Geraldine Ferraro has an interesting column on sexism and racism in the Democrat race this year, and how the identity politics of the party are going to tear it apart.
We've seen some pretty ridiculous rebuttals to the charges of sexism on the campaign trail. While I agree that Hillary Clinton's biggest obstacle hasn't been her sex but that she is a Clinton, it is quite understandable that so many women are angry and resentful at the treatment of their candidate by the MSM and Democrat power brokers. Hillary was a strong candidate when there were no good candidates in the field (quite frankly, there still are no good candidates in their field, but that's a different post for a different day). What Obama actually represented was the viable anybody-but-Hillary candidate for the Dems. This is largely why so many Obama supporters are willing to cling to him regardless of the number of gaffes he makes or the number of ridiculous or unworkable or dangerous policies he proposes. Hell, they don't even care when he backpedals and lies about his previous positions; they just want him to win.
For me, the most insightful and surprising part of Ferraro's column was this passage:
As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama's historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you're white you can't open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama's playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They're not upset with Obama because he's black; they're upset because they don't expect to be treated fairly because they're white. It's not racism that is driving them, it's racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don't believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory "Our Time Has Come" they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.
I'm not sure I entirely agree with Ferraro's analysis of white resentment. She is correct that a white person cannot criticize Obama without being accused of racism, but it's difficult to understand why a loyal Democrat would have a problem with this. After all, accusing anyone who disagrees with them of being racist is part and parcel of liberal thought. If you think affirmative action is wrong because people should advance on merit, you will undoubtedly be told about legacy admissions, good ol' boy networks, and the like, and that you must hate black people. If you believe unending welfare limits personal freedom and creates dependency, you will be accused of arguing about "welfare queens" and black stereotypes. If you believe in law enforcement, you will be accused of racism because of higher black incarceration rates. I could go on, but you get the idea.
In short, Ferraro's statement about white resentment is the reason Dana has argued that Barack Obama can't win in the fall. It's odd that Obama started as the "I will transcend race" candidate, but as time goes on, he has defined himself and has been defined more and more by that immutable characteristic. It is, IMO, the difference between Obama and Hillary, who is defined by lots of characteristics besides her sex.