Wednesday, September 24, 2008

And If It's the Truth?

I'm trying to deal with cognitive dissonance here. I'm afraid it won't be clever or snarky or particularly thought provoking because I'm really tired and I'm simply at an end of trying to make sense of what passes for politics in the blogosphere.

On the one hand, I'm reading up on Shakesville (via TGW via Falstaff) about an ad running on various "progressive" blogs showing a silhouette of a naked female, the kind you see on the mudflaps of trucks, "pole dancing" against an oil derrick with the caption "Drill, baby, drill!" in mockery of Gov. Palin.

On the other hand, I'm reading up in Corrente that it's the fault of white female voters - and no other demographic - if Obama loses due to their out of control racisim, based on the results of a single AP-Yahoo poll.

Sexism that the guys can't see when it is using classic imagery found on the vehicles of "rednecks" everywhere and racisim that they can pick up even when dog whistled or denied.

When Democratic women say "The Obama camp has run a sexist, mysogynistic campaign," we are told we're wrong, no such thing, there was not any sexism there, except maybe some from Tweety. When Democratic women say, "No, it's not his race, it's his lack of commitment to the programs that matter to us," we are told that, no, we're all just racist bitches, and that it's our fault if he doesn't win.

What does it mean to electoral outcomes if what we Democratic women are saying is simply true? That there is too much encouragement of and reliance upon misogyny as a campaign tactic? That our objections to this candidate really are based on rational economic self-interest, and are not due to his race?

Using shame (shame of being female, shame of being racist) rather than offering benefit is a tactic that may intimidate some, and perhaps win some over who would rather be part of the pack that attacks than one who is attacked, but mostly it engenders resentment. It is nothing on which political solidarity can be founded. Hasn't the Democratic Party learned that it is not enough to run on "I'm not [insert opponent here]"? That was a losing argument against Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II. Shouting "The other party is worse!" does nothing to address the weaknesses and failings of our own. Put on top of that a very public contempt for the concerns of a large and (until now) unswervingly loyal constituency and this is a recipe for long term, nearly permanent loss of electoral power.

I'll never vote Republican, but for the first time in my life, I feel no desire to vote Democrat, either.

I've written reams of analysis of why the current election is shaping up the way it has and I may be wrong about my judgments on those things, but I know my own thoughts. When I say I won't vote for Obama after the revolting campaign he has run and because he doesn't have anything substantive to back him up, I mean exactly those two things, nothing more, nothing less.

It's just the truth.


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