Democrats & Liberals Archives

Obama Integrity

According to the polls, Hillary Clinton is ahead of Barack Obama in Pennsylvania. Obama has been struggling to narrow the difference. He needs every vote he can get. Though he knows he may lose some votes with this action, he refuses to pay so-called “street money” to political operatives working to get out the vote.

According to the New York Times:

Fourteen months into a campaign that has the feel of a movement, Sen. Barack Obama has collided with the gritty political traditions of Philadelphia, where ward bosses love their candidates, but also expect them to pay up.

The dispute centers on the dispensing of "street money," a long-standing Philadelphia ritual in which candidates deliver cash to the city's Democratic operatives in return for getting out the vote.

Flush with payments from well-funded campaigns, the ward leaders and Democratic Party bosses typically spread out the cash in the days before the election, handing $10, $20 and $50 bills to the foot soldiers and loyalists who make up the party's workforce.

It is all legal -- but Obama's people are telling the local bosses he won't pay.

This is an obvious example of machine politics, the kind that Obama has pledged to eradicate. But if he does not pay, some operatives may stay away or even switch to Clinton. Obama knows this is the price he may have to pay if he sticks to his guns. And he is staying clean. This is what I call integrity.

Integrity is very hard to find in politics. It's a dirty business, people say. After the corrupt administration of George W. Bush, we are ready for a leader who is clean. If you want a more honest political system, vote for a man with integrity: Obama.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 11, 2008 4:40 PM
Comments
Comment #250342

Paul,

One thing’s for sure. This protracted Democratic primary is harming we Dems chances at gaining the presidency.

Man. we’re good at devising our own early demise!

McCain will be President! Get over it.

Posted by: KansasDem at April 11, 2008 6:15 PM
Comment #250344

Paul, you’re right to be proud of your candidate if what you report is in fact true. I would like to point out however, if the roles were reversed and Hillary had a nearly insurmountable lead, would Obama be so righteous? One can wonder, right?

Posted by: Jim M at April 11, 2008 6:25 PM
Comment #250349

Up until now, Barack appeared to be the least worst of the 3 worst running for president.
Even though he was very unlikely to ever get my vote any way, Barack Obama definitely will not ever get my vote now.

This is one of the stupidist things I’ve ever heard any politician say:

Obama said:

    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.

“religion” ?

“guns” ?

“bitter” about “people who aren’t like them” ?

“bitter” about illegal “immigration” ?

I was already disgusted with Barack Obama’s position on illegal immigration, but these other comments (clearly denigrating gun ownership and religion) are quite revealing.

This may be a good lesson.
We didn’t really know much about Barack Obama.
Now we know more.
Better to find out now, rather than later.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 11, 2008 7:27 PM
Comment #250350

“religion” ?
“Cling” to “religion”?
What does that mean?

“guns” ?
“Cling” to “guns”?
Hmmmmm … is that an anti-2nd amendment comment?

“bitter” about “people who aren’t like them” ?
In the biggest melting pot on the planet?

“bitter” about illegal “immigration” ?
There’s a big difference between “anti-immigrant” and anti-illegal immigration”.

“bitter” about “anti-trade sentiment” ?
There’s a big difference between “free trade” and unfair “trade”.

It will be interesting to see how Obama tries to back-pedal on this, or spin it a different way, or apologize for saying it.

Either way, it appears that a deep-felt attitude actually finally surfaced for all to see, and it’s going to require a lot of explaining.

At any rate, insulting your audience and voters by calling them “bitter”, and “clining” to “religion”, “guns”, and “anti-trade” and “anti-immigrant” isn’t likely to win many votes.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 11, 2008 7:43 PM
Comment #250354

I think he was talking about the Rush Limbaugh crowd. A lot of them are very bitter, and they have some strange ideas about guns and religion. They definitely have antipathy to people who aren’t like them. But I never saw the word [illegal] the original quote about anti-immigration..

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at April 11, 2008 8:46 PM
Comment #250355

And the spin begins.

“antipathy to people who aren’t like them” ? In one of the biggest melting pots in the world ?
There is a big difference between people that are “anti-immigrant” and people that want illegal immigration stopped.
There is a big difference between people that are “anti-trade” and people that want unfair trade practices stopped.
What does that mean “cling to guns” ? Is that also a criticism of the 2nd Amendment?
And what is wrong with people that “cling” to their “religion” and their religious beliefs? Is that also a criticism of the 1st Amendment?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 11, 2008 9:15 PM
Comment #250359

Paul
We are ready for a candidate who is clean. But I don’t think Jesus is running for President. None of the three are clean. Skeletons will come out soon.

Posted by: KAP at April 11, 2008 9:41 PM
Comment #250363

Although I’m not usually averse to finding fault with the behavior of Democratic candidates, I don’t really have a problem with this so-called “street money.”

If you’re paying operatives (really just a somewhat sinister name for “employees”) who are working to get out the vote for your campaign, what’s wrong with that? I don’t see it.

Why is it not only okay but expected that you’d pay your staffers, your caterers, your drivers, your advertisers, the pilot who flies your plane, etc, but somehow wrong to pay the people registering voters and rounding them up to vote? I don’t get it.

Paying people to actually vote for you would be one thing and obviously wrong. Not to mention, extraordinarily stupid, because people would gladly take your money and then go right ahead and vote for whoever they wanted. But why one category of campaign workers should be required to work for free while other categories of campaign workers are paid isn’t clear at all.

If people want to volunteer to work for you—great! But a lot of the people involved in any campaign are doing it for money. Do you assume that the guy who flies Obama’s plane and all the people who cater his events, etc., are doing it for free because they just love Obama so much? I don’t think so.

If Obama has enough volunteers to do some of these things for him and doesn’t need to pay people to do them, it speaks to his ability to attract support. It doesn’t, however, mean that everybody working for him is a volunteer or that he has some kind of superior integrity.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 11, 2008 10:01 PM
Comment #250368

From this site, more of the speech and the context.

So, it depends on where you are, but I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people are most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre…they’re misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to ‘white working-class don’t wanna work — don’t wanna vote for the black guy.’ That’s…there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today - kind of implies that it’s sort of a race thing.

Here’s how it is: 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. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama, then that adds another layer of skepticism.

But — so the questions you’re most likely to get about me, ‘Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What is the concrete thing?’ What they wanna hear is so we’ll give you talking points about what we’re proposing — to close tax loopholes, uh you know uh roll back the tax cuts for the top 1%, Obama’s gonna give tax breaks to uh middle-class folks and we’re gonna provide healthcare for every American.

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.

Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you’ll find is, is that people of every background — there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you’ll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you think I’d be very strong and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you’re doing what you’re doing.

Full context yields a different picture.

But that context can’t merely be the typical tunnel vision on these matters.

The main thrust of the McCain and other GOP’s immediate response is context in and of itself, because the issues that Obama talks about people clinging to are the very issues that the GOP immediately started making noise about; Guns, Religion, Immigration; and they have been the issues that many of the Reagan Democrats have been diverging from their parties on.

And these wedge issues have been the source of much bitterness and controversy in these swing states, in the general political battleground.

Obama is saying here that he understands the trouble with trying to sell government intervention to people who haven’t really been helped by it. He’s once again pushing his theory that at the heart of much of the division here are anxieties and troubles from years of economic collapse unhealed. And those are anxieties not entirely unfounded in an environment where the past increasingly seems better than the future, where the wish to return to the place as it once was is often overwhelming.

The stereotype, the real one, would be that these people would just all cling to these things, that they wouldn’t be open to change. But that’s not what he’s saying. He’s saying that’s why they have to appeal to them with specifics, with solid arguments. He believes these people can be reasoned with, that they are not merely stereotypes. He’s saying that even if the past has that appeal, that many are already getting beyond it, looking forward to the future, and that others can be won over if they are presented with workable alternatives to the way things are now.

The underlying message here is not elitist, but egalitarian. Go out and talk with people, work with people. Acknowledge the strong divides, but recognize the source of their fears and anxieties, and recognize the mix of folks who could be appealed to, or who are already supporters.

This isn’t partisan warfare. This is getting beyond that, recognizing that there are common wishes, common interests, that Barack’s obvious liberalism and obvious differences with many PA and IA voters might be greeted skeptically, but that much of the time, there is something else underlying it.

So the question here for folks reading this is whether or not they want to fall into the same traps of partisanship, where fault-finding and parsing are the norm, or whether they want to treat this more as a poor choice of words, rather than the poor choice of sentiments it’s unfairly portrayed as. Do we have the maturity to get past the wedge issues that have overwhelmed our politics and distracted us from important issues, or are we just going to kill any discussion beyond school-age word twisting by letting the wedge issues do their cynical work on us. Do we treat the people across different ideological divides with respect, or do we simply assume that they are targets to be attacked, or dupes to be deceived to fit our purposes?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2008 10:30 PM
Comment #250369

LO-
You’re paying precinct bosses, who then pay people beneath them. But for what, and how much? How much “walking around” money is getting to the people doing the actual walking around? There have been quite a few political scandals about this practice.

It’s machine politics, basically, and he hasn’t been playing by those rules since the start of his campaign. Besides, his workers and his volunteers get the food, the transport and the other things done for them. It’s just not paid out to precinct bosses.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2008 10:36 PM
Comment #250371

Obama’s excellent response to those who have been making a firestorm of controversy out of what he said in San Francisco.

Nickel summary: People are angry and bitter all over the country, and with good reason. He’s not putting them down, he’s saying he’s with them, that he understands their frustrations with both the Republicans and the Democrats.

He defines the political context of his remarks, which I brought up, pretty clearly.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2008 10:55 PM
Comment #250374

Stephen, I love it how when Republicans point to issues on which they take a different stand from Democrats, that Democrats call these issues “wedge issues.”

As if there’s something illegitimate and underhanded about pointing out reasons why voters might not want to vote for Democrats and vote for Republicans instead. Apparently, all votes belong to Democrats by some kind of divine right, and it’s nothing but a dirty trick to differ from Democratic dogma and offer alternatives.

What is a “wedge” issue anyway? Nothing more than an issue that separates Democrats from the votes that they think they’re entitled to.

Interesting, isn’t it, that when Democrats talk about Iraq, entitlements, or anything else they campaign on, these are just issues. Not “wedge issues” at all. Democrats would NEVER think of trying to gain votes by advocating the positions they do. For them, it’s just altruism. I guess it’s all just because that Democrats are saints that are too good for this world.

Issues advocated by Republicans, however, are all tricky, sneaky, and sinister “wedge issues” that separate Democrats from the votes that they think belong to them.

Republicans are playing politics. Democrats are not—they’d never think of doing such a thing! When it comes to guns, abortion, taxes, or anything at all, Democratic positions—for Democrats—are the correct ones and anyone who disagrees are assumed to be twisted political perverts attempting to illegitimately siphon off votes from their proper owners.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 11, 2008 11:50 PM
Comment #250378

I guess patronage is even more alive in Philadelphia than Chicago. The O candidate is elitist if he thinks democracy has to look the same in all places, or that everything has to change everywhere because some things have changed in some places. I have been looking for good reasons to support this candidate, and they are very hard to find.

L O, “pay your staffers, your caterers, your drivers, your advertisers, the pilot who flies your plane, etc”
, the advertisers being the most important of all.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 12, 2008 12:49 AM
Comment #250380

Loyal Opposition-
Oh, so you’re only offering distinctions, right, not negative attacks meant to split the party base.

I won’t try to sell you on the notion that our sides don’t attempt to find issues to split the other party’s base with. What I would say is that like all political tactics, it can be overused, inappropriately used, and used to the exception of that other great political need, the need for consensus.

At a time when this country needed to be united against the threat of al-Qaeda, your side began to use a conflation of that threat and the long-simmering issues with Iraq as a means of both peeling off voters for Bush and other conservative candidates, and for building support for the war.

However, this became a double-wedged sword. When it turned out that al-Qaeda had little to do with the Iraqi government, and the Republicans, including Bush, had mortgaged their unified support on things playing out a certain way. The failure for things to work out as planned changed whose supporters fled where.

Before that happened, though, you had a category of people who, for various reasons, God, Guns, Gays, or on defense issues, you had convinced to vote your way. Were we entitled to those votes?

My. We could say that we expected those people, who often still supported New-Deal programs, Unions and things like that, to otherwise vote Democrat. That’s how you get a John Murtha elected to Congress in that kind of country.

Why do I make the distinction I do on your wedge issues? Their triviality. This isn’t some huge question, typically, just some symbolic corner of it, played up for the sake of influencing voters to vote for Candidates otherwise not aligned with them.

I’ll talk more about this tommorrow. I have to get to bed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2008 1:07 AM
Comment #250382
What I would say is that like all political tactics, it can be overused, inappropriately used, and used to the exception of that other great political need, the need for consensus.

Now I get it.

There is a “need for consensus” with the Democratic agenda and it is “inappropriate” to have different opinions or vote accordingly.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 12, 2008 1:25 AM
Comment #250385

Obama has so far run a good and clean campaign. So has McCain. Clinton acts a little like a Clinton.

The thing I enjoy so much re this election is the Dem on Dem destruction,

We Republicans talk about things like street money and the Dem machines all the time. The Dems did it in 2000 & 2004. They will do it again in 2008. It is a Democratic business as usual.

Then we have the Dem complaint about every vote counting. They brought up alot of bogus issues in 2000 & 2004. It is easy to ask questions if you don’t wait around for answers. Now THEY disenfrancise the whole states of Florida & Michigan. Do they care? It is just Democratic business as usual.

Dems raved and swore about campaign finance reform - until they got piles of swag themselves. Now, they won’t participate in the publicly funded election. It is just Democratic business as usual.

So Paul is right about the corruption. Obama is right to object. But what they are talking about is Democratic business as usual.

Posted by: Jack at April 12, 2008 1:54 AM
Comment #250389
Integrity is very hard to find in politics.
One thing’s for sure. McCain will be President! Get over it.
If Obama has enough volunteers to do some of these things for him and doesn’t need to pay people to do them, it speaks to his ability to attract support. It doesn’t, however, mean that everybody working for him is a volunteer or that he has some kind of superior integrity. Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 11, 2008 10:01 PM

I support Ron Paul for President.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 12, 2008 2:55 AM
Comment #250394

d.a.n. quoted Obama: “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.”

Hmmm, I find that statement to be backed by an enormous amount of sociological and psychological research. Obama has done his homework and spoke the truth. Unemployment and low incomes breed distrust, and distrust in others breeds security measures like gun ownership or appeals through prayer to a higher power when human powers, government power, seemed to have abandoned one’s family.

Fact, religious intensity increases inversely with wealth on average. Fact, Urban gun ownership increases with crime levels and sense of personal insecurity at home and in public places. Fact, confidence and faith in government diminish with dropping real wages and unemployment.

I just don’t see any inaccuracy in what Obama said at all. Research demonstrates what he said is entirely accurate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 12, 2008 3:59 AM
Comment #250395

WW said: “I support Ron Paul for President.”

Good for you. It is important that America retain minority diversity. :-)

Who knows, maybe next election Ron Paul supporters can apply for affirmative action to help them get their message out. LOL!

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 12, 2008 4:01 AM
Comment #250399

You jest, because you fear, Mr. Remer.

It may not happen now and it may not happen on Ron Paul’s watch,
But it will happen.
I hope you can survive the “tipping point”.

I’m not a violent person and I’m sure you aren’t either, but I’m really tired of being considered a spoiler, a third person, a fringe candidate, a crackpot.
Over the last 30 years there is no reason any candidate should have been charactorized with these words. They are candidates for our highest office, yet they have been marginalized, by you! By You!, Mr. Remer.

I don’t need to think or prove anything to myself the way you need to prove things to me. I believe in my self in spite of what you think. That makes me stronger than you.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 12, 2008 4:34 AM
Comment #250401

I’m so pleased that finally there is a real fight on for the Democrats, there’s still another five months to go, and I’m looking forward to the situation in, say, October. you ain’t heard nothing yet!

Posted by: Mizpah at April 12, 2008 5:17 AM
Comment #250403

We never used to positively have a candidate declared until the party conventions were held…the primaries going down to the wire and the possibility of a Democratic candidate not being declared until the convention is politics as it used to be in this US…big money didn’t buy off candidates until the people had at least had their say at the polls!

Posted by: Rachel at April 12, 2008 8:34 AM
Comment #250404

LO-
Look, you can insult me, but what then are the chances for persuading me. If all you want to do is express your opinion, if you all you’re interested in seeing is a debate perpetuated, and controversies continued, then fine, no need for consensus.

