Off the Bus

OFF THE BUS….I haven’t been impressed with very much of the chatter about Barack Obama’s primary victory last night. Hillary didn’t give a concession speech? Give me a break. Who cares? Turnout was up? Yes, but it’s been an exciting and money-filled campaign and turnout has been up everywhere. Obama won the black vote and lost the white vote? Nothing new there. Obama won young people and Hillary won among the elderly? Again, no surprise.

What’s more, none of my views about this race have really changed. I think Hillary is still likely to win the nomination. Contrary to conventional wisdom, I suspect she’s also more electable than Obama. And Obama’s continued unwillingness to defend progressive policies on explicitly progressive grounds still bothers me.

But that said, enough’s enough. I don’t like dog whistle racial appeals when Republicans do it, and I don’t like it when Bill Clinton does it. (And unlike Hillary’s MLK/LBJ remark, which was idiotically mischaracterized, don’t even try to pretend that this was an innocent remark. We’re not children here.) Yes, Obama has to be able to handle this kind of sewage, and yes, this will almost certainly be forgiven and forgotten among Democrats by November. But it’s not November yet, is it? My primary is a week from Tuesday, and I’m not feeling very disposed to reward this kind of behavior. At this point, it’s looking a lot more likely that I’m going to vote for Obama.

For more, read Joe Klein and Karen Tumulty and Reed Hundt. I’m on pretty much the same page.

UPDATE: My commenters seem to think this is a grumpy post. Sorry. That wasn’t my intent. For the most part I’m pissed, not grumpy, and I’ve changed the text of the post slightly to clean it up.

Really, I just wanted to make two points. First, I looked through all the exit polls last night and concluded that South Carolina just didn’t have a lot new to tell us. The things people are talking about — turnout, youth vote, black vs. white vote, etc. — are all things we’ve seen in the other primaries too.

Second, despite the fact that I still have some positive things to say about Hillary and some negative things to say about Obama, the dog whistle stuff is revolting and it’s pushed me over the edge. I’ve been slightly pro-Hillary in the past, but now I think I’m slightly pro-Obama.