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Liberal Identity Politics

 
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 11:53 am
It's getting pretty tough out there for Democrats.

From Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, in a column about the clash between Clinton and Obama supporters:

-Quoting a white female Clinton supporter- "A friend of mine, a black man, said to me, 'My ancestors came to this country in chains; I'm voting for Barack.' I told him, 'Well, my ancestors came here in chains and on their periods; I'm voting for Hillary.' "

So the white woman is comparing her experience to that of the black man? The black man is only voting for Obama because of race?

Obviously, many women are only voting for Clinton because of gender.

I look back at the racists and knuckledraggers, some as recent as a few years ago in my state, who would base their vote on race (in my state's case, for the white guy), as one of the most short sighted, narrowminded decisions one could make.

Maybe 'revenge voting' is what this is actually about?

For a group of people who pretend that they are openminded....
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,411 • Replies: 37
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 11:58 am
Although that final shot has all the ear-marks of a strawman, i nevertheless did note that i've never known of a conservative who pretended to be open-minded, so maybe you have a point.










































I doubt it, though.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 12:01 pm
Sure sounds a lot like what okie just posted in Nimh's graphs, numbers and polls topic.

Is okie talking to himself with a lone voice?
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 12:08 pm
BBB
If I was going to vote for a woman president for gender revenge reasons, I would have voted for Elizabeth Dole, when she was a Republican candidate. Since I didn't, that wasn't my motivation.

If I had wanted to vote for an African-American president for race revenge, I would have voted for Jessie Jackson, when he was a Democratic candidate. Since I didn't. that wasn't my motivation even though I admired him. I didn't vote for Jackson because I didn't believe he had the experience to be qualified for president.

I strongly admired John Edwards, but I didn't think he had the Senate experience required to be president.

My first choice for 2008 president was Senator Joe Biden, because he was the most experienced and qualified to be president. Hillary Clinton was my second choice. I voted for Senator Hillary Clinton because she is the best qualified to be president from day one in these difficult times.

If Senator Barack Obama becomes the Democratic presidential nominee, I will vote for him, not because he is an African-American and not because I think he is less qualified that Senator Clinton, but because he is a Democrat who will defeat the Republicans for the common good of America.

BBB
0 Replies
 
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 01:05 pm
Sorry about the 'pretend' remark; I had just finished a discussion about academic freedom on today's university campuses, and I guess it bled over. It wasn't appropriate here, and I apologize.

What is it with so many Democrats, though, when it comes to race and gender? I respect the replies posted here, yet so many Dems seem so intent on identity politics.

Even the two campaigns - as well as the pundits - seem to fall in line with racial and gender identity politics.

Being a student of history, I understand the need for this.

But I would think women would find the presidential campaign of someone like Hillary repugnant; gaining elective office solely on the coattails of a cheating, manipulative husband? (From her viewpoint? Or is this the ultimate revenge for a woman?)

And the rest of the party?

I know both candidates are very similar, but I'm hoping a couple of the AK2 resident libs can give it a shot...
0 Replies
 
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 01:28 pm
A Lone Voice wrote:
gaining elective office solely on the coattails of a cheating, manipulative husband?


"Solely"? I thought you were arguing that she was gaining elective office by benefiting from liberal identity politics?

In any event, almost all of my female Democratic friends object to Clinton for precisely this reason. Perhaps the situation is not as dire as it's being made out to be here?
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 01:33 pm
A lone voice
A lone voice wrote: "But I would think women would find the presidential campaign of someone like Hillary repugnant; gaining elective office solely on the coattails of a cheating, manipulative husband? (From her viewpoint? Or is this the ultimate revenge for a woman?)"

This is the fatal flaw in your theory. Hillary Clinton has established herself independently of her husband as one of the best respected senators in the congress and not on his "coattails." Your claim is insulting to all women, including me, who have not slept their way to the top and not depended on men for power. Hillary Clinton, a very independent woman, has risen to the top not using sex and has always not relied on male power to get her there.

BTW, you raised the gender and race issue yourself.

BBB
0 Replies
 
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 05:04 pm
Re: A lone voice
BBB,

If Barack Obama is elected president, Michelle Obama, by your reckoning, will be well qualified to be elected as a US senator from Illinois in about nine years. This, of course, would be based on the assumed work she would do as the first lady. Early into her second term she will be the best qualified candidate from the Democratic Party for president...