This though, is a Democratic Republic, and that means a majority of Americans or their Representatives (whether they be congressional or in the electoral college) must get together to hash out what proposals and ideas win. If you intend to do nothing, this is an irrelevant issue, but if you actually want change, it’s critical.

Is it inappropriate for them to vote their beliefs? What kind of silly question is that. Of course it’s not. But it inappropriate then to go to these people and try and convince them of their own free will to change their minds?

No, that’s how the process works. You try and make out my purpose to be some sinister censorious one, where I’m bent on hushing up dissenters. But what I’m really trying to do is get people to change their minds of their own free will.

Now you folks, and some of mine, have been flailing at other folks, using negative campaigning for years, hoping to wedge people apart from the other candidate. But that is an all-stick, no-carrot approach. You’re discouraging people from showing up for the other guy, not necessarily encouraging them to show up for you. A person can whittle his opponent down, uncaring of whether the voters come back to the polls, so long as he lowers his opponent’s numbers enough.

But what about leading people back, getting them involved, getting people to work together? It’s depressing to see, time and time again, the most divisive political forces, not even ones that represent the rest of us, win time and time again, because they could split votes and carve out constituencies.

People are tired of governance by vocal minority, by a government that’s merely effective at sabotaging the other side. They want somebody who can bring together people of their own free will into working coalitions, who is in touch with people’s desires for their government, and not thinking up excuses as to why the government can’t do anything.

I see Barack Obama respond to this controversy, and I feel actual hope for us, not because he is a messiah or some spiritual clap-trap like that, but because here’s a guy who isn’t hiding behind political pleasantries trying to pump sunshine up people’s asses about how good things are, or how saintly the folks in the audience are.

He’s saying the truth out loud there: we have a s***load of anger, bitterness, and negative feelings about what’s going on in Washington, and we’re not these Stepford people with painted-on smiles, enduring our troubles and travails with saintly patience. We’ve had it!

We didn’t vote people out in 2006 because of polite disagreements. We voted them out because these people are so badly out of touch it’s not funny. Congress and the President are getting terrible ratings for much the same reason. The saving grace for the Democrats has been that they seem slightly less clueless in Washington than the Republicans. We do however need to get our act together, and Obama strikes me as somebody who could do that.

Jack-
You have little room to talk, regarding machines. You folks were running things like ARMPAC, the K-Street Project, the whole Abramoff thing. The story here is Obama not buying into that, instead organizing such things on his own. You can call his campaign anything, but not business as usual.

Regarding Florida and Michigan, these things are an issue precisely because of what Republicans did in the elections you mention. Vote caging, defrauding of voters, interruption of counts by folks like future UN Ambassador John Bolton… the list goes on.

Here’s what happened: we told the states, don’t hold primaries too early, or they’re not going to count. They did so anyways, and we essentially stripped them of their delegates for that. They were warned. Now that’s private party business. We can decide by what standards and how a person is nominated to be a candidate.

Now, Hillary Clinton and all the others agreed and pledged not to campaign in those states. They were never real contests to begin with, and voters knew that the votes would not count towards selecting the nominee. The rules are the rules, and we could could not set a rule at the beginning and change it mid course.

A re-vote was possible, but logistics and security would be major problems. An election that left people standing in long lines at 5 the next morning would not be a fair one, nor would one be where the possibility of fraud was greater than a certain amount. It does no good to give people the vote with your right hand, and take away the value of that vote with insufficient resources, security, and organization at the polls with the left.

Maybe you like the notion of a pre-determined, one-candidate ballot apportioning delegates, or of people being unable to vote or see those votes counted because of badly set up, rushed primaries, but most of us don’t see the merits in that.

As for Campaign Finance? Barack Obama takes 40% of his funds from from those giving less than 200. Your candidate takes only a quarter of his funds from the same level of donations. Barack takes less than a third of his money from those giving more than 2300. McCain takes almost half his money from those sources. Barack Obama has accepted no PAC money and actively refuses money from registered Lobbyists. McCain has taken almost a million dollars from both combined.

Meanwhile, McCain treats public financing in the primary as mere collateral for a bank loan to keep his campaign privately funded. He goes over the spending limits, and only now, with Obama possibly the candidate, does he return such money. Otherwise he’s been spending as if he were intending to run his campaign on private funds. You can mark what he has said, but I will mark what he has done.

Anybody who looks at Obama and says “Politics as usual” doesn’t know what they’re looking at. Politics as usual would not have beaten Hillary Clinton so soundly.

Weary Willie-
Ron Paul and Barack Obama both have renegade appeal in their party, but Ron Paul is nowhere near any tipping point. Your own strength doesn’t figure into it.

Ron Paul, as I see it, was embraced by a few strongly, but rejected by many soundly. He won no states, and his party left him behind for candidates with broader appeal.

The question is, what tipping point? Nobody knows the future, and to trust in some future tectonic shift is an exercise in wishful thinking.

Obama’s success as a renegade candidate has come about because he not merely voiced what one small segment of the country was saying, but what most Americans were thinking. He also approached things with a politics far more conciliatory, far more forgiving of past differences.

For years now, those on the Right have attempted the delicate balancing act of rejecting America’s general culture, while asking it to see things their way, work things their way. Unfortunately for them, the balancing act has failed, and their rejection of other Americans has been greeted by rejection in turn.

You must, at some point, understand that the path to greater influence in the electorate is through compromise and negotiation. You can’t browbeat or threaten your way back into people’s favor.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2008 8:54 AM
Comment #250406
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Full context yields a different picture.
The full context doesn’t explain it away.
David R. Remer wrote: Hmmm, I find that statement to be backed by an enormous amount of sociological and psychological research. Obama has done his homework and spoke the truth.
Perhaps as he sees it. Had Obama said SOME (NOT ALL) people, it would have been an entirely different and true statement. But he said it about entire small towns. That is false. That is something none of us can possibly know and substantiate.
David R. Remer wrote: Unemployment and low incomes breed distrust, and distrust in others breeds security measures like gun ownership or appeals through prayer to a higher power when human powers, government power, seemed to have abandoned one’s family.
You left out the anti-immigrant and anti-trade statements (aside from the “bitter” people who supposedly cling to “guns” and “religion”. Obama’s statement (and a lenghty statement too) said much more than SOME people. It denigrated far more than SOME (NOT ALL) people.
David R. Remer wrote: Fact, religious intensity increases inversely with wealth on average.
I’m not even religious (i.e. I’m agnostic) and find Obama’s statement denigrating.
David R. Remer wrote: Fact, Urban gun ownership increases with crime levels and sense of personal insecurity at home and in public places.
But Obama wasn’t addressing only crime prone citizens. He was addressing “small town America”.
David R. Remer wrote: Fact, confidence and faith in government diminish with dropping real wages and unemployment.
True, but Obama wasn’t addressing only unemployed citizens, since many of the participants paid the $2300 limit to attend. he was addressing “Small Town America”.
David R. Remer wrote: I just don’t see any inaccuracy in what Obama said at all. Research demonstrates what he said is entirely accurate.
I do.

Had Obama carefully said SOME (NOT ALL) people, it would have been accurate.
But he did not.
He painted a broad stroke of “Small Town American”, and that is inaccurate.

Also, I think it was his attempt to spin his pathetic position on illegal immigration (which he called “anti-immigrant”).
And Obama called it “anti-trade” (despite the rampant unfair-trade practices), in which there is a huge difference.

Barack Obama said (In Pennsylvania (on Sunday, 6-APR-2008):
“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 [OBAMA SHOULD HAVE SAID HERE: SOME PEOPLE, NOT ALL] 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”.
Barack Obama’s statement in Pennsylvania (on Sunday, 6-APR-2008):, even in the entire context, may in fact be what Obama truly believes to be the truth (about entire towns in America), but those statemetns are wrong for several reasons (and revealing too):

  • (1) How revealing: “antipathy to people who aren’t like them” ? In one of the biggest melting pots in the world? There is a big difference between people that are “anti-immigrant” and people that want illegal immigration stopped.

  • (2) There is a big difference between people that are “anti-trade” and people that want unfair trade practices stopped.

  • (3) What does that mean “cling to guns” ? Is that also a criticism of the 2nd Amendment (right to bear arms)? That may be true of SOME PEOPLE, but certainly not all people. Certainly not entire small towns.

  • (4) And what is wrong with people that not only “cling” to, but embrace their “religion” and their religious beliefs?

  • Is that also a criticism of the 1st Amendment? Again, that be true of SOME PEOPLE, but certainly not all people. And what does it matter what peoples’ religious beliefs are as long as those beliefs do not infringe upon others’ rights?
  • (5) Saying people “get bitter” about government incompetence and irresponsibility is justified, although voters are culpable too, since the majority of voters repeatedly rewarding all irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, elitist, plutocratic, incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates (one-simple-idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm).

Obama’s statements are not only condescending, but elitist, arrogant, dishonest, and denigrate entire small towns:
  • (1) people opposed to illegal immigration, and Obama’s voting record and position on illegal immigration are well documented. Again, there is a huge difference between people that are “anti-immigrant” and people that want illegal immigration stopped.

  • (2) people opposed to unfair trade practices. Again, there is a big difference between “anti-trade” and people that want unfair trade practices stopped. Again, that may be true of SOME PEOPLE, but certainly not all people.

  • (3) people who support legal gun ownership, and/or the 2nd amendment. Again, that may be true of SOME PEOPLE, but certainly not all people.

  • (4) people who embrace their religion, and/or religion itself, and/or the 1st amendment. What does it matter to Obama what any one’s religion is?

  • (5) people are bitter for a good reason. However, voters are culpable too, since the majority of voters repeatedly rewarding all irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, elitist, plutocratic, incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates. Also, anyone that thinks there is a big difference between most (if not all) irresponsible incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress are delusional. If the voters really want to help their country, they will stop repeatedly rewarding all irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, elitist, plutocratic, incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

Barack Obama will either:

  • ignore it,

  • apologize for it,

  • stand behind it,

  • or turn himself into a pretzel trying to twist it, rationalize it, re-explain it, and/or spin it such that what he said wasn’t really what he meant to say, or that he said it poorly.

At any rate, better to find out now, rather than later … and whoever becomes president, the voters will have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2008 11:48 AM
Comment #250407

WW, I have been in the minority on politics since college graduation. I applauded your minority support. The fact that you feel the need to defend your minority position speaks for itself.

But as Stephen said, there comes a point when minority status must yield to reality in order to promote any part of the minority position. I enormously respect Ralph Nader and voted for him in the past. But, reality has come home to roost. Ralph Nader will never be president. Barack Obama has a realistic chance, and a perspective which refuses to promote the status quo in D.C.

Thus, supporting Obama, McCain, or Clinton is support for reality based potential. Support for Ron Paul denies reality as support for Ralph Nader denies reality. To become realistic, a minority must champion leadership either with growth potential or which promotes just enough of the minority’s principles to make them a clear choice but not so much that their chances of ever becoming leaders are trashed by being the extremes of the minority cause.

Ron Paul’s calls for a return to commodity based monetary system and complete elimination of the IRS and funding government on tariffs, is just too extreme for most Americans and nearly all economists, and certainly everyone on Wall St. Ron Paul fundamentally wants to return to the beginning of the 20th century with 320 million people living in an industrial-technological age.

It’s like the Creationists who display humans riding dinosaurs as archeology. It is neither realistic or even plausible, and thus satisfies only a small minority who reject empiricism entirely for faith in leaders who feed their cognitive and psychological needs, while the vast majority of others embrace empiricism in varying degrees far more readily.

In a democratically elected government, leadership will be chosen by the majority, not the minorities. Such realities exist whether one admits they do or not.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 12, 2008 11:59 AM
Comment #250408
David R. Remer wrote: In a democratically elected government, leadership will be chosen by the majority, not the minorities.
Hmmmmm … it will be chosen by all voters.

And without the minority, the outcome could be completely different.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2008 12:17 PM
Comment #250409

d.a.n said: “You left out the anti-immigrant and anti-trade statements (aside from the “bitter” people who supposedly cling to “guns” and “religion”. Obama’s statement (and a lenghty statement too) said much more than SOME people. It denigrated far more than SOME (NOT ALL) people.”

Only to his opponents, d.a.n. Only to his opponents. Those who support him accept his statement that he could have phrased it better, but the message that rural folks have been let down and therefore cling to traditional values of their parents, and what security measures they can, and seek explanations for why things are so bad in the headline stories of the media covering anti-immigrant arguments and trade agreements that failed to live up to their promises, is both understandable and a guide for how such rural folks will vote.

He goes on to say that there is far more power in people pulling together toward a better way than the divide and conquer partisan approach of the past. And that was the end point and context of what he said and which is now so much quoted out of context by his opponents.

Those who want to know what anyone thinks, must take in and consider all they have to say. Often, people speaking entirely consistently over a series of talks, can have individual sentences from different talking sentences cherry picked out of context and strung together to form a fabricated speech by opponents with entirely different meaning than what that speaker consistently spoke of all along.

Obama has said time and again, the issues that have divided us in the past, like race, wealth and poverty, power and lack of representation, can be overcome as weapons against a United States and people, and a more United people can govern and prevail in the future. That is his central theme and mission in seeking leadership, and to discard all those many iterations of this theme and view this one quote OUTSIDE that context, rather than within that context, is to fail to fairly and realistically represent the intent of Obama’s words and intentions.

What he said was true. Demonstrably so. Why he said it and what its import and meaning were, can only be gleaned by listening to everything else he says, his context, instead of his opponents who adhere to the old paradigm of destroy and win, divide and conquer, tear down opposition to be the least able candidate left standing.

Rural political values clearly contrast with urban political values on issues like guns, immigration, race, abortion, and a whole host of other political issues. But, they need not impede a better future where pulling together on common ground to solve major common problems can unite us. That was his message. The implication was that though rural folks may lean right and Republican, they are nonetheless free to choose a future of unity and solutions by seeking common ground solutions in their candidate of choice. Namely him.

That is the context and full meaning of his quoted text. This is like the reference to Obama by a Republican as Democrats having their “Tiger Woods” but, Republicans have their McCain.

Taken out of context, this can be read as Democrats have their step and fetch it nigger but Republicans have a War Hero on their side. Taken in context, the meaning is entirely different. ‘Tiger Woods is a universally accepted success story and person, but Republicans have their own to match him in John McCain.’

Amazing what context can do for a sentence or two’s meaning.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 12, 2008 12:28 PM
Comment #250410

d.a.n said: “And without the minority, the outcome could be completely different.”

Nope, by the numbers, a majority without minorities is a supermajority. Same outcome, different margin of victory, is all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 12, 2008 12:30 PM
Comment #250413

d.a.n. I think you need to reread his statement with some objectivity this time. You said he did not use the word ‘Some’, yet his quote was:

“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.”

I see the word some used twice here. And when he references the word ‘they’, it is obvious he is not speaking of each and every individual in those towns, but, generally of many of them, when he says:

“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.”

Anti-immigration and anti-trade explanations are everywhere in the media that reaches small towns and big, and seize upon those explanations as readily available explanations, though the real explanations are far more complex.

Objectively, there is no insult here. Just the depiction and explanation of why Americans not educated in the complexities of foreign trade and economics, or immigration, trade, and job replacements and economics, will seize upon anti-immigrant and anti-trade agreement sentiments everywhere in the media as explanations for what ails their communities and families and work lives.

But for them and him, the answer lies in electing leadership that will approach such problems holistically and with input and concerns of everyone at the table, so that the solutions benefit far more people than they have in the past, and with the status quo politics of the present, benefiting primarily corporations, their agents and their investors and of course their buddies, the bought and paid for politicians.

That was the point Obama has reiterated in many different ways and was the point of his quoted text in Penn. regarding the hard hit people in rural towns. He was addressing them specifically, for very political reasons, that is where the support for him must come from in order to beat Hillary in that state.

Which begs the question: Why would he insult the people he is addressing in his comment for support. OBVIOUSLY, his comments were not intended or phrased in a manner as to be denigrating. But, as a politician, he spoke without first testing what his opponents might do with his words meaning out of context of the thrust and message of his entire campaign.

So, do you want a candidate who speaks contemporaneously and truthfully from what he really thinks and believes, or, do you want a candidate whose speeches are all written for him/her by professionals who have vetted and tested the phraseology as opponent-proof before the candidate speaks them?

