Paul Krugman, to his credit, has moderated his Obama and Obama supporter hatred since Clinton’s defeat became clear, but this is still very wrong:
The 2008 campaign has been a very disillusioning experience for a lot of people. You can make a very good case that Barack Obama was the right person for the Democrats to nominate, and Hillary Clinton the wrong choice. But the way we got there was terrible. The raw sexism, in all too many cases coming from alleged progressives — see above — was part of it. So, too, was the inability of many alleged progressives to see that the news media created the narrative of Hillary Clinton as race-baiter in much the same way that, 8 years ago, they created the narrative of Al Gore as congenital liar — by assembling a montage of quotes taken out of context and willfully misinterpreted.
I think the notion that sexism was a determinative factor in the race is laughable; Hillary lost because of her war vote, plain and simple. But more importantly, Krugman’s article speaks to a false moral equivalence Ta-Nehisi Coates attacked eloquently this morning. The fact of the matter is that, whether or not Krugman and his fellow Clinton supporters see it, the Clintons ran a vicious, racist campaign from December to May, and Obama and his campaign did nothing even close to comparable. Let’s roll through the highlights, shall we?
As for Obama, the claims of sexism against his campaign verge on two things: the laughable assertion that the word “periodically” is a sexist dogwhistle, and his usage of the pet name sweetie (something that my friends use with me, and likewise, without regard to gender). Neither seems particularly sexist to me, but even granting the complaints, they pale in comparison to the long, distinguished list of racist attacks leveled by Clinton and her campaign. Has the media been sexist in this campaign? Of course. But they’re been racist too. The real disparity in the campaign was between the aggressive race-baiting on the part of the Clinton and the almost complete lack of sexism emanating from the Obama campaign. It really confounds me that so much of this week has focused on coverage of the horrible sexism Clinton had to endure, with no mention of the intense racism her campaign promoted against Obama.