Since most of my (very narrow) commentary on Obama v. HRC has been in defense of HRC, I just want to make it clear I think the Democrats are running two spectacular candidates. My preference is for HRC over Obama, but only marginally.
The reason I've spent all my time defending HRC is because of what has struck me as a peculiar anti-HRC bias in the liberal blogosphere (or the small proportion of it I read). The kinds of claims I see emanating from this quarter strike me as downright otherworldly.* Politics is and has always been an ugly business. As von Bismarck observed, the routines of the Wursterei aren't for everyone. And sausage-making's got nothin' on political campaigning.**
* For example, the claim that Hillary's panderly promise to lift a
gas tax to gain votes in an election is somehow akin, say, to an incumbent's denial
of anthropogenic global warming as a matter of policy (and that contra popular sentiment) -- a claim almost as ludicrous as the idea that tolling a gas tax will save consumers money at the pump.
**On this score, note that even St. Obama knew when to throw his beloved pastor Wright under the bus. Yes, in Round 1 Obama did make a valiant attempt to preserve his relationship with Wright while unequivocally distancing himself from Wright's most objectionable remarks. And that attempt testified to Obama's fundamental decency as a person. But whether on balance it testified to his ability as a political candidate... In any case, eventually Obama did what he had to do to preserve his political viability. Alas, such was his duty qua presidential candidate.
Twice this week now, Hillary Clinton has stood there smiling like the
Cheshire Cat as the governor of North Carolina used the word "pansy"
and then as a union leader in the same state, who more famously
referred to her "testicular fortitude...."
OMG! HRC stood there while the governor called someone a pansy?! Why, she's benefiting from the standard Right Wing Talking Points!
Whether or not there is a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, it may
sometimes prove a useful heuristic to interpret some events as if there
were. We might call this the "conspiratorial stance." (Apologies to Daniel Dennett.)
Glenn Loury talks uncommon good sense about the Obama- and Clinton-camps' divide, the Wright brouhaha, and other topics. And John Whorter ain't bad either. (Not sure about John's conclusions about "Kay Callahan," though, the truth of which at the very least would turn on her class membership.)
Joining a party that started over at Ezra Klein's blog, Hilzoy riffs on the counter-Kripkean implications of Geraldine Ferraro's Obama gaffe: "[I]f I were a black man and had wheels, I would be the first black male
trolleycar ever, not to mention the first being ever to be both a
public transit vehicle and a mammal."
This is all very witty, of course. Then again, it's also all a bit too easy. After all, look at the fun that could have been had with Michelle Obama's "for the first time I'm proud of America" thoughts. It seems to me that if you actually wanted to be fair about construing Ferraro's woefully inartful remarks, you'd probably wind up with something like this: