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Was Hillary Channeling George Wallace?
  Question: Is Joe Conason tired of fighting the hate-Hillary tsunami?


Citing a AP analysis "that found how Senator Obama's support among working, hard-working 
Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed 
college were supporting me," she went on to say: "There's a pattern emerging here." 

There is indeed a pattern emerging -- and it is a pattern that must dismay everyone who admires 
the Clintons and has defended them against the charge that they are exploiting racial divisions.

But this time she violated the rhetorical rules, no doubt by mistake. 

Well, wait a minute, Joe.
If her violation was "no doubt a mistake," why pin the Wallace label on her?
And what did she say that made you wince?

It was her offhand reference to "working, hard-working Americans, white Americans" that raises the 
specter of old Dixie demagogues like Wallace and Lester Maddox. Was she dog-whistling to the
voters of Kentucky and West Virginia? 

I'm not sure what "hard-working" meant in the South in the sixties, but today,
I'd say "hard-working" means you wear jeans to work, not a $3000 suit.

When you take out all the words that aren't needed, Hilary said,
"Obama has trouble winning over white, blue collar voters."

How can it be racist to state that fact?

Remember when Obama went bowling?
He did it to impress those people, whatever you want to call them. 
Obama wins blacks 9-1 and it's not racist to say that,
but if he has trouble with white voters, it's racist to say so?

While I still cannot believe she actually intended any such nefarious meaning, 

...but if you don't believe it - why the "channeling Wallace" headline?

...she seemed to be equating  "hard-working Americans" with "white Americans." 

I disagree.
The phrase "hard-working people" includes blacks.
In this scenario, the blacks have already gone to Obama.
It would be grossly incorrect to say Obama can't win with hard-working blacks,
so what's left is the hard-working white people.  Am I wrong?

And that blacks almost exclusively go for Obama, why is that her cross to bear?
He's the "black" candidate, and that's OK.
But if she's the "white" candidate, that's proof she's channeling George Wallace?
Under those rules, how can she be anything but a racist?

Which is precisely what Wallace and his cohort used to do with their drawling refrain 
about welfare and affirmative action. This is the grating sound of Nixon's Southern strategy, 
even though Tricky Dick would never quite stoop to saying such things in public. 

Whoa, so Hillary is now Nixon, but without the good manners?
I don't suppose there are two Joe Conasons at 

Just kidding...

The tragedy is that neither Clinton carries even the slightest racial animus... 

So I ask again - if "neither Clinton carries even the slightest racial animus,"
why do you pin the Wallace and Nixononian labels on her?  How does that fit?

Why is it that every pundit on TV can talk about race, and Obama can talk about race,
but if Bill or Hillary uses the words "black" or "white," the sky caves in on them?

So the Clintons probably understand the essential evil of racism better than most white politicians. 
They have certainly done more than most of today's white politicians to combat that evil.
That is why, as they contemplate the conclusion of this campaign, they deserve better 
from themselves than to encourage doubt about their decency and character.

But - what if we gave our former president and his wife the benefit of the doubt?

Isn't it possible that seasoned speakers, talking for 14 hours a day on a hundred topics,
could make simple verbal slips that could then be shaped and spun and misconstrued by 
that right-wing-owned Whore Media Monster that needs to be fed 24/7?

John McCain is unable to remember who's backing the Sunnis, and that doesn't get much press,
but if either Clinton uses a word than can be endlessly bounced around the echo chamber,
we get dozens of round tables with breathless supposition and saliciousness - because that sells. 

Note: I'm not blaming you, Joe.
          You've been one of the straightest shooters. 

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