Wouldn't the ideal woman candidate be self made? I think of the two US senators from my state; although I don't always agree with their politics, both are self made women who don't owe their success to anyone.

If Hillary had never been first lady, would she be running for president? I guess this is the basis for my being puzzled by those women who support her, when their support is only based on gender, as it is for many women. And before you object; yes, many women are supporting Hill just because she is a woman. No other reason. Just as many bigots and racists used to support whites in races where there was a black candidate¬Ö

Re the identity politics, I'm merely repeating what is being said in most newspapers and newscasts, where we hear such drivel as "Clinton leads Obama 64 to 31 percent among white females in Ohio, while white men split evenly between the two. In Texas, Clinton leads with white women 50 to 45 percent while Obama leads with white men 58 to 37 percent" and "...white men are the only group shifting toward Obama. He has improved with white women and Hispanics."

This, by the way, is from the Huffington Post. Democrats have always been about identity politics, at least in my lifetime. You would disagree?

Now, identity politics seem to be hurting them.

Didn't anyone else think the woman quoted by Maureen O'Dowd in my original post was offensive? Comparing her experience to that of an African-American?

Or does she have a point?

Or is the point whoever gets to claim greater victim status wins?
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 11:05 pm
Setanta wrote:
Although that final shot has all the ear-marks of a strawman, i nevertheless did note that i've never known of a conservative who pretended to be open-minded, so maybe you have a point.


I doubt it, though.


Do you ever get tired of using "strawman?"

Before you get all excited and piddle on the rug, let's assume you've responded:

"Do you ever get tired of being a jackass?"

"Do you ever get tired of being wrong?"

"Do you ever get tired of being a f*cknut?"

And all of the many many other permutations you might consider.

It's a shame I have to make such a preemptive strike but you are so predictible and I don't want to you to think your soiling of the rug is in any way to be condoned.

First we need to get you into a calm, submissive state of mind then we can show love.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 09:55 am
Lone voice
A Lone Voice wrote: If Barack Obama is elected president, Michelle Obama, by your reckoning, will be well qualified to be elected as a US senator from Illinois in about nine years. This, of course, would be based on the assumed work she would do as the first lady. Early into her second term she will be the best qualified candidate from the Democratic Party for president...

Lone Voice, you don't seem to be able to avoid defeating your points.

No, Michelle Obama would not qualify to be president. Being only First Lady does not qualify her. You forgot that Hillary Clinton has been the Junior Sentator for New York for eight years in addition to being first lady of the U.S. for two terms as well as the state of Arkansas for eight terms.

BBB
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 10:36 am
Lone Voice

Could you define "identity politics" for us?

For example, would the term apply to american christians who believe that they, as a group, suffer oppression or marginalization within what they see as a secular society?

Would it apply to conservatives studying or teaching at a university where they believe that they, as a minority, are injustly treated by the liberal majority?

How about conservatives who hold that the media consistently demonstrates a bias against their views?
0 Replies
 
A Lone Voice
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 06:26 pm
Re: Lone voice
Quote from Lone Voice
Quote:
If Barack Obama is elected president, Michelle Obama, by your reckoning, will be well qualified to be elected as a US senator from Illinois in about nine years. This, of course, would be based on the assumed work she would do as the first lady. Early into her second term she will be the best qualified candidate from the Democratic Party for president...



BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:


Lone Voice, you don't seem to be able to avoid defeating your points.

No, Michelle Obama would not qualify to be president. Being only First Lady does not qualify her. You forgot that Hillary Clinton has been the Junior Sentator for New York for eight years in addition to being first lady of the U.S. for two terms as well as the state of Arkansas for eight terms.

BBB


Sorry I wasn't clear enough for you, BBB. When I made the hypothetical point about Michelle Obama being elected a senator from Illinois in about nine years, and then running for president "early into her second term," I thought I was making a pointed comparison to Hillary.

Obviously, I forgot about Hillary's work as first lady in Arkansas. Many people forget Laura Bush was first lady in Texas; it happens...

So BBB, tell me: Hillary is the best the Dems have as a female candidate? Or is she the best woman at this time? Or, is it the fact she is a woman, plain and simple, who happens to possess the same set of political beliefs?

What tremendous accomplishments has the junior senator from New York achieved?

Tell me how you are different than the redneck in my state who votes the white guy every time?

