WashPost: 'Is America Too Racist for Barack? Too Sexist for Hillary?'

In a riveting 2,000-word thumbsucker for Sunday's Washington Post, the Washington Post asks: "Is America too Racist for Barack? Too Sexist for Hillary?" The author, Benjamin Wallace-Wells, is identified as a writer on national affairs for Rolling Stone. And here I thought that periodical's idea of national affairs was the latest on Britney Spears.

Anyway, the article doesn't answer the questions it poses. At least I don't think it does. When the author began using terms such as "post-racial" and "post-gender," my eyes glazed over and my mind meandered.

I did make it to the part, though, about there being a disparity between African Americans and women in terms of political leadership:

"The political progress of women and African Americans has long been intertwined; the suffragette movement gained huge momentum from the complaint that black men had received the right to vote before women of any race. But when it comes to modern political leadership, women have become more present. In January, the Senate will have 16 women and one African American, while eight women and one African American will be governors. Geraldine Ferraro was a vice presidential running mate more than 20 years ago, and still no black politician has reached that plateau."

Doubtless there are many reasons why that disparity exists. An obvious one is the difference in population: Women make up about half the nation's citizenry while blacks comprise only about 12 percent of the population. Admittedly, that probably isn't the sole reason for the difference, but it's relevant.

In the next paragraph, the author notes:

"Gender, meanwhile, may have become part of the political wallpaper. When Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. and Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele ran for Senate this fall, their race was mentioned in virtually every story; when Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Claire McCaskill ran, their gender was barely noted."

Gee, could that be because folks with names like Debbie and Claire are readily identified as people of the female persuasion?

As I mentioned, the piece doesn't actually say that America is either too racist or sexist. It just asks the question and in so doing places the idea in the public consciousness.

I won't hold my breath waiting for a comparable Washington Post article asking if possibly, just possibly, Barack and Hillary are too liberal for America.

2008 Presidential Washington Post