Saturday, February 16, 2008

Infighting is killing us - Updated

By Libby

I'm not going to win any friends and admirers with this post, but I've just about had it with the endless blogospheric bickering over whether whatever stray remark of the moment is sexist or racist. I'm sorry, but making a big deal about this truncated quote is ridiculous.

I understand that Senator Clinton, periodically when she's feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal.
If BTD had fairly represented this remark he would have transcribed the entire text of the clip in which Obama went on to point out that it is this sort of gamesmanship that disgusts the voters. He's right. It is disgusting and any neutral observer will conclude that Obama is speaking about campaign styles and not Hillary's state of mind. I have to wonder, if he had said it about McCain instead of Hillary whether the same people who are howling about sexism would be praising him instead.

I don't buy into the media meme that this has been the most contentious and ugly political campaign in history. It's no more brutal than usual. But I don't think I've ever seen Leftopia in an uglier mode. This is really our first big test of influence within the party and frankly I think we're failing. By chance or design, we are at a historic moment. Our next candidate will either be a black man or a white woman. The media is already doing a fine job of defining it between race and gender rather than issues. I don't see what Leftopia has to gain by reinforcing that meme.

I think it's great that people are so enthusiastic in supporting their chosen candidate but can we try to remember that the end goal here is to elect an Democrat to the Oval Office? Every time we bloody our intraparty opponent, we serve the GOP's interests, not our own. Being still hopelessly undecided, I'd love to know why you think your candidate serves the end goal the best. I see no purpose in harping on minutia to prove why the other Democrat is the worst. So can we please save our bile for Republicans? It would be far more productive to be calling for the GOP to apologize for -- well, everything -- than it is to be finecombing every speech on our side to come up with implied transgressions with which to tar our own candidates.

Update: Since I posted this Hilzoy weighs in with a good point I failed to make. It's undeniable that Hillary has repeatedly been the target of vile and sexist remarks made by the likes of Chris Matthews and those of his ilk. They rightly deserve to be called out on it but attempting to paint Obama as a villain here, trivializes such genuine complaints and diminishes our ability to push back against them.