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The problem with identity politics
Posted by: McQ on Friday, May 16, 2008

In a word, "blowback."

First NARAL decides neutrality isn't a virtue and comes down on the side of one of the Democratic candidates.
NARAL Pro-Choice America's political action committee has decided to drop its neutral stance in the Democratic primary — in large part to send a signal that it's ready to get behind the candidate board members view as the likely nominee, according to the group's political director, Elizabeth Shipp.

"A political organization always looks at viability — who has the most delegates, the most votes, and the most cash on hand," Shipp told ABC News. "As a political organization, we're not going to say it's an easy decision, but it's the right one."
The big problem is NARAL picked a non-female candidate when a genuine, bona-fide woman is running as well. What is NARAL if not an organization of women for women, after all.

And you can't even call Elizabeth Shipp a misogynist, can you? What is a lefty to do — especially females?
Just talked to a 55-year-old Columbus, Ohio resident named Cynthia Ruccia, a spokesperson and organizer for a group calling itself "Clinton Supporters Count Too." She said the group — numbering in the hundreds, and organized in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan — stands ready to boycott the Democratic Party if Clinton doesn't win the nomination, and will work against superdelegates who support Obama over Clinton as a means of registering their displeasure with the party.

"We have a plan to campaign against the Democratic nominee," the group said in a press release Thursday. "We have the (wo)manpower and the money to make our threat real. And there are millions of supporters who will back us up in the swing states. If you don’t listen to our voice now, you will hear from us later."

Ruccia tells ABC News that she believes "millions" of women share her group's views, though they have only begun to make contact with like-minded women. They're disgusted, she said, that Democratic Party leaders haven't more aggressively denounced sexist media comments and coverage in the campaign, and are angry at the drumbeat for Clinton to get out of the race.

"We're just at the boiling point," Ruccia said. "Women will sit back and be quiet about things for a while, but we've had enough. Unless Hillary Clinton is our nominee, we are not going to support the nominee."
How serious is this? Well apparently it's an emerging problem at the moment, but quite possibly, if not addressed (meaning finding a way to buy off the opposition with some promised benefit for ceasing and desisting), one which might end up being a serious one:
But in gauging the fallout among female voters of this divisive campaign, it's also worth keeping in mind what's going on in the wake of NARAL Pro-Choice America's decision to endorse Obama on Wednesday.

As documented by the Huffington Post's Sam Stein, NARAL blogs are being overwhelmed, and many state affiliates are angry at the national group's decision.

Emily's List is furious. And Martha Burke, former chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, tells Stein she is "disappointed": "It feels like they are abandoning a known ally for a less committed candidate because they want to jump on a bandwagon. I think the pro-choice community should stick by a woman who has stuck by them."
So we have angry women looking elsewhere (or planning a nice day at home on election day) if Obama is nominated, we have the what is sure to be labeled the "redneck vote" doing the same, so what is left?

Well, as Paul Begala so inelegantly but aptly summed up, it may boil down to little more than "African-Americans and Eggheads" if groups keep splitting off because the perceive their favorite identity group is being dissed by the Party.

Wouldn't that be ironic - a Democrat losing an election because women and blue-collar workers felt they had been marginalized and refused to support the nominee. When you build a party based in identity politics, and the collection of groups is diverse (teamsters to transvestites) you can be sure that you're going to alienate some of those groups as you try to woo others.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Isn’t Democracy great? I’ll bet there’s more than a few party bigwigs who wish it could all be decided in a small room somewhere.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
When you build a party based in identity politics, and the collection of groups is diverse (teamsters to transvestites) you can be sure that you’re going to alienate some of those groups as you try to woo others.
Yes, and blacks are among the most anti-gay of ethnic groups (although Wright’s church is an exception to the typical homophobia of black churches). That’s just one example.

The Democrats can create a significant hate fest amongst themselves.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Democracy is absolutely great, but it is open to treacherous people. Does anyone remember about "sleepers." They are individuals planted in a society many years in advance of perceived need. Could Senator Obama be a sleeper? It is an interesting thought; afterall Obama refuses to wear an American Flag pin and also failed to follow protocol when our Nation Anthem was playing. He makes no apology for either but tries to explain them away by saying a real American patriot does not need to do such things. Really?
 
Written By: Ted Wilson
URL: http://
Girls are notorious for having hissy fits. That will change with a new phase of the moon.
 
