Thursday, March 13, 2008

Fuck Geraldine Ferraro. I once admired that woman a lot. In many ways, I suppose I still do, and someday I suppose I may again. right now I'm annoyed with her. Oh, and Mississippi, I annoyed with Mississippi too.

Mississippi I celebrate, because Mississippi went the way I want the nation to go and voted Obama. Or at least black Mississippi democrats did. And I guess that's what makes me sick about the whole thing. Not that black voters voted for Obama explicitly. But that the whole thing is so damn racially divided, as exemplified in Mississippi. But then again, to run all of the stereotypes to their extreme that I, as a northerner (who barely considers herself American at times,) have about the south...what else did I expect from Mississippi? Mostly from whites in Mississippi. And if I were honest, I would admit that it is the fact that white folk are aligning along racial lines that is pissing me off. Especially southern white folk, because that is just too fucking cliche and stereotypical.

But also because, for some reason, I have more empathy and understanding for a black person wanting to see a black person as president than I do for a woman wanting to see a woman in office.

I don't know why. Maybe it's just that, if you looked back 150 years into the past--though both would seem highly just seems far more obvious that women, namely white women, had far more hope of ever becoming president of the United States, than a black guy. Does that make the fact that, in 2008, it is still such a historic and monumental occurrence to have a black man and woman as the contenders for democratic nomination right? No. It pisses me off that it is so historic and monumental. It pisses me off that we have not yet made enough progress so as to not even notice the fact. I suppose that is why is pisses me off all the more that people are paying so much attention to the fact the he is black and she is a chick.

Even still, somehow I understanding black people going with the black candidate without regard to much else, far more than I understand white people going with the white candidate (even if she is a woman.) Just because as a population with a shared history, 150 years ago this would have been more impossible for any group of black Americans than it would have been for all the white American women to hope for. Would my mind be changed if were talking about a black man and a black woman? Would I swing toward the one who was black and a woman? I have no idea. I hope I would still be more swayed by whichever I happened to believe in more, but I don't know. Maybe I would be swayed by what appears to me now to be a superficial and annoying thing to focus on.

Am I abandoning my race AND my gender now? Some people would have you believe so. Screw the good, overly PC liberal, overly PC anthropologist that I am, I don't believe in race anyway. And screw gender too.

But, I digress....

Back to my first point. First Ferraro pissed me off last week when she was on Talk of the Nation screaming like a madwoman at Neal Conan at every turn, interrupting him and then demanding that the will of the people was only appropriate now, in this stage of the game-- But how dare we tell them (the democratic party) who to choose as the nominee during the convention. She was really insisting that in no way shape or form is it the responsibility to follow the will of the people. This was her attempting to defend super delegates who might go against the popular vote. I think she has completely forgotten the reason the parties (ostensibly) exist. It is to represent the people, the masses contained within their party.

Look, I understood and I agreed when she pointed out that Hillary's people will be just as disappointed at her losing the nomination as would Obama's. She had a very real, and very poignant point. And yes, this race is very contentious and very close. And even though I'm not in the Hillary camp at the moment, and can't imagine the disappointment I will feel if Obama loses, I feel for her campaign for that very reason. They are just as fired up and as passionate as are we supporters of Obama.

But to suggest that the party, the party leaders do not owe it to their constituents to follow the will of the majority in this process because they are wiser than we. That is just... absurd. And selfish. And conceited. Suddenly she has forgotten 2000, and the supreme court, and the millions of disappointed and disenfranchised voters. Unfortunately, in an election, there will always somebody disappointed and somebody thrilled. In 2000 the democrats were disappointed, and dejected. The republicans were thrilled.

Ferraro was quick to point out that Hillary's people would face disappointment at a loss no differently that Obama's people in a loss. But does that mean it is up to those who view themselves as wiser than the majority to make that decision? If the super delegates go against the majority, to the chagrin of Obama supporters and the thrill of Hillary supporters, I can't possibly see how that is any different than the same sort of choices against the majority decisions made by the supreme court in 2000. How can people, how can democrats have lost sight of that already, just because this race is so contentious?

I guess that is easy for me to say though, given that I'm in, what appears to be at least, the majority on this one...

Did I mention the way she was yelling at and interrupting Neal Conan like a spoiled child not getting her way? I was embarrassed for her. Especially since she was reminding me a whole helluva lot of Ted Stevens as she was doing it. And I KNOW she would cringe at the thought of having any sort of comparison drawn between herself and Ted Stevens.

But, I digressed again.

The second reason she pisses me off is because she really thinks Obama is winning because he is black. And her wanting to hold that opinion, and not hurt Hillary, is enough for her to resign from the Clinton campaign.

He is black (or, half black, if you want to be technical). That might be ONE of the reasons he is winning, but it is not the sole reason he is winning. He is winning because he is likable and Hillary, much less so. He is winning because he is inspirational and Hillary, much less so. He is winning, because his policy decisions and actions and words are just different enough to make him align more closely with more people in this party. He is winning because he is the new guy and we are tired of the old guard. He is winning because we desire and need a new leader, and we need that leader to be one that we can be proud of.

To say that Obama is winning because he is black is just as reductionist as many of the arguments made by feminist who haven't caught up with the progress they've made and (still) insist that all of their ills are because we live in a patriarchally driven, estrogen repressing society. (I'm not saying we don't, I'm just saying that ceased to be the root of women's problems a long time ago.)

So, Fuck Geraldine Ferraro. I can't decide if I'm happy she has quit Clinton's campaign or not.

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