He could have made his point with far more safe phrasing against the spinsters. But, objectively, his words spoke truthfully, and become objectionable only when an entirely different motive and context is given those two sentences by his opponents, than the real motive and context Obama gave them.

So it comes down to believing the intent and motives behind those words ascribed to them by his opponents, or, believing the author of those words for their intent and motive.

Bottom line though is, Americans by and large vote with their emotions, not their intellect or advanced education and verbale accumen. So perhaps it doesn’t matter what Obama meant or intended by his words, but how the explanation of those words by pundits feels to voters. One need only witness the election and reelection of GW Bush to see the veracity of this statement.

Ice Cream and Chocolate feel better than fruits and nuts, and a daily diet of ice cream and chocolates will have the same result as voting by the gut.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 12, 2008 1:06 PM
Comment #250415

Dan-
What’s your choice: to be derailed by a choice of words, by brief offense to substantive truths poorly phrased, or to trust your previous instincts?

People are bitter, and they have clinged to visions of the past. I did things like that! I was once a Republican, and basked in the glow of a well-remembered past. But then, it began to occur to me that my few distinctions from most Democrats paled in comparison to what I had in common with them.

The reality of things is, if you vote your issues, you will compromise your general interests for the most part, because poor candidates and those mostly opposed to you will be able to divert you with simple, dumb crap. They will be able to distract you with a pointless controversy, and then turn around and screw you with the general policy.

It’s one thing to sketch this out intellectually, another to resist it in practice.

Barack Obama is not an elitist. That’s just the standard line of those who want to discourage considered, nuanced policy lines which undermine their sensationalist appeals. When people think, the folks shouting insults from the sideline become annoying.

If you read the full transcript, you’ll see that his aim was to educate people about the variability of folks, as well as the roots of that skepticism, this to combat a rather pernicious image that the media has been pushing of working class Democrats as being uniformly closet racists who sacrifice their interests for wedge issues.

He was saying that people are more complicated than that, and that those who do have problems with him might be won over if they could see a concrete benefit coming from his election.

But what’s being paid attention to? The Political Correctness of his references. If you seriously object to this kind of parsing to find faults in what people say beyond what they mean, then it will be necessary for you to look past a few words and recognize that the release of these words is a political manuever by the Clinton campaign largely meant to inflame class divisions, especially at a time when her record on trade is becoming muddled by conflicts of interest within her campaign.

Consider the source, consider the timing. Their aim is to encourage a misunderstanding that yields them the advantage. What part do you want to play in this? The dupe, or the mature voter who won’t get swayed by short-term, pointless controversies into a long-term vote against your interests?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2008 1:13 PM
Comment #250422

American’s are generally a pretty smart bunch of folks. Most of us don’t need someone to interpret what is being said and “meant” by politicians. We can usually figure that out for ourselves.

Whether “book-smart” or “street-smart” I resent those who attempt to tell others what someone meant when they said or did something. None of us are capable of reading minds and nearly all of us can understand the difference between a mis-spoken statement and what someone really thinks.

The more Obama speaks the more we know about the man and what makes him tick. By November we will all have to judge our candidate by his/her warts and strengths, our agreement with or opposition to his/her positions and our “gut” feeling about their authenticity.

Posted by: Jim M at April 12, 2008 1:55 PM
Comment #250423
David R. Remer wrote:
    d.a.n said: “You left out the anti-immigrant and anti-trade statements (aside from the “bitter” people who supposedly cling to “guns” and “religion”. Obama’s statement (and a lenghty statement too) said much more than SOME people. It denigrated far more than SOME (NOT ALL) people.”
Only to his opponents, d.a.n. Only to his opponents.
No, I think Obama will lose some supporters.

And when Barack Obama was later provided the opportunity to elaborate and explain his position, he said that it was the “truth”, but he worded it badly. That’s not good enough. Quite simply, had Barack Obama simply said it was true of “SOME PEOPLE”, instead of entire “small towns”, and a “lot of small towns”, his statement would have been true. But he did not say that, and he did not rescind it. Thus, it appears that Barack Obama is standing behind his statement as the truth, even though it is obvious and factual that his denigration of a “lot of small towns” can not possibly be true of all people in any entire “small town”.

David R. Remer wrote: … and to discard all those many iterations of this theme and view this one quote OUTSIDE that context, rather than within that context, is to fail to fairly and realistically represent the intent of Obama’s words and intentions.
That might be true, if:
  • (1) it were not for Obama’s know positions on illegal immigration,
  • (2) and the fact that he addressed entire “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”,
  • (3) and the fact when Barack Obama was later provided the opportunity to elaborate and explain his position, he said that it was the “truth”, but he worded it badly. That’s not good enough. Quite simply, had Barack Obama simply said it was true of “SOME PEOPLE”, instead of entire “small towns”, and a “lot of small towns”, his statement would have been true. But he did not say that, and he did not rescind it. Thus, it appears that Barack Obama is standing behind his statement as the truth, even though it is obvious and factual that his denigration of a “lot of small towns” can not possibly be true of all people in any entire “small town”.
David R. Remer wrote: What he said was true. Demonstrably so.
Not true. No one can know if an entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns” are:
    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”.
That may be true of SOME people, but not everyone in a “small town”, much less all people in “a lot of small towns”. That is a very important distinction he failed to make, even when given the opportunity to elaborate.
David R. Remer wrote: Why he said it and what its import and meaning were, can only be gleaned by listening to everything else he says, his context, instead of his opponents who adhere to the old paradigm of destroy and win, divide and conquer, tear down opposition to be the least able candidate left standing.
I did, and the context did not change anything. Especially in view of:
  • (1) Obama’s know positions on illegal immigration,
  • (2) and the fact that he addressed entire “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”,
  • (3) and the fact when Barack Obama was later provided the opportunity to elaborate and explain his position, he said that it was the “truth”, but he worded it badly. That’s not good enough. Quite simply, had Barack Obama simply said it was true of “SOME PEOPLE”, instead of entire “small towns”, and a “lot of small towns”, his statement would have been true. But he did not say that, and he did not rescind it. Thus, it appears that Barack Obama is standing behind his statement as the truth, even though it is obvious and factual that his denigration of a “lot of small towns” can not possibly be true of all people in any entire “small town”.
David R. Remer wrote: That is the context and full meaning of his quoted text.
The full context still does not explain it away. It is still quite simply untrue to say an entire “small town” or “a lot of small towns” are:
    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”.
David R. Remer wrote: Taken out of context, this can be read as Democrats have their step and fetch it nigger but Republicans have a War Hero on their side. Taken in context, the meaning is entirely different. ‘Tiger Woods is a universally accepted success story and person, but Republicans have their own to match him in John McCain.’ Amazing what context can do for a sentence or two’s meaning.
It may be a partisan thing for some, but not for me, and even in context, the statement is simply false (in or out of context).
David R. Remer wrote:
    d.a.n said: “And without the minority, the outcome could be completely different.”
Nope, by the numbers, a majority without minorities is a supermajority. Same outcome, different margin of victory, is all.
You are saying something different.

What I am saying is this (the mathematical proof).
Let’s say one minority (e.g. Hispanic voters) is 10% of the voters and they are for candidate “A”.
Let’s say Democrats are 35% of the voters and they are for candidate “A”.
Let’s say Republicans are 35% of the voters and they are for candidate “B”.
And Independents are 10% of the voters and half are for candidate “A”.
And Independents are 10% of the voters and half are for candidate “B”.

With the minority, the winner is “A”.
Without the minority, the winner is “B”.
Thus, the statement (i.e. “And without the minority, the outcome could be completely different.”) is true.

David R. Remer wrote: d.a.n. I think you need to reread his statement with some objectivity this time. You said he did not use the word ‘Some’, yet his quote was: “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.”
I did see that. It is still false. No one can say that of an entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”.
David R. Remer wrote: I see the word some used twice here. And when he references the word ‘they’, it is obvious he is not speaking of each and every individual in those towns, but, generally of many of them, when he says: “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.”
Again, it is impossible to say that factually of entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”.
David R. Remer wrote: Objectively, there is no insult here. Just the depiction and explanation of why Americans not educated in the complexities of foreign trade and economics, or immigration, trade, and job replacements and economics, will seize upon anti-immigrant and anti-trade agreement sentiments everywhere in the media as explanations for what ails their communities and families and work lives.
I see an insult. It would have been different had he said “SOME PEOPLE”.

But he said “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”, and he still failed to make that distinction later when he had the opportunity.

David R. Remer wrote: That was the point Obama has reiterated in many different ways and was the point of his quoted text in Penn. regarding the hard hit people in rural towns. He was addressing them specifically, for very political reasons, that is where the support for him must come from in order to beat Hillary in that state.
Well, he might not get that support now, and I think we will lose some votes because of it.

It would have been so easy for him to say “I meant only SOME PEOPLE”, but he did not. He insisted it was true, and offered no restatement to make it clear that it did not apply to all in “small towns” and ” a lot of small towns”.

David R. Remer wrote: Which begs the question: Why would he insult the people he is addressing in his comment for support.
Sometimes, people’s real character slips out. It happens all the time. That is one of the few advantages of this lengthy campaign season.
David R. Remer wrote: OBVIOUSLY, his comments were not intended or phrased in a manner as to be denigrating. But, as a politician, he spoke without first testing what his opponents might do with his words meaning out of context of the thrust and message of his entire campaign.
Again, had he simply stated that he meant SOME PEOPLE, instead of re-assertinga and defending his original statement as true for entire “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”, it would have been true.
David R. Remer wrote: So, do you want a candidate who speaks contemporaneously and truthfully from what he really thinks and believes, or, do you want a candidate whose speeches are all written for him/her by professionals who have vetted and tested the phraseology as opponent-proof before the candidate speaks them?
I want one that speaks truthfully, but also does not denigrate “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”. He should have said SOME PEOPLE, but he did not; not even later when asked to elaborate. Instead, he stood behind his statement as the truth. That’s a problem, and it is a false statement, since no one can paint such a broad stroke of people in even a single “small town”. Even small towns have diversity.
David R. Remer wrote: He could have made his point with far more safe phrasing against the spinsters.
But he later defended his statement as the truth, and still failed to make the distinction between SOME PEOPLE and an entire “small town” or “a lot of small towns”.
David R. Remer wrote: But, objectively, his words spoke truthfully, …
That may be what he truthfully believes, but it is most certainly not true that an entire “small town” or “a lot of small towns” are:
    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”.
David R. Remer wrote: … and become objectionable only when an entirely different motive and context is given those two sentences by his opponents, than the real motive and context Obama gave them.
Not based on the full context AND his opportunity to elaborate, where he defended it, and still failed to correct his statements by saying SOME PEOPLE instead of some entire “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”.
David R. Remer wrote: So it comes down to believing the intent and motives behind those words ascribed to them by his opponents, or, believing the author of those words for their intent and motive.
I would have dismissed it completely, had it not been for the fact that Obama defended his statement, and still failed to correct his statements by saying SOME PEOPLE instead of some entire “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”.
David R. Remer wrote: Bottom line though is, Americans by and large vote with their emotions, not their intellect or advanced education and verbale accumen.
Emotion is a large part of it. I don’t know if it is the majority. It’s difficult explain the majority of voters when they complain about government corrutpion and then repeatedly reward incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.
David R. Remer wrote: So perhaps it doesn’t matter what Obama meant or intended by his words, but how the explanation of those words by pundits feels to voters.
I think even some Obama supporters are going to wonder about that statement, and the follow up that defended it.

The thing is, I don’t have a pony in this race, but up to now thought Obama was the least worst of the 3 candidates.
His statement and subsequence defense of it diminished that, and that are logical (not only emotional) reasons for that.

David R. Remer wrote: One need only witness the election and reelection of GW Bush to see the veracity of this statement.
Maybe, but 2004 more likely demonstrates what happens when all of the choices stink.
David R. Remer wrote: Ice Cream and Chocolate feel better than fruits and nuts, and a daily diet of ice cream and chocolates will have the same result as voting by the gut.
Well, I wasn’t going to vote for Obama, Hillary, or McCain anyway, but Obama’s statement and susequent defense of it raises many questions for me; especially when the subsequent opportunity to easily clear it all up by saying “SOME PEOPLE” instead of some entire “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”. To me, that means that he meant exactly what he said, and I have a problem with that, since it can not possibly be true. No one can know that all people in even a single “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns” are:
    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”.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- What’s your choice: to be derailed by a choice of words, by brief offense to substantive truths poorly phrased, or to trust your previous instincts?
It’s not merely a bad choice of words, since Obama subsequently could have easily cleared it all up by saying “SOME PEOPLE” instead of some entire “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”.

Instead, he defended his statement.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: People are bitter, and they have clinged to visions of the past. I did things like that!
Yes, but the bitter part is only a small part of it. The main issue is the false assertion that it applies to an entire “small town” and “a lot of small towns”. That’s simply not true, or provable.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I was once a Republican, and basked in the glow of a well-remembered past.
I was once a Republican too, but now see no need to belong to any party, since neither are serious about problem solving, which voters are equally culpable for by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-electon rates.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: But then, it began to occur to me that my few distinctions from most Democrats paled in comparison to what I had in common with them.
And it became clear to me that the differences between the two were almost non-existent.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The reality of things is, if you vote your issues, you will compromise your general interests for the most part, because poor candidates and those mostly opposed to you will be able to divert you with simple, dumb crap. They will be able to distract you with a pointless controversy, and then turn around and screw you with the general policy.
It is a mixture of things. Character is important too. But a person can have character and be completely wrong on major issues.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Barack Obama is not an elitist. That’s just the standard line of those who want to discourage considered, nuanced policy lines which undermine their sensationalist appeals. When people think, the folks shouting insults from the sideline become annoying.
Well, it appears many were annoyed by Obama’s insults, and his subsequent failure to distinguish between SOME PEOPLE and some entire “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you read the full transcript, you’ll see that his aim was to educate people about the variability of folks, as well as the roots of that skepticism, this to combat a rather pernicious image that the media has been pushing of working class Democrats as being uniformly closet racists who sacrifice their interests for wedge issues.
I did read it, and it makes no difference. His statement is still false, and his follow-up statement still failed to distinguish between SOME PEOPLE and some entire “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”. Thus, until he does make that distinction, I have to wonder if he is an elitist, and/or simply stubborn, and/or disdainful of some entire “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you seriously object to this kind of parsing to find faults in what people say beyond what they mean, then it will be necessary for you to look past a few words and recognize that the release of these words is a political manuever by the Clinton campaign largely meant to inflame class divisions, especially at a time when her record on trade is becoming muddled by conflicts of interest within her campaign.
Again, Obama had the opportunity to correct his statement and say that he meant SOME PEOPLE, but instead defended his statement as the truth. It’s quite simply not true that some entire “small town” or “a lot of small towns” are:
    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”.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Consider the source, consider the timing. Their aim is to encourage a misunderstanding that yields them the advantage.
Obama is the source, and if the timing is bad, Obama has only himself to thank for it.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: What part do you want to play in this? The dupe, or the mature voter who won’t get swayed by short-term, pointless controversies into a long-term vote against your interests?
I will call it like it is. Had Obama simply (in his follow-up to elaborate) said I meant to say SOME PEOPLE, I would have dismissed the entire thing.

But he did not. Instead, he insists that he told the truth.
He said: “I said something everybody knows is true”.
Well, it is not true.
No one can know and say that of some entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”.

I wasn’t voting for McCain, Obama, or Hillary anyway, so I have no pony in the race.
I’m not even religious, but think his statement was denigrating, since peoples’ religion should matter not to anyone else.

Those are valid reasons for concern.
What I think isn’t that important.
Most voters will vote for whoever they want despite what I think.
If Obama loses votes because of this, it will be Obama’s own fault.

Jack wrote: None of us are capable of reading minds and nearly all of us can understand the difference between a mis-spoken statement and what someone really thinks.
That’s my main point in this, and I think it is objective, based on Obama’s follow-up statement:
  • Obama said: “I said something everybody knows is true”.
  • I recommend Obama quickly come out and say:

      “I meant SOME PEOPLE. Not some entire small town or a lot of small towns. And the comment about religion was uncalled for, since others’ religion are completely of no concern to anyone else as long as they don’t violate others’ rights.”

    Then I would dismiss the entire matter. But not until then.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2008 2:09 PM
    Comment #250426

    “Barack Obama is not an elitist… his aim was to educate people”

    I am already pretty well educated, and trying to find some reason to be able to support the Hawaii-O candidate if he is nominated by my party. Lecturing people is elitist. Many of us have actually lived through more of the history that this candidate tries to explain to us, than he has in his 46 years. His knowledge is limited to the theoretical.

