a new National Bizarro Day, during which everthing is reversed and losing candidates win