I have been offline caring for a loved one who took ill. She is recovering well. Hospital care - -despite its many shortcomings -- has a routine excellence we don't often see in other compartments of our lives.
Healthcare also provides the chance to see modern American diversity perform at its very best. My family received good and caring treatment from people of every racial and ethnic background - -African-American, Jewish, and Arab-American doctors, nurses from every background, the ambulance drivers and others. In the face of medical emergencies, the pull of our common humanity is stronger than the tribal identities that so easily pollute other things.
While attending to personal matters, I caught Representative Ferraro's non-apology for her comment that Barack Obama is lucky to be Black in this presidential race. This is all so 1985. Ms. Ferraro seems oblivious to the possibility that Senator Obama is winning because he is an exceptionally smart, charismatic, and disciplined candidate with special appeal to voters experiencing serious Clinton fatigue. She seems equally oblivious to the possibility that comments such as hers explain why many people are so Clinton-fatigued in the first place.
Whatever the intention behind Representative Ferraro's original comments, she is truculently persisting. She is riding the talk-show circuit with the apparent, tacit approval of the Clinton campaign, on whose finance committee she sits. They seem content to play this one out, stoking racial resentments within a key market segment of Pennsylvania voters.
There are many positive arguments to make on Senator Clinton's behalf. I will vote for her, need be, come November. I will not be happy. This line of attack reflects poorly on Representative Ferraro, and on Senator Clinton's increasingly dismaying and negative campaign.
Most recently, Ms. Ferraro opined,
I will not be discriminated against because I'm white. If they think they're going to shut up Geraldine Ferraro with that kind of stuff, they don't know me.
I know enough. We are trying to move beyond this stuff. We are trying to be a better nation than Geraldine Ferraro's comments presume we are. We don't need these little drops of racial poison in our national life.
Ms. Ferraro, is there some nicer way we can ask you to be quiet?
Postscript: The day of my posting, the gentle Representative's time expired in the Clinton campaign. Good.