Hillary’s Bias

There’s already been plenty of discussion of Clinton resorting to the use of race since Obama has seriously challenged her for the nomination. Sam Stein discusses this along with a copy of a memo from the Obama campaign. Joe Gandelman also posts the memo along with additional observations. Steve Benen ranks the examples on a five “Horton” scale after noting earlier in the day that Clinton was taking the race “in a cheap and ugly direction.”

There is some ambiguity in the use of race by the Clinton campaign as they know an outright racial attack would backfire. Instead they are concentrating on a series of subtle comments to inject race into the campaign while leaving them room for denial.

The topic has been discussed so much in the blogosphere that there really isn’t much more for me to add. There is, however, another aspect of this which I haven’t seen commented on but which also bothers me. Regardless of how one wants to interpret the Martin Luther King Jr. comments, there is an additional bias here beyond race. Clinton trivializes the work of Martin Luther King Jr. by arguing that “It took a president to get it done.” This is just one example of her bias towards big government solutions to all problems. Clinton sees the work of the politician as what is important. We cannot ignore the work of individuals outside of government such as Martin Luther King Jr. who changed the attitudes of society and who brought about the conditions by which politicians were willing to change the law.

The absurd part of Clinton’s argument is that it really does not apply well to Obama. Barack Obama has experience as both a community organizer and as a member of the legislature who was able to successfully bring about change. In making her argument against Obama she only highlights Obama’s strengths as well as her bias towards government as the only solution to problems.