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    • The Class War the Rich Won And the End Of NeoLiberal Capitalism
      Many years ago now, I wrote a post called “There Was a Class War And %he Rich Won.” Ironically, post the financial meltdown of 07/8, and thanks to Bush, Obama, Bernanke and Geithner both bailing them out and immunizing them from their crimes, that victory has accelerated. This chart, from Harvard, tells the story of […]
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Memo to David Brooks: Correlation Does NOT Equal Causation

David Brooks has a hilariously incoherent column in today’s Knee Jerk Times New York Times called The Limits of Policy, in which he comes very close to suggesting that ethnicity is destiny.

First Brooks presents unsourced data about a comparison between Swedes living in Sweden and and Americans of Swedish ancestry that supposedly demonstrates that people of Swedish extraction have similar life expectancies and poverty rates, despite the differences in public policies in Sweden and the U.S. Therefore, Brooks implies, government health and welfare policies makes no contribution to how well families and individuals do in a particular environment. According to Brooks, it’s really all about ethnicity and to some extent about where you choose to live within the U.S.

Of course Brooks claims he isn’t implying what we think he’s implying:

This is not to say that policy choices are meaningless. But we should be realistic about them. The influence of politics and policy is usually swamped by the influence of culture, ethnicity, psychology and a dozen other factors.

Sure, David, “we should be realistic” when the Obama administration tries to force Social Security and Medicare cuts down our throats so that snooty top one-percenters like you don’t have to contribute any of your vast inherited wealth to the common good. And we should accept that if we happen to be in one of the high poverty ethnic groups, we need to realize that no matter what the government does, we’d have no hope of being middle-class anyway, right David?

Next Brooks offers some data from a new report from The American Human Development Project, A Century Apart: New Measures of Well-Being for U.S. Racial and Ethnic Groups. (PDF).

As you’d expect, ethnicity correlates to huge differences in how people live. Nationally, 50 percent of Asian-American adults have a college degree, compared with 31 percent of whites, 17 percent of African-Americans and 13 percent of Hispanics.

Asian-Americans have a life expectancy of 87 years compared with 79 years for whites and 73 years for African-Americans.

[….]

The region you live in also makes a gigantic difference in how you will live. There are certain high-trust regions where highly educated people congregate, producing positive feedback loops of good culture and good human capital programs. This mostly happens in the northeastern states like New Jersey and Connecticut. There are other regions with low social trust, low education levels and negative feedback loops. This mostly happens in southern states like Arkansas and West Virginia.

If you combine the influence of ethnicity and region, you get astounding lifestyle gaps. The average Asian-American in New Jersey lives an amazing 26 years longer and is 11 times more likely to have a graduate degree than the average American Indian in South Dakota.

Is that so? And what does all this have to do with Sweden and Swedish-American immigrants, pray tell?

Next, Brooks cites a book by University of Chicago sociologist Susan E. Mayer, What Money Can’t Buy. The book was published in 1997, so the research may be just a little out of date, but Brooks doesn’t mention that. Apparently Mayer used some kind of statistical method to figure out what would happen if you doubled the income of poor American families–increasing their household income from $15,000 to $30,000. She supposedly found that this increase in income would have almost no effect on factors that might contribute to a better life, such as reducing teen pregnancy and getting more kids to stay in school.

Brooks acknowledges that public policies can severely damage the prospects of a people. For example, if you murder, rape, and pillage indigenous peoples, like, say….the Native Americans, and then you take away their land and exile them to “reservations,” those people are going to have “bad outcomes for generations.”

And that’s really a shame, but based on Mayer’s “research,” there’s nothing government policy can do about it once those people are living in squalor. They just are, and we have to accept it.

The takeaway message from this mishmash of partially reported and poorly sourced academic research is that we are stuck wherever we find ourselves right now, and we should forget about trying to improve our quality of life through political activism. Finally, Brooks says “we should all probably calm down about politics” because we now know that public policy has little effect compared to “ethnic, regional and social differences.”

Alrighty then. But despite Brooks’ recommendation to “calm down,” I decide to investigate his sources.

I think I located Brooks’ source of the information on Swedes and Swedish Americans. It’s an article at “New Geography,” which offers “economic, demographic, and political commentary.” The article, written by Nima Sanandaji, who, like Brooks, is a fan of the late University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman, is called Is Sweden a False Utopia? Here’s an excerpt:

A Scandinavian economist once stated to Milton Friedman: “In Scandinavia we have no poverty.” Milton Friedman replied, “That’s interesting, because in America among Scandinavians, we have no poverty either.” Indeed, the poverty rate for Americans with Swedish ancestry is only 6.7%, half the U.S average. Economists Geranda Notten and Chris de Neubourg have calculated the poverty rate in Sweden using the American poverty threshold, finding it to be an identical 6.7%.

