Thursday, March 06, 2008

Is there a New Divide in the Democratic Party? More than just Race and Gender in this Primary Fight.

Wow, I had a fun time with yesterday's blog entry- had a couple of people stop in and leave a comment. And I thank both readers for leaving their thoughts. It has helped me to start focusing more about what this primary race means (beyond the shear Horse Race aspect of it.) The comments are here, if you'd like to read them (or you can click the comment link at the end of yesterday's entry.)

This race is certainly about the politics of identity. To ignore that would be silly. The reaction to photos of Obama in African Dress proves that many see the Clinton Campaign as saying that America is not ready for a Black President. This primary fight is about Race.

And this primary fight is certainly about Gender. A post by Monica Guzman at Seattle PI lead me to a Washington Post Article in which some feminist leaders claim that:"There are some people who promote Barack Obama because they want anybody but a woman. Would they like a white man instead of a black man? Of course. But they'll take a black man over a woman. I never thought, in 2008, that we'd still be dealing with this."

(This has been a debate over at Green Mountain Daily for sometime- with NanukFC challenging male bias every step of the way.)

But there is another dynamic going on here. The press, in it's attempt to see around corners, has given us a lot of demographic information about the two camps. In addition to race and gender, we learn that the Obama camp is dominated by the young, the educated, the technically connected and savvy- people well able to compete in a global, and technology driven economy. Clinton, on the other hand, finds her support among those who are dependent on the "old" economy- blue collar and service workers- according to an article on CBS News, these are the people who respond to Hillary:
Clinton surely knows that as she promises to lower the costs of going to college, offering debt relief for people who graduate and go into teaching, or nursing, or law enforcement. “And I want to say something about all the other people who don’t go to college,” she adds. “You know, most people don’t go to college and graduate. And these are the people who build the buildings that we live and work in. They keep the economy going. They do most of the jobs in our society. I want to pay more attention to you.” She promises job training and community college programs.

At the same time, we've seen, recently on Green Mountain Daily, an anti-Clinton you-tube screed called: "The Clinton Hillbillies". Which lampoons Hillary as a carpet-bagging fake, and, by inference makes the point that her supporters are a bunch of beer drinking, tobacco spitting in-bread morons.

This race is dominated by the question of who will get the historic honor of being the first (X or Y) to be the first (X or Y) President in American history.

But on another level, I'm wondering if we are witnessing the Democratic party making a choice about which type of American we want to serve and help- and, if so, I'm wondering if it's possible to enlarge the tent again?

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