PG has distressed me greatly by writing:
(((However, I don't hew to the theory that THERE IS NO WHITE PRIVILEGE AT WORK HERE AT ALL.)))
Well, I can't speak for Joel, but I don't hew to that either.
As I wrote many responses ago, "I didn't say that it wasn't a factor, I just (a) don't think it's the deciding factor people keep claiming and (b) think it's a pretty defeatist thing to be focusing on at a time when defeatism is a really bad idea."
I wrote my post in response to Joel's response to two different posts:
This one, and this one, both of which focus heavily on the mistakes and drawbacks of the Republican ticket and come to the conclusion that Obama is so utterly lacking in flaws by comparison that his lack of clear victory must the the result of white privilege or racism, the first article going so far as to snot that the article is "For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege.*"
What they are missing is that many of those "drawbacks" aren't drawbacks at all when they are viewed in the light of Republican voters' clear and often-stated preference for candidates who aren't too eggheaded and have "lived it" in some sense or another. I'm sorry, people who think "If only John McCain had been an Ivy League constitutional scholar he would be doing SO MUCH BETTER in the polls" have no freaking clue how electoral politics works in this country.
Obama isn't just "not like me" because he's black. Yes, that's a part of it and you won't see me ever denying it. But it's not the whole story and in my view to say that the entire election turns on white privilege or racism (as the above-mentioned articles at least strongly imply) is first of all incorrect and secondly insane from a strategy perspective.
I do think that there are stupid people who won't vote for Obama straight up because he's black. I don't think there are very many people like that and I don't think that the stupid racist vote is a vote Democrats have often had in the past anyway, so I'm confused that all the sudden people appear to have been counting on it and are stressed about the fact that we won't have it.
Also, Bill Barr has a bit of a point in that I think that there are a lot of people who like the fact that Obama is black. I voted for Gore and Kerry and was basically pleased to do it, but when I vote for Obama, there's going to be a special thrill there because I know I'm going to be voting for the guy that I still think will be the first black president. I'm going to know that I'm doing my tiny part to make history**. That's pretty cool.
For the record, I don't think "making history" is a deciding factor either. If, say, Condoleeza Rice were running, the fact that she's black and a woman wouldn't be enough to get me to vote for her by any means***. But I do think Barr is right that the "making history" factor is in the mix, though he didn't put it the way I just did.
But anyway, I really think these articles focusing on the white privilege and racism elements are a bad idea even if they are correct.
I think doing anything that looks like either whining or justifying why we lost is, ahem, THE WORST THING WE COULD POSSIBLY BE DOING at this point when we need to be focused on energizing people and making people want to vote for our guy.
After all, if the election is already lost because of something our candidate can't change, we might as well all stay home, right?
Nobody likes a loser, so we need to stop talking about Obama like he's destined to be one.
We're ahead in the polls, kids. Let's not blow it now by talking like noble losers. Say what you will about the Republicans, they do not talk like losers. They play to win. Let's do that.
I don't want a moral victory. I want an actual one.
*WHERE did liberals get the idea that talking to people who disagree like they are stupid is sound electoral strategy, and HOW can I disabuse them of this notion?
** And I don't know that many Republicans will be thrilled to tell their grandchildren that they voted AGAINST the first black president because they didn't like his stand on taxation. But that's just me talking.
*** But oh, goodness that election would be fun to watch. Condi vs. Hillary is still my dream matchup from an entertainment standpoint.