Ironically, this points us towards the conclusion that what makes Sweden uniquely successful is not the welfare state, as is commonly assumed. Rather than being the cause of Sweden’s social strengths, the high-tax welfare state might have been enabled by the hard-won Swedish stock of social capital. It was well before the welfare state, when hard work paid off, that a culture with strong protestant working ethics developed.

Gotta love that old Protestant work ethic! Aren’t you nostalgic for the good old days when “hard work paid off?” As opposed to the last thirty years in the U.S. when wages have been pretty much stagnant while productivity has increased. Yep, hard work doesn’t pay off so well these days….

As I noted above, Susan Mayor, the sociologist who showed that giving poor families twice as much money wouldn’t change anything is also a denizen of the University of Chicago.

Finally, Brooks’ third source for his ethnicity-as-destiny thesis is the report from the Human Development Institute, linked above. This study used three measures of well being–health, education, and income–to calculate a “human development index,” a single number that represents quality of life.

The three components of the Human Development Index—longevity, knowledge, and income—are valued by people the world over as building blocks of a good life, and good proxy indicators are available for each. In the American Human Development Index, these components are weighted equally and are measured using the following
data:

A Long and Healthy Life is measured using life expectancy at birth, calculated
from 2006 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
and CDC WONDER Database.

Access to Knowledge is measured using two indicators: educational
degree attainment for the adult population age 25 and older; and school
enrollment for the population age three and older. The data come from the
American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 one-year
and three-year estimates.

A Decent Standard of Living is measured using median annual gross personal earnings, also from the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 one-year and three-year estimates. These earnings figures are presented in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars.

These three sets of indicators are then combined into a single number that falls on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being the highest.

The results of the study showed that, to no one’s surprise, quality of life or “well-being” differs greatly across racial and ethnic groups. Yes, there are lots of significant correlations between where you fall on “human development index” and race and ethnicity. But David forgot to tell us that there are also correlations between certain public policies and quality of life for the people who live under them. For example:

Policy and investment at the state level related to key human development areas, such as public education, the public health infrastructure, health insurance coverage, social services, income supports like state earned
income tax credits, and housing. There is a strong correlation, for example,
between state expenditure per pupil on public education and that state’s
score on the educational index.

Other important factors are jobs, industry, and “rates of unionization.” And within racial and ethnic categories, newer immigrants tend not to do as well as well established members of the same ethnic group. In addition, the authors point out that when people are in an ethnic group that has access to the power structure of a state, then tend to achieve higher levels of well-being. And finally racial segregation is correlated with lower levels of well being in specific ethnic groups, such as African Americans. From the report:

Washington, D.C., geographically a single city, contains within it two
completely separate, yet side-by-side, worlds, one home to whites experiencing
some of the highest well-being levels in the nation, the other home
to African Americans living, on average, drastically shorter lives, with less
access to educational and income-generating opportunities.

No kidding. But the authors don’t claim these differences have nothing to do with public policy, as David Brooks implied in his column.

What is Brooks really trying to say anyway? It seems to me that, in his snooty, above-it-all way, he is saying the same thing that those Arizona voters are saying, and what was accepted wisdom in the segregationist days–that if you belong to a particular ethnic group, there’s pretty much no hope for you. And you probably brought it on yourself through laziness or bad child-rearing practices or something.

In any case, you shouldn’t come crying to the government or wealthy elites like David Brooks. They have nothing to offer you, and even if they did try to help you out, it wouldn’t do you any good.

At the very least, someone needs to explain to David that just because two things are correlated–that there is some kind of association between them–doesn’t mean that one of those things caused the other thing. Even my Psych 101 students know that. So unless Brooks can show me an experiment where someone took hundreds of individuals from all the different ethnic groups and had them live out their lives in carefully controlled laboratory conditions, I’m not buying his dopey conclusions. And The New York Times should be ashamed to publish this drivel.

UPDATE: Brad DeLong mocks Brooks and the NYT. Matt Yglesias trips all over himself whiletrying to defend Brooks from DeLong.

