Ta-Nehisi Coates is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More
Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.
Stepping away from all that high-minded rhetoric, I'll add that, in practical terms, selecting Webb would be a slap in the face to the Hillary Clinton supporters. I'm not saying that Obama has to pick Hillary as veep (and indeed, I think that would be a bad idea). I'm not even saying that he needs to pick a woman.Kathy has assembled quite a bit of damning evidence, but from the perspective of cold hard politics, this really stood out to me. When people figure out that John McCain will appoint judges who will reverse Roe vs. Wade, I think that Obama will be doing a lot better among women. That said, I think Webb's issues could make things a lot harder. Maybe women won't vote for McCain. But they could stay home.
But Hillary was the first woman to ever have a serious shot at the presidency, and she came so close. So the Hillary supporters (of whom, to be clear, I am not one) will feel frustrated enough that their candidate didn't win. But for Obama to choose -- out of all the well-qualified candidates out there -- the one person who has a really awful record on gender issues would be like rubbing salt in the wound. It would be seen as a big "screw you" to Hillary's supporters and to feminists in general.
How would Obama supporters feel if their man lost a closely contested fight, and then Hillary turned around and picked as veep someone who, into the 1990s, was an outspoken critic of civil rights? It would seem tone-deaf and incredibly insensitive, to say the least.
In the Washingtonian magazine article, "Women Can't Fight," the ex-Marine Webb wrote of the brutal conditions during the Vietnam War and argued against letting women into combat...Webb described one of the academy's coed dorms as "a horny woman's dream" and said that he had never met a woman he "would trust to provide . . . combat leadership."Yeah, not cool. I was thinking about this though. If Webb had defended segregation in the 60s, or opposed school busing in the 70s, but I felt he was right on the issues today, I think I'd still be for him. For the record, Webb is pro-choice. It's hard for me to believe that with Roe v Wade hanging in the balance, Obama won't do well among women. That said, I can see why this would make some people uncomfortable.
I have to confess- I am celebrating Hillary’s implosion today. I went out earlier and had two glasses of wine, a spectacular grilled romaine salad with avocado and a raspberry vinagrette, and then a splendidly rare filet mignon in an oyster demi-glaze on a bed of asparagus. Because, you know, I am an elitist. And then I had a fat cigar. A few months back I was defending her, and was ready to vote for her, even after years as a Republican. And then I watched her campaign and I realized once again how repellent she is.I really think this is the end of any unity ticket talk. Not because Obama's feelings are hurt, but because Clinton is being exposed in these last days as a really mediocre candidate. This is worse than Joe Biden's "clean" remark--at least Biden had the decency to apologize to the person he offended, plus, he hadn't said it like three other times. Some folks in the comments referenced Olbermann's comment. I've got it below. It's a bit over the top for me, but worth watching.
Yeah, I really wish I could be more graceful about this, but since dinner, I have had a couple more drinks and I keep getting more ecstatic. In my defense, you know what you get when you come here, so deal with it. All praise the Giant Spaghetti Monster, please give us another pervert Republican this weekend and the week will be complete.
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