Friday, February 01, 2008

The Politics of Black and White

By Black and White politics in the current Democratic primary race, I don't mean skin color. The contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has become all about Demonization and Lionization, about seeing only Good and Bad and not the grey shades that are the real world. The two frontrunners, Hillary and Obama, are portrayed - especially in the left and youth press - as all Bad or all Good. The really disturbing thing about this is that false images and self-generating hype have driven out discussion of policies and real character differences.

In particular, Hillary is increasingly portrayed as "status quo", "dirty politician" and "hypocrite" by commentators who distort events and then repeat the distortion until it becomes common knowledge. I wouldn't mind if she lost on her own merits, but the current treatment of her is part of an insane pattern in US politics of distortion and demonization of front-runner Democrats that I have documented over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

When they couldn't find something to attack Hillary about, they overemphasized the role of her husband and attacked him. When Obama attacks Hillary, virtually nobody sees a problem with it, but when Hillary attacks Obama, the web rings with calls of "Foul!" If we were all geographically closer, leftist youth would probably have lynched her by now.

Just today, the rabidly anti-Hillary HuffPost ran an article with the headline, "Clinton Backer Compares Obama Ad To Nazi March". Talk about twisting the truth: Obama ran an untrue ad that could hurt the cause of universal health care, and then somehow it is Hillary's fault because someone who happens to support her (and is not even affiliated with her campaign) went too far in criticizing it.

Despite the relentless demonization of Hillary, she's still ahead in the polls. Although the gap is getting mighty narrow, she just might pull this nomination off. As she is the most qualified, inspiring, competent and electable candidate, I'm hoping she can find a way to do it.


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