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A History of Violence

Something is very wrong with Amy Bishop, and there has been something wrong with her for a very long time. But just what is her problem, and how did she manage to keep it at least somewhat under control for so long? As a psychologist, I have found this story so fascinating that I have barely been able to focus on anything else for the past few days.

Amy Bishop is a professor at the University of Alabama at Huntville who shot six of her colleagues at a Biology Department meeting on Friday, February 12. She had taken a 9-millimeter pistol with her to the meeting, loaded with 16 bullets. She did not have a permit for the weapon. She has been charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder so far. From The New York Times:

Those killed were Gopi Podila, 52, the chairman of the biology department; Maria Ragland Davis, 50, a professor who studied plant pathogens; and Adriel Johnson, 52, a cell biologist who also taught Boy Scouts about science.

Two of the wounded were Joseph Leahy, 50, a microbiologist, and Stephanie Monticciolo, 62, a staff assistant, both of whom were in critical condition. The third was Luis Cruz-Vera, 40, a molecular biologist, who was released from the hospital on Saturday.

A neuroscientist with a PhD from Harvard University, Bishop was working on a start-up company to market a portable cell incubator that she had invented with her husband. The couple had won the $25,000 seed money in an Alabama business competition. Bishop and Anderson have four children, the oldest of whom is 18.

Bishop had been denied tenure twice by her department, and her appeal had been denied in April of 2009. At the end of the Spring semester she would have had to leave UAH. She felt she had been unfairly treated because of personality issues, and had apparently retained a lawyer to help her fight the decision. However, with her qualifications, Bishop should have been able to find another teaching job easily. On the other hand, why did she end up at UAH in the first place when she had such outstanding qualifications?

My excuse for writing about this at TC is that, according to the Boston Herald, quoting “a family source,” Bishop

was a far-left political extremist who was “obsessed” with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.

In addition, many right-wing blogs are trying to turn this tragic story into a political issue, claiming that Amy Bishop is a radical socialist, and supposedly that should explain her losing control and going on a shooting rampage.

At least one blog is suggesting the shootings were based on race, because most of the people Bishop shot were people of color. I also saw this suggestion made on Twitter several time yesterday.

…Bishop shot almost every non-white faculty member in the department. (She also shot and wounded two white victims, a professor and a staff member.) She killed both African-American professors in the department (one of whom was too junior to have had anything to do with Bishop’s tenure decision). She killed the department chair, who was ethnically South Asian. A Latino faculty member was wounded. There may only be two non-white faculty left in the department. Whether she intended it or not, Amy Bishop effected a racial purge of the Alabama Huntsville biology department.

The following is a summary of what I have learned about Amy Bishop so far. Continue reading

Trying to stick a “Far Left” label on Righteous Indignation

The New York Times Opinionator blog aggregator has detected a nascent revolt in the Democratic party.  The Times is only 18 months late.  The PUMAs were ahead of the curve the day the DNC RBC knifed its own voters and installed Barack Obama as the nominee over the objections of slightly more than half of the Democratic primary voters.  I’ll get back to why this moment was important.  The Opinionator follows up on this week’s off-off-year election results and reports that it appears that the Democrats are losing their far left flank.

(First, they came for the so-called “Reagan Democrats”, then they came for the women and the gays.)

Can I just say what a stupid narrative this is?  Sometimes, I read this crap in the paper and I think, do these reporters just take dictation from Rahm Emannuel or do they make this $^&* up to conform to their view of the world where things have to go into neat little boxes?

What the hell is the far-left anyway?  If you believe that equal treatment under the law should apply to all citizens regardless of gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, race, creed or disability because they are all persons born with unalienable rights, that is hardly a “far left” position.  Isn’t that a uniquely American position?  Didn’t we all pledge allegiance to the flag that promised “liberty and justice for all”?  And if that is true, doesn’t that put us on the side of everything that is good about America and those that oppose those things horribly mislead?

My idea of “far-left” is based on my childhood impressions of news reports of the Weather Underground and defenders of Karl Marx.  Far lefties, to me, are people who are rigid ideologues who want to enforce some strange form of a socialist utopian nanny state on the rest of us. And I am referring to a REAL communist-socialist state, not some bizarre Republican  misinterpretation of one. Far lefties are militant pacifists.  They hang out in trees and feed their children macrobiotic organic fruititarian diets.  They are green Martha Stewart’s who think everyone has time to grow their own clothes and walk to work.   They’re people who can’t be reasoned with.  They’re oblivious to real life and are as fundamentalist in their world view as the religious right.