Blatham: You bring up an excellent point that the Dems do not hold a patent on Identity Politics, although it is most often used by them, as it commonly refers to race, gender, and sexual orientation. I think the Repubs, especially the evangelicals, saw the success of various groups who utilized IP since the '70s, and have since tried it on.

Again, I'm only pointing out what I've been seeing almost every day in the media. Even - especially - the liberal branch of the media, which has really examined 'who' is supporting Clinton vs Obama, breaking each primary down by race, gender, income, age...

You would disagree with this?

What do you think of the white woman comparing her experience with the black man in my original post? I found it pretty offensive, and have been trying to figure out how her ancestors were brought here in 'chains.'

It made for a witty sound bite, though...
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 10:36 pm
Quote:
Blatham: You bring up an excellent point that the Dems do not hold a patent on Identity Politics, although it is most often used by them, as it commonly refers to race, gender, and sexual orientation. I think the Repubs, especially the evangelicals, saw the success of various groups who utilized IP since the '70s, and have since tried it on.


About two weeks ago, Karl Rove and Hannity (on Fox's H and C) were discussing black voters supporting Obama. Hannity was suggesting there was something inappropriate in such support. Of course, we know Hannity wouldn't have suggested there was anything wrong if christians supported a candidate for his religious beliefs. Rove, being a lot smarter than Hannity, said, "Well, I understand african americans wanting to support one of their own."

There's not much in this dilemma that has an easy answer. We humans do identify ourselves as being part of some group or groups. Nationalism ("I'm proud to be an American") is an aspect of identity for many. Or being part of the judeo-christian cultural inheritance. Or being a Texan or "an Okie". Or being a soldier, etc etc. Those identification have obvious and inevitable consequences for our personal and group politics.

If we are fortunate, the group(s) in which we find ourselves counted (by birth or circumstance) are not marginalized or disadvantaged in some way that seriously effects our liberties and our opportunities. But if we aren't fortunate, and we (along with those like us) are disempowered or marginalized in some significant way, then activism and group solidarity is usually the only way to move towards equality of opportunity.

Before women got the vote in America in 1920, many women went to jail in that fight to gain equality. They were definitely engaged in identity politics and they definately had to be in order to get their right to vote.

Their identity politics did not create a gender division in the US. Their identity politics made existing gender divisions visible, loudly and unrelentingly, until that element of their minority and oppressed condition was remedied.

Martin Luther King did not create racism. He made the reality of it, and the injustice of it, and the unconstitutionality of it, more visible.

So, do we say identity politics is a bad thing? How can we? We can say that it causes turmoil in society but look at the havok that jesus stirred up.

Quote:
Again, I'm only pointing out what I've been seeing almost every day in the media. Even - especially - the liberal branch of the media, which has really examined 'who' is supporting Clinton vs Obama, breaking each primary down by race, gender, income, age...


The media is talking about this and certainly not just the mainstream media. The reasons they talk about it may vary but it's quite valid subject matter for discussion. We have a woman and an african american running for top office and it is the first time in US history for either. Why has it taken until now? How do women feel about this (or men)? How do African American's feel? How do they vote? These are questions both valid and interesting.

Quote:
What do you think of the white woman comparing her experience with the black man in my original post? I found it pretty offensive, and have been trying to figure out how her ancestors were brought here in 'chains.'


It was a joke, of course, but why should we disallow comparison of two different types of history and experience? If an Armenian compares a period of his peoples' history to the jewish holocaust, is he somehow stepping into territory which will do damage to everyone and which should therefore never be discussed or see the light of day?
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username
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 10:50 pm
Im not a woman, and I voted for Hillary in the MA primary. Is that "identity politics"?

I'm not black, and I could just as easily have voted for Obama, but I could only choose one. I'll vote for him gladly if he's the nominee. Is that "identity politics"?

Are the white males who vote for "John McCain practicing "identity politics" (well, yeah, I grant you they very likely are)?
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 12:05 am
username wrote:
Im not a woman, and I voted for Hillary in the MA primary. Is that "identity politics"?

I'm not black, and I could just as easily have voted for Obama, but I could only choose one. I'll vote for him gladly if he's the nominee. Is that "identity politics"?

Are the white males who vote for "John McCain practicing "identity politics" (well, yeah, I grant you they very likely are)?


It's entirely appropriate to question what this term might mean. It's also entirely permissable to inquire as to whether use of this term is, or can be, a political act in itself.

