As everyone is well aware, deep divisions have been created by the Obama campaign between Obama and Clinton's supporters. Much of the resentment comes from the free pass given by the press and Democratic Party leaders to some of the most damaging cracks and fissures in a person's character ever seen in a candidate for President.
There were also Obama's famous guns and religion comments which alienated most of small town rural America and his underhanded bullying tactics, snide remarks and sexist attitudes towards Clinton which alienated just about all of Clinton's women voters.And then his passive aggressive style which he used to attack by claiming to be the victim, all of which has helped make him the most divisive figure in the history of Democratic politics.
But nothing seemed to divide the party more and cause more anger and resentment than Obama's divisive playing of the race card, the architect of which was James Clyburn of South Carolina.
Obama and the party knows ( or should know) that far from unity, they are right now looking at mass defections with no contributions to either the DNC or the Obama campaign from any of Clinton's supporters. And the stupefying fact is, this is not a disgruntled minority but the majority of the party.Which shows just how out of touch with reality Pelosi, Reid and Dean and super delegates have been.
Everyone in the Obama camp agrees that his first priority was to go about the business of trying to unify the party and Obama stated as recently as yesterday that he was "confident" he could do that. Where that confidence comes from is hard to say. Certainly not from anything connected to reality. And nothing that Obama has ever been able to do in his life. But it didn't take long for even that fantasy to get blown out of the water.
Congressman Clyburn did Obama no favors on PBS last night ( June 4) when he said "there is no doubt that there are people in the Democratic Party who wont vote for Obama because of race".
So, before anyone has even had a chance to take a breath, the Obama campaign was whipping out the race card which is one of the very things Clinton voters resented from the start. And now it's going to get most of them to dig in their heels against Obama even more. And who can blame them? The ugly assertions and underlying message of Clyburn, the subliminal message they are trying to send, the one trick pony that is Clyburn's brainchild, is that if you don't back Obama you are a racist.
Clyburn played the race card in South Carolina and it worked. It not only went unnoticed by the media but 90% of what used to be called the liberal press but which can now be safely described with another "L" word, the lunatic press, took the race bait. Clinton's campaign which should have fought back was passive.The result was that in South Carolina and in every primary since,Obama won 90% of the African American vote.
Judgement was supposed to be one of the hallmarks of Obama's campaign even though everyone on the other side saw that if anything, Obama's judgement left a lot to be desired, especially regarding his 17 year close relationship with Wright. The issue was how he could have continued a close relationship with someone like Wright whose anti American, anti-white and anti-Semitic stances were an integral part of his church. And Obama's judgment for not leaving that church and what it said about him is and was fair game. After all, this is the candidate who proclaimed he had the judgement to be President from day one, and it took him to day 6,253 to sever his relationship with Wright and his church.
Many Chicago journalists have written that they believe it was for political reasons since the church was in the district Obama represented, and if Obama chose to compromise his personal beliefs for his political career that would come as a shock to no one. But Obama has asserted repeatedly that he did not share the beliefs of Wright and many felt, and rightly so, that the issue was not Obama's beliefs but his lack of conviction, not to mention character and judgment that his relationship with Wright brought to light.
But Clyburn has now given people cause to wonder. The race card had already stained and besmirched Obama's candidacy throughout the campaign, but it had been less than 24 hours since Obama talked about post primary unity and an Obama surrogate decided to throw out the race bomb in the typical passive aggressive style that has been the Obama trademark. Attack by playing victim.
Racism as we all know is not an issue. Racism is a disease. And if Clyburn had felt the Democratic party had symptoms of this disease where, by implication, white voters or white members of the party who would not vote for an African American because of racist attitudes, in all his years as a Democratic congressman and a Democratic party insider, he never said a word. Until last night.
Obviously Clyburn and Obama feel that playing the race card worked to get the nomination and maybe they think it will work to try and bully Clinton voters into supporting him this time around. It wont.
It worked to help secure the nomination ( secure it -- not finalize it which can't happen till the convention) but only because super delegates following the lead of Pelosi and Reid, two people with lower job approval ratings than Bush pushed them into it and they followed.
Clyburn's comments last night dragged an already tawdry and underhanded Obama campaign into the mud where its probably going to stay. Simply the word "unity" uttered by anyone remotely connected to the Obama campaign is going to remind people of all the reasons the disunity exists in the first place.
If Obama is indeed the nominee, he is from a practical point of view, going to have to devise a general election strategy that can win without Clinton supporters and their money, all 18 million of them and the influence they will have on independents, because they have lost those voters and wont get them back. And if the party brain trust is feeling that Obama cant win without Clinton voters they should have thought of that before artificially ending the whole process because of their own fears.
Clinton is scheduled to make a speech on Saturday. Everyone knows what the party wants Clinton to say. And if she says all the right things about party unity, Clinton voters understand this is what she is expected to say. It wont mean a thing to her supporters.
There are last straws and there is grasping for straws and Obama went past the last straw with Clinton voters a long time ago but just for good measure Clyburn inadvertently piled one on. Now whistling in the dark they are claiming "confidence" in party unity. But they are grasping for straws and Clyburn's clumsy attempts at "unifying" the party by trying to brand those who don't go along with the program racist just made it a whole lot worse. Irreparably worse.
News reports say that Clinton is going to concede on Saturday. I'm not so sure. She may very well decide enough is enough. But most of the media is reporting that she is going to "suspend" her campaign. And, as usual, most of the media are too stupid and incompetent to know that suspending and ending are two different things.
If Clinton just suspends her campaign and does not concede she is leaving the door open for super delegates to still cast their votes for her in August at the convention. If she does not release her delegates it will mean that while she may not continue formal campaigning, she has not withdrawn. That is the difference between conceding and suspending. The media might have been told that Clinton is going to suspend her campaign and in their usual stupid inept jumping to the wrong conclusion might be assuming that means she is going to quit when she isn't.
On the other hand she may very well do just that and concede. But if she suspends her campaign, if that is the word she uses, if she does not release her delegates, she is not quitting. And a few more comments like the one made by Clyburn could be the reason why.