links for 2008-05-15
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LizardBreath Grants a Plenary Indulgence to Hillary Rodham Clinton

She puts it very well, for someone with her dental hygiene:

Unfogged: Lead Us Not Into Temptation: I've been kind of bothered by all the focus on how awful Clinton has been on race issues. (Which she has been, don't get me wrong.) One of the reasons I wish people would just let her burn herself out... is that... I can empathize thoroughly with what led her there. Five months ago, before any of the primaries had happened, I was rooting for the white guy... for good solid progressive policy-based reasons.... Where I do feel self-conscious, and start sympathizing with Hillary, is in the tactical thinking I was doing about whether Edwards was likely to win.

It seemed likely to me, and probably to most other people thinking about it, that Edwards would do better, through no fault of his own, the more racist and sexist the Democratic electorate was.... Which left me in the disturbing position of really strongly hoping something would happen, an Edwards victory, which would likely mean that Democratic voters were really messed up on racial and gender issues. I don't think I slipped over the line into actually hoping that the racist/sexist vote would come out strongly in the Iowa caucuses, but I was very aware of the possibility of falling into that way of thinking. And I can't vouch for how I would have felt if Edwards had hung on for a five-month nailbiter of a campaign where he was always behind but in striking distance.

Hillary's been in that spot all spring - through (initially) no fault of her own, one of the major forces that could have helped her win would have been an electorate that was too racist to elect a black man. And it's not unlikely that that should have been the case - I've been surprised and proud at how little racism has actually seemed to hurt Obama with the voters. Given what she's got riding on this election, the temptation first to hope that voters would be racist, then to engage in wishful thinking about how racist the voters actually were, and finally to encourage it, must have been overwhelming.

She was tempted... it does make me want to avert my eyes, thinking "Under the same pressures, that could have been me," rather than wallow in what a terrible person she is...

I agree.

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