I agree with the concerns BooMan expressed about the Clinton machine...I don't trust it. But there was a point in that article where I began to part ways with his analysis.
There are signs that a Clinton candidacy could be strong enough to force the Republicans to play defense in Texas. A recent Public Policy Polling survey found Clinton beating Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie in the Lone Star State. My explanation for this is that hostility to Obama's skin color is masking the true weakness of the modern Republican Party. In a very real way, racism is propping the GOP up and giving them a false sense of confidence that they are still a force to be reckoned with in national elections.On the one hand, he's right. I imagine that anti-Obama racism has played a rather large role in propping up the Republican Party over these last 4 years. The trouble with that is that it only applies when you look at it from a white perspective. In other words, if you want more white people to vote for your candidate, the fact that President Obama is black is an obstacle.
The question we might want to ask is "What happens to the Obama coalition if our goal is to attract more white voters?" From the perspective of people of color, is that question not at least equally important?
I know BooMan didn't mean it this way, but there is a suggestion in what he said that indicates our path to success as Democrats is rooted in succumbing to white people's racism. Its almost like...we did that black man thing, now lets get back to really winning with the white folks.
All of that musing reminded me of the magnificent article written recently by Eric Wattree - Why I Love Being Black.
Being Black in America gives one an education and perspective on life that you can't get anywhere else. That's not widely recognized, because public attention is often focused on the most dysfunctional in the Black community. But contrary to popular belief, that might not be an altogether bad thing, because it allows the excellence within the Black community time to incubate, untainted by the public eye. That's what allowed Barack Obama to explode upon the world stage as a fully developed powerhouse, and there are hordes of others just like him who are currently incubating in Black cocoons in suburbs and inner cities all over America...I'm not going to suggest that white people can't have that kind of "soul." Its just that Eric has a really good point. There is something about living the black experience in this country and coming out the other side that gives them a perspective on humanity that might be exactly what we need to continue to deal with a world that is facing what David Simon calls the death of normal.
Charles Darwin would call "soul" a unique adaptation to adversity, and the most insightful within the Black community recognize it as being much like a sixth sense that reaches the very depths of human understanding. When fully developed, it provides Black people with a unique grasp, empathy, and insight into the human experience. That's why it is so effective in conveying human emotion - so effective, in fact, that "soul" has been confused with emotion itself.
America will soon belong to the men and women — white and black and Latino and Asian, Christian and Jew and Muslim and atheist, gay and straight — who can walk into a room and accept with real comfort the sensation that they are in a world of certain difference, that there are no real majorities, only pluralities and coalitions. The America in which it was otherwise is dying, thank god, and those who relied on entitlement and division to command power will either be obliged to accept the changes, or retreat to the gated communities from which they wish to wax nostalgic and brood on political irrelevance.I believe that Barack Obama's race, background and upbringing - combined with his innate intelligence and courageous contemplation of his own life - is what has made him uniquely qualified to be not only a great president, but exactly what this country needs right now.
I know we won't be able to completely replicate that in a candidate four years from now. But I want to be clear about what I'll be looking for to keep moving this transformation forward rather than going back by pandering to the racists among us.