The closest I can find to a far-lefty these days is the Obot who still thinks that the main problem plaguing the country right now is the issue of race.  Where have these people been in the last year?  Did they miss that sincerely awe inspiring election of the first African-American for president?  Don’t they know what the unemployment rate is? Have they tried to find jobs lately?  Feed their kids?  Pay for a doctor?  Save for college?  They’re stuck with the mindset that we are not finished with their teachable moment on race as if all other oppressed demographic groups don’t have  grievances that need to be addressed.  If only we would let go of our prejudices, which for the most part do not exist on the center-left, President Obama could get on with his job and we’ll all be happier. Anyone who opposes Obama doesn’t have a legitimate reason for doing so.  They’re just racists or stupid old women.  That’s the far-left.  They are so stuck in the weeds of their own perfect world they are incapable of seeing the floor torn out from beneath their feet by the big business friends of Obama who installed him in office.

Let’s talk about those big business friends of Obama.  They were in control of the primary and general election season last year.  I think we can all see that in retrospect.  Raise your hand if that isn’t perfectly clear to you by now.  Their massive infusions of cash bought the Democratic National Committee, which unbeknownst to the average voter was up for sale.  The Democratic National Committee violated just about every principle it stood for in order to install Obama as the nominee including dumping millions of Hillary Clinton’s voters.  I’m going to keep harping on this until the Times boys get it.  The party dumped its base last year.   That is why there is trouble brewing in the party.  Some of us have left the party over what happened last year.  You just didn’t see it in the presidential election because the economy tanked.

Apparently, that “some of us” made the difference in NJ.  It isn’t that there were so many more voters voting Republican in NJ.  There weren’t.  It’s that Democrats just didn’t turn out or that the truly disgusted ones, such as myself, voted for a fiscally responsible, socially liberal Chris Daggett.  Now, some may argue that Corzine lost due to local issues.  And that is true.  But the reason he was such a failure at resolving local issues is because he is typical of the kind of Democratic politician we’ve become accustomed to voting for in the Democratic party.  He is beholden to the status quo and big money, a compromiser, an incrementalist, insufficiently bold, doesn’t look out for the middle class and all too willing to ignore the voters when their will is inconvenient to him.

Who does that sound like?

The party has lost its way and now that enough of its voters know that the party is no longer listening to them, there have been defections.  And let’s not mistake who the defectors are.  Most of us are FDR, Clinton style Democrats, moderate to  liberal but hardly “far-left”.  We’re in Paul Krugman’s camp.  Recently, some of the feminist Obama supporters have woken up and smelled the coffee.  We welcome them and only regret that they weren’t paying attention last year when references to abortion and reproductive rights were scrubbed from Democratic candidates web sites. (Read past the quote) They ridiculed the PUMAs last year.  They’re starting to sound just like them now.  Gay voters have been wary of Obama since he rolled out  Donny McClurkin but many fell prey to the “Obama is an historic candidate but Hillary Clinton is an old bitch” propaganda.  Do they now regret their over the top rants against her? Is it possible that she was just a legitimate candidate who stood for traditional core Democratic principles and was not sent by Satan to rain on Barack Obama’s glorious golden specialness?  Is it possible that her supporters deserved to be treated like persons and their votes respected?

The party’s civil war started the day the RBC tossed our votes out, May 31, 2008.  The day they made one candidate’s voters more equal than the others, the day they violated every principle they had over voting rights, the day they selectively broke and enforced their rules and decided to not listen to their voters, and got away with it, was the day the party started down the path to disunity.  It only took some time before the Obama cheerleaders realized that they had given the party permission to completely ignore them in the future.  And now the party should not be surprised that they have a civil war on their hands.

Bring. It. On.

 

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A Conversation on Race: Let’s Not

CB001871 On Sunday Night during the VMAs, one of my favorite singers, Taylor Swift, a pop country singer just a few months older than me who writes and performs her own songs, was giving her acceptance speech after winning the Best Female Video of the Year Award, when Kanye West randomly appeared on the stage, took her award from her, and declared that she didn’t deserve it, explaining, “Beyonce had the best video of the year!” Taylor Swift went back stage and cried, and since then Kanye West has apologized to her, but not before his behavior became a subject of controversy.

Most people deduced reasonably that regardless of whether Kanye thought Taylor deserved the award (It’s called: “You Belong With Me” is the most adorable video ever and Taylor deserved the honor hands down, but whatever), it was not reason enough for him to leap on the stage and make a public idiot of himself. Most people came out in support of Taylor, acknowledging that what Kanye did was despicable and disrespectful.

