Friday, April 11, 2008

The stupidity of Barack Obama's remarks
The problem with Barack Obama is he might be starting to believe his own hype.

The man who has consistently been credited for being eloquent was anything but in a speech where he used a rather condescending tone to describe rural Americans:

You go into some of 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. So it's not surprising then that 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.

I live in the Midwest, and I'm not a man who is much for guns or religion. But I know people who are.

They don't "cling" to anything when they vote. They vote for the issues that are important to them; they vote for who they think is best. It may not be the issues some want to hear about, but it's better than what some Obama supporters have said when asked why they're supporting him.

It seems to me there are two things the senator is saying here. He's saying he knows what people need more than they do, and he's saying they are not smart enough to know what he does.

This may be why Democrats have struggled to win in places like Ohio and the south. They talk down to the voters there, while their supporters mock them as simpletons. And then they wonder why these people vote Republican.

Obama's response to the criticism wasn't much better. Sometimes, it's OK to say you made a mistake, instead of using it as a chance to flex your verbal muscle.



At 1:29 PM , Blogger Vince said...

I lived in Pennsylvania for a while (and grew up just across the border in Youngstown, Ohio), and as much as I joked about people who would give directions that included "Turn left where the Gulf station used to be," there are a lot of people, at least in the Pittsburgh area, trapped in the past.
And there a lot of people who are bitter, and turn to xenophobia.
And lately, politicians have made hay out of creating that smokescreen (Dubya and his ilk are systematically trying to eliminate the middle class, but middle class whites are voting for him because he'll ban gay marriage).
And Democrats have struggled to win in the South since Lyndon Johnson led the charge for the Civil Rights Act. And Clinton won Ohio twice, as did Gore.
I don't think Obama was condescending. I think he was speaking of an ugly truth, where people try to see a world as black and white when there's an awful lot of grays.


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