11 February 2008

Enough already

Enough already with the handwringing about Democrats and "identity politics". See, for instance, this New York Times article about how Democratic primary voters have been split demographically between Senators Clinton and Obama. Women vote for Clinton, blacks for Obama. White collar for Obama, blue collar for Clinton. Education vs working class. The list goes on. But the coverage of this phenomenon is overwrought for several reasons:

  1. The only large associations are Clinton-women and Obama-blacks. Obviously these two groups are fired up about the potentially landmark candidate from their respective groups, and well they should be. Both are highly qualified, and there's nothing wrong with supporting your own demographic group.

  2. The other trends are much more subtle. Just compare the popular vote totals to see how incredibly close the results are. Pundits act as if a 55/45 split amongst some particular group signifies a heinously divided party.

  3. Once someone is nominated, everything changes! Does anyone really believe that blacks are going to vote for John McCain over Hillary, or that soccer moms will vote for him over Obama?

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