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November 06, 2003

Rocks of Race

I haven't paid much attention to Howard Dean for any reason. When there are three Democrats in the race, I'll bother to distinguish between them.

But this Confederate Flag deally has got me thinking briefly about how dangerous it has become to come incorrect on race. I am aware that Dean has made some noises about race, saying that he's going to be the only white dude to talk about race to whitefolks. Good on him for that, even if he doesn't know what he's talking about. That doesn't change the fact that David Brooks just killed Howard Brush Dean a month or so ago, showing him to be a scion of the idle rich and social register types we all ought to mistrust. It only goes to underscore the points being made that he will prove himself incompetent to garner a significant percentage of Rednecktorate. (Alan Jackson is right of course; it's alright to be a redneck, but you can't fake that funk).

For the sake of obligatory seriousness, I think Saletan has the generous and right thinking perspective. But I don't see why Slate, dedicated as it is to Bushisms, would bother coming to Dean's aid. He's bumbling the message with a symbol loaded with the political equivalent of red hot flying shrapnel.

I get the feeling that a lot of people would really like to be right on race but are horribly frustrated at their inability to defuse the time bombs out there. I think our generation would rather it went away.

Nobody wants to be a race man. You have to have a bulletproof soul and a willingness to be a crusader or provocateur. Even in the blogosphere, that's a tough burden. I know I don't want it. Imagine how it must be for politicians - professional negotiators.

Whenever I think of the sad and sorry state of disarray on racial debates, even on something as basic as agreement on terminology, I want to set up a 24/7 portal on race.


Posted by mbowen at November 6, 2003 02:34 PM

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Catching up I from Prometheus 6
Start with Cobb, like I often do. He said something in commenting about Dr. Dean that is just too true: I get the feeling that a lot of people would really like to be right on race but are horribly... [Read More]

Tracked on November 8, 2003 08:46 AM


Dean is "contrite-lite". The new politics of contrition, mastered by Bill Clinton, has not yet made it to Dean's bloodstream.

His recent faux-apology proves that he's got more pride than political prowess -- and it will be his undoing.

You may recall Dean's witty retort to the oft-posed query: How is someone whose constituency virtually all white going to handle the concerns of people of color?

He quipped that if the percentage of minorities in one's constituency was an indicator of one's racial sensitivity, then Trent Lott would be MLK!

I recall loving that line. But after his pickup trucks & Confederate flag brain-fart, I too am having my doubts that this man simply is not used to worrying about Negroes at all.

(I bet after the last debate, he was banging his head against a wall mutttering: "Why didn't I just say NASCAR dads?!)

Posted by: Signiphile at November 6, 2003 10:43 PM

Oh jeez that was Dean! Howard Dean is why I hate that K Street show on HBO. Thanks. Now I have a definite hook upon which to hang my dislike. I'll try to find the Brooks op-ed anyway.

Posted by: Cobb at November 6, 2003 11:14 PM

"the idle rich and social register types we all ought to mistrust"

Why should we distrust them more than any of the up from the bootstraps success stories. I mean so many of the noveau riche are just crooked. They had to be to get to point where they could compete with registry types. At least the old moneyed elite have a tradition of service. Given the choice of arrivistes of Rich Girls or the legacy of a Dean (or gasp...a Bush) i'll take the latter anyday. Would you take Nixon or Clinton over FDR or JFK.

Posted by: walter at November 7, 2003 10:06 AM


if you ever set up the portal, I'd love to see what it had to offer -

Posted by: djspicerack at November 7, 2003 02:24 PM