    If “the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them”, then I guess the people are all dead from starvation, right? Or their bodies are atrophied from 25 years of doing nothing? Maybe they need a President who has “community organizer” on his resume.

    Posted by: ohrealy at April 12, 2008 6:20 PM
    Comment #250428

    Barack Obama clarifies his remarks after the utterly bogus firestorm that has ensued after what he said in San Francisco:

    “I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter. So I said well you know, when you’re bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. “Now, I didn’t say it as well as I should have. If I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that. The underlying truth of what I said remains, which is simply that people who have seen their way of life upended because of economic distress are frustrated and rightfully so.”

    Barack Obama is just being honest and truthful, as usual. But really, how dare he! Rather than listen to guy who was raised middle class, indeed a kid who lived in an apartment with his grandparents for a good portion of his childhood speaking about the sentiments felt in most of America’s failing communties due to a lack of jobs and economic opportunity, we should only be listening to Clinton and McCain on these kinds of issues. Only the likes of these two candidates could possibly understand and respect the small town folk of this nation — what with how they both grew up in wealthy privilege, and are both currently worth at least 100 million dollars each.
    LOL!

    Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 12, 2008 6:38 PM
    Comment #250429

    Obama’s gaffes—we are learning—are ALL actually our gaffes. He’ll tell us so himself.

    Twenty years of being mentored by a hate-spewing preacher? We only object because we don’t understand the history of race in this country. A lecture from Obama from on high will open our eyes.

    Small town Americans are all fearful xenophobes who cling to their guns and religion?

    Obama didn’t say what we heard him say—the problem is with our ears. What he actually means is that small town Americans don’t actually know their own interests as well as Obama does. Obama will instruct us in what our interests actually are—left wing economics.

    This level of condescenscion here is just off the map. Lately, Obama has been lecturing about we need to turn off our video games.

    I wonder if he also thinks we should eat our vegetables and get plenty of exercise? Rather than running for President, Obama seems like he’s auditioning for the role of an American Chairman Mao.

    Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 12, 2008 6:43 PM
    Comment #250433

    Video: Obama Responds to McCain and Clinton attacks in Terre Haute, Indiana.

    Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 12, 2008 7:18 PM
    Comment #250438
    Barack Obama is just being honest and truthful, as usual…
    That’s not much of an explanation. If he doesn’t make it crystal clear that he meant SOME PEOPLE instead of some entire “small town” or “a lot of small towns”, and continues to say his original statement was the truth, then this will not go away (and justifiably so).

    Saying some entire “small town” and “a lot of small towns” are:

      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”.
    … may be true of SOME people, but not everyone in even one “small town”, much less all people in “a lot of small towns”. That is a very important distinction he failed to make, even when given the opportunity to elaborate. And he then followed up by saying:
      Obama said: “I said something everybody knows is true”.
    I don’t know anything of the sort. There is no way I (nor anyone) can say some entire “small town” or “a lot of small towns” are:
      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”.
    Obama has had many opportunities to correct his statement by clarifying that what he actually meant was “SOME PEOPLE” in some “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”.

    And why even bring religion into it, when others’ religion is not the business of anyone else?

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 12, 2008 8:26 PM
    Comment #250440

    Dan-
    You’re quibbling over things that are only a problem because you’re taking this excessively strict, formal view of remarks that you can discern from the plain words around them are not meant to be a categorical universal. Your reasoning is fallacious.

    What’s more, you miss his real point: People have voted on these issues out of an general impulse towards preservation of what they once had, economically, culturally, and religiously. His argument was never that people were unjustified in this. He’s said that it is natural. He’s said that there is something deeper behind the distrust and skepticism of government there than some stereotypical irrationality on their part. They’ve been burned before, and therefore are skeptical about big government. He simply says they need convincing.

    The bitterness he implies on their part, he doesn’t condemn them for. He says it’s much the same as the anger and frustration on the part of many Americans concerning the government. The clinging he talks about, he says, isn’t irrational, but natural.

    So what exactly is he looking down on here, or are people simply trying to reinterpret his words to suit a pre-exist box they want to stuff him in? Seems like the latter.

    As for your difference on “SOME PEOPLE”? In common language, it is not unusual to attribute without qualification a quality that cannot be said to be universal onto the citizens. A city can be impoverished. A city can fall on hard times. So, along one line, you could say that such references are figures of speech.

    Along another line, The use of plurals and references to groups (“people” for instance), does not necessarily imply a universal statement. So if I said the people of Indiana prefer Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton, 1) Nobody will accuse me of speaking for them all, and 2) Most people will take that to mean a majority prefer him, not that the public exclusively supports him there.

    Let’s take it a step further, and say People in Indiana. There, the treachery of words makes things even more loopy, because this can be taken to mean, intended to mean the same thing as the previous statement, but it can also mean that he has a community of supporters there. And if aliens ever landed, we could exclude them with this statement, though, since aliens aren’t people.

    The words Obama used would typically be taken by others to mean “a significant subset”. He never includes the kinds of words that would indicate that these were absolute categoricals here. There was no reference to all towns, or all people in those towns. It’s rhetorical hairsplitting to take him to task for this.

    Ohrealy-
    The flaw of sounding like a lecturer is known as being didactic. One way to bring that label upon yourself is by taking figures of speech far too literally.

    It is, by that definition, didactic to lecture people on the fact that there are indeed jobs there to maintain folks living. We know this, Barack knows this. The reason most people don’t complain, is that just as before, people take a generalized term to mean a more specific thing. Small Towns refers to a known set of towns where a significant amount of the population, due to industrial flight from those areas, have fallen on hard times. Jobs means the good paying jobs, not the service-sector, Wal-Mart, May-I-take-your—order sort of jobs. Sure, people can get along, but they only have to look back to their childhood or to their young adulthood to remember better times.

    The elitism here? This notion that years among the party elite somehow better qualifies you for office. This notion that experience, that is being part of club for long enough, is the measurement of a candidate’s ability as a leader, and not their actual actions.

    From where I’m sitting, skill has beat experience. Experience had Clinton and McCain resting on their laurels, or having to ressurect their campaigns after being complete blindsided by their own mismanagement. These people did not have plans for dealing with unexpected, counterintuitive events. They stuck to old methods of waging their campaigns, and got left behind in the dust by a rookie.

    We can talk about what his knowledge is limited to, but knowledge is a transient thing. Wisdom matters most. Judgment matters most.

    LO-
    The last thing I need is some lecture on how Barack’s serious, thoughtful, positive, forgiving rhetoric is somehow an imposition on people. You know, a lot of people have been waiting for somebody who could open their mouth, and not inspire folks to pity by the way they mangle the language.

    I can’t tell you how satisfying it was for me to hear in Obama’s response and open recognition of just how frustrated, bitter, and angry many Americans are, and how right they are to be. It was vastly preferable to the happy talk coming out of the Clinton campaign, that no, Pennsylvanians didn’t have a bitter bone in their bodies. No, we can’t admit people are mad. They have to be stoic, it has to be morning in America.

    And no, we can’t say there’s a recession, or that the war’s going badly, or that the last capitulation was truly shameful.

    How many things have American’s learned not to say, been told not to say? How much bulls*** do we end up having to remain silent about? I started on this site in no uncertain terms because I feel like saying something, even if it put me at odds with a popular president who seemed to have little compunction about dealing harshly with dissenters. That’s why I sign my real name to my articles.

    Oh, you must not lecture, some say. But you know what? I’d like to hear my president say illuminating things, to learn things for once from him, rather than feel my brain cells go off into a corner of my skull to drown themselves in my cerebrospinal fluid out of despair at the drek they’re assaulted with.

    I mean, you talk about condescension! When my current president speaks, I feel like he thinks I’m a kindergartener. This is how teachers in grade school talk to very young children who don’t know any better. And then there’s those occasions that just make you proud to be an American, when your president messes up words grammar that grade school students probably could do better. Believe me, it’s a double insult to your intelligence. There’s nothing worse than being spoken to as if you were an idiot by a man who can’t seem to distinguish himself from one.

    So pardon me if I endure the occasional well-structured, well-spoken lecture at the hands of former professor of Constitutional law Barack Obama, who is reputed to be one of the teachers whose lectures students would clamor over one another to attend. Pardon me If I don’t admire a candidate who can turn around and respond as fiercely as he did, as well as he did. Pardon me if I don’t mind having a liberal progressive in the White House, given the fact that I think this is what the country needs.

    Pardon me for not bowing at your feet and giving you the respect due to all the Republicans who come down from on high to tell us what a mistake we are making.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2008 10:07 PM
    Comment #250445

    Dan, I think you’re making too much of whether Obama meant ‘all’ or ‘some’ when he was casting aspersions on the dumb yokels who live in fly-over country.

    Even if he actually meant “some” but failed to say “some,” it’s not something he ought to be saying at all. No matter how you cut it, it’s not only condescending but flat out wrong. Not to mention terrible politics for somebody who claims to be some kind of grand “uniter.” The MOST generous interpretation of Obama’s remarks is that he, Obama, and his fellow Democrats—such as the Bay Area liberals he was addressing—know what’s best for the rest of the country economically and socially.

    So pardon me if I endure the occasional well-structured, well-spoken lecture at the hands of former professor of Constitutional law Barack Obama…

    If his remarks were so “well-structured,” then it’s rather curious that he would now say “I didn’t say it as well as I should have” and apologize for offending people.

    Also, Obama was never a professor of Constitutional law. Or a professor of anything. When he claims to have been one, he is lying. But since Obama never lies, maybe this is just another example of him not saying things as well as he should have? It’s becoming a pattern.

    Keep the excuses coming. For Obama supporters, the ability to spin, evade, and obfuscate is sure to prove a very important skill as we move into the general election season. He’s going to need a lot of help in convincing all of us that somebody who is sinking before our eyes is actually walking on water.

    Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 13, 2008 12:06 AM
    Comment #250448

    The illuminator, the teacher, “serious, thoughtful, positive, forgiving”. Isn’t it a little odd that so many of the followers have a less critical opinion of him than his own wife? Maybe he can teach a few things to the Dalai Lama and the Pope.

    “Jobs means the good paying jobs, not the service-sector…” in 21st century America? If you can’t create your own work, you have to move to a more prosperous area, work for a government agency or a charitable group, or get public assistance to stay poor.

    “the party elite”, has accepted the man from Honolulu, Hawaii B O, and he has become one of them, because of proportional representation and affirmative action, IOW, changing the rules to benefit a minority. They don’t call him “articulate” any more, but the praise is for the same reason.

    Affirmative action mostly works for the children of immigrants, and people with other connections, not for the underclass for whom it was intended, who might actually need it.

    Posted by: ohrealy at April 13, 2008 12:35 AM
    Comment #250450

    Stephen:

    Wow!! That is pretty bad stuff that he said, even in context. I can understand from your point of view that you think differently.

    From a small town point of view, people pretty much want to be left alone. They want to be protexted FROM liberalism. In the town that I am right now, life is pretty simple. People like to hunt as their grandparents did. Holding on to a gun has nothing to do with bitterness, but everything to do with raising their children the way they were raised. Bringing home and Elk is part of how they feed their family and raise their children. It’s heritage.

    As for faith, they have always had faith. Their grandparents had faith when they came to this country and homesteaded here, and started the churches. Faith is far older than the new deal.

    Why do people take huge paycuts to move to small towns? It’s to get away from much of what the left is pushing. So here comes Obama and says that no, you who live in small towns are bitter. (If we didn’t like it here we would leave by the way). He is just the latest arrogant liberal.

    He needs to shut up and listen. He needs to sit in a modest country home and listen to why people choose this lifestyle. He needs to respect this lifestyle before he generalizes about it.

    Obama is doing just what I thought he would do. HE is like Barry Goldwater only on the left instead of the right. He is going to say some pretty stupid things. “It’s only just another Bomb”.

    You will be defending him from these things clear up until the election. It’s not the terrible right doing this to you, it’s because you have a candidate that is outside the mainstream.

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 13, 2008 4:25 AM
    Comment #250460
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- You’re quibbling over things that are only a problem because you’re taking this excessively strict, formal view of remarks that you can discern from the plain words around them are not meant to be a categorical universal. Your reasoning is fallacious.
    No Stephen, you’re reasoning is falacious, because in Pennsylvania (on 6-APR-2008), Barack Obama said:
    • “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”.
    • And then on 12-APR-2008, he defended his statement by saying: “I said something everybody knows is true”.
    Well, it is not true. Not even for any single entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”.

    Had Obama quickly come out and said:

      “I meant SOME PEOPLE, not even for any single entire ‘small town’, much less ‘a lot of small towns’
    … it would have made a huge difference. Yet, he still refuses to make this very important distinction that would make his statements true. Instead, his statement is obviously false, since it can not possibly be true of any single entire ‘small town’, much less ‘a lot of small towns’.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What’s more, you miss his real point: People have voted on these issues out of an general impulse towards preservation of what they once had, economically, culturally, and religiously.
    False.

    That’s not the point at all. That is another dodge and rationalization, just like Obama now turning himself into a pretzel while trying to re-explain and defend a statement that is false.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: His argument was never that people were unjustified in this. He’s said that it is natural. He’s said that there is something deeper behind the distrust and skepticism of government there than some stereotypical irrationality on their part. They’ve been burned before, and therefore are skeptical about big government. He simply says they need convincing.
    False.

    That may be true of SOME PEOPLE, but not all, and certainly not any single entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”, which Obama subsequently defended as the “truth”.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The bitterness he implies on their part, he doesn’t condemn them for. He says it’s much the same as the anger and frustration on the part of many Americans concerning the government. The clinging he talks about, he says, isn’t irrational, but natural.
    That may be true of SOME PEOPLE, but not all, and certainly not any single entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”, which Obama subsequently defended as the “truth”.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: So what exactly is he looking down on here, or are people simply trying to reinterpret his words to suit a pre-exist box they want to stuff him in? Seems like the latter.
    That may be true of SOME PEOPLE, but not all.

    They are his own words, and his own subsequent defense of those words. It is quite simply untrue of any single entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”, which Obama subsequently defended as the “truth”.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for your difference on “SOME PEOPLE”? In common language, it is not unusual to attribute without qualification a quality that cannot be said to be universal onto the citizens. A city can be impoverished. A city can fall on hard times. So, along one line, you could say that such references are figures of speech.
    False again.

    Obama had many opportunities to make the clear distinction between SOME PEOPLE and any single entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”, and he strongly defended his original statement:

      On 12-APR-2008, he defended his statement by saying: “I said something everybody knows is true”.

      Stephen Daugherty wrote: Along another line, The use of plurals and references to groups (“people” for instance), does not necessarily imply a universal statement. So if I said the people of Indiana prefer Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton, 1) Nobody will accuse me of speaking for them all, and 2) Most people will take that to mean a majority prefer him, not that the public exclusively supports him there.
      That is entirely different. Especially since Barack Obama subsequently defended his original statement:
        On 12-APR-2008, he defended his statement by saying: “I said something everybody knows is true”.
        Stephen Daugherty wrote: The words Obama used would typically be taken by others to mean “a significant subset”.
        False, since Barack Obama subsequently defended his original statement:
          On 12-APR-2008, he defended his statement by saying: “I said something everybody knows is true”.
          Stephen Daugherty wrote: He never includes the kinds of words that would indicate that these were absolute categoricals here. There was no reference to all towns, or all people in those towns. It’s rhetorical hairsplitting to take him to task for this.
          Not true.

          And as Loyal Opposition wrote:

            Even if he actually meant “some” but failed to say “some,” it’s not something he ought to be saying at all. No matter how you cut it, it’s not only condescending but flat out wrong. Not to mention terrible politics for somebody who claims to be some kind of grand “uniter.”

          Loyal Opposition is correct too (especially on the comment with regard to religion), because:

          • (01) It was a dumb thing to say, even if he really believes it.

          • (02) Regarding the comment by Obama: “antipathy to people who aren’t like them”? In one of the biggest melting pots in the world ? Is that true of entire “small towns” in America?

          • (03) There is a big difference between people that are “anti-immigrant” and people that want illegal immigration stopped. Is that true of entire “small towns” in America?

          • (04) There is a big difference between people that are “anti-trade” and people that want unfair trade practices stopped. Is that true of entire “small towns” in America?

