4.12.2008

The Unbearable Bitterness of Whitey

As I stated last night, Sen. Obama stepped in it royally by showing his elitism and condescension toward, well, basically anyone not from NYC, Chicago, or LA. It seems that the spin has landed on focusing on, and apologizing for, the least objectionable part of his statement: that voters are "bitter". Captain Ed shows how that just doesn't fly:
* “[T]hey cling to guns…” Cling to guns? Americans have “clung” to guns since the founding of the Republic. It’s such a core value to this nation that its founders placed it second on the Bill of Rights, right after freedom of speech and religion. Speaking of which …
* “or [they cling to] religion …” People don’t become religious because the economy hits a few bumps in the road. Obama may have chosen his religion based on politics, but most people follow a religion out of a deeper sense of spirituality. I can’t think of a more condescending and contemptuous analysis of religious dedication than this statement.
* “or [they cling to] antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment…” Small-town voters are bigots and xenophobes; there’s no other way to read the first part of this statement. The second part, about them being “anti-immigrant”, is a non-sequitur. They may be anti-illegal immigrant, but that’s a far different issue. Obama offers no proof that small-town voters are xenophobes, but the Frisco audience didn’t demand any, either. It’s part of their own bigotry that makes them see middle America in those terms.
* “or [they cling to] anti-trade sentiment …” And this is just jaw-droppingly hypocritical. This comes from the same candidate who opposes the Colombian free-trade agreement and wants to throw NAFTA out the window. Who’s clinging to anti-trade sentiment? Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Big Labor.
And conservatives thought the Rev. Wright kerfuffle was the nail in the Obamessiah's coffin. I think it will be much harder for Obama to pull a Jedi mind trick on voters with something he actually said. Especially something he probably thought would never get back to the rubes in flyover country (which, to me, is one of the more arrogant aspects of this whole statement: that he thought he'd get away with it.)

So, what do we do now? We make sure that Obama doesn't get away with limiting this to his calling people "bitter". If you have Facebook, link some blog post using the "posted items" link. Send out a MySpace bulletin. Blog about it yourself. Start the e-mails going. If you have any friends who are independents, fair-minded liberals, or conservatives who are considering voting for Obama because "he's such a nice man", make sure they have this quote:
And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
And, depending on who you are talking to, make sure that they know the original reporting came from the Huffington Post, not exactly a right-wing outfit.

P.S. Matt Drudge is certainly not going to any great lengths to let people know the real context of the quote. No real surprise here, since the story was broken by bloggers, whom Drudge seems to detest. As of right now, he has no banner headline, and only links to 3 different articles, two of them merely hyping the Sen. Obama's spin of the remarks:
Obama Says Some Voters Are Angry, Bitter...

'I'M IN TOUCH'...

Concedes Remarks Were Ill Chosen...
UPDATE: Nice Deb has a good post up detailing Sen. Obama's history of condescension. My favorite:
“But understand, Tim, part of what I hope to offer as president is the ability to reach to people that I don’t agree with, and the evangelical community is one where the Democratic Party, I think, we have generally seen as hostile. We haven’t been reaching out to them, and I think that if we’re going to makes significant progress on critical issues that we face, whether it’s education or healthcare or energy or our foreign policy in this country, we’ve got to be able to get beyond our comfort zones and just talk to people we don’t like”.
(h/t S.Weasel)

1 comment:

clancy said...

You sound bitter to me.