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More Obamanalysis (Or, "It's Not The 'Bitter,' Stupid")

From Kaus, who (smart guy that he is) agrees with me:

It lumps together things Obama wants us to think he thinks are good (religion) with things he undoubtedly thinks are bad (racism, anti-immigrant sentiment). I suppose it's logically possible to say 'these Pennsylvania voters are so bitter and frustrated that they cling to both good things and bad things,." but the implication is that these are all things he thinks are unfortunate and need explaining (because, his context suggests, they prevent voters from doing the right thing and voting for ... him). Yesterday at the CNN "Compassion Forum" Obama said he wasn't disparaging religion because he meant people "cling" to it in a good way! Would that be the same way they "cling" to "antipathy to people who aren't like them"--the very next phrase Obama uttered? Is racism one of those "traditions that are passed on from generation to generation" that "sustains us"? Obama's unfortunate parallelism makes it hard for him to extricate him from the charge that he was dissing rural Pennsylvanians' excess religiosity.


And on his intellectual arrogance:

And Obama never describes his own views as the products of anything except an accurate perception of reality. Come to think of it, has he ever expressed any doubt about--let alone apologized for--his views? He certainly didn't apologize in his "race" speech. He presents himself as near ominscient, the Archimedian point from which everyone else's beliefs and behavior can be assessed and explained, and to which almost everyone's beliefs will revert after the revolution. ... sorry, I mean after President Obama has restored hope!

Of course, as someone else noted the other day, when one considers that Obama's most direct experience with Christianity is sitting in the pew of Trinity United for two decades, it shouldn't be surprising that he thinks that all religious people are bitter, bigoted and xenophobic.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Obama's spinmeisters are trying to avoid the real issue:

While the description of small town Pennsylvanians as "bitter" is certainly impolitic, many political analysts say it's what follows that adjective that is potentially so alienating -- the notion that small town folks "get bitter" after which "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."

But Obama allies are trying to focus on the "bitter" part alone.

A robo-call on behalf of the Obama campaign from Mayor John Brenner of York, Pa., says that, "Barack Obama understands us. He's got it right, we are frustrated -- frustrated with polices that enable businesses to leave our community, pensions to be stripped, health care benefits to be taken away and homes foreclosed. Unlike his opponents, who have been part of the Washington establishment that are out of touch with us, Barack Obama will change Washington. It is policies that hurt us. He will take on the special interests and fight for us."

We'll see if the MSM let him get away with it. So far, at least Jake Tapper isn't.

[Update a few minutes later]

Donald Sensing says that Obama needs to learn when to quit digging:

So family, community and religious faith are apparently what angry, bitter people embrace. Well, I'm not bitter about anything (except, perhaps, the exceptionally poor candidates all around for the presidency this year), and I turn to all those things.

So, does Obama mean that happy, contented people have little truck with family, community or faith? I can't believe he thinks that even if he did imply it. (Others have commented that Obama's speaking strength is from prepared texts and he stumbles frequently off the cuff. I dunno). But if he does think that, it's just stunning in its error and stupidity. But again, I don't think he meant to imply it, though he did, and I don't think he believes it.

But that doesn't let him off the hook because if he thinks that happy, contented people embrace family-community-religion as quickly as angry, bitter people, exactly what has he said here? Nothing. Really, think about. Nothing. Except that bitter people like to own guns - I truly think that Obama can't fathom why a happy, contented person would want to do that.

I'm starting to think that what Obama can't fathom would fill a large library.


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Raoul Ortega wrote:

"Help us Obama-Wan Kenobi. You're our only hope."

Aren't unions the kings of anti-trade sentiment? And isn't it in big cities where they tend to be prominent?

David wrote:

I have the feeling that the real problem is that:

1) A good politicians is a mirror for the people he is talking to - he will adopt their mannerisms, beliefs, and even accents.
2) He was talking to Californians - who are insane.

So he was really just reflecting his audience's insanity and condescending attitude. I still wonder who the real Obama is. Good Democrats run by promising everything to everybody and then get reelected by not delivering on their promises. Republicans don't seem to need to do that, as the Republican party is more single minded. So what would Obama do if put in office? (He is a smart enough politician to carefully avoid saying much - but the two issues he has spoken out on are taxes and the war, where I disagree with him on both. I just wonder if there is anything there I could agree with?)

As I read the transcript of Obama's speech, what jumps out in my mind is that in all likelihood this speech was written in advance. Extemporaneous gaffes are bad enough; when one rehearses them over and over again and fails to catch them, that really illustrates the candidate's (and the speech writer's) cluelessness.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on April 14, 2008 5:32 AM.

I Know What He Means was the previous entry in this blog.

A Space Race To Worry About is the next entry in this blog.

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