Sunday, July 01, 2007

Is Politics Like Making a Child Custody Decision?

The current issue of The New York Review of Books includes a wonderful (which is not at all to say "positive") review of the latest books about Hillary Clinton (A Woman in Charge by Carl Bernstein and Her Way by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr.) Early in the piece, the reviewer, Michael Tomasky, asks a rhetorical question that Democrats who support a candidate other than Clinton on the ground that she can't win because she starts out with high negatives:
After an unprovoked war built on lies, the deaths of tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, illegal domestic spying, government-sanctioned torture, the indefinite incarceration of suspects, a scandal surrounding efforts by the nation's highest-ranking law enforcement officer to install prosecutors willing to undertake blatantly political prosecutions, and astonishing tales of congressional corruption, is it not at least demeaning and superfluous to be presented with one-thousand-plus pages revisiting such questions as how many hours of billable work Hillary Clinton actually performed for Madison Guaranty?
The answer, of course, is of course. It's not just demeaning. It's also insulting. If Clinton ends up as the Democratic nominee, and if she ends up losing the general election because some number of voters who find her otherwise more qualified than the Republican nominee vote against her because they are turned off by the largely bogus scandals of the 1990s, that will be a profound failure of democracy.

Still, what are Democratic caucus and primary voters to do? If you support another candidate because you think that other candidate would make a better President than Clinton, there is no issue. But suppose you think that Clinton is actually best for the job but you worry that for a variety of bad reasons---including sexism as well as Clinton fatigue---the general electorate would be more likely to vote for some other Democratic nominee than for Clinton, and that this could be the difference in the overall race. Should you therefore support this other Democratic candidate?

In part, this is simply the familiar issue of electability. I do not mean to suggest that it's never legitimate to consider electability in deciding whom to nominate. But where electability tracks affirmatively bad reasons, we might worry about the Palmore v. Sidoti factor. In that 1984 case, the Supreme Court ruled that a family court judge could not choose to award custody to a single-race couple over a mixed-race couple on the ground that a child raised by the latter would face racial prejudice. To do so, the Court said, would be to adopt that very prejudice. To make the issue as sharp as possible, suppose that you think Clinton (or Obama) is the best candidate on the merits but you also think that if she (or he) got the nomination, enough voters would go for the Republican on sexist (or racist) grounds to tip the election. Could you in good conscience decide to support a different candidate (Edwards, say), without thereby effectively acting as a conduit for sexism (or racism)?


egarber said...

These are good questions.

It also seems the Republicans have their own version of this dynamic (though not one driven by gender or racial consideration).Undoubtedly, there are many on that side who feel Rudy is the most electable candidate -- but will those voters sacrifice core social issues like reproductive privacy?

In a sense those voters can ask the same question you brought up: Could you in good conscience decide to support a different candidate, without thereby effectively acting as a conduit for reinforcing Roe, etc.?

David C. said...

There are probably two different types of people who are, as you ask, conduits. There are those who invoke others' prejudices in order to mask their own (even to themselves). Those people aren't even really conduits, they just get to maintain their prejudices and a sense of enlightenment at the same time.

As for purer "conduits," this is probably a prevalent problem. If I am responsible for hiring in a law firm, I might have no problem with [insert minority group here], but I may correctly or incorrectly perceive that my current and prospective clients would have a problem with that minority group. So I hire the white guy. He may not be more qualified, but he won't make anybody uncomfortable when he walks in the room. Similarly, if I own a restaurant, I may have no problem being patronized by [insert minority group here, or, even something like goth-dressing teenagers], but if I fear my other customers might, I may start putting out hte word to my staff to give substandard service and cold shoulders to the disfavored group.

In these cases, it seems difficult to tolerate conduit-prejudice, because there likely is a feedback loop. The more the actually prejudiced people go to law firms or restaurants and see them devoid of the disfavored minority group, the more they feel secured in the correctness or shared nature of their belief. And then it never goes away.

So what to do about Clinton or Obama? It's tough to say what's right, because so much rides on the election. Still, it may be worth it to send a message that there are vast amounts of people in this country for whom "female president" or "black president" are not contraditions in terms. It may mean losing the general election this time, but it will be another step on the long road to tolerance.

Carl said...

How exactly is it "of course" demeaning after all these terrible lies and crimes perpetrated on the American and Iraqi public by the present administration that someone might call into question a candidate's disposition to tell the truth and obey the law? This seems to be "of course" exactly the question we want to be asking.

egarber said...

On the Republican dynamic here, the roundtable on MTP made some interesting observations.

One participant was a correspondent from the Christian Broadcasting Network, and Russert asked him about Rudy.

