Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Political Half-Truths and Patronizing Comments

News item from ABC's website on that Clinton finance committee member, Geraldine Ferraro's patronizing comments on Barack Obama. She says:

"the black community came out with ... pride in [Obama's] candidacy. You would think he would say 'thank you' for doing that, instead, I'm charged with being a racist."

In short her argument should sound like this (I'm paraphrasing for her): "Of course Obama got where he is because he is black and he has the support of the African American community. Hillary is being discrimnated against because she is a woman. But of course we being high-minded and playfully indulgent of the African Americans' little pipedream to get one among them into a presidential race can tolerate it to an extend- and they should just accept it with gratitude instead of going about as if they actually believed they are a community on the ascend."

What did Obama say about her? That Ferraro's comments are divisive. That he would leave it to the Clinton campaign to decide whether to fire her or not (in response to a question on this topic).

America can pat itself on its back till the cows come home about having a woman and a black presidential candidate competing for Democratic nomination, but the test will remain this: Are the American people deadly serious about this? If so it is not very convincing to hear Ms Ferraro's pompous comments about Obama's skin colour and Hillary's sexist problem. After all it really looks like she is the one who is playing the victim card for Hillary being a woman and trying to garner votes on that basis. Not Obama. When has Obama capitalized on his ethnicity overtly? If he actually did that would he have got close to getting the kind of support he is getting from so many Americans?

It's so sad to hear these comments.

On another note the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the Republicans are slowly strengthening in their support for John McCain, upto 77 percent of them being united in their support, while Democrats are divided over their support for either Obama or Clinton, many saying they would rather stay home on the election day than vote for the "other" Democratic candidate if he/she were chosen.

Washington Post reported yesterday just the opposite. Their 'nationwide' poll stated that McCain didn't have any support from the Republicans while 80 percent of the Democrats would vote for either Clinton or Obama and either nomination would not affect their decision.

Who is telling the truth? Perhaps their polls were targeted at their readers. In the case of WSJ they were likely Republican loyalists; and of course the Washington Post attracts primarily the Democratic loyalists. But this is as clear an indication s you would want to see that the media isn't and could never be the measure of truth in our society as they often purport themselves to be.

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