Blogs > Cliopatria > White Privilege, Identity and the 2008 Election

Sep 19, 2008 3:28 pm

White Privilege, Identity and the 2008 Election

A friend sent me this post that interprets the campaign from the perspective of white privilege.

I don’t agree with all of it, and the world is more complex than a single perspective like this can admit. But enough of it rings true that I want to share it for comments.

I will also pose these questions. In a political culture in which identity politics has become more and more overt, is this the most diverse set of major candidates that we have had? Or are we so focused on the differences that we are not seeing what they have in common in terms of background?

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Mike A Mainello - 9/30/2008

Says the democrats did not push for more regulation.;eurl=;site=178553

Mike A Mainello - 9/30/2008

I guess we will agree to disagree.

Congress passes laws, the executive branch enforces those laws. Both the Republican led congress and now the democratic led congress failed to pass improved oversight authority for the executive branch. Especially in the senate it is easier for the minority party to block any laws from coming to the floor for debate, so even if the republican controlled house had passed a bill, the minority party in the senate could block a bill from coming to the floor for discussion and vote.

It is easy to blame President Bush, but he has repeatedly requested increased regulatory authority and the democrats especially have opposed him for political purposes. In 2006 the democrats took over congress and did not pass any laws supporting President Bush either. In the final analysis, President Bush has been trying to fix the problem and democrats in congress kept blocking his administration.

The press, the democrats, and even liberal partisans can blame the president, but he tried to follow the laws established for the executive branch and congress gave him no additional authority. They are the guilty ones in this instance.

Oscar Chamberlain - 9/30/2008

Mike, when I said that there was bipartisan responsibility, what did you think that I meant?

As far as the push for minority ownership is concerned, that is a very minor part of the puzzle. Ineffective regulation by the Bush administration and an unwillingness that showed up among politicians of all stripes to be the person to pop the bubble has much more to do with it.

Mike A Mainello - 9/30/2008

I am confused by your response. Are you saying that you believe democrats are deeply involved (my opinion) or are you being sarcastic?

If you believe that this is just anecdotal evidence, then explain. However, I believe that the democrats were trying to buy votes by lowering borrowing standards and putting regulations in place that forced banks to lend to unqualified people.

I also believe President Bush bears some responsibility because he also pushed for increased home ownership among minorities. I believe all people should own their own home, if they want to, but "minority home ownership" should not be emphasized over home ownership. At the federal government level, all people should be treated equal, period.

Oscar Chamberlain - 9/29/2008

Thanks! You have made clear just how deeply many Democrats have been enmeshed in this garbage.

Mike A Mainello - 9/29/2008

I agree with the point and will do some additional research on this.

My wife sold homes for a builder during this time period and they constantly stressed selling homes to people that were truly not qualified under earlier circumstances.

Oscar Chamberlain - 9/29/2008

It is an interesting, and disheartening video. But given that Republicans controlled congress at this point, why didn't proposals for greater oversight make it out of committee?

Mike A Mainello - 9/29/2008

I am glad that House republicans stood firm and made sure negotiations continued and a package was not rushed through the congress.

How do you believe the problem was "bi-partisan"? Did you view the video? Didn't a republican president propose increased oversight? Didn't the democrats say there was no problem and block any increased regulation?

I am all for blaming both parties, if they are guilty, but why are you defending the democrats? This is why I am confused.

Oscar Chamberlain - 9/28/2008

The current financial meltdown is a bi-partisan affair. Both Democrats and Republicans bear blame. Both sides have been far too chummy with financial interests.

However, the original proposed bailout with no penalties for business leaders was a purely Republican creation (unless you would like to argue that Bush is not a real Republican). I am happy that there are Republicans as well as Democrats who have opposed this.

Mike A Mainello - 9/28/2008

This falls more in the crook area, but watch the video and tell me that it was the republicans that caused this financial problem.

Mike A Mainello - 9/22/2008

Please give me a list of republican crooks. Again, I know they are there, but I believe they tend to get prosecuted - Duke Cunningham, and the former Gov of Connecticut - or drummed out ala Florida's Foley.

Senator's Stevens and Craig cases are still being worked. I never really looked into Tom Delay's case because it sounded too much like political bickering between Texas Dems and Republicans.

I am waiting on Rep Jefferson from LA and hopefully Rangel from NY. It took Mayor Kilpatrick long enough to finally get the axe.

These are just a few off the top of my head. As I research more - between customers - I will get back with you.

Oscar Chamberlain - 9/22/2008

FYI Here are the proposed new powers for the Secretary of the Treasury. They are pretty borad, to put it mildly.

Crooks are crooks regardless. I probably tend to recognize the Republican ones more quickly. Do you have the same problem vis-a-vis Democrats?

At any rate, the grant of power proposed here is for a two year period, which is an awfully long time under the circumstances.

Mike A Mainello - 9/22/2008

I agree, if you have the time to look at the original Bush proposals in 2002 (I believe - let me know if you need some links) one of the interesting aspects was his request to remove presidential appointments to the board.

Raines, Johnson, and Gorelick (all crooks in my opinion) were President Clinton appointees that not only raided the place to the tune of $100 million, but continue to be valuable members of the democrat party.

A crook is a crook no matter the political affiliation.

Mike A Mainello - 9/22/2008

I agree with you that Democrats are excited about Senator Barry O. This is the first time since Carter and then JFK (RFK until he was killed). However I believe this excitement is because of his blank slate. He is everything to everybody. When I examine his record I see either a very liberal politician or one that votes "present" when asked to make a decision.