          • (05) What does that mean “cling to guns” ? Is that also a criticism of the 2nd Amendment? Is that true of entire “small towns” in America?

          • (06) And what is wrong with people that “cling” to their “religion” and their religious beliefs? Is that also a criticism of the 1st Amendment? Is that true of entire “small towns” in America?

          • (07) People are bitter? People have a right to be “bitter” with government irresponsibility, incompetence, and Do-Nothing Congress. However, the voters are culpable too, since the voters repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates. Still, is that even true of entire “small towns” in America?

          • (08) Had Barack Obama said “SOME PEOPLE”, he would have been correct, but Barack Obama was addressing entire “small towns in in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest”.

          • (09) Do “small town” Americans have to “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” ?

          • (10) And when Barack Obama was later provided the opportunity to elaborate and explain his position, he said that it was the “truth”, but he worded it badly. That’s not good enough. Quite simply, had Barack Obama simply said it was true of “SOME PEOPLE”, instead of some entire “small towns”, and a “lot of small towns”, his statement would have been true. But he did not say that, and he did not rescind it. Thus, it appears that Barack Obama is standing behind his statement as the truth, even though it is obvious and factual that his denigration of a “lot of small towns” can not possibly be true of all people in any entire “small town”.

            Stephen Daugherty wrote: Ohrealy- The flaw of sounding like a lecturer is known as being didactic. One way to bring that label upon yourself is by taking figures of speech far too literally.
            False again, since Obama’s subsequently defended his original statement by saying:
              On 12-APR-2008: “I said something everybody knows is true”.
            Again, he still failed to make a clear distinction between SOME PEOPLE and some entire “small towns”, and a “lot of small towns”. But, as Loyal Opposition also points out, parts of it (such as “clinging” to “religion”) is simply wrong. Does one have to be bitter to “cling” to “religion”?

            Trying to defend the indefensibile will turn one into a pretzel, and that appears to be the path Obama has chosen too.

            Stephen Daugherty wrote: The elitism here? This notion that years among the party elite somehow better qualifies you for office. This notion that experience, that is being part of club for long enough, is the measurement of a candidate’s ability as a leader, and not their actual actions.
            A necessary quality of any leader is to not paint broad strokes of some “small towns” and “a lot of small towns” as being:
              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”.
            Again, that may be true of SOME people, but not everyone in a “small town”, much less all people in “a lot of small towns”. That is a very important distinction he failed to make, even when given the opportunity to elaborate.

            You are going to have to come up with a much better explanation and rationalization than you have so far to be convincing.

            Otherwise, you may be hurting your candidate (Obama) by turning into a pretzel trying to defend the indefensible.

            Stephen Daugherty wrote: From where I’m sitting, skill has beat experience. Experience had Clinton and McCain resting on their laurels, or having to ressurect their campaigns after being complete blindsided by their own mismanagement. These people did not have plans for dealing with unexpected, counterintuitive events. They stuck to old methods of waging their campaigns, and got left behind in the dust by a rookie.
            Well, after this gaffe, that is debatable. Obama may still win. I don’t much care, since I see all three candidates as about equally dismal. All three have pathetic grades on illegal immigration. All three have no record of good economic policies, all three have questionable voting records, Hillary and Obama have bad pork-barrel voting records, McCain wants to continue nation-building and policing the Iraqis’ civil war, McCain fear mongers about the terrorists following us back to the U.S. if we leave Iraq, all three are pandering (e.g. economic stimulus) in ways that grow the federal debt to ever larger nightmarish proportions, and all three have failed to address, much less stop these 10 abuses hammering most Americans.
            Stephen Daugherty wrote: We can talk about what his knowledge is limited to, but knowledge is a transient thing. Wisdom matters most. Judgment matters most.
            Therefore, what does it say about his judgement to paint broad strokes of some “small towns” and “a lot of small towns” as being ?:
              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”
            Stephen Daugherty wrote: I can’t tell you how satisfying it was for me to hear in Obama’s response and open recognition of just how frustrated, bitter, and angry many Americans are, and how right they are to be.
            It was much more than an acknowledgement of SOME PEOPLES’ bitterness.

            It was an indictment too of not only SOME PEOPLE, but some “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”. And what is odd is the four things he picked to demonstrate that bitterness:

            • (1) clinging to guns;
              • So? What is wrong with gun ownership? It is our 2nd amendment right. The fact is, some (maybe a lot) of the people Obama is criticizing are actually for increased gun control.

            • (2) clinging to religion;
              • And denigrating anyone for clinging to their religion is totally out of line, no matter which way you cut it, since others’ religion is of no concern to anyone else, as long as their beliefs do no infringe upon others’ rights.

            • (3) clinging to anti-immigrant sentiment;
              • Well, we already know Obama wants to give amnesty do illegal aliens. Obama has a “D-” voting record on illegal immigration (grades.betterimmigration.com/compare.php3?District=IL&Category=0&Status=Career&VIPID=1162). And there is a big difference between anti-immigrant and anti-illegal alien.

            • (4) clinging to anti-trade sentiment
              • There is a big difference between anti-trade and anti-unfair-trade. Some of the people Obama was addressing in small town America are not anti-trade; they are against unfair-trade. There’s a big difference, and Obama’s failure to make these important distinctions (for someone who supposedly is supposed to be uniter and a good speaker) is a huge problem … . especially when he subsequently defends his original statement (Obama said: “I said something everybody knows is true”)

            Stephen Daugherty wrote: It was vastly preferable to the happy talk coming out of the Clinton campaign, that no, Pennsylvanians didn’t have a bitter bone in their bodies. No, we can’t admit people are mad. They have to be stoic, it has to be morning in America.
            I agree that happy-talk is equally disgusting, since some (perhaps many) people in some (perhaps many) states are fed up with too many irresponsible incumbent and incomptent politicians and these 10 abuses that are hammering most Americans.
            Stephen Daugherty wrote: And no, we can’t say there’s a recession, or that the war’s going badly, or that the last capitulation was truly shameful.
            I agree with that part … happy talk is equally frustrating.
            Stephen Daugherty wrote: So pardon me if I endure the occasional well-structured, well-spoken lecture at the hands of former professor of Constitutional law Barack Obama, who is reputed to be one of the teachers whose lectures students would clamor over one another to attend. Pardon me If I don’t admire a candidate who can turn around and respond as fiercely as he did, as well as he did. Pardon me if I don’t mind having a liberal progressive in the White House, given the fact that I think this is what the country needs.
            No one said you can’t admire Obama. That’s your right.
            Stephen Daugherty wrote: Pardon me for not bowing at your feet and giving you the respect due to all the Republicans who come down from on high to tell us what a mistake we are making.
            Who said you were making a mistake in supporting Obama.

            The issue is what Obama said, and then subsequently defended.
            Whoever you choose to elect is your choice.

            However, not only Republicans are disdainful of Obama’s statements and subsequent defense of those statements.
            There are some from all groups (e.g. Democrats, Independents, Republicans) that do not agree with Obama’s statement and subsequent defense of those statements.
            Thus, it isn’t strictly a partisan issue, despite your targeting Republicans only.

            Loyal Opposition wrote: d.a.n, I think you’re making too much of whether Obama meant ‘all’ or ‘some’ when he was casting aspersions on the dumb yokels who live in fly-over country.
            Maybe, since that is not the only issue.

            I think you are right that there is more than one issue with Obama’s statements. It’s just that one thing that is definitely incorrect with Obama’s statement and subsequent defense, is painting such a broad stroke of “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”, and then saying (as Obama did on 12-Apr-2008) “I said something everybody knows is true”.

            Loyal Opposition wrote: Even if he actually meant “some” but failed to say “some,” it’s not something he ought to be saying at all.
            I personally agree with that; especially with regard to the part about religion, since others’ religion is not any others’ business, as long as their beliefs do not infringe upon others’ rights.
            Loyal Opposition wrote: No matter how you cut it, it’s not only condescending but flat out wrong.
            Agreed. It’s not just the part about bitterness, or guns, or religion, or anti-immigrant sentitment, or anti-trade sentiment.

            It is also the failure to make the important distinction between SOME PEOPLE and some “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”.

            Loyal Opposition wrote: Not to mention terrible politics for somebody who claims to be some kind of grand “uniter.”
            Definitely terrible politics, and exacerbated by the subsequent defense of the original statement, and then the lame apology that still failed to make a distinction between SOME PEOPLE and some “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”.
            Loyal Opposition wrote: The MOST generous interpretation of Obama’s remarks is that he, Obama, and his fellow Democrats—such as the Bay Area liberals he was addressing—know what’s best for the rest of the country economically and socially.
            Perhaps.
            Loyal Opposition wrote: If his remarks were so “well-structured,” then it’s rather curious that he would now say “I didn’t say it as well as I should have” and apologize for offending people.
            Interesting. Obama also said “I said something everybody knows is true”.

            So which is it?
            Had Obama simply apologized and also made the important distinction between SOME PEOPLE and some “small town” and “a lot of small towns”, this issue would have gone away.
            Instead, Obama and his supporters are turning into pretzels trying to re-interpret, rationalize, explain, and defend the indefensible.

            Loyal Opposition wrote: Also, Obama was never a professor of Constitutional law. Or a professor of anything. When he claims to have been one, he is lying. But since Obama never lies, maybe this is just another example of him not saying things as well as he should have? It’s becoming a pattern.
            Well, senior lecturers are sometimes considered on par with professors, so I’m not going to quibble the professor status thing too much.

            My bigger beef with anyone teaching Constitutional Law and claiming to be a champion of the Constitution is their blatant violation of Article V and other Constitutional Violations. But all Congress persons are on record as violating Article V in Walker vs. Members of Congress.


            Craig Holmes wrote:
            Wow!! That is pretty bad stuff that he said, even in context.
            True, since it was subsequently defended by Obama as “true”.

            Craig Holmes wrote: Holding on to a gun has nothing to do with bitterness, … As for faith, they have always had faith. Their grandparents had faith when they came to this country and homesteaded here, and started the churches. Faith is far older than the new deal.
            The denigration of religion, no matter which way you cut it, no matter what the conext, is out of line.
            Craig Holmes wrote: Why do people take huge paycuts to move to small towns?
            True. I was just discussing with my son that very thing, because he moved to a lower populated city about an hour away and said how much he liked the decreased congestion, traffic, and big city problems. BTW, he owns a gun, likes to hunt (but only very occasionally), embraces his religion, want’s illegal immigration stopped, wants unfair-trade practices stopped, and he isn’t bitter.
            Craig Holmes wrote: Obama is doing just what I thought he would do… . He is going to say some pretty stupid things.
            It actually surprised me. I did not ever think Obama would say such a thing, much less defend it as “I said something everybody knows is true”.
            Craig Holmes wrote: You will be defending him from these things clear up until the election. It’s not the terrible right doing this to you, …
            Good point. In the end, only one’s self can sink one’s self.

            Now, in all fairness, Hillary’s statements about dodging bullets in Bosnia are equally disturbing; dishonest in fact.
            And McCain’s flip-flops (e.g. MLK, economic relief, term-limits, etc.) and gaffes (Al-Qaeda/Extremists in Iran, Generals driving around in unarmed vehicles in Iraq, etc.) are growing in number too.

            Unfortunately, I don’t think we have very good choices.

            That’s why it is very important that voters not forget about Congress, and not continue to repeatedly reward too many irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

            At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

            Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2008 11:34 AM
            Comment #250461

            d.a.n.,
            You’re really splitting hairs here — and I suspect that even you know you are doing so. If you honestly think this is a reason to jump on Obama and reject him, then I think that’s pretty sad.
            It is more than obvious that what Obama is saying is that many people who live in economically depressed areas of this country have basically given up even entertaining the idea that anyone in Washington D.C. (on either side of the aisle,) would actually care enough to be driven to craft domestic policies that could help such communities find a way out of the major slump they’ve been in for so many years. And because of that, too many of the people in these communities have taken to becoming “values” voters — the God, Guns, Anti-Gay, Anti-immigrant folks. The kind of people who have become convinced through an enormous amount of spin and carefully focused propaganda that all Liberals are “Elitists” who don’t understand or respect anything about them, and who actually want to destroy their way of life and all their rural traditions. Ironically, these peoples values and pet issues are merely pandered to every election cycle by the elitist, corporate-loving plutocrats of the GOP, as well as the elitist, corporate-loving plutocrats known as the Blue Dog Democrats, who then proceed to enact legislation that only further destroys these people’s communities by bleeding them of decent jobs, and negates every chance that this country might have of bringing widespread economic recovery to rural AND urban America.
            Obama has demonstrated with his legislative support, with his votes, and with his rhetoric, that he is neither a plutocrat, nor an elitist, nor a Blue Dog Democrat. Instead, he is a Populist who believes in mutual respect between rural AND urban Americans because we’re all in the same sinking economic boat, and believes in government transparency and accountability. Ironically, and quite laughably so, he is currently being demonized by the likes of McCain and Clinton, a Plutocrat Republican and a Plutocrat Blue Dog Democrat, respectively, both of whom are each worth over 100 million dollars, for being an “arrogant elitist”!!!
            It is completely ridiculous.

            Craig:

            So here comes Obama and says that no, you who live in small towns are bitter. (If we didn’t like it here we would leave by the way). He is just the latest arrogant liberal.

            He needs to shut up and listen. He needs to sit in a modest country home and listen to why people choose this lifestyle. He needs to respect this lifestyle before he generalizes about it.

            Spin, spin, spin. The truth is, Obama has been all over this country talking to all kinds of Americans, and he knows exactly how hard EVERYONE has been struggling. And he clearly recognizes that nobody has been representing the Average American for far too long, both rural and urban. Indeed, long before he began running for president, Obama has obviously been aware of these facts.

            Posted by: veritas vincit at April 13, 2008 11:58 AM
            Comment #250462

            LO-
            The Republicans have warned for years that if we fit the tax code to the revenues we need, it will be bad for the economy. They have said that if we regulated properly, and put the staff in play to carry out those regulations, the economy would suffer. They have told people that if Gays were allowed to marry, it would be “man on dog” before long. There have beat the crap out of the abortion issue.

            So let’s be honest: both Republicans and Democrats have the attitude that they know best. That’s called politics. Everybody has their opinion about what’s best. It’s not elitist to assert your opinion, it’s politics.

            Besides, read the answer he was giving: he was telling people that folks in these places were not uniformly against them, but that many had a long distrust of government and economic dissatisfaction that needed concrete answers in policy.

            You want to paint him as some out-there liberal. Yet people all over the country, in places where such liberalism isn’t the rule, nonetheless support him. In fact, Barack Obama used such support to counter Hillary’s support in those most stereotypically liberal of places.

            Now you can take the elitist position that these people are all dupes, that they’re just enchanted by pretty words, but such would be an isolated, naive position to take. More than anybody else, Barack Obama has freely and strongly taken the kind of positions people actually want to seek. Only after his stunning successes have Democrats and Republicans sought to paint themselves as agents of change. His advantage is, he’s been preparing for this kind of campaign, and they have not.

            As for his credentials issue, The University of Chicago Law School actually took the step of coming out and saying that somebody with the title of Senior Lecturer could rightly be referred to as a professor. In short, you’re wrong, and completely so. Obama has his share of evasions and half-truths. He’s a politician, and I think more of his supporters realize this than is convenient for you to believe. But he has been proven right and true more often than either of his rivals.

            He doesn’t have to be Christ Returned to be a better politician than they are. We’re only having this conversation now, about this, because the Clinton campaign has decided it is easier to tear down Obama than to build up themselves. If McCain takes a similar route, it will show equal weakness. What Obama is, is the first candidate in a long time who people can vote for on account of evident talents, rather than merely absent liabilities.

            ohrealy-
            Good, paying jobs. It’s not difficult to understand. Or maybe it is. Maybe we’ve had so much politically correct sunshine pumped up our behinds about what saints people in poverty are, that we refuse to understand the grinding stresses, the socioeconomic problems that trap people.

            I’ve had personal experience of having fallen in income, going from good earnings to less. My family’s health problems, which I will not discuss in great detail, have been crippling. I am a young man who has seen prices on just about every necessity skyrocket, and who has seen the necessities of life take large and larger chunks of his paychecks.

            I am bitter. I am angry. And I do resent those who, having set things this way, having given all the benefits to big business and the economic elites, somehow think we’re irrational or hide our negative feelings behind a glaze of happy talk about what saints we are. They people who get up on those stages and tell us things will be alright because they don’t look down on us are the people looking down on us, hoping to take a verbal gaffe and make something divisive about it. The Clintons tell one thing to their friends in Columbia, and another thing to us, and McCain? McCain doesn’t even bother. He thinks economic justice isn’t even in the job description.

