Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Self-defeating prophecy

Following on our discussion of the 2008 U.S. elections, check out this Legal History Blog post about the media's narrative du jour: depiction of the Democratic Presidential contest as "Rights vs. Rights," as women against persons of color, binaries on "An Improbable Collision Course."
One hoped to keep this election above the hope-drained us-versus-them mentality that's been all too prevalent lately -- a mentality perhaps best captured in the September 20, 2001, declaration of President George W. Bush to Congress, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."
Not the least of our concerns about the media's current narrative ought to be the degree to which, as IntLawGrrl Johanna E. Bond has posted, the narrative renders women of color invisible, ignores the intersection of race, and sex, and class, and all the other myriad attributes that comprise each of our identities.
Our concern also ought to be, as Mary Dudziak writes (quoting Tenured Radical, the blog of Wesleyan University historian Claire B. Potter), that "we've 'hit the limits of identity politics in this election,'" so that it's time to "get 'back to ideas -- rather than inane debates about whose political rights matter most.' Here, here."
How does the current story line defeat us all? Must we count the ways?

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