This is a reasonable, mature conclusion.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much to change the atmosphere in this country. Because Jimmy Carter was right, we are a Racist Nation. But not for the reasons he thinks we are. You see, when Joe Wilson screamed “You Lie!” during the President’s speech on Sunday night, he was not being racist, he was simply being an imbecile. Any person not paying attention to the color of the President’s skin would have seen this. They would have heard representative Wilson’s outburst, logically concluded, “What a tool,” and Representative Wilson would have been ignored, as all blathering idiots should be ignored, thus Representative Wilson would not have gotten a week of free press coverage, thus reporters would have instead covered the president’s Health Care speech (which is kind of, oh… I don’t know… THEIR JOBS) and things would be slightly better with the world.

(In an even better world, cable news talking heads and the MSM would also realize that no one takes boobs like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Joe Wilson seriously and would therefore not pay attention to a word they say, thus taking the public debate away from Health Care Reform, Afghanistan, and the Economy, but you can’t have everything, and unfortunately this is not Walgreens.)

We are not a racist nation because people like Joe Wilson illicitly scream, “YOU LIE!” during presidential speeches. Calling someone a liar is not racist, it is calling someone a liar. I myself have called people of all races and ages liars. For example, when the white woman in the Pantene Pro V Shampoo Commercial says that she is a Professional Cosmo and she uses Pantene all of the time, I scream “YOU LIE!” at her. But I do not call her a liar because of the color of her skin, I call her a liar because most Cosmos are brainwashed in beauty school to believe that they can only use Salon Products to maximize profits for the Parlors that train them. Thus, a Hair Stylist would never tell people to use Pantene Pro V unless she was being paid large sums of money. Whether she is liar or not isn’t irrelevant to the color of her skin because when you are calling someone a liar, you are questioning their honesty and character, not implying that they are inferior because of their skin color. Simple Pimple.

I believe it was Martin Luther King Jr. who dreamed of a world where little white girls and little black girls could hold hands and play together without anyone thinking anything of it. I believe he told us to judge a person not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. Kanye West demonstrated poor character on Sunday Night. He is Black. George W. Bush demonstrated poor character for eight years. He is white. Margaret Cho IS a character. She is Asian. Taylor Swift Demonstrated Good Character all this week. She is white. Beyonce demonstrated good character on Sunday Night. She is Black. As you can see, these folks do not have good or bad character because of their race, they have good or bad character because they have good or bad character and should be judged as human beings, not members of race or ethnicity.

To be perfectly honest, I do not need to be lectured about race relations by rich white “liberals” *eye roll* descended from slave owners, who have never seen a black person in their lives. By screaming that I am “RACIST” every time I criticize the President on policy grounds, they are diffusing their argument and in fact proving themselves to be racist. If they were truly as blind to his race as they claim to be, they would see him as a human being with flaws, triumphs, failures, hopes, dreams. They would recognize that he is not “America’s First Black President” but a President who has many responsibilities to the American people, and therefore would hold him accountable to those responsibilities at all times.

America is indeed, a racist country, because we continue to have “a conversation on Race.” I don’t care what race a person is, and I do not want to have a conversation about it. I want to have a conversation about last night’s episode of True Blood or Kohl’s big blow out sale at the end of this month. If you see a person as your equal or your better, you talk to them as you would anyone else. Therefore you do not walk up to them and say, “Oh, hey! Let’s have a conversation about your race.” I wouldn’t even say something like that to my cat. That is just plain common sense.

America needs to move forward and leave the bloody stains of slavery and segregation behind us. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. If we can learn to look at each other as people instead of black people, Hispanic people, gay people, and Trannie people, that beautiful dream of his just might come true one of these days.

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Kanye West may Save Obama’s Presidency

(With apologies to Taylor Swift)

Kanye West may save Obama’s presidency. When President Obama said “He’s a jackass.”, the President confirmed a simple truth about civic virtue that transcended most political boundaries.

Importantly, he did so authentically. His statement was not the product of intense focus group distillation.

The comment leaked (hmm) and it met with significant approval. Unsurprisingly, given President Obama’s historic fall from favorability grace, the video was “released” by CNN.

In the video, the President is charming just being himself. His charm is but a bonus, however, because the People’s approval was based on his bare words.

Mr. West’s act could save Obama’s presidency, if “President Obama” recognizes the simple truth of why his comment worked. The people who voted for him did so because he promised to speak the truth and he promised to act on the truth. His statement both spoke and performatively acted on the truth of Mr. West’s behavior.  The People approved.

