Posted January 15, 2008 | 10:25 AM (EST)
About the Democrats' race war: Let's assume, for the sake of discussion that the perceived slurs are inadvertent. I don't believe that, but let's assume.
Frankly that's even worse than if people are intentionally sneaking along the low road. Because these are highly-educated, highly sophisticated political leaders who should damn well know better.
Any fool SHOULD know that Hillary's comments would be construed as saying it took white man, Lyndon Johnson, to validate the sacrifices of the black Martin Luther King. She might not have meant that, but if she didn't then we have to question whether her self-described "35 years of experience" have really produced adequate sensitivity.
Furthermore, it's hard to fathom that a legendary word-parser like Bill Clinton is not going to be aware of how using the term "fairy tale" might leave the impression he's belittling the candidacy of an African-American.
It is well known that many wonder if a black man can really be elected in these United States, or whether the country is still too racist. It's astounding to me that a talented politician like former President Clinton wouldn't be aware of the impact his choice of words would have.
It's one thing if he wants to be petulant about news coverage. In fact, he may be right that we've been harder on his candidate, but he needs to sure to wag his finger in the right direction.
We can whine all we want about the constraints of political-correctness, but get over it folks. The oppression of minorities, and women, for that matter, are still realities. Our best hope is to look at the gender and race of the two leading Democratic candidates as sources of pride, not characteristics to disparage in the name of expedient, sleazy politics.
I'm not even going to discuss Robert Johnson and his absurd denial he wasn't trying to exploit Barack Obama's admission of youthful cocaine use. Just because he's African American doesn't give him any more right to take cheap shots that play into the hands of the bigots.
And to be an equal opportunity critic, we don't really need
Obama's wife out there exploiting the issue either. This is not about black people voting for her husband because he's one of them. It's for all of us to decide who is the right person to rescue our country.
For too long, ethnic considerations have had an inordinate influence on politics. What a shame it would be if the response to our sad history of discrimination was another divisive campaign.
It's high time that the people who know better should do better.