"Besides how much of the Republican support for McCain and Palin is driven by anger, anger not simply at Democrats but at the fellow Republicans who they believe sold out the Party's beliefs?"

The anger was not driving Republicans to the polls, maybe Democrats, but not Republicans. The selection of Gov Palin excited conservatives because she appears to be a conservative. In my opinion, Sen McCain would have lost without this selection. Conservatives are afraid of Sen B.O., but I am not convinced the fear was enough to take him over the top.

Oscar Chamberlain - 9/22/2008

Thank you for the clarification in your views. And certainly one should be uncomfortable with the actions of the Fed and the Treasury department. Even if one considers the moves justified, taken together that have made a radical change all too fast and with little or no debate.

The next Congress and president are going to have to reorganize all of this in a way that has long-term viability, and that will be no simple task.

Oscar Chamberlain - 9/22/2008

It was the drug benefit that I was referring to you. I'm intrigued there is an aspect of social security that you support.

I think you misread the source of Perot's popularity. He appealed to pragmatists across a wide range of persuasions. His social stands, which were moderate, alienated some conservatives, who must have seen choosing between him and the Elder Bush something of a Hobson's choice. Clinton may not have had a majority, but he did have a clear plurality (which in terms of the percentage of the popular vote is more than GW Bush had in 2000).

I will admit being a bit miffed that you assume that Democrats are driven by anger against their opponent while Republicans are driven by enthusiasm for their candidate. Whatever one thinks of Obama, the core of his supporters are deeply enthusiastic and committed. If you think they are driven mostly by anger, then you seriously underestimate them.

Besides how much of the Republican support for McCain and Palin is driven by anger, anger not simply at Democrats but at the fellow Republicans who they believe sold out the Party's beliefs?

Mike A Mainello - 9/21/2008

Don't confuse market solutions for lack of government oversight. Where I have trouble is where the government manipulates the market - Freddie and Fannie, Medical Care, and even education. When the government tries to be both referee and player, I have trouble. The government needs to set standards and when required, enforce those standards.

The government has unlimited resources and it usually has the final say in a dispute. If they set the standard and participate in the market, the public does not have an independent referee to dispute matters.

Mike A Mainello - 9/21/2008

Please show me where excitement for the candidate versus anger at the opponent brought out Democrats.

1992 - Conservatives were more excited with Perot than Democrats with Clinton. In fact, Clinton never won over 50% of the electorate.

Please explain the expansion of Social Security benefits. I don't remember them. If you are referring to the drug benefit, it was opposed by many, but at least it did encourage competition.

Oscar Chamberlain - 9/21/2008

I don't think that Democrats are inherently more dishonest than republicans, particularly after the urban political machines have faded. Still, it would be interesting to see a post-1956 study (you could choose another date) that tried to draw conclusions on that.

As to Democrats not getting excited, that just does not compute. The cores of each party are equally excited. Republican presidential candidates have been better of late at capturing the periphery by running as moderates.

Of course, that requires them to deliver on occasion. Think younger Bush and the expansion of social security health benefits and perhaps the current actions concerning the economy that you oppose.

Mike A Mainello - 9/21/2008

The democrat party is the party of government solutions - Universal Health Care, Social Security, and anti-School Choice, just to name a few off the top of my head. They are also the party of forced government intervention - Fannie and Freddie. See IBD editorial - Congress Lies Low To Avoid Bailout Blame

INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, September 18, 2008 4:30 PM PT

"Just look at the Republican national government from 2000-2006. Where in the Republican actions can you find a greater rejection of government aid as opposed to Democrats?"

You are exactly right and that is why the Republicans sat on their hands in 2006 and the Democrats regained control of both houses of Congress.

It is also why that until a conservative Vice Presidential candidate was named that most conservatives were not excited. You are smart enough to understand, democrats rarely get excited enough to go the ballot box, but it is a low turn out of conservatives that turn the tables. Now they will go if they are angry enough, but rarely if they are excited about something.

I know this last statement will get you upset, but rarely can you find instances of Republican voter fraud, but there is plenty of Democrat voter registration fraud (Google ACORN), Democrat Voter Fraud (Senator Johnson's Texas Election in the late 40's or JFK's large Illinois vote in 1960) and incompetence (See Florida 2000 in districts run by Democrats.

Oscar Chamberlain - 9/21/2008

"They didn't say - Uncle Sam please feed and cloth this baby or pay for my abortion it is your fault."

And where--anywhere--in Obama's life, his family's life, and his own policy statements, does Obama support such an attitude or position?

That you don't like his policies, that's fine. It's your choice. But there is nothing distinctively Republican or Democratic in the response of Palin's family to their circumstances.

In fact, I would argue that Republicans are no less likely to want government aid than Democrats. Nor are they less likely to receive such aid.

Just look at the Republican national government from 2000-2006. Where in the Republican actions can you find a greater rejection of government aid as opposed to Democrats?

Mike A Mainello - 9/20/2008

So much garbage in the link, but the bottom line what the writer is saying to me is government fixes are superior to individual responsibility.

Just to highlight the comment about Bristol Palin. The difference is not one of skin color, but of personal responsibility. The family and the baby's father said they are responsible for their actions and will raise the child. They didn't say - Uncle Sam please feed and cloth this baby or pay for my abortion it is your fault.

Most conservative won't vote for Senator Barry O, not because of his skin color, but because his policies rely on the government to fix the problem. I would gladly vote for Michael Steele, Ken Blackwell, Condi Rice, or even Lynn Swann. The problem with the author is he sees everything through "Black-Rosed" glasses.

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