For years, the Democratic Party has made a career out of championing race and gender issues in an effort to be “all-inclusive.” As a result, the Party has gotten into bed with the NAACP and NOW , and is quick to hurl charges of “racist!” and “sexist!” every time a member of one of the aggrieved classes gets their feelings hurt.
So there is something deliciously ironic in seeing the Party now tearing itself apart over race and gender. They have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in promoting members of their two base constituencies to the point that they now have a woman and a black running for the highest office in the land. But in a hot political campaign they know no other hand to play except the same old fear-mongering based on the usual identity labels. So they are turning on each other.
Kathleen Parker summarizes the problem well:
What’s clearly wrong is the convenient labeling — and silencing — of people as racist or sexist for expressing opinions that run counter to acceptable speech codes as determined by the minders of outrage.
Thus distracted, we ignore the real monster, whose name is Identity Politics.
It has two faces — and always bites the hand that feeds it.
UPDATE: Charles Krauthammer sees the silver lining:
This primary campaign represents the full flowering of identity politics. It’s not a pretty picture. . . .
The optimist will say that when this is over, we will look back on the Clinton-Obama contest, and its looming ugly endgame, as the low point of identity politics, and the beginning of a turning away. The pessimist will just vote Republican.