Saturday, February 2, 2008

Primary Season Rolling On....

These primaries have been really interesting to me, much more so than any I lived through before. I think that's because its so easy to remember candidates' positions -- the Dems line up along one set of issues with barely even a deviation in how they prioritize issues, the Republicans do the same along their planks and of course, they each square off against the other party where there's disagreement.

I have some thoughts about why that is and its not good news for our Country. More importantly, though, I think its turned at least the Democrat race into something like a popularity contest where all the candidates are really good choices. But Its kinda like the Stepford Candidates.

With Edwards dropping out, I don't know how much I care about the Democratic primary anymore. You'll find several nice candidate-matching survey tools around the internet, most of them are quite flawed but if you know what you believe and if you know the major policy options for addressing those issues, then you can get a fairly decent and consistent match on most of them. To my surprise, I took about ten of them a week ago doing some research for a friend and each and every one of them pegged me as voting for Edwards. But the devil's in the details---Obama and Clinton were neck and neck with each other and not that far behind Edwards. Still, the consistency of it all convinced me to look more closely at Edwards career as his experience in building consensus was precisely where I was giving the edge to the other two. I'm sorry I won't be able to vote for Edwards in the primary; I was pretty certain I wouldn't be voting for him in the Presidential.

What is fueling this lament today is a quote I read just in passing by Mrs. Obama where she intimated that concerns about race were "silly". OK---I'm not going to play that "is he black enough" game that every successful black man has to endure. But to say that concern over race is silly in a country where the poor and underemployed, the destitute and the forgotten are OVERWHELMINGLY black is a bit disconnected don't you think? And since Mr. Obama hasn't made any more of a fuss about racial disparities in this country, should we believe that he intends to reach those people with his policies any more aggressively than the other candidates? Should he really just automatically get the black vote? I mean its kind of like saying that all black people should be happy that OJ was acquitted.

Anyway. I'm a little ill at ease with how little an issue race has been in these primaries--not the race of the candidates but the racial problems our Country continues to endure.


Anonymous said...

Last I heard, Senator Obama was of mixed heritage - Kenyan dad and white Kansas mom. Later his mom married an Indonesian man. I suspect it's hard for Obama to play up the "black" thing is that he is of mixed heritage and thus not really white or black. (That said, I'd like to hear him talk about disparities, which affect Latinos and some Asian groups as well - not to mention Native Americans and Native Hawaiians.)

Why is it that when a person is part black everybody wants to call them "black"? Is Tiger Woods black? A song by Public Enemy comes to mind...

Don said...

I seem to be always be running behind on your blog.

First, I hope you are feeling better.

I agree with you regarding the primaries and it not being good for our Country. I believe the candidates from each party seemingly agreeing with each other on issues, is because if they disagree, or admit that they disagree with the party line, they can't get the nomination, Giuliani for example. They must toe the line at least until the election itself

As for race, yes we have problems, but I think Obama winning in Iowa proves that most people are truly only looking for a leader, regardless of the color of their skin.

Again, hope you are feeling better.

Kathy said...

Thanks, Don. Appreciate your comments here. I'm no longer wishing to die and my children no longer require the dreaded tylenol-ibuprofen cocktail to keep fevers in check so yep, I think we're on our way up. Whew.