            I’m not going to spin, evade, or anything else. I’m going to tell you right out that I don’t trust either of the other two to work in my interests. I know Barack may not prove to be as good as his word, but at least he’s not selling me that happy crappy or economic moralizing that seems to be the guiding themes of the other candidates.

            As for affirmative action? You have got to be kidding me. The party elite stood behind Hillary. As a Rule, she’s won most of the states that have a Democratic machine in them, the classic deep blue states. That’s why she’s still in the game. She won the states that would normally have given the victor the nomination.

            Barack, however, by campaigning in just about every state, managed to effectively deny her large victories in most states, and picked up many delegates among the numerous other states he picked up. She started out with an enormous advantage, which he has systematically, through hard work, and difficult political trials, managed to surpass with no hope of her recovering the lead. If you think that’s affirmative action, then you have an exceedingly broad definition of it.

            Craig Holmes-
            People move to small towns to get away not from liberalism, but from all the concrete and steel. Inevitably, though, they bring their blight with them. Economically speaking, the housing crisis isn’t going to help, and Demographers are warning that the exurbs are going to see the worst economic blight. The cities are actually benefiting, and probably will continue to benefit because these exurbs made people dependent on transportation, and with gas prices rising, getting to those jobs is going to be difficult.

            As for this whole elitism thing? I expect I will be dealing with it, clear up to the election. But not because of Barack Obama in particular. I will be dealing with it because it’s the reflexive label of most on the right for most on the left.

            Never mind economic policies that cheerfully hand tax money through deficit spending to the rich, and to big businesses, especially those making record profits already. Never mind a socioeconomic attitude that reasons that the elite are that way because of superior talents, morality, and mental acumen. Never mind the way they’ve bent policy to service of big companies, rather than to the aid of the general public.

            There are elitists in any party, to be sure. Republicans, though, are elitist in their behavior, reinforcing the status quos in economic and social matters, rather than helping to level the playing field so those with money and power don’t railroad the interests of the average American.

            This I can defend, and at this point, this most people want.

            Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 13, 2008 12:43 PM
            Comment #250464

            Craig Holmes said: “People like to hunt as their grandparents did. Holding on to a gun has nothing to do with bitterness,”

            But if their real wages have dropped or their job exported or their economy declined, many are bitter, and bitter about the economy strengthens folks clinging to their traditional values like gun rights, since that is still perceptibly within in their control to protect. But, guns is a divisive issue, and if they vote on that issue, they will not be addressing the economic issues with their vote. That is precisely what Barack Obama was saying. And every word of it is true for most folks in rural areas who are bitter over the nation’s recession and their powerlessness to do anything about it.

            Posted by: David R. Remer at April 13, 2008 1:39 PM
            Comment #250465

            d.a.n. said: “No, I think Obama will lose some supporters.”

            I disagree. I see no evidence of Obama supporters jumping ship. What he may lose are undecided Independents who might have been leaning toward him. But, even that remains to be seen. New poll shows Obama closing Clinton’s lead in Pa., likely in part as a result of this latest flap.

            On Wa. Journal I heard folks call in and say what Obama said is common sense, making his critics appear all the more political for their spin on his words away from his meaning. I think regular folks get what he said and agree with it. Folks who don’t want to elect a Black Man or a Democrat at all, will interpret what he said in a way as to justify their original intent to not support him anyway.

            Every Obama flap so far has seen his poll numbers improve against Hillary afterward. Obviously, the trend in the poll numbers do not support the proposition that he will or is losing supporters. That may change in the future, but, currently, he is still gaining supporters.

            Posted by: David R. Remer at April 13, 2008 1:47 PM
            Comment #250468

            d.a.n. said: “(1) people opposed to illegal immigration, and Obama’s voting record and position on illegal immigration are well documented. Again, there is a huge difference between people that are “anti-immigrant” and people that want illegal immigration stopped.”

            You are absolutely correct on this. This is where Obama did in fact misspeak, and he has said so. When he used the words anti-immigration, he says he was thinking anti-illegal immigration.

            That said, Obama’s position so far on immigration is to be opposed as far as I am concerned. Bill Gates before Congress last week got his way yet again, and it was a sad day for American workers. I hope Obama can be brought around on this issue. He is clearly on the wrong side of it, in my opinion.

            His position on the border however is evolving, as now accedes to the proposition that whatever means are necessary to defend our borders from hostile intrusion are to be taken. That is an evolution on his previous position opposed to barriers at the borders. The advantage to his being a populist candidate, is that he respects the popular voice and will consider it seriously in his deliberations. Unlike McCain or Hillary who have their mind set on many policies regardless of what the people think, removing preemptively any consideration of the people’s view or wisdom on those issues.

            Though I must quickly say, McCain’s about face on bailing out homeowners was absolutely and unequivocally a concession to popular opinion. In my opinion, not out of respect for the public’s opinion, but, out of necessity to pander for their votes. Once elected, I would expect McCain to return to a no bail out position as this has been a longstanding core principle of his, abandoned only for the sake of getting elected. In this and so many other ways, McCain reminds me ever so much of GW Bush.

            I don’t think we will see Obama backtrack on his evolving position toward border security even after elected. A significant difference between the two candidates in this regard, IMO.

            Posted by: David R. Remer at April 13, 2008 2:00 PM
            Comment #250469

            If candidates for the Presidency want to promise jobs, they should propose a jobs program, providing direct employment, and not pretend that they will bring jobs back from overseas if we tinker with trade agreements.

            The 70,000 companies pretending to do business in the Cayman Islands have no interest in jobs here. They only want to loot our assets, and hide them in places where they think we can’t get at them.

            I have also earned more money working for a large corporation, which later went out of business rather than come to terms with labor unions. I used to tell people that I gave it up because I didn’t want to play golf.

            Posted by: ohrealy at April 13, 2008 2:10 PM
            Comment #250470
            veritas vincit wrote: d.a.n., You’re really splitting hairs here — …
            You wish.

            It isn’t splitting hairs since:

            • (01) It was a dumb thing for Obama to say, even if he really believes it, and dumber to defend as the truth. Mostly the part about “clinging” to “religion”, which wrong, no matter which way you cut it.

            • (02) Regarding the comment by Obama: “antipathy to people who aren’t like them”? In one of the biggest melting pots in the world ? Is that true of entire “small towns” in America?

            • (03) There is a big difference between people that are “anti-immigrant” and people that want illegal immigration stopped. Is that true of entire “small towns” in America?

            • (04) There is a big difference between people that are “anti-trade” and people that want unfair trade practices stopped. Is that true of entire “small towns” in America?

            • (05) What does that mean “cling to guns” ? Is that also a criticism of the 2nd Amendment? Is that true of entire “small towns” in America?

            • (06) And what is wrong with people that “cling” to their “religion” and their religious beliefs? Is that also a criticism of the 1st Amendment? Is that true of entire “small towns” in America?

            • (07) People are bitter? People have a right to be “bitter” with government irresponsibility, incompetence, and Do-Nothing Congress. However, the voters are culpable too, since the voters repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates. Still, is that even true of entire “small towns” in America?

            • (08) Had Barack Obama said “SOME PEOPLE”, he would have been correct, but Barack Obama was addressing entire “small towns in in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest”.

            • (09) Do “small town” Americans have to “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” ?

            • (10) And when Barack Obama was later provided the opportunity to elaborate and explain his position, he said that it was the “truth”, but he worded it badly. That’s not good enough. Quite simply, had Barack Obama simply said it was true of “SOME PEOPLE”, instead of some entire “small towns”, and a “lot of small towns”, his statement would have been true. But he did not say that, and he did not rescind it. Thus, it appears that Barack Obama is standing behind his statement as the truth, even though it is obvious and factual that his denigration of a “lot of small towns” can not possibly be true of all people in any entire “small town”.

              veritas vincit wrote: … and I suspect that even you know you are doing so.


              veritas vincit wrote:
              If you honestly think this is a reason to jump on Obama and reject him, …

              Also, I am not condemning Obama as a person or candidate.

              Only his statment and the defense of his statement as the truth.
              I wasn’t voting for Obama, Hillary, or McCain for president anyway, since they are all equally bad choices (in my opinion).

              veritas vincit wrote: If you honestly think this is a reason to jump on Obama and reject him, then I think that’s pretty sad.
              What is sad is watching some people turn into pretzels trying to defend the indefensible.

              Why not admit it that it wasn’t only a dumb thing to say, but subsequently defending it was dumb too.
              By subsequently defending it as the “truth”, it makes people wonder if he really believes it.

              veritas vincit wrote: It is more than obvious that what Obama is saying is that many people who live in economically depressed areas of this country have basically given up even entertaining the idea that anyone in Washington D.C. (on either side of the aisle,) would actually care enough to be driven to craft domestic policies that could help such communities find a way out of the major slump they’ve been in for so many years.
              But that is not what Obama said and then subsequently defended as the truth, and the denigration of religion is wrong not matter which way you cut it:
              • Obama said (6-APR-2008):
                  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.
              • and Obama said (12-APR-2008):
                  “I said something everybody knows is true”.
              veritas vincit wrote: And because of that, too many of the people in these communities have taken to becoming “values” voters — the God, Guns, Anti-Gay, Anti-immigrant folks.
              Wow. So you actually believe that too?

              By the way, you omitted anti-trade.
              First of all, the denigration of others’ religious beliefs (i.e. “clinging” to “religion”) is out-of-line, as long as their religious beliefs do not infringe upon others’ rights.
              The “cling to guns” comment is almost as bad, and makes one wonder about Obama’s opinion of the 2nd Amendment.
              And the “anti-immigrant sentiment” comment is easy to understand, since Obama wants amnesty for illegal aliens.
              Also, there is a big difference between anti-immigrant sentiment and anti-illegal-immigration sentitment; a distiction Obama has repeatedly tried to blur.
              The “anti-trade sentiment” is insulting, because few (if any) people are opposed to free-trade; they are upset with unfair trade practices.

              veritas vincit wrote: The kind of people who have become convinced through an enormous amount of spin and carefully focused propaganda that all Liberals are “Elitists” who don’t understand or respect anything about them, and who actually want to destroy their way of life and all their rural traditions. Ironically, these peoples’ values and pet issues are merely pandered to every election cycle by the elitist, corporate-loving plutocrats of the GOP, as well as the elitist, corporate-loving plutocrats known as the Blue Dog Democrats, who then proceed to enact legislation that only further destroys these people’s communities by bleeding them of decent jobs, and negates every chance that this country might have of bringing widespread economic recovery to rural AND urban America.
              That is not the issue.

              There is no question that none of the three candidates (Obama, Hillary, McCain) are without sin when it comes to pandering and spinning.

              There is no question that Congress and all three candidates have dismal voting records, and many voters are tired of it.
              But that is not the issue.
              That is a separate subject and distraction, which will turn Obama and his supporters into pretzels trying to re-explain, rationalize, and spin.

              veritas vincit wrote: Obama has demonstrated with his legislative support, with his votes, and with his rhetoric, that he is neither a plutocrat, nor an elitist, nor a Blue Dog Democrat.
              Maybe. But still, what Obama said was wrong. Especially if he actually believes it, and continues to defend it as the “truth”.

              It quite simply is not true, and it is not even close to splitting hairs due to the 10 reasons above.

              veritas vincit wrote: Instead, he is a Populist who believes in mutual respect between rural AND urban Americans because we’re all in the same sinking economic boat, and believes in government transparency and accountability.
              If so, he’s going about demonstrating it in a very strange way by saying to his “small town” audience: 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”.
              veritas vincit wrote: Ironically, and quite laughably so, he is currently being demonized by the likes of McCain and Clinton, a Plutocrat Republican and a Plutocrat Blue Dog Democrat, respectively, both of whom are each worth over 100 million dollars, for being an “arrogant elitist”!!! It is completely ridiculous.
              McCain hasn’t said that much about it. Hillary has quite a bit.

              But Obama did this to himself.
              That doesn’t mean he is s bad person.
              I don’t think Obama is a bad person.
              I simply do not agree with his statement for the 10 reasons above.

              veritas vincit wrote: Spin, spin, spin. The truth is, Obama has been all over this country talking to all kinds of Americans, and he knows exactly how hard EVERYONE has been struggling. And he clearly recognizes that nobody has been representing the Average American for far too long, both rural and urban. Indeed, long before he began running for president, Obama has obviously been aware of these facts.
              That may be partly true, but Obama’s postion on illegal immigration is an insult to most Americans. Illegal immigration is one of the top 10 abuses hammering most Americans. However, all three candidates and most in Congress are equally delinquent on illegal immigration. In fact, John McCain voted for the first amnesty in 1986, which more than quadrupled the problem. Illegal immigration is costing the middle-income group an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion annually in net losses.

              Now his comments about religion are equally insulting, no matter which way you cut it.

              Stephen Daugherty wrote: I am bitter. I am angry. And I do resent those who, having set things this way, having given all the benefits to big business and the economic elites, somehow think we’re irrational or hide our negative feelings behind a glaze of happy talk about what saints we are.
              I am bitter too.

              By the way, Obama may still be the best choice of the three choices.
              I am not condemning Obama, nor do I think he is a bad person. Not at all.
              I am merely addressing his statement and the issues and reasons I (and many others) think his statement was not true, or fair (certainly not of some “a lot of small towns”, and certainly not the comment about religion).

              You are right that Obama may (or may not) still be the best of the 3 candidates, but that doesn’t mean he is infallable.

              Perhaps Obama is simply being stubborn, or he actuall believes what he said is true of “a lot of small towns”.

              I still think this entire thing could have been avoided had he quickly asserted that he meant SOME PEOPLE, and apologized about the reference to religion, and clarified that he meant that only some people become single-issue votes (i.e. with regard to guns), and only SOME PEOPLE become anti-immigrant, and anti-trade.

              But for some strange reason, he didn’t.
              That makes one wonder about his reasoning and whether he actually believes people in “a lot of small towns” are:

                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”.

              David R. Remer wrote:
                d.a.n. said: “No, I think Obama will lose some supporters.”
              I disagree. I see no evidence of Obama supporters jumping ship.
              Well, I have no proof, which is why I said “I think”. But, it is safe to say that at least one person in the U.S. has changed their mind.
              David R. Remer wrote: What he may lose are undecided Independents who might have been leaning toward him. But, even that remains to be seen. New poll shows Obama closing Clinton’s lead in Pa., likely in part as a result of this latest flap.
              Maybe. By the way, I’m not saying Obama may not be the best candidate of the three available.
              David R. Remer wrote: On Wa. Journal I heard folks call in and say what Obama said is common sense, …
              Well, only of SOME PEOPLE with regard to one-issue voters (e.g. gun ownership), anti-immigrant, and anti-trade.

              But the “clinging” to “religion” statement was wrong, no matter which way you cut it, since it was clearly one-of-four things that were clearly being characterized as improper (even if understandable).

              David R. Remer wrote: … making his critics appear all the more political for their spin on his words away from his meaning.
              I have no pony in the race, so I have no political agenda.

              Like I said, Obama may still be the best candidate.
              I’m simply addressing his statement and the subsequent defense of it.
              That is not mere “spin”. I listed 10 reasonable and quite plausible reasons above for having issues with Obama’s statement.

              David R. Remer wrote: I think regular folks get what he said and agree with it.
              Maybe. Maybe not.
              David R. Remer wrote: Folks who don’t want to elect a Black Man or a Democrat at all, will interpret what he said in a way as to justify their original intent to not support him anyway.
              Maybe. But some people will based it on the facts and issues.

              I sort of like Obama, and still think he may be the best of the 3 choices, but I was actually surprised and disappointed by his statement, and then his subsequent defense of it as the “truth”.

              Thus, it is only fair that I be consistent and equally critique all of the candidates deeds and comments (without bias as is possible).
              That is why I list ALL of the three canidates dismal voting records: one-simple-idea.com/VotingRecords1.htm

              David R. Remer wrote: Every Obama flap so far has seen his poll numbers improve against Hillary afterward. Obviously, the trend in the poll numbers do not support the proposition that he will or is losing supporters. That may change in the future, but, currently, he is still gaining supporters.
              Maybe. It’s hard to know for certain.

              Even if his support increases, it is hard to know if the increase would have not been larger.

