From Pine View Farm

Hillary Clinton Gives Me the Willies . . . (Updated) (Updated Again) 7

. . . as I have pointed out before.

It is, admittedly, an emotional reaction, but it is real.

But it’s taking a more solid form. From the McDonald’s of newspapers:

“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.

(Go here to see a discussion on the implication in the above quotation that hard-working Americans are, ipso facto, white Americans.)

The implications of her remarks, and, indeed, of her overall conduct during this campaign, leads me to a different set of willies.

It is certainly true that racism is a part of our society. It can be argued that racism is the original sin that stains the birth of the United States of America. The legacy of that sin and the continuing real live racism are all around us (I have fulminated about that before).

(Indeed, I have a good friend, whom I respect greatly, who is afraid that, if Senator Obama receives the Democratic nomination, the Senator will not live to see the election returns. Given the number of homegrown nutcases and racist terrorists we have, that is, sadly, not that far-fetched a fear. And I suspect that it is something Senator Obama has thought about. Nevertheless, if it does not deter him, neither should it deter others.)

That legacy of racism is what makes Senator Clinton’s argument that, despite her being an also-ran in the national results to date, she should be nominated because she is white, quite willie-inducing.

It is one thing to recognize that racism and bigotry are very real–and very dangerous–elements in our society. If you doubt that, go here (and, while you’re at it, kick in a little donation; Morris Dees is the real deal, a person who gave up a potentially lucrative career to fight for justice at the risk of his life).

It is quite another thing to argue that the Democratic Party should base its selection of its nominee for the office of the President of the United States on the United States’s legacy of racism.

I know that I am arguing a subtle difference. In my craft of writing, it would be called a difference of tone, which is defined as that quality of writing which conveys the author’s attitude to the reader.

The tone of Senator Clinton’s remarks, not only in this, but also in other instances, is not the tone of someone expressing a concern about the course and heritage of our society; it is the tone of someone gleefully wielding a weapon to her own ends.

It can be interpreted more sinisterly: that, as a white person, she is entitled to the nomination, whereas Senator Obama, as a not 100% white person, is not.

It is the tone of someone playing to racism for his or her own gain, the tone of Pitchfork Ben Tillman and Napoleon Bonaparte Broward and others of their kind.

Hillary Clinton gives me the willies.

More from Brendan and the Booman.

Addendum, 5/8/2008:

Time for a PFA. (That’s Protection from Abuse Order for those who don’t live in Delaware.)

Addendum, Sometime the Next Day:


Via Delaware Liberal.



  1. Opie

    May 8, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Hillary has to be in shock these days. She’s been running for president for 15 years, Obama’s been running for 15 months, and he’s beating her without even really trying. He just goes around talking about the faith of hope and people vote for him.  In fact, he does better when he doesn’t try than when he does.

  2. Frank

    May 8, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I’m not sure I agree about the 15 years–I just don’t know that she was planning that far ahead.

    But the "in shock" part, yeah.  She thought she was destined to be annointed.

    I am very distressed about and disappoined in her.  Not that my expectations were very high to begin with, but, dammit, the appeals to racism are most distressing.

    Yeah, it’s part of our society and our history, but we can at least try to rise above it.  

    If we don’t make that try, it will never be defeated.

  3. Opie

    May 9, 2008 at 7:38 am

    I think it’s fascinating to watch, though. The Democratic Party has labored feverishly for years to get Americans to think of themselves in terms of abused minorities, and as Rev. Wright would say, the chickens have come home to roost. They were used to having black presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson that were perfectly satisfied with being second-tier as long as they got some face time on TV and an airing of their grievances. Now here comes Obama, who shocks the whole party by essentially saying, "You don’t understand… I’m not running because I want to bloviate, I actually intend to get elected." And you have all these upper class Ivy League Democrat women saying, "I’m not saying he’s a bad person, I just think it’s our turn," and the whole original Democrat reason for pursuing black participation in their party suddenly comes clear.

  4. Frank

    May 9, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Damn, can you get that.  A black guy who manages to rise above the race baiting and then, what the shit, gets race baited.

    But, ya notice? he ain’t bitin’.

  5. Bill

    May 10, 2008 at 3:20 am

    The thing I find interesting is the (lack of) reaction of the Democratic Party as a whole.  If a Republican said the same thing, they’d be all over him (or her).  Their collective silence is deafening… 

  6. Frank

    May 10, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Watch the Superdelegates.  The silence is being broken.

  7. Bill

    May 11, 2008 at 4:21 am

    Superdelegates going over to Obama’s side isn’t the same thing as denouncing the junior Senator from New York’s comments.  Someone needs to throw her under the bus but no one has the guts to do it.  After all , she’s entitled.