Saturday, March 08, 2008

Circular Firing Line

Nicolaus Mills, writing in Dissent, tells Hillary and Barack to get over identity politics.
“How do liberals form a firing line? They get themselves in a circle?” the old political joke goes. There is, unfortunately, no remedy for how liberals avoid suicidal politics. But in the wake of Texas and Ohio, there is a reality check that Democrats might want to make. They should start by remembering that once Clinton and Obama began college, they lost their personal claims to victimhood. They have both had elite educations and early access to the highest circles of power. Wellesley, Yale, Columbia, Harvard, these are the schools that have nourished Clinton and Obama. Just as there is no crying in baseball, as Tom Hanks reminded us in A League of their Own, there should be no crying over the obstacles Clinton and Obama have had to overcome since they turned eighteen.

But most of all, what liberals and those running the Clinton and Obama campaigns need to remember is that the only winner in a destructive, identity-politics Democratic primary will be a Republican party that ever since the 1960s has done its best to defend the rich and the powerful and undermine civil rights gains for blacks, women, and immigrants.
That's right. And I think the recently-late Richard Rorty got it right in his terrific book, Achieving Our Country. Worth looking at again, candidates.

1 comment:

troutsky said...

The vast majority of liberals don't self-identify as the Left that Rorty was trying to urge back to relevency. Liberals, as products of (economic and social)contradiction, can't locate themselves in any true political sense.