              At any rate, I don’t think the choices for president are very good, and voters should not forget about Congress.

              At any rate, whoever the next president is, the voters will have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2008 2:24 PM
              Comment #250471

              What the left doesn’t seem to understand is that when people don’t support their agenda it’s because, well, they don’t support their agenda.

              There’s an incredible level of condescension and arrogance contained in the assumption that people are yearning for liberal policies but are somehow tricked into not voting for them because of guns, religion or any other reason.

              The rise on the left of this kind of Maoist, statist thinking—which holds that there is an elite group which knows everybody else’s interests better than they do—is both silly and disturbing.

              Americans have held dear and fought for their religious and gun rights since the founding of this country. It’s long been a part of our history. It predates the New Deal. It predates any economic rise or economic downturn in any part of the country. It even predates the founding of either the Democratic or Republican parties.

              What the left refuses to recognize is that rather than being a distraction from our economic interests, religion and the right to bear arms are part of a central American idea which includes economic freedom. Namely, the concepts of liberty and independence from a meddling, overbearing government.

              Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 13, 2008 2:27 PM
              Comment #250472

              “He’s said that there is something deeper behind the distrust and skepticism of government there than some stereotypical irrationality on their part. They’ve been burned before, and therefore are skeptical about big government. He simply says they need convincing.” Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2008 10:07 PM

              Stephen, you really nailed it with your statement about people needing convincing about big government to overcome their skepticism. Yes, we have been burned by big government since the days of FDR and LBJ and we have every right to be skeptical of the even bigger government being proposed by BO.

              Bigger government has not solved our problems, only made them worse. Bill Clinton, the most popular democrat president since JFK, though for different reasons, announced the end of big government.

              The battle isn’t really between Republicans and Democrats in general as they have both become big government spenders. The real battle is between conservative values and liberal values.

              I maintain that most people understand that we cannot spend ourselves into prosperity and social security. Most people still laugh when they hear the words, “I am from the government and I am here to help”. Government has earned our mistrust and disdain. Obama’s chant of we want change resonates with most folks. The disagreement comes with the kind of change we want.

              The November election will illuminate whether this nation wants to become more liberal or more conservative. Neither OB or HC is capable of fooling anyone about their big spending plans. The question is, does the majority want more or less government and more or less spending.

              Posted by: Jim M at April 13, 2008 2:31 PM
              Comment #250473

              Whether liberal progressives agree with Obama’s statements, or whether they’d like to spin them to be interpreted in a more sympathetic fashion is really besides the point.

              Having the thinnest resume of anyone in recent memory who has received his party’s nomination, Obama has staked his claim on being some kind of “uniter” who can transcend politics as usual and “bring Americans together.” Does making statements such as these, no matter how one chooses to interpret them, “unite” Americans? It would be crazy to say that it’s anything but divisive.

              Obama’s audacity of hype cannot hide the fact that he is nothing but your classic left-wing big government liberal who knows better than you how to organize your life. The only thing unusual about him is the messianic, Maoist cultism that flavors his candidacy.

              Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 13, 2008 2:38 PM
              Comment #250475
              David R. Remer wrote:
                d.a.n. said: “(1) people opposed to illegal immigration, and Obama’s voting record and position on illegal immigration are well documented. Again, there is a huge difference between people that are “anti-immigrant” and people that want illegal immigration stopped.”
              You are absolutely correct on this. This is where Obama did in fact misspeak, and he has said so. When he used the words anti-immigration, he says he was thinking anti-illegal immigration.
              He did? I didn’t hear that yet.

              I heard him apologize for not wording it well, but it may ring hollow as he also continues to say:

              • Obama said (12-APR-2008): “I said something everybody knows is true”.

              David R. Remer wrote: That said, Obama’s position so far on immigration is to be opposed as far as I am concerned.
              Agreed. It is interesting that illegal immigration has become less important, when it is one of the major costs being cleverly shifted onto middle-income Americans (with massive costs estimated between $70 Billion and $338 Billion in net losses per year; and that does not even include the untold cost of crime, displaced jobs, hospital closures, etc.).

              Too many politicians, for what ever reasons (misplaced compassion, profits from cheap labor (i.e. greed), votes, etc.) are despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other.
              The real disdain should not be pointed at illegal aliens merely looking for a job, but the politicians that are pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other.

              David R. Remer wrote: Bill Gates before Congress last week got his way yet again, and it was a sad day for American workers. I hope Obama can be brought around on this issue. He is clearly on the wrong side of it, in my opinion.
              Yes. Doesn’t Bill Gates have enough money without importing more cheap skilled labor? Hmmmmm … why (instead) doesn’t Gates and America invest in its youth with more affordable education for Americans that want to become doctors, engineers, scientists, etc.?

              Still, all three candidates have bad records on illegal immigration and unfair trade practices.
              John McCain voted YES on visas for skilled workers (May 1998).
              That aren’t only jobs he claims Americans won’t do; that is more cheap labor for skilled jobs too.

              David R. Remer wrote: His position on the border however is evolving, as now accedes to the proposition that whatever means are necessary to defend our borders from hostile intrusion are to be taken. That is an evolution on his previous position opposed to barriers at the borders. The advantage to his being a populist candidate, is that he respects the popular voice and will consider it seriously in his deliberations. Unlike McCain or Hillary who have their mind set on many policies regardless of what the people think, removing preemptively any consideration of the people’s view or wisdom on those issues.
              Perhaps. Hopefully, he’ll come around if elected. Otherwise, all social services (e.g. public hospitals, public schools, Medi-Cal, Medicaid, welfare, prisons, law enforcement, etc.) will continue to face massive costs that are being shifted to middle-income Americans.
              David R. Remer wrote: Though I must quickly say, McCain’s about face on bailing out homeowners was absolutely and unequivocally a concession to popular opinion. In my opinion, not out of respect for the public’s opinion, but, out of necessity to pander for their votes.
              I agree. McCain has been flip-flopping on lots of things (only lately since he started campaigning for president), such as the MLK holiday, term-limits, use of Social Security funds, and economic relief for homeowners. Yes, it all appears as pandering and self-serving.
              David R. Remer wrote: Once elected, I would expect McCain to return to a no bail out position as this has been a longstanding core principle of his, abandoned only for the sake of getting elected. In this and so many other ways, McCain reminds me ever so much of GW Bush.
              Yes. Maybe worse.
              David R. Remer wrote: I don’t think we will see Obama backtrack on his evolving position toward border security even after elected. A significant difference between the two candidates in this regard, IMO.
              Maybe. But I don’t think any of the three will do much toward border security, and internal law enforcement (of which are both required). Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2008 2:57 PM
              Comment #250476

              Jim & LO,
              Even if I accepted absolutely everything you said as 100% true (which I don’t), I would still rather see my money squandered on a doomed, pointless, big government effort to help people in this country led by Obama, rather than squander money AND lives on a war led by McCain.

              Posted by: phx8 at April 13, 2008 3:03 PM
              Comment #250479

              Jim & LO,
              Why aren’t you guys libertarians? The Republicans and McCain talk the same talk as libertarians, but once in office, they sure don’t walk the walk, as the past seven years of debts and deficits and runaway government spending have demonstrated.

              Posted by: phx8 at April 13, 2008 3:08 PM
              Comment #250480
              Jim M wrote: Bigger government has not solved our problems, only made them worse.
              And has it grown, and grown, and grown … and continues to grow to nightmare proportions.

              The govenment has grown so severely bloated that
              there are more jobs in government than all manufacturing (naiton-wide).

              It’s sort of like cannibalism, as the incumbent politicians perpetuate these 10 abuses hammering most Americans, which is partly why these economic statistics heve never been worse ever, and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.

              phx8 wrote: I would still rather see my money squandered on a doomed, pointless, big government effort to help people in this country led by Obama, rather than squander money AND lives on a war led by McCain.
              Good point. The Iraq issue may be McCain’s undoing. Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2008 3:11 PM
              Comment #250481

              Thanks for the honesty phx8, it’s refreshing. I might point out that the biggest liberal spender of the last century, and also one who embroiled us in Viet Nam was LBJ. Having a liberal president doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t have wars, popular or unpopular.

              Posted by: Jim M at April 13, 2008 3:18 PM
              Comment #250482

              Phx8, if you think that a president Obama would either end the war or Iraq (doubtful) OR “save lives” by ending it before it’s over (impossible), then I have some nice property in Nebraska I’d like to sell you.

              The sunsets over the ocean are beautiful, but I must warn you: the natives are a bunch of embittered gun-happy religious nuts.

              Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 13, 2008 3:21 PM
              Comment #250483

              Some folks on the right are missing something important: that although many of these people identify with the typical wedge issues of Guns Gays and God, they’re often traditionally Democratic in their voting. God knows Republicans hate Hillary enough, yet these are her strongest supporters in PA. Keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that one of Obama’s supporters, Bob Casey is the man who defeated Rick Santorum. It’s dangerous for Republicans to look at the Obama campaign in ideological terms, because his support ranges all over the spectrum.

              It’s more useful to ask yourself, what folks out there are dissatisfied with the Republicans and their emulators? There is a widespread pool of discontent with Washington. It crosses party lines. That’s why McCain is the nominee for the Republicans. He’s closely associated with that.

              However, to play to his base, he’s carrying out a rather unsteady balancing act: he must be the candidate of change who will do nothing different from the current president on key issues. He’s for staying in Iraq indefinitely, maintaining laissez faire economics, making the tax cuts permanent. It doesn’t help that he’s reversed himself on major issues to do this. He cannot maintain this balancing act forever, especially not if he faces an aggressive challenge from the Democratic candidate. Additionally, few of his positions are all that wildly popular.

              His party is not really in a position to aggressively campaign on his behalf, not the way the Democrats are with their eventual candidate.

              LO-
              Keep on rolling out the red-baiting language. It’s entertaining to watch to golden oldies. Go read a poll occasionally, and try and guess which direction reality is sending the political trends, rather than which way GOP bluster would have it going. Trust me, you’re not ahead in the polls.

              The reality is that people aren’t looking for somebody to run their lives, they’re looking for somebody to run the country. What they want are people who don’t look down their noses at them when they ask for somebody to take their side or rein in the special interests. They want somebody who feels they’re accountable.

              The price you will pay for years of getting what you want will be seeing America embracing liberalism with relief. It’s not about big government, it’s about working government, and people are tired of paying in their money to see themselves get screwed over again and again.

              Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 13, 2008 3:43 PM
              Comment #250484

              LBJ saddled Nixon, Ford, Carter, & Reagan with horrendous debts and the consequences of losing in Vietnam. Some of the debt came from the war, and some of it from the War on Poverty, as well as attempts to make good on the inequalities brought to light by the Civil Rights movement. The War on Poverty didn’t eradicate poverty, but it made an enormous difference in alleviating poverty and increasing literacy, as well as making eductational opportunies available.

              The next administration we elect will be saddled with Iraq, Afghanistan, and a terrible financial situation here at home. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. So yeah, Obama may have his hands tied in many respects. The same holds true for McCain. Bush & Cheney will leave a terrible legacy for the next president.

              But Obama at least demonstrates an ability to lead and inspire. He may fail. I know that. But McCain does not inspire, and has zero chance of bringing people together. Obama’s gaffes are put under the media microscope, while McCain’s howlers are ignored.

              Like every election, we have to choose the best available. Because of the terrible financial situation and Iraq, the choices of an incoming administration will be limited. McCain represents the same bad financial choices that his party has been making for seven years, choices he voted for & publicly supported, and he represents continuing the war in Iraq.

              Obama at least offers the slim chance of an alternative. So I’m prepared for disappointment. But I’d rather take my chances on a change for the better.

              Posted by: phx8 at April 13, 2008 3:54 PM
              Comment #250485

              phx8, I appreciate your sentiments and believe I understand why you support Obama. He is a liberal and isn’t hiding it and he does have an appealing message of unity.

              Electing anyone as our leader is always taking a chance as we can never know if that person will turn out to be dismal, mediocre, or great.

              As a conservative there is no way that I can support Obama as his ideas of government are anathema to me.

              My prayer is, should Obama be elected, that he is not a Pied Piper leading the flock over the cliff.

              Our nation will face even more pressing problems in the next four years and our leader will be challenged in ways we can not imagine now. I will pray for whoever leads our country as he/she is going to need some divine guidance.

              Posted by: Jim M at April 13, 2008 4:11 PM
              Comment #250488

              This is Obama in 2004, long before he was running a campaign in Pennsylvania.

              This is him now.

              Is this the face of elitism? Identifying with people’s troubles? Acknowledging that people hold on to the things that matter in their lives when they’re going through tough times?

              Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 13, 2008 5:11 PM
              Comment #250489

              Sorry, this is the first link.

              Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 13, 2008 5:13 PM
              Comment #250490

              Here is 2004 again.

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2008 5:26 PM
              Comment #250491

              It is unfortunate that Obama did (whether by accident or not) the very thing Charlie Rose warned against doing (appearing condescending).

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2008 5:29 PM
              Comment #250492

              Barack Obama would be wise to avoid what he perceives as side-effects of peoples’ bitterness, such as what Obama perceives as people in “a lot of small towns” and that “they get bitter, they cling to”:

              • (1) “guns”,

              • (2) “religion”,

              • (3) “anti-immigrant sentiment”,

              • (4) “and anti-trade sentitment”,
              “as a way to explain their frustration”.

              It would be far better to focus on the sources of many peoples’ bitterness, such as the severely bloated, irresponsible, corrupt, and incompetent federal government, and the resulting decline of economic conditions due to the following:

              • (01) Lawlessness

              • (02) Wars

              • (03) Plutocracy / Kleptocracy

              • (04) Illegal Immigration, unfair trade practices, corpocrisy and other manifestations of unchecked greed

              • (05) Election Problems

              • (06) Debt and

              • (07) Inflation / Usury / the Monetary-System is a Pyramid-Scheme

              • (08) Regressive Taxation

              • (09) Insufficient / Inadequate Education

              • (10) HealthCare or DangerousCare?
              As for damange control, Obama is running out of time. He should apologize for the statement with regard to religion, make it crystal clear that he did not mean all people in “a lot of small towns”, and stop trying to defend it as “I said something everybody knows is true” (since the “clinging” to “religion” portion of the statement alone is out-of-line; a personal matter that should matter not to any other persons).

              What ever it is Obama is trying to say, it can be summed up much more safely by saying that:

                As the economy deteriorates, and the abuses above continue, our society will become more dysfunctional.

              Lastly, and truly one of the primary and root sources of the peoples’ problems, and what few (a very few, if any) politicians would probably love to say is:

              • Please stop rewarding so many irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

              • Please do not saddle me (the next president) with another incompetent, corrupt, do-nothing Congress; especially since the voters have already repeatedly given Congress dismally low approval ratings (some as low as 11%).

              • Please stop repeat offenders.

              • Don’t re-elect them.

              • If in doubt, vote ‘em out.

              • The status quo is the foe.

              • Please don’t blindly pull the party-lever.

              • Please don’t forget about Congress in this election.

              • Don’t sabotage me [the president] with another dysfunctional, corrupt, do-nothing Congress.

              Of course, that won’t happen, but wouldn’t it be refreshing?

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2008 6:19 PM
              Comment #250493

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGeu_4Ekx-o&feature=related

              Name one legislative accomplishment of Barrak Obama

              Posted by: Weary Willie at April 13, 2008 6:31 PM
              Comment #250494

              Religion is just an item in the candidate’s toolbox, that he uses to get votes when it suits him. He clearly thinks that religion is a weakness of lesser folk. The candidate has described himself as “a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” The more exposure he gets, the more disappointed people will get at his views or lack thereof, only to discover that there is nothing there but ambition, to get to the top spot, to compensate for his identity problems.

              Posted by: ohrealy at April 13, 2008 6:42 PM
              Comment #250495

              d.a.n.:

              Wow. So you actually believe that too?

              Yeah d.a.n., I actually do. But allow me to further explain and elaborate on how and why I agree with what Obama has said…
              It’s all about people swallowing a sh*tload of anti-left propaganda and BS smears, then going into the voting booth and voting on empty rhetoric and hollow identity politics alone, rather than really understanding or even thinking about what Liberals (not Plutocrat Blue Dog Democrats, mind you) are saying, and what we consistently support with our votes.
              Liberals have long been painted as anti-religion, anti-family, anti-gun, pro-baby-death, pro perversion-of-every-kind etc., etc. It’s nothing but a bunch of complete bullsh*t, but somehow the right has sold these ideas to rural (and in many cases to urban) America, and they’ve been bought hook, line, and sinker.
              And so, many of these folks in small rural towns look at Liberals and Liberalism as the complete opposite of themselves, and instead believe that only the GOP could possibly reflect their values — simply because they claim they do.

