He's black, you know. You know, he's really black. This is the 1990s rubbish that Bill Clinton tried and was, thank God, unsuccessful at using in the South Carolina primary.
According to Clinton, Barack Obama is a young, eloquent black man. I understand the subtlety of Bill Clinton's words, since for my entire career I have been perceived as a white Puerto Rican who is pretty smart. Yes, these characterizations have been said to my face. Not only should Bill Clinton be ashamed of employing these words and tactics, I hope thinking people will consider his remark as what it is: unadulterated racism.
The words and the strategy employed by Mr. Clinton and the Clinton campaign evince a mindset of contemporary racism. According to MSNBC exit polls, Clinton's argument was bought by voters over 60. This is the Clinton age group who supported equality if only we remembered our place and if you didn't act as a black man, a Puerto Rican man, a Mexican-American man. If you weren't somehow a representative of the white stereotype who rose up above ethnicity, above their stereotype, you were a typical minority.
So according to President Clinton, Barack Obama is a young, eloquent black man and I'm a pretty smart white Puerto Rican. I don't really consider myself Puerto Rican but American, forty-five years after Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech. But a policy of racial preferences is still in place because America has two educational systems, one for the rich and one for the poor.
Apparently, in a seventy-five-minute address to a rally for his wife in Independence, Missouri, President Clinton provided an overview of his record as Arkansas Governor. I am sure he did not mention that during all the years of his governorship Arkansas did not have a Civil Rights Law and that he did nothing to have such an important amendment added to the state's constitution. So in Arkansas black Americans were still perceived in law and in fact as second-class Americans.
When then-Governor Clinton settled the Little Rock school desegregation law suit, President Clinton signed a consent decree that promised to provide increased funding to black schools but not the integration of those schools.
Right now, as Bill Clinton travels around the country campaigning for his wife he has been suspended from the practice of law by the Arkansas and the United States Supreme Courts because he lied. He lied to a grand jury. A suspension from legal practice may not be permanent disbarment, but it is pretty damn close.
Scores of Democratic political consultants, myself among them, and thousands of Democratic operatives donated their time during the impeachment process to organize other Democrats to fight Clinton's removal from office. His impeachment was a political hit job, but he could have dodged the hit but for his mental illness, which the mental health profession describes as a personality disorder: sexual addiction.
Listed as one of ten kinds of personality disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, a handbook that mental health professionals use to diagnose mental ilness), sex addictions are described by the DSM-IV as "enduring pattern[s] of inner experience and behavior" that are sufficiently rigid and deep-seated to bring a person into repeated conflicts with his or her social and occupational environment. DSM-IV-TR specifies that to be considered pathological these dysfunctional patterns must be regarded as nonconforming or deviant by the person's culture, and cause significant emotional pain and/or difficulties in relationships and occupational performance.
Hillary Clinton may "stand by her man," but his employment as surrogate-in-chief of her campaign reflects poorly on her judgment. Or perhaps, as alcoholics learn, "denial" is just not a river in Egypt.
Is he acting out on the campaign trail? Will he relapse while Hillary's in the White House, turning attention from policy to the defense of deviant conduct yet again?
If Hillary wants to run for President in her own right, that's fair, but to use her husband as her attack dog diminishes their legacy and will destroy the Democratic Party. The 1990s are over. The Clintonistas represent its old politics of polarization and demonization. The American people are sick of this kind of politics, which is why Mrs. Clinton should not be the nominee of the Democratic Party. If she wants to stay in public life, her role as a conscientious United States Senator serves her well.
President Clinton can remain the humanitarian philanthropist who provides aid to the poor downtrodden minorities whom he sees as blacks, Puerto Rican, Mexicans and affected by some other calamity, Katrina for example, where he can rest peaceful in his ugly stereotypes and play the Great White Hunter.
Jan 28 2008 - 1:26pm