By the way, sisters: “Women” didn’t go for Haley

Y’all know how fed up I was during the campaign with all the breathless Identity Politics hoopla, especially in the national media, over Nikki Haley being an Indian-American (gasp!) woman (oh, joy! oh, rapture!). I don’t like all that IP stuff in the best of times, but to watch the way it boosted Nikki over the first Lebanese-American Catholic (to use language they would understand) ever to receive a major-party nomination for governor in this state was pretty maddening.

But if I thought that was bad, that was nothing compared to what we’ve been subjected to since last Tuesday. The next “journalist” who says “historic” in reference to what happened last week is going to get slapped upside the head, if I’m within arm’s reach.

I got my fill of it in the WIS studio on election night, as everyone but me went on and on about it. Of course, on live TV, one reaches for whatever one has at hand to have something to say, I suppose. But ever since then, Tom Wolfe’s Victorian Gent has been in full rant, loudly expressing the Appropriate Sentiment — or as Wolfe termed it, “the proper emotion, the seemly sentiment, the fitting moral tone” –over the allegedly monumental event.

OK, so basically, this was a big victory for women, huh? Well, before the sisters get too overjoyed about this, it would be good to note that “women” didn’t elect Nikki Haley. So much for the solidarity of sisterhood.

Mind you, I put “women” in quotation marks for ironic purpose. I’m using it the way Republicans say “America voted Republican,” or “South Carolina preferred Nikki Haley.” The thing is, a SLIGHT majority of women preferred Vincent Sheheen, according to exit polls. And when I say slight, I mean slight: 50 percent to 49 percent. But hey, it would have been enough for him to win if all the men had stayed home. (But I will say that, even though the exit poll didn’t measure this, I’m thinking Nikki won the SC Indian-American vote. I’m just going by the number that was there dancing at her victory party, so my assumption is unscientific.)

To analyze the exit polls further… If I were the sort who cared about Identity Politics — if I thought being of a certain gender or race or whatever mattered — I would start to wonder about myself. Vincent lost in pretty much every demographic group to which I belong. Except two: Ideology (Vincent won among “moderates,” with 63 percent of us) and non-evangelicals.

Which, I suppose, is why I hate talk of Identity Politics. It doesn’t affect the way I vote, and I don’t think it should affect anybody’s.

13 thoughts on “By the way, sisters: “Women” didn’t go for Haley

  1. Greg Jones

    An odd demographic to consider:
    Because so many counties are like mine, with folks who are automatic Democratic straight party pushers, do you think Sheheen actually did as well as his numbers show? What I mean, did he do as well with the thinkers?
    (I’m a thinker, and Republican, and voted for Sheheen.)
    Yes, I understand there are straight party Republican pushers, but probably fewer than the Dems.

  2. Phillip

    If those exit polls are a reasonably accurate reflection of the real vote breakdown, there are some pretty staggering numbers there: 70% of the white vote for Haley, 94% of the African-American vote for Sheheen. I looked at some of CNN’s other exit polls nationwide, and while generally Republicans won the white vote and Democrats overwhelmingly won the black vote in most states, I didn’t find margins this extreme in any other state. I didn’t look at other southern states but suspect that these really disheartening disparities are most pronounced in our region.

  3. yarrrr

    The exit polls are a little deceptive… her winning margin is 2% there, but it’s 4% in reality… so she probably did win the women’s vote by a very small margin…

  4. Kathryn "Blue" Fenner

    But KP–she’s so purty! Old Strom is happy, wherever he is….

    Brad– The SC Indian Americans whose voting is known to me did not like Haley any more than this SC woman did.

    Thing is, we are like dead last in the nation in electing women to any higher office, so it is notable. I mean, women are half the electorate, if not more, and there are plenty of women in office all over the country except here. The lack of women in office here suggests something is off, but of course that doesn’t mean voting for any woman, especially not Haley.

  5. Tom Fillinger

    You read Scripture on Sunday morning and call White Men “Bastards” on Monday Morning because you disagree with their preference in the voting booth?

    I am a Navy Veteran. I have heard it all. However, it diminishes your credibility to use “gutter language” in the public market place.

    More importantly, since we are refering to Scripture, it is NEVER appropriate to speak in a demeaning and derogatory manner about those made in the Image of God whether they are male or female, Democrat or Republican.

  6. Brad

    Tom… did you follow the link? It’s an old joke in politics. I heard it quoted several times after last Tuesday, with a smile.

    I’m sorry you didn’t like it. I was trying to lighten the mood, not get dark or negative…

  7. Barry

    @ Tom

    Come on Tom. You have to realize by now Brad’s not someone whose cursing at people that disagree with him. (Heck, even if you half way follow him you know better than that)

    Would Rush Limbaugh and the talking heads on the right use that languauge to demean those they disagree with -? yes

    Would the talking heads on the liberal side of things use it to demean those they disagree with ? -Yes

    Brad? – no.

  8. Kathryn "Blue" Fenner

    I think the term “bastard” here is used in a mildly pejorative sense–and no one is actually questioning the legitimacy of anyone.
    ’tis but a quip….

  9. Tom Fillinger

    Context is King. If I had the context I may have responded differently.

    I happen to disagree with Brad ferequently but I have lived in SC 16 years (you aren’t from here are ya?) and Brad is one of a very few people with whom I have enjoyed rationale discourse. Thus, I would like him to stay above the red necks and other riff-raff etc.

  10. KP

    @ Tom: Ugh. Read the blog. Join the movement.

    @ K Blue: So true! He’d introduce her as South Carolina’s “purty little Governor. And she’s smart too!”

  11. bud

    Tom, you need to lighten up a bit. I know Brad can be very annoying at times but this is a pretty innocent bit of humor. I don’t think God would object.

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