Lone Star doesn't mention it, but the term now is being used rather profligately in conservative rhetoric in relation to the Clinton and Obama candidacies. The suggestion is usually that there's something racist about african americans voting for an african american or that there's something sexist about women voting for a woman, in either case, voting that way in part because of a group identification with the candidate.

I don't grant such complaints any real credibility. Hannity will, for example, use the term as a derogation and then, in his next segment, go on to bemoan all the ways in which his fellow christians are being maltreated by the press or liberals or whatever. He'll suggest or even overtly recommend that his fellow christians act in political ways (write your congressman, don't buy product X, vote for Y, etc) in order to support this self-indentified group.

It's entirely acceptable for christians to support other christians or african americans to support african americans. Of course, in either case (and others) this can get nutty where folks get quite extremist and irrational.
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 08:41 am
Blatham
Blatham, Lone Voice's comments remind me of another tactic to muffle the people's voices. When people in the middle and lower classes complain about the abuses of them by the elite upper classes, they are challenged by the elite to not engage in "class warfare." The only time the elite throw the people some crumbs, it is to keep the people quiet so they can continue their class warfare against them. It often works---but not for long. People are revolting in a class warfare mood because the elites have brought it on themselves.

I have no inclination to engage in further debate with Lone Voice as it is obvious that he is one of those Clinton haters of the Right Wing and I would be talking to the wind. He is slick in his soft form of passive aggressiveness, but I recognize his style.

I happen to like Barack and Michelle Obama, I just don't think Barack is ready to be president. Now, Michelle, is a very interesting person that I hope will achieve her personal goals.

BBB
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 09:05 am
blatham wrote:
Could you define "identity politics" for us?


Well, speaking only for myself, i identity liberal virtues as a desire to coddle criminals; to mandate the teaching of a homosexual lifestyle in elementary schools; a desire for everyone to all just get along, especially with fundamentalist Muslim terrorists; to force women to undergo abortions upon the demand of their neighbors who are tired of the snotty little brats they already have; to fire white men so that they can be replaced by stupid women and lazy blacks and Latinos; and, finally, to take everyone's guns away, especially the police, and to disband the armed forces.

I think that just about covers it, but if i've forgotten anything, i hope others will point it out.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 09:10 am
Setanta
Setanta wrote:
blatham wrote:
Could you define "identity politics" for us?


Well, speaking only for myself, i identity liberal virtues as a desire to coddle criminals; to mandate the teaching of a homosexual lifestyle in elementary schools; a desire for everyone to all just get along, especially with fundamentalist Muslim terrorists; to force women to undergo abortions upon the demand of their neighbors who are tired of the snotty little brats they already have; to fire white men so that they can be replaced by stupid women and lazy blacks and Latinos; and, finally, to take everyone's guns away, especially the police, and to disband the armed forces.

I think that just about covers it, but if i've forgotten anything, i hope others will point it out.


Set, you forgot "to enforce Darwinism" and "adoring atheists."

BBB
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 11:00 am
BBB wrote:
Quote:
Blatham, Lone Voice's comments remind me of another tactic to muffle the people's voices. When people in the middle and lower classes complain about the abuses of them by the elite upper classes, they are challenged by the elite to not engage in "class warfare."


Yes, you've got it. It's an analogous instance of language being co-opted in order to control or frame the terms of discussion. The same analogy occured to me as I wrote the above. "Reverse racism" is another similar example.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Mar, 2008 11:13 am
Setanta wrote:
blatham wrote:
Could you define "identity politics" for us?


Well, speaking only for myself, i identity liberal virtues as a desire to coddle criminals; to mandate the teaching of a homosexual lifestyle in elementary schools; a desire for everyone to all just get along, especially with fundamentalist Muslim terrorists; to force women to undergo abortions upon the demand of their neighbors who are tired of the snotty little brats they already have; to fire white men so that they can be replaced by stupid women and lazy blacks and Latinos; and, finally, to take everyone's guns away, especially the police, and to disband the armed forces.

I think that just about covers it, but if i've forgotten anything, i hope others will point it out.


And there's that highway beginning in filthy Mexico and terminating in Canada, haven for frenchness, internationalism and fresh water that the US will need to liberate.

What's the problem? Look at a map of North America. You have the canadian border running side to side up top and then the mexican border running side to side down below and then you have that highway slicing up through the heart of america and that makes a great big letter "I". "I" for Identity politics. And almost no one understands this, the threat of it.
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