Gene Lyons finds uncreative racists who spurn Obama surprisingly articulate and informed
Surprise, eh? Gene Lyons:
If nominated, Obama can’t possibly defeat Sen. John McCain without bringing Clinton voters to him. Recently, however, I’ve been hearing from many passionate Democrats who say they can’t and won’t vote for him in November, so I asked a few to explain why.
Mine is no scientific survey. Ranging from 26 to 86, my correspondents live in seven states, North, South and Midwest. They don’t know each other personally. None participates in politics except on a local, volunteer basis. I chose them because they’re unusually articulate.
Most think Obama a sure loser in the George McGovern, Michael Dukakis tradition. They believe he’s totally unqualified.
“I’ve voted for every Democrat from president to dog-catcher since 1952. That will end with Obama,” insists H. in Maine. “He won’t get 150 electoral votes, more than he deserves. The Democratic Party’s been teetering on the edge of extinction. Obama’s arrogance will kill it....
“ Just four years out of the state Senate. If he were white or female, his candidacy would be a joke. Imagine if he’d opted to run for vice president with Hillary. Mc-Cain would lose, Democrats would come close to 60 Senate seats and pick up 35 in the House. The Democratic left’s need to swoon after eight years of a moron, coupled with unbridled Clinton hatred, will produce a disaster for the party and country.”
It’s the Obama campaign’s cynical use of race beginning in South Carolina that’s the deal-breaker for others.
“He is making his way to Denver by dividing our party over race, which is maybe the most idiotic campaign tactic ever,” writes C. in Kansas. “This time the witch hunt is coming from our side. It’s heartbreaking. Obama supporters want you to think Bill and Hillary Clinton are lifelong members of the KKK. The audacity of hope campaign has had the audacity to go there.... This fall, they’ll try to make nice and talk unity, but the people they alienated in the most hateful way won’t be there. They deserve to lose for being so callous and childish.”
J. in Florida agrees: “Obama and his supporters’ use of the ‘race card’ against the Clintons (with the help of the in-the-tank media ) is sickening. Now we have vile, racist, crazed-for-power Hillary. Obama means to avoid the ‘divisiveness’ of the Clinton years by blaming it on them. That’s a despicable lie, and he knows it. The only way of avoiding divisiveness is to cave to the Republican agenda, which I believe he’s more than eager to do.”
“He and his supporters,“ J. adds, “have systematically sacrificed the central constituency of the Democratic Party—the poor and working class—on the altar of constituencies who look to politics for reaffirmation of their identity: college students and childish Sixties neo-libs. (The African American constituency makes sense, so no gripes there.)”
By abandoning the principle of universality in health insurance, most think Obama has guaranteed that meaningful reform cannot be achieved. Z. in Georgia adds that Obama’s vagueness on economic issues foretells disaster. “He has no perceptible position on the economy other than ‘We can do better. Yes, we can. Say it with me.’ I foresee broken campaign promises followed by belt-tightening austerity measures in a one-term presidency. In short, Jimmy Carter in a better-tailored sweater.” “ I view the Obama candidacy as a narcissistic endeavor by a mediocre politician dividing Democrats along social vs. economic progressive lines, ” J. insists. “He’s forcing a choice between winning in 2008 and possibly saving Roe vs. Wade and promoting gay marriage vs. fighting for the poor and working class. “ I’ve decided I won’t help Obama and his personality cult transform the Democratic Party into an organization that represents only the interests of rich, social liberals.”
What do I think? I suspect most will grudgingly return by November, but that non-African American working-class voters won’t.
Sure, it's a Broder-esque technique, and not, as Lyons himself admits, scientific. And so fucking what?
The Village is always wrong about everything. Lyons, during the years of the attempted coup by the Republicans that culminated in their impeachment attempt, was right. Along with very few others. So he's got a track record. Of course, in the age of the anti-Cassandra, that might not be a good thing, but a man can dream....
But what right have I to dreams? I'm a racist.
NOTE Anglachel has a great post on unity vs. legitimacy in this primary.