Saturday, April 12, 2008

"Mourning in America" 

Tom Maguire stitches together Barack Obama's condescension, if that is what it is, toward small town America with his campaign's fundamentally pessimistic themes. Of course, pessimism and its evil twin helplessness are necessary conditions to the statism promoted by both leading Democrats. Not only must you be unhappy, but your unhappiness must be such that you are helpless to alleviate the pain of it without the intervention of the government. People who live in small towns are often made happy by less flamboyant things than people who live in and around big cities, which makes it particularly hard for statist politicians to promote the unhappiness required to justify governmental "solutions."

(None of this is to say that small-town people do not cling to existing government largesse with even more ferocity than urbanites -- of course they do -- but that is a very different question.)

MORE: "If you're running as a glamorous blank slate on which people project their own utopian fantasies, you've got to be very careful not to give the game away - especially when the game turns out to be the usual cliched elite disdain for the great unwashed."

Yep (which is how they say "yes" in small towns).

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.


By Blogger Enlighten-NewJersey, at Sat Apr 12, 10:07:00 AM:

You may want to rethink that last line, unless you believe New Jersey is an exception. New Jersey’s small-town people are the source of government largesse – federal and state.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Apr 12, 10:24:00 AM:

Well, enlighten-newjersey, you see the attitude of an Iowa farmer toward farm subsidies of one sort or another.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Apr 12, 11:52:00 AM:

I think you (and so many other commenters) are being unfair calling Obama condescending or out of touch here. He has a well documented (20 year) record of clinging to religion and antipathy towards typical whit...er, people who aren't like him. He's just trying to express solidarity with the ignorant, inbred crackers you accuse him of criticizing.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Sat Apr 12, 01:40:00 PM:

One would believe that this apparent gaffe minimizes the chances of any upset victory for Obama in PA, and may add a point or two to Hillary's margin.

What I find interesting is the method by which these statements were captured at the SF fundraiser by the Huffpo "reporter." The audio track is now posted on a number of websites, and the fidelity is not great, but it is understandable (and it helps to have a transcript to read simultaneously, as Huffpo does). Was this a covert recording on a mobile phone or handheld digital recorder? Why would the Huffpo reporter do that, and why was she there in the first place, if, as others have suggested, there is a "no-record" rule at such private fundraisers? And isn't Huffpo dominated by Obama supporters -- why would the story appear there (noting that the accompanying article was almost apologetic in its tone)? While the words clearly reflect Obama's thinking and political analysis, for better or worse, there is something a bid odd about how his quotes were captured and disseminated. I can't quite put my finger on it, so I'm not suggesting any kind of conspiracy or spying on the part of the Clinton campaign, or Obama intentionally setting himself up so that he could quickly pivot with a response stating that it's the Republican candidate who is "out of touch." It's just -- strange.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Apr 12, 02:02:00 PM:

"It's just -- strange"

Buyer's remorse isn't especially strange or uncommon. A lot of Obama supporters are eventually going to realize he's going to get shredded in the general election and has to be stopped before he becomes their party's candidate, even if it means releasing secret cell phone recordings.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Apr 12, 06:02:00 PM:

I post photo-composites commenting on current events. Check our my blog for my take on Barack's total

By Blogger Escort81, at Sat Apr 12, 06:09:00 PM:

The Huffpo "citizen journalist," Mayhill Fowler, was interviewed on CNN.

Transcript here.

Sounds as though it was recorded overtly. Fowler is a max ($2,300) contributor for Obama, and had reluctance to run the post.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Sun Apr 13, 01:06:00 PM:

What did he say that wasn't true? Sometimes people need to be slapped in the face with the truth. You all just mull on it do it behind closed doors hahaha Check this out:

"Barack Obama utters a less than attractive truth about the American working class which historians, sociopsychologists, anthropologists, theologians, economists and political scientists have been writing for decades and his opponent pounces with feigned outrage and panders with saccharine homilies.

Should Sen. Obama fail to make it to the White House, it will only be by virtue of his being too damned dumb to know he's too damned smart for the Reagan Democrat crowd.

His heresy? By now, I'm sure, you know it well. Obama was being honestly, historically analytical:

In a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long. They feel so betrayed by government that when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it....

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. 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. 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.

I defy any self-respecting social or economic or political historian to find one dram of intellectual fault with any part of that passage. Obama, they would all tell you, nailed in a few sentences the industrial and postindustrial socio-political history of working-class Americans. They are bitter because they have indeed been "beaten down" for generations and in response they do cling to comforting irrelevancies and scapegoats."


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