You, oh dear five readers, do not need to come here and get more of the same.
But I can't help it. I keep going back to the subject.
At VDB, Philip Baruth wrote about the media's need to shape a gripping storyline...and the story they want to tell is..."Every Democrat Loves Obama EXCEPT Black Americans....what do they know that we don't? More...after the break!"
Even NPR is playing the game. In a February 28, Morning Edition Story, Steve Inskeep aired an interview with Obama. The Senator is heading to speak at Selma this year.
Here's an except from the printed transcript:
At his Capitol Hill office this week, Obama spoke with Steve Inskeep about his
upcoming trip to Selma and his experiences as an African American presidential
Do you try to talk in the same way to a black audience as a white
I think that the themes are consistent. It think that there's a
certain black idiom that it's hard not to slip into when you're talking to a
black audience because of the audience response. It's the classic call and
response. Anybody who's spent time in a black church knows what I mean. And so
you get a little looser; it becomes a little more like jazz and a little less
like a set score.
That is the way the story is framed: Obama, The African American candidate. The leading question: Do you do different stuff with black people than you do with white people?
The implied question, of course, being: which Obama is the "real" one?
(--And of course, if any of these big media types actually CAME from anywhere besides "TV Land", they'd realize that a LOT of Americans change their accent depending on who they are talking with. I listen to my Vermont friends turn into Peperidge Farm advertisements when they call their Mama in the Northeast Kingdom. As for me, when I get on the phone to Southern Relatives, I slip into something between Jeff Foxworthy and Willie Nelson. It just happens...it's not sinister...unless you are one of the big media pod-people with no home outside of a Georgetown cocktail party to call your own.)
I have to admit, I don't get it...the story isn't Barack Obama: The African American Candidate; the REAL story is that Obama is the first CANDIDATE who just HAPPENS to be African American.
His appeal (and for that matter, Hillary Clinton's appeal) cut's across the lines of "identity politics"--- He is not just a candidate for Black Americans, but a strong candidate for ALL voters who self-identify as Democrats. Hillary Clinton is not universally popular among women...some like her, some don't...just as many Democrats at large like her...and many don't.
To me, the most exciting thing about this race is that it looks like maybe, just maybe, we can leave behind "Identity Politics" and show the fractured, factional world, the we practice "Community Politics".
Just a hope- but today, it looks pretty bright.