It’s remarkable that Obama has not realized the power of being honest, given that the promise of honesty carried him to power. Heck, he even disarmed the faux race angle of the incident, which delivers on the post-racial promise (that others made for him).

So, if President Obama realizes that being honest and keeping his promises (general as they were) will give him the best chance of having a second term, then perhaps he’ll adopt doing so as an election strategy. If he does, then his presidency will be historically important because he will be an example of how people benefit by doing the right thing.

UPDATE: Many of you think my modest proposal is not too swift. That is not a bad outcome.

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Thursday: And now, a little something about race

Good Lord, the sweeties have been out in force the last couple of days, catapulting the propaganda. And just like any potentially successful organism, the sweetie has adapted to its environment. They tried playing the feminine guilt card on us until we made it clear that we were not the mommy half of the party and were not going to rescue young women from their careless mistakes as long as they still had an opportunity to make a rational choice. So, now they’re turning to race.

One particularly annoying theme from yesterday’s sweetie attack was that Kentuckians pretty much admitted that they were racists in exit polls. “They admitted it! Yes, it’s true. One in five Kentuckians said they were basing their voting decision on race and isn’t it obvious that Obama couldn’t win there and why should we as a party spend so much time and money on a bunch of ignorant people who will not be enlightened? Jeez, don’t you fricking Conflucians get it? Are you still willing to sell out the party for race?”

Damn, those numbers keep getting in the way. If 20% of Kentuckians won’t vote based on race, that must mean that 80% were more than willing to overlook race to vote for the candidate who appeals to them in some other way. THAT means that if Barack Obama had spent some time actually talking to some of the working class voters in Kentucky about what is important to them, he might not have lost the state by a humiliating 35%. So, what are we to conclude from this? If it is true that 20% of Kentuckians are racists, Obama wasted a perfectly good chance to score with a vast majority of DEMOCRATS in Kentucky and this is a conscious decision he is making that has nothing to do with race.

Now, it turns out that Conflucians do not share the characteristics of the typical Clintonista. That is because the stereotypical Clintonista, that stupid, uneducated, working class woman Clinton supporter is a myth. We actually can think our way out of a paper bag. And if you sweeties can’t think more logically than this you are really not going to be very persuasive in getting us to change our minds. We really aren’t interested in voter assisted suicide of the Democratic party because the party leadership and superdelegates are just bound and determined to use Obama’s candidacy as a teachable moment on race.

Race, after all, is an artificial social construct. (For those of you interested in the relationship of evolutionary change and “race”, I highly recommend Jared Diamond’s book, Guns, Germs and Steel. ) It has no meaning in the biological sense. It is merely the regional phenotypic expressions as a result of the organism adapting to its environment. Personally, I’d like for all of us to get over it. But it’s not going to happen this year because instead of Obama raising our consciousness about race, he used race as a weapon against his very own constituents. Gene Lyons had a recent column about how angry and alienated Democrats are about how our party has disintegrated. Those of us who will not vote for him or are seriously considering making a statement, have two major reasons for it: 1.)In comparison to Hillary Clinton, he is embarrassingly unready and 2.) he has used race to divide his own party in the most pernicious way possible. There are other reasons relating to gender as well and I have a message to Gary Hart and Bill Richardson. We are NOT irrational females who have no reason to be mad and it is unlikely that we will come around in the fall. When you are in a hole, stop digging.

So, dear sweeties, go back to the drawing board and see if you can find another reason why we should vote for Obama in the fall. But before you come back here, you might want to get rid of your own prejudices about us.

In the meantime, here is a blast from the past that I think speaks eloquently about what makes Clintonistas tick. We are in solidarity with the common people:

Barack Obama’s Double Bind

Awhile back, RonKSeattle challenged us to find out about Barack Obama.  Who is he really? 

Obama is the unknown quantity. He’s a big deal, but is he the real deal? In his meteoric rise, the usual questions haven’t been faced. The usual record hasn’t been demonstrated. Will his bubble simply burst, leaving Wolcott’s puddle of melting iridescence? 

For an individual approaching the presidency at a defining moment — not to mention leadership of our Party at a critical juncture — we know precious little of Obama the man, or Obama the plan.

I’d like to explore this with the help of the rest of you wonderful Conflucians.  For the first time in long time, I feel that I’m in a place and among people where I can safely express my real thoughts and feelings about Barack Obama.  This post is a starting point only. Continue reading