Those of us who follow politics seriously rather than view it as a game show do not look at Hillary Clinton and simply think "first woman president." We think -- for example -- "first ex-co-president" or "first wife of a disbarred lawyer and impeached former incumbent" or "first person to use her daughter as photo-op protection during her husband's perjury rap."Yes, that's right. If you're serious about politics, you don't think about gender and its relation to power. What you do is sneer about things that have nothing to do with issues, policy, or, really, any kind of substance at all.
And, since it was the weekend leading up to Martin Luther King Day, Hitch decides to celebrate with this abomination of a paragraph:
We are trying to get over the hideous legacy of slavery and segregation. But Mr. Obama is not a part of this legacy. His father was a citizen of Kenya, an independent African country, and his mother was a "white" American. He is as distant from the real "plantation" as I am. How -- unless one thinks obsessively about color while affecting not to do so -- does this make him "black"?I'll let Mister Leonard Pierce field this one, I think:
Because we all know, racism and segregation in America have only to do with the legacy of slavery, and not at all one’s black skin! Most racists would not just look at a black person and decide to discriminate against them; they would first determine if he was an African-American, and thus part of the legacy of slavery, or an African, in which case there would be no reason whatsoever to discriminate against them. Plus, he’s biracial, and no one has ever discriminated against mixed-race people in America! Thus, presto-change-o, Barack Obama is not black, and therefore has never experienced any racial discrimination, and any attempt by him to engage in “identity politics” is itself shameful racism of the sort that Martin Luther King, were he alive today but thankfully he’s not, would totally condemn. How far we’ve come, Lord, how far!And there's this, of course, in which Hitchens concludes,
If it made even the slightest bit of difference, one might point out that Kenya was not an independent African country during the first 27 years of Barack Obama’s father’s life, and that he spent his entire childhood and teenage years in a British colony that was often brutally oppressed. In fact, Kenya was not even independent when Obama himself was born; it wouldn’t become so until he was 2 years old, and Obama’s father did not return to Kenya until many years after. One might even point out that when he married his white American wife, interracial marriage was still illegal in 22 states. But it’s Hitch we’re talking about, and he’s never been one to let facts get in the way of a nice bit of demagoguery.
I shall not vote for Sen. Obama and it will not be because he -- like me and like all of us -- carries African genes. And I shall not be voting for Mrs. Clinton, who has the gall to inform me after a career of overweening entitlement that there is "a double standard" at work for women in politics; and I assure you now that this decision of mine has only to do with the content of her character.So, you'll probably be voting Republican, then, eh, Hitch?
But remember: he's not a conservative. Don't call him one.
Cross-posted at The Vanity Press.