Written By: Miande
URL: http://
I find it profoundly disturbing that such a significant number of female Clinton supporters are willing to endanger their party’s chances in the fall by participating in the same kind of poisonous and divisive identity politics. These people are calling some of the very people who ensure their continued political relevance misogynists and sexists merely because they support Obama. They are using gender as a wedge issue in a way that would make Karl Rove proud. The blinding animosity of Clinton partisans towards NARAL is a disturbing example of how vicious this campaign has become and how dangerous it is for the Democratic party and the country—some women are attacking Obama as hard as if he were not Pro-Choice or as if he an Clinton did not have fairly comparable voting records on the issues. If these radicals support Hillary to the detriment of Obama, they further risk a McCain presidency and the conservative, anti-choice judicial appointments that are sure to follow. If Hillary truly has the interests constituents in mind, she will send a signal to her more aggressive female surrogates in the blogosphere, such as Taylor Marsh, to dial down their attacks in the interest of party unity.
 
Written By: Samuel Ridgeway-Olsen
URL: http://
They are using gender as a wedge issue in a way that would make Karl Rove proud.
You do know that Karl Rove came w/GWB after the Clinton administration had been in power for 8 years, right?

IOW, the same group using identity politics now used it well before Rove’s name was ever known.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I find it profoundly disturbing that such a significant number of female Clinton supporters are willing to endanger their party’s chances in the fall by participating in the same kind of poisonous and divisive identity politics. These people are calling some of the very people who ensure their continued political relevance misogynists and sexists merely because they support Obama.
I’m sure that all of the "racists" that the media and Obama supporters (but I repeat myself!) identified because their support of Clinton in WV are just torn out of the frame by the fact that you are "profaoundly disturbed" about this.
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
However, as Rush said recently: The Democratic Party through the superdelegates can throw Barack overboard with the full knowledge that a number of INDIVIDUAL DEMOCRATS will pay a short term AND a few will pay a LONG-TERM price. However, the DEMOCRATIC PARTY will suffer on the damage scale as John McLaughlin has said, METAPHYSICAL DAMAGE, if they DO NOT throw Barack overboard!!!

I view the situation along these lines. A center-right politcal comentator has stated that the Democratic Party cannot afford to anger Black American Democratic voters. What exactly does the Democratic Party have to fear from Black voters? Black voters have six choices:

1. Stop Voting altogether

2. Form their own Political Party

3. Come home to the Republican Party

4. Vote for BLACK Democratic candidates ONLY

5. Join a third party such as the Greens or the Libertarians

6. Split their vote between the Democratic and Republican parties

As a short term TACTIC, choice one can work to the advantage of Black Dem voters. However, in short order, vast numbers of Black elected officials would lose their political offices. And frankly stated, who believes that Black American Democratic voters have the necessary DISCIPLINE to make it work? Choice two would forever doom Black voters to political powerlessness. Choice three does not represent a realistic possibility. Choice four, would forever MARGINALIZE Black voters AND Black elected officials within the Democratic Party. As stated above, who believes that Black American Democratic voters have the necessary DISCIPLINE to make THIS tactic work? Choices five and six do not represent realistic possibilities.

The entire Barack candidacy is a SELF-INFLICTED wound.

On a personal note I have a DIRECT question for anyone that thinks they can answer this question. What IS the single greatest THREAT to long-term Black Political power in America? It can be answered with TEN words or less. And MAN-UP if you do not know the answer.

Mr. Cam
 
Written By: Mr. Cam
URL: http://
a few elites in the democratic party are eager to dump this socio-political experiment upon the masses of ordinary people and we are supposed to rise up in gratitude and support. in case they haven’t realized, it is not happening as easily as they hoped. at the end of the day after this candidate turns the USA into a rotting, cesspool, Soros and the rest of the cabal will be behind high gates and island retreats why we are suffering. don’t let this happen....vote McCain.
 
Written By: Scott D
URL: http://
Could Senator Obama be a sleeper? It is an interesting thought; afterall Obama refuses to wear an American Flag pin and also failed to follow protocol when our Nation Anthem was playing.


A sleeper would act different; they would appear to be a super patriot.

An actual sleeper, a Soviet spy, was thought to be a knee jerk conservative by his son, until his son found out his dad was a Soviet agent. In this case, the father was really dormant, the real goal was to have the son become the active agent, since he was born American to a "right wing anti-communist" immigrant.

If Obama’s a sleeper, he’s a very dumb one.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
how dangerous it is for the Democratic party and the country
What’s dangerous for the Democratic Party is good for the country.
 
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URL: http://
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