Friday, April 04, 2008

The dark side of Hillary's support

By Michael J.W. Stickings

No, not all Hillary supporters are like this -- right, Carl? -- but ignorance and bigotry are certainly alive and well among her base. Here's Michael Crowley at The Stump:

A Hillary supporter in Pennsylvania to the New York Observer's Jason Horowitz:

"She’s got this one locked," said Mary Yates, a 67-year-old retired worker in a chemical factory. "No Muslim is going to be president. No drug addict. If Hillary isn't the one, everyone I know will vote for John McCain."

As Horowitz notes, "Her campaign may not be at liberty to say so, but that sort of sentiment -- factually misguided though it may be -- is just what the Clinton campaign needs right now."

Is this Mary Yates the rare exception? Hardly. At The Plank, Jonathan Chait cites a new Pew survey:

In particular, white Democrats who hold unfavorable views of Obama are much more likely than those who have favorable opinions of him to say that equal rights for minorities have been pushed too far; they also are more likely to disapprove of interracial dating, and are more concerned about the threat that immigrants may pose to American values. In addition, nearly a quarter of white Democrats (23%) who hold a negative view of Obama believe he is a Muslim.

Less educated and older white Democrats, who have not backed Obama in most primary elections, hold these values more commonly than do other Democrats.

It's an ugly, ugly world out there, to be sure, even among Democrats -- and especially, in this regard, on Hillary's side. (She has done extremely well among "uneducated" white voters, and will likely do so again in the Pennsylvania primary later this month.)

No doubt these ignorant bigots would go for McCain over Obama, but it is distressing -- and should be deeply worrying to everyone who wants to see a Democratic victory in November -- that Hillary's candidacy has been bolstered by ignorance and bigotry and that she and her campaign have made appeals to ignorant bigotry time and time again.

Of course, most of the ignorant bigotry out there arose long before the present Democratic campaign. However, some of it may no doubt be traced directly to these noxious efforts to tear down Obama, Republican and Clintonian alike. (For example, appealing to anti-Muslim bigotry by implying or even stating explicitly that Obama is a Muslim.)

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  • ::::::shuddering:::::::::Dear Gods, is THAT who Clinton is "playing to" in those speeches where she sounds like the nasty condescending Sunday School teacher who was the bane of childhood existence?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 AM  

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