Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Race Martyr

The strategy is this: vote Obama, or you are a racist. A key element of that strategy is to focus on the voters, and not the candidate. That is why we will hear, for the next six months, that white rural voters are incurably racist and will not vote for Obama because he is black. But that's the wrong lesson to learn.

Obama's support comes primarily from two groups: academics including college students, and blacks. But it must be noted that it is the liberal academics and liberal blacks who are voting for Obama. He is the most liberal Senator, which this year makes him the most liberal presidential candidate. Academics and blacks lean heavily to the left, hence their support for Obama.

So even though there are few blacks and academics in West Virginia, why was Barack Obama campaigning in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on the day of the West Virginia primary? The Democratic Party uses a proportional delegate system in most of the States including West Virginia, so that one delegate is as good as another. In the overall delegate count, adding a delegate in WV is the same as adding one in Oregon.

Obama may believe he has the nomination all wrapped up, and that no campaigning is necessary in the remaining primary States and territories. He may not think he needs delegates any more, but only electoral votes, of which West Virginia possesses only a few.

But why leave West Virginia entirely? Either his campaign staff messed up again and scheduled the Cape Girardeau meeting on the wrong day, or he wanted to signal that he was giving up in West Virginia. He didn't really try his hardest, so a 72/28 loss is not so bad.

Which leads us to this Washington Post story in which uncorroborated anecdotes of racism are spun as indicating a racially hostile environment for the Obama campaign. Yet anyone who has gone door-to-door for anything knows that people will slam the door in your face, even if you're giving out rose-scented wads of cold cash. As Bill Dupray at The Patriot Room noted in the Redstate comment on the Post story:

When they print this trash, which is racism against white people, they essentially drag race to the forefront and make folks defend themselves against the unfounded scurrilous charge. It takes the focus of the election off Obama's policies and places it on the voters who want to vote against him. It is not about the voters. It is about the candidates.
But by leaving West Virginia, and sacrificing its few delegates (which he was going to have difficulty winning anyway), Obama and his surrogates in the popular press can spend the next six months pointing to racist whites, implicitly or explicitly asking Americans if they want to be racist like that, or be good non-racists and vote for Obama.

So are white rural voters all racists, and is that the reason they don't vote for Obama? Actually, I think the story ought to be that rural voters are less liberal than urban ones, and while it would be nice enough to have a black president, Obama being black is not enough for rural white voters to choose him. They demand sensible, mainsteam policies, which Obama doesn't provide.

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Anonymous said...

"rose-scented wads of cold cash." :-)

Instead: wallet vacuums, small appliances needed by every racist, white family in America, supplied by the Obama administration, of course. ~Jimmy

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 05/16/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

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