The guy basically said that evangelicals might be ok with Rudy's personal views, as long as he stays on message about "judges, judges, and judges." In fact, Judy W. said that Pat Robertson approves of Rudy (maybe has even endorsed him?), and Russert mentioned that 65% of self-described evangelicals would or might vote for the former NY mayor.

I guess my point is that there are social conservatives who have figured out a way to support the most "electable" candidate.

PG said...

I think Clinton is difficult to elect not precisely because of the scandals in themselves, but because of the generalized sense of dislike so many people feel toward Hillary Clinton that probably isn't traceable to a specific instance of *wrongdoing*. I'm not devoid of this myself -- while I'm wholly indifferent to Whitewater and associated nonsense, I'm really annoyed by some of the ways in which she'd tried to pander to the right, particularly on social issues. As a law school graduate, she's presumably somewhat conversant with the First Amendment, yet she's called for a statute to ban flag desecration and made a minor fool of herself over Grand Theft Auto.

In other words, the concern is that Clinton is insincere and willing to say anything to get elected. This is different from Obama's problems, which are that his campaign staff is imbecile and he tends to spout off without thinking. (Though I do think some of the stuff he says off-the-cuff will freak out white people particularly.) They make for a nice study together of the Scylla of insincerity and the Charybdis of incaution -- a candidate somehow needs to be real, but not raw.

Anonymous said...

免費A片, ut聊天室, AV女優, 美女視訊, 免費成人影片, 成人論壇, 情色交友, 免費AV, 線上a片, 日本美女寫真集, 同志聊天室, 聊天室交友, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 微風成人區, 色美媚部落格, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, 免費A片, 上班族聊天室, A片,H漫, 18成人, a漫, av dvd, 一夜情聊天室, 微風成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人貼圖, 成人電影, 成人, 中部人聊天室, 080中部人聊天室, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 成人電影, A片, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 成人遊戲, 成人影城, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 成人網站, 麗的色遊戲, 色情網站, 成人論壇, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 自拍, 癡漢, , 俱樂部, 豆豆聊天室, 聊天室, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊交友90739 情人視訊網影音視訊聊天室 免費視訊聊天室 視訊聊天 視訊交友 美女視訊 視訊美女 視訊 免費視訊 免費視訊聊天 視訊聊天室 辣妹視訊 一夜情 色情a片 aio交友愛情館 情色電影 情色視訊 色情遊戲 色情 情色小說 一葉情貼圖片區 色情小說 色情聊天室 情色交友 成人論壇 成人網站 色情網站 情色論壇 小高聊天室 女同志聊天室 6K聊天室 080苗栗人聊天室 080聊天室 聊天室尋夢園 UT男同志聊天室 男同志聊天室 尋夢園聊天室 UT聊天室 聊天室 豆豆聊天室 A片 成人電影 成人貼圖 嘟嘟成人網 美女交友 本土自拍 成人交友 成人影片

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to get some last chaos gold and the lastchaos gold is given by my close friend who tells me that the lastchaos money is the basis to enter into the game. Therefore, I should buy last chaos gold with the spare money and I gain some cheap lastchaos gold from other players.

Anonymous said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,舞廳,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,理容院,日領,龍亨,學生兼差,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,招待所,

Anonymous said...

酒店喝酒,禮服店,酒店小姐,制服店,便服店,鋼琴酒吧,兼差,酒店兼差,酒店打工,伴唱小姐,暑假打工,酒店上班,日式酒店,ktv酒店,酒店,酒店公關,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,酒店上班,酒店打工,禮服酒店,禮服店,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,台北酒店,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,禮服店 ,酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店小姐,經紀 彩色爆米花,經紀人 彩色爆米花,酒店傳播,酒店經紀 彩色爆米花,爆米花,童裝,童裝拍賣,童裝大盤,童裝寄賣,童裝批貨,酒店,酒店,童裝切貨,酒店,GAP童裝,酒店,酒店 ,禮服店 , 酒店小姐,酒店經紀,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,招待所,酒店小姐,酒店兼差,寒暑假打工,酒店上班,暑假打工,酒店公關,酒店兼職,酒店經紀

Anonymous said... . .
[url=]puma shoes[/url]
[url=]chaussures puma[/url]
[url=]nike air max ltd[/url]

Anonymous said...

酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店經紀, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店工作, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀, 專業酒店經紀, 合法酒店經紀, 酒店暑假打工, 酒店寒假打工, 酒店經紀人, 菲梵酒店經紀, 酒店經紀, 禮服酒店上班, 酒店小姐兼職, 便服酒店工作, 酒店打工經紀, 制服酒店經紀,,