Sista Souljah's Revenge

I had this long post written out about how glad I was that Hillary was going to loose, and that black people were going to be a significant factor. While it's worth noting that black folk almost never see anyone get their comeuppance, the post felt tasteless. What can I say? Even Clintonites are human. Anyway here's a solid piece from Salon on how the black vote will ultimately cost Clinton the nomination:

The black vote was to Obama what small-state white voters in the Electoral College were to George W. Bush in 2000 -- namely, a concentrated bloc of voters whose power magnified their preferred candidate's electoral support beyond their absolute numerical value. For African-Americans, this should come as a pleasant irony, given the controversies about the counting of their votes in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio four years later...

...The problem for Clinton is that too few other African-Americans, male or female, have reached this same finding. In her inimitable meter, Angelou proclaims in the ad that she "watched [Clinton] become interested in public health and in education for all the children -- and I watched her stand." But Clinton failed to stand for African-American Democrats when the chance presented itself late last fall and into early January, even if doing so meant firing key staffers or dressing down her own husband. Doing that might have denied Barack Obama the near-universal claim to their support he now enjoys, and the black-white coalition he built from it. For Hillary Clinton, the price of that failure may turn out to be nothing less than the nomination itself.

I don't know how much the Clintons have race-baited. I think what looks like a conspiracy to others, looks more like rank incompetence to me. I thought Clinton's remarks about MLK were demonstrably false. Johnson--who once called MLK "that nigger preacher"--was probably the most courageous president ever when it came to the racial divide. But he had his arm twisted by King's relentless pressure. They were partners only because King forced the issue. I think the Billy Shaheen, "drug-dealing" affair was stupidity. I think Bob Johnson is a buffoon, and if Clinton could retract his stupid performance, she would. Ditto for Geraldine Ferraro. I don't see what bloc of voters Ferraro got for Clinton that weren't going to break her way anyway.

I do think that Bill Clinton's point about Jesse Jackson and South Carolina was a nefarious attempt at dismissal. But it's incomprehensible to me that the Clinton folks thought that--in the long-run--race-baiting was a good strategy in a Democratic primary, when your opponent is Barack Obama.But if you consider how inept the other parts of Clinton's campaign have been--writing off caucuses, not planning past Super Tuesday, not having a strong internet fund-raising strategy, a misguided belief in the power of spin--then you see the black thing as a piece of a larger pattern of bumbling.

Especially when you examine the fact that this was not pre-ordained. Barack Obama was probably destined to get a majority of the black vote. But he wasn't destined to beat Clinton 9 to 1 among black voters. That's just insane. And as Salon points out, had Clinton even gotten a respectable number of black voters--20 or 30 percent--she would be doing a lot better right now. But her problems with black voters mirror the larger problems with her campaign. Namely, it's been poorly run. Why here strategy for black voters be any better than rest of her effort?