Okay, so there has been a bit a flare-up between the camps of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, over statements by a former Clinton-camper (David Geffen) who now is supporting Obama. During the dueling press releases, Obama's camp argued:
"We aren't going to get in the middle of a disagreement between the Clintons and someone who was once one of their biggest supporters," Obama communications director Robert Gibbs said. "It is ironic that the Clintons had no problem with David Geffen when was raising them $18 million and sleeping at their invitation in the Lincoln bedroom. It is also ironic that Senator Clinton lavished praise on Monday and is fully willing to accept today the support of South Carolina State Sen. Robert Ford, who said if Barack Obama were to win the nomination, he would drag down the rest of the Democratic Party because he's black."
Gibbs is not exaggerating, Senator Ford (who is himself Black) most certainly did say just that:
"It's a slim possibility for him to get the nomination, but then everybody else is doomed . . . . Every Democrat running on that ticket next year would lose - because he's black and he's top of the ticket. We'd lose the House and the Senate and the governors and everything."
Now, merits of the political analysis aside, Ford is basically saying "don't nominate Obama because he's Black."
Picking up the story, Powerline gleefully notes that "Barack Obama is playing the race card against Hillary Clinton!"
My question is: Is there any possible way for a Black public figure in America to talk about race in a manner that is not immediately tarred as "playing the race card"? Up until today, I'd have said, "when they're protesting the argument that Black people shouldn't be nominated for President," but apparently our horizon as been pushed yet further back.
And so, this whole line of argument remains incomprehensible to me.