Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Clintons are Wrong

As best as I can, I will list their complaints about the primary elections. For every complaint, I will elucidate the truth.

1. The media has been bias against Clinton.

Not true.
"In fact, when it came to character, the tone of the reporting was about the same, with both candidates receiving about twice as much positive press as negative between Jan. 1 and Mar. 9.
“The trajectory of the coverage, however, began to turn against Obama, and did so well before questions surfaced about his pastor Jeremiah Wright,” the authors of the study wrote. “Shortly after Clinton criticized the media for being soft on Obama during a debate, the narrative about him began to turn more skeptical — and indeed became more negative than the coverage of Clinton herself.”"

Here's the study itself.

2. Sexism has played a large part in Clinton's failure to clinch the nomination. Racism hasn't been much of a factor, if at all.

Not true.
"In most states, Clinton received roughly half the male vote: about what you'd expect in any primary where you have two candidates whose policies are so similar, and where the ideological differences between them are so small. And in almost every state, Clinton won more than half of the white male vote, often much more."

3. Sexism is worse in society; racism has largely been eradicated.

Not true.
"In 2007, the Level Playing Field Institute conducted a rigorous study of 19,000 professionals and managers to determine who leaves corporate America and why. When the data were broken down, race, not gender, became the defining demographic. People of color are more than three times as likely to leave solely due to unfairness (9.5%) than Caucasian heterosexual men (3.0%). In comparison, Caucasian women are only one-and-a-half times more likely to leave (4.6%)."

4. Michigan and Florida are civil rights issues.

Not true.
NHPR's Laura Knoy: "So, if you value the DNC calendar, why not just pull out of Michigan? Why not just say, Hey Michigan, I'm off the ballot?"

Hillary Clinton: "Well, you know, It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything"

Clinton initially supported stripping Florida and Michigan of their delegates. Even Harold Ickes said, "This committee feels very strongly that the rules ought to be enforced." Clinton's campaign sent out a memo which stated, "We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process. And we believe the DNC’s rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role. Thus, we will be signing the pledge to adhere to the DNC approved nominating calendar." And she opposed revotes until it became politically advantageous to be a "champion" of the people.

Moreover. Had Florida and Michigan conducted their primaries the way the other 48 states conducted their own primaries and caucuses -- that is, in accord with the very clear calendar laid down by the DNC well before the primaries began -- then Clinton's marchers would be utterly justified in their claims. But when the two states flouted those rules by moving their primaries outside the prescribed time frame, the DNC, which gave neither state a waiver to do so, decreed that their primaries would not count and enjoined all presidential candidates from campaigning in those states.

And, despite the high turn-out, many, many more voters didn't vote because they believed the DNC and the candidates when told the primaries wouldn't count.

And to top if off, Clinton's solution to Michigan is essentially racist and denies the votes of black Michiganders. About 25% of Michigan’s Democratic voters are Black — and about 70% of those voters chose to vote for “uncommitted.” In effect, the candidate preferred by white voters is given two bites; the candidate preferred by Black voters is given only one bite. In effect, Black votes in Michigan are worth less than white votes in Michigan.

So, much of Clinton's arguments are either specious or are right false. The notion that not seating Florida and Michigan in full will hurt is specious as well. There are tons of new Democratic voters. Most voters understand that the fight over Michigan and Florida delegates is not the civil rights movement of 2008. Moreover, a general election campaign hasn't been run yet. Once voters know the policy differences between Obama and McCain, how Michigan and Florida turn out won't be much of an issue.

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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