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April 14, 2008

Obama Continuing To Insist The Only Objectionable Part of His Statement Was Calling Pennsylvanians "Bitter"

He's enabled by the MSM in insisting on this. Even FoxNews, introducing his speech, claimed it was all about the bitter.

I've hit these points myself, but Mickey Kaus finds Obama's explanation for the statement nonsensical.

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.

Even if you buy the first part of Obama's claim -- that "cling to religion" merely meant people turn to institutions that "work" -- he still calls Pennsylvanians racists for being hesitant to vote for him.

Which is absurd. Few are refraining from voting for Obama because he's (half) black. Most people are voting for him precisely because he is (half) black.

What other reason is there? He is not, despite the insistence of Chris "Thrill up my leg" Matthews, a particularly good speaker-- he speaks in a monotone and in gauzy platitudes. He has almost no experience whatsoever. He is a doctrinaire liberal with the most liberal voting record in the Senate.

So his branding of Pennsylvanian small-town Democrat-leaning voters as racist for not openly embracing him is doubly insulting. First for calling them racist at all, second for not even having the gratitude to say "Hey, thanks for actually considering me almost solely based on the color of my skin."

His remarks were indefensible and unspinnable, which is why the media is in such a rush to 1) claim that the only dispute is over "bitter" and 2) end discussion on the flare-up entirely.

Even his liberal defenders cannot agree on an actual defense -- they alternate (sometimes in the same sentence) between claiming that of course Obama could not have intended to say such an offensive and condescending thing, and also that he was 100% right to say such an offensive and condescending thing -- hey, it's just a fact that hicks vote on guns, God, and racism because they don't have enough money to rise above their petty resentments and childish faiths!

I Wish It Were So: Abe Greenwald writes "It's All Gone" regarding Obama:

The radiant charm; the verbal agility; the promise of change; the post-racial unity; the deferential press; and most importantly, the vagueness of character and intent that sustained the whole façade. These were the hallmarks of Barack Obama’s run for the Democratic nomination, and bit-by-bit, associate-by-associate, gaffe-by-gaffe, the junior senator from Illinois has given all of it back. The extraordinary bounty that had made his campaign a nearly unstoppable force of nature is gone.

With last Sunday’s revelation—that he looks at smalltown America and finds armed, hate-filled, irredentist religious zealots—the last piece of the Obama puzzle fell into place. He is not, it turns out, an agent of change; he is a walking checklist of modern liberal inanities.

Interesting fight here as the MSM attempts to bury the story and insist it's just about bitterness, while the more honest online/alt media community discusses what it's really about.

Memo to Hillary: Stop saying it's about bitterness! Every time you say that, the media seizes on that soundbite and that soundbite alone, because it's in their political interest (being Obama partisans) to limit the controversy to that.

So stop doing it. State unambiguously it's not about bitterness, and that "bitterness" is the least of it, and only talk up the suggestion that religion and traditional values are borne of ignorance, desperation, and xenophobia.

The Hillary campaign is maladroit in all things but they cannot afford to keep getting this wrong and playing on the field Obama and his media protectors wish to play on.


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posted by Ace at 09:34 AM

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