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April 12, 2008
Huge Backlash Against Obama Elitist Comments
If you haven't heard yet, Barack Obama made some comments before some mega rich donors last Sunday in San Francisco that has the internet in an uproar and many saying that his candidacy may be in trouble.
You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.Many may have wondered if Obama held the same beliefs as his elitist wife who has made a career of telling ordinary Americans they are "mean" or stupid. We needn't wonder any longer. And even liberals are saying they find nothing unusual in what Obama said:
“It comes off very badly,” Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers said of the small-town America remarks. “They are things that I think in a liberal world sound totally normal, and outside of that world I don’t know that he appreciates how it sounds. And it just sounds very elitist, and it sounds like he’s looking down on people.”And Ann Althouse dismisses what Obama said as nothing you wouldn't hear in any liberal law school:
I must say that the original statement sounded like a typical law-school-liberal remark. I think it was quite sincere, and I'm rather sure he believed he was being admirably intellectual and raising politics to a new, higher level. Within a liberal law school environment, that statement would be heard as a thoughtful, compassionate insight. Some of your colleagues might think you were excessively, squishily tolerant of what they see as ignorant, bigoted people, but I don't think they'd push you to be more understanding of the alien culture you were observing."The question is will this kill his campaign? John Hinderaker of Powerline thinks so:
Barack Obama's arrogance has been evident for some time, and it's no shock, perhaps, to learn that that he shares this bigoted opinion, common among urban liberals, of people who live in "small towns." But to actually express it, in public, at a campaign event, is stunningly stupid. Nevertheless, Obama did it:Obama's defense only concentrates on the idea that voters are "bitter" about government:
Bitterness, however, wasn’t the objectionable part of the statement. Hillary Clinton chose to chase that particular rabbit around the track, and some of the media followed, although not all. Obama’s camp seized on that and has tried adopting bitterness as its strategy, claiming that small-town voters are right to be bitter about an economic expansion that has created the lowest unemployment we have had in any 25-year period of this nation’s industrial history. Whether Obama is through or not, we are now aware of how he sees the people he wishes to govern; as props in a grand stage play with Obama as the star and the people as worshipful extras.
But that’s intellectually dishonest. Let’s break this statement into its component insults:
“[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 that is a recipe for disaster in November for the Democrats.