              But, in reality, the GOP by and large doesn’t actually reflect many real values — be they rural OR urban. The only thing the GOP has come to stand for over the past twenty-plus years is wealthy people and promoting and protecting their interests at the expense of, and despite the needs of, everybody else.
              Let’s take on the issues raised by Obama’s statements one at a time here:

              Guns — the Democratic Party formerly (briefly) entertained the idea gun control, but has long ago put that issue to rest. That’s why in the last presidential election, we actually saw Kerry trying to look like camo-wearing sportsman, and why Hillary is currently trying to paint herself as a modern day Annie Oakley (as if). Obama’s website clearly states that he isn’t anti-gun in the least.
              Despite this fact, the GOP is still selling the idea that Liberals are pushing for gun control laws, and rural voters are still “clinging” to that sales pitch, even when it no longer applies.

              Religion — Liberals aren’t anti-religion and never have been. We respect everyone’s right to believe (or not believe) as they see fit, this is why we are so strong on the concept of the separation between church and state. This way, all people are free to believe what they want, and the government cannot force people into any one kind of religious observance against their will. We believe in morality, but also in the decency to let people decide for themselves how to worship (or not) and how they wish to live. Freedom of and/or from Religion, and Freedom of Choice has been taken up by the GOP and reinterpreted to many voters as anathema to rural values by many rightwing propagandists. Thus, the GOP portrays itself as the Religious-Christian Party — even though so many their policies and stances truly don’t reflect the teachings of Jesus at all — yet still rural voters “cling” to the idea that a vote for the GOP is just like a vote for Jesus.

              Furthermore, Liberals are not pro-baby-killing either. We believe in sexual education, and birth control, and finally, if a woman or couple personally chooses it, in keeping medically safe and sanitary abortions available. We know that forcing a woman to have children against her will is something out of the past, and something that has no place in modern life. We are also fully aware that unwanted children are too often an economic hardship, and as a result, are children who are in far greater danger of becoming neglected and/or abused.

              Antipathy/Xenophobia — Liberals don’t believe in demonizing fellow Americans because of their color, race, creed, or sexual orientation, and we back up our values with strong support for civil rights and social justice. The GOP on the other hand, stokes and feeds fear of others to rural voters. The reason for this is transparent. They do this in order to divide people — knowing that inflating superficial differences between people is a very effective way to keep them from recognizing that the majority of average earners share more in common with each other than not, and that if they laid aside their fear they’d have the potential to become an extremely powerful force of solidarity against the wealthy — a group who always seeks to rip off and take advantage of anyone who falls below their own income bracket.
              By dividing us, they conquer us.

              By the way, you omitted anti-trade.

              You’re right I forgot that, so let’s include that also. Liberals aren’t anti-trade, we’re anti-laissez faire capitalism because we know it hurts everyone in this country except for the wealthy. We’re very much pro fair trade, and pro small business, as well as pro union. In this way we show our strong support for families, and our belief in dignity and prosperity for all Americans.

              The Liberal message has always been a populist one. And a strong a patriotically American one also. But go to a rural area and strike up a conversation with an average group of folks you meet and then tell them you’re a Liberal. See what kind of reaction you get.

              Go ahead, I dare you.

              Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 13, 2008 6:53 PM
              Comment #250496
              Veritas Vincit wrote: Liberals have long been painted as anti-religion, anti-family, anti-gun, pro-baby-death, pro perversion-of-every-kind etc., etc.
              Think so? I’m not so sure about that.
              Veritas Vincit wrote: It’s nothing but a bunch of complete bullsh*t, but somehow the right has sold these ideas to rural (and in many cases to urban) America, and they’ve been bought hook, line, and sinker.
              I’ve lived in both, and I’m not at all sure that is true at all.

              It may be true in some regions based on a majority, but not all people. It could simply be 40%/60% in some regions and the opposite 60%/40% in other regions, despite the maps we see that show most rural areas as RED and most urban areas as BLUE. There is an overall difference perhaps in voting habits, but I’m not going to agree at all that rural areas cling to guns, religion, anti-immigrant sentiments, and anti-trade sentiments.

              Veritas Vincit wrote: And so, many of these folks in small rural towns look at Liberals and Liberalism as the complete opposite of themselves, and instead believe that only the GOP could possibly reflect their values — simply because they claim they do.
              Hmmmmm … generalizations like that are always subject to debate. Again, it may be true based on a majority percentage in some regions, but not all.
              Veritas Vincit wrote: But, in reality, the GOP by and large doesn’t actually reflect many real values — be they rural OR urban.
              Well, the fact is, for the most part, few (if any) incumbent politicians in either party have much room to talk.

              As for voters, they need to wake up to that fact.
              Especially since the majority polled gives Congress dismally low approval ratings.
              Thus, it makes no sense to then reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

              Veritas Vincit wrote: The only thing the GOP has come to stand for over the past twenty-plus years is wealthy people and promoting and protecting their interests at the expense of, and despite the needs of, everybody else.
              Neither of the politicians in either party are doing a good job. In fact, as a whole, they are doing a bad job.
              Veritas Vincit wrote: Let’s take on the issues raised by Obama’s statements one at a time here: . Guns — the Democratic Party formerly (briefly) entertained the idea gun control, but has long ago put that issue to rest. That’s why in the last presidential election, we actually saw Kerry trying to look like camo-wearing sportsman, and why Hillary is currently trying to paint herself as a modern day Annie Oakley (as if). Obama’s website clearly states that he isn’t anti-gun in the least. Despite this fact, the GOP is still selling the idea that Liberals are pushing for gun control laws, and rural voters are still “clinging” to that sales pitch, even when it no longer applies.
              But the issue was about Obama’s statement about “clinging to guns”.
              Veritas Vincit wrote: Religion — Liberals aren’t anti-religion and never have been.
              No one alleged that. That’s not the issue.
              Veritas Vincit wrote: We respect everyone’s right to believe (or not believe) as they see fit, this is why we are so strong on the concept of the separation between church and state.
              That is definitely something I like about Democrats (in general). They aren’t trying to force their religion on to others.

              That is another reason why I found Obama’s statement about “clinging” to “religion” troubling.

              Veritas Vincit wrote: Thus, the GOP portrays itself as the Religious-Christian Party — even though so many their policies and stances truly don’t reflect the teachings of Jesus at all — yet still rural voters “cling” to the idea that a vote for the GOP is just like a vote for Jesus.
              Again, I think it is unfair to paint a broad stroke of people in one party or the other in that fasion.

              I wonder if an atheist could get elected today?

              Veritas Vincit wrote: Furthermore, Liberals are not pro-baby-killing either.
              I never thought that, and don’t think most people in American believe that either.
              Veritas Vincit wrote: Antipathy/Xenophobia — Liberals don’t believe in demonizing fellow Americans because of their color, race, creed, or sexual orientation, and we back up our values with strong support for civil rights and social justice.
              I don’t either. I don’t hate any illegal alien merely looking for a job. I despise the politicians the despicably pit Americans citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes.

              And Democrats have the worst record of doing this, and pandering for votes, voting for amnesties, etc. But, many Republicans do it for profits. So, many of the politicians in both parties are pathetic.

              Veritas Vincit wrote: The GOP on the other hand, stokes and feeds fear of others to rural voters. The reason for this is transparent. They do this in order to divide people — knowing that inflating superficial differences between people is a very effective way to keep them from recognizing that the majority of average earners share more in common with each other than not, and that if they laid aside their fear they’d have the potential to become an extremely powerful force of solidarity against the wealthy — a group who always seeks to rip off and take advantage of anyone who falls below their own income bracket. By dividing us, they conquer us.
              Many politicians in BOTH parties do this, whether it is pandering for votes or for profits from cheap labor. Thus, the problem of illegal immigration continues to worsen.
              Veritas Vincit wrote: You’re right I forgot that, so let’s include that also. Liberals aren’t anti-trade,
              I didn’t say liberals were anti-trade. The issue was Barack Obama’s statement about people in “a lot of small towns” … “clinging” to “anti-trade sentiments”.

              I don’t believe that accurately describes most people in small town America.

              Veritas Vincit wrote: … we’re anti-laissez faire capitalism because we know it hurts everyone in this country except for the wealthy.
              Then why do so many Democrat politicians vote to approve so many unfair trade practices?
              Veritas Vincit wrote: We’re very much pro fair trade, and pro small business, as well as pro union.
              Well, the unions and workers of American aren’t doing so well. Do you blame that all on Republicans? After all, Democrats had a huge majority in Congress for 42 years prior to the Republicans who gained control of Congress in 1996?
              Veritas Vincit wrote: The Liberal message has always been a populist one.
              If that were true, when happened between 1996 and 2006? Doesn’t populist infer majority thinking?
              Veritas Vincit wrote: But go to a rural area and strike up a conversation with an average group of folks you meet and then tell them you’re a Liberal. See what kind of reaction you get. Go ahead, I dare you.
              I can’t, since I am a centrist / moderate.

              As for Obama’s statements, I’m don’t think you have explained sufficiently explained away the issues some people have with his statements.
              By the way, I do not dislike Obama, but was surprised by such a gaffe.
              He could mitigate damages if he would quickly take steps to address the problem (e.g. see above, comment # 250492).

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2008 7:32 PM
              Comment #250497
              Weary Willie wrote: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGeu_4Ekx-o&feature=related

              Name one legislative accomplishment of Barrak Obama

              Ouch!

              However, in all fairness, when looking at the other candidates voting records, they don’t have much to talk about either.
              In fact, one might make the case that Obama has done the least damage?

              However, Barack Obama Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)
              CAGW.ORG gives Barack Obama a score of 30% on the Pork-Barrel Score Card; however, it is better than Hillary’s dismal 14%; but both are pathetic. McCain gets a 95%.

              And McCain has been in Congress for 26 years.
              What did McCain accomplish?
              Well, he voted for the first amnesty in 1986, which quadrupled the illegal immigration problem.
              However, he says that he now “gets it”.
              McCain voted against the MLK holiday, but he recently said he was wrong.
              He used to be for term limits, but not any more.
              Fascinating how many revelations occur when someone is running for office.

              Hillary Clinton Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq. (Oct 2002)
              Voted YES on extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends. (Nov 2005)
              Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Feb 2006)
              Hillary made the 2006 PorkBusters Hall of Shame: Hillary Clinton (D-NY) made the list among 3 other Congress persons.
              And lastly, this is kinda funny. From the smile on Hillary’s face, she does too!

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 13, 2008 7:35 PM
              Comment #250498

              Oh, the irony. Two quotes from the same person:

              Liberals have long been painted as anti-religion, anti-family, anti-gun, pro-baby-death, pro perversion-of-every-kind etc., etc. It’s nothing but a bunch of complete bullsh*,
              The only thing the GOP has come to stand for over the past twenty-plus years is wealthy people and promoting and protecting their interests at the expense of, and despite the needs of, everybody else.

              This is a sad but typical way of thinking. Our side is “painted” as something we’re not—through no fault of our own—but the other side has horns growing out of their heads. You want your side to be judged with nuance and sympathy, but you want the other side to be caricatured.

              Obama IS anti-gun. He claims not to be—while supporting a ban on the sale of ALL semi-automatic weapons. And if he doesn’t want to be thought anti-religion, anti-Second Amendment, or anti-small town and rural America, the last thing he needs to be doing is sneering at these people in front of a rich bunch of urban San-Francisco liberals. I know you’d like to think that the characterization of liberals has no basis in reality and that the GOP has performed some kind of mass hypnotism on the public. But the fact that liberals seem to always cooperate by reinforcing these perceptions makes the job a whole lot easier.

              Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 13, 2008 8:29 PM
              Comment #250499
              Thus, the GOP portrays itself as the Religious-Christian Party — even though so many their policies and stances truly don’t reflect the teachings of Jesus at all — yet still rural voters “cling” to the idea that a vote for the GOP is just like a vote for Jesus.

              Is this how the GOP portrays itself? Or is it how you portray the GOP? As Stephen points out, Democrats have very often attracted rural, religous, and even conservative voters. We have a number of Democratic senators and governors that represent “red states” which are not even in play for the Democrats in the upcoming presidential election.

              How is this possible if these voters think that voting for the GOP is the same thing as voting for Jesus. The answer is obvious. It’s because these Democratic politicians share the concerns and beliefs of their constituents. People are not as stupid as the Democratic elitists believe. They’re quite happy to vote for Democrats if these Democrats do not reject or sneer at the political wishes of voters.

              If you’re a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, anti-tax Democratic candidate, you can get these rural and small town simpletons to vote for you. But if you’re not, you won’t. Rather than facing the fact that a great deal of the liberal agenda is anathema to a great many Americans, you have to cling to this idea that people are being tricked somehow from voting against their interests through the use of so-called “wedge issues.”

              Funny, isn’t it, that when Democrats try to get votes by agitating for socialized medicine and entitlements, or whatever else they campaign on, we simply call those issues “issues” instead of “wedge issues.” As if liberal desires are somehow real and legitimate and everyone else’s are some kind of dirty trick.

              Tell you what. If you consider these “wedge issues,” which many Americans seem to care about, to be a distraction from advancing your agenda, then quit taking the other side on them.

              But you can’t do that, can you? Because taking the other side is PART of your agenda. And you’re just hacked off that so many Americans don’t agree with you. So hacked off that you consider it dirty politics to contradict you.

              Believe it or not, a lot of voters really do not want big government entitlement programs. A lot of these voters also pro-life, for example, and will vote for pro-life candidates—whether those candidates are Democrats or Republicans.

              The reason they don’t vote for you isn’t that they’re too dumb to know what they actually want. It’s because they’re smart enough TO know what they want.

              Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 13, 2008 8:59 PM
              Comment #250501

              David:

              But if their real wages have dropped or their job exported or their economy declined, many are bitter, and bitter about the economy strengthens folks clinging to their traditional values like gun rights, since that is still perceptibly within in their control to protect. But, guns is a divisive issue, and if they vote on that issue, they will not be addressing the economic issues with their vote. That is precisely what Barack Obama was saying. And every word of it is true for most folks in rural areas who are bitter over the nation’s recession and their powerlessness to do anything about it.

              Let me give you an example from the Pacific Northwest. We live part time in a small community that has lost it’s basic industry. It is the timber industry. There is bitterness. The bitterness is because the forest service is shutting down roads in the mountains.

              Times are hard because every sawmill in the county has shut down. The last one just recently. What also is of some concern is retirees moving in and raising home prices out of range of the depressed wages you were talking about.

              Obama was just way out of touch on his reasoning. He handed the republicans a huge wedge issue. I was sitting in church today and there was a guest speaker. This speaker was obvioiusly from the city. Wow what a turn off. It’s cultural. ISt is elitist, and a lack of respect. This speaker did go on and on with illustrations about traffic jams. (There isn’t a single stop light in the whole county. No Walmart or Starbucks either).

              These people have a strong faith, and strong traditions that need to be respected. Urban white intellectual liberals look like idiots from the perpective of a small town modest wage person.

              What is hard for Liberals to figure out is that the divide is not issues, it is culture. Obama just insulted rural culture.

              It is very hard to win the presidency from the fringe.

              I expect this to continue for some time as Obama figures out where the land mines are in different cultures around the country.

              Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 13, 2008 10:04 PM
              Comment #250502

              Veritas Vincit :

              The Liberal message has always been a populist one. And a strong a patriotically American one also. But go to a rural area and strike up a conversation with an average group of folks you meet and then tell them you’re a Liberal. See what kind of reaction you get.

              Go ahead, I dare you.

              That is because it is cultural. White Liberals hardly ever attend church, carry guns, etc. Most Liberals are urbanites. Liberals represent what most small town people are trying to get away from.

              What makes matters worse is that when they do move into a small town, they immediately try to make it like where they came from. Small town folk who have been doing certain things for three or four generations start having these things questions.

              Liberal = pushy outsiders from the city in the minds of many.

              It is hard to over estimate the huge gulf in culture between urban liberals and small towns. This was not always so in the Democratic party. The Democratic party used to be the home of small town politics.


              Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 13, 2008 11:03 PM
              Comment #250503

              Craig, I think you’re right about the cultural part, but I think it’s really a matter of issues as well. Culture itself is not something devoid of issues.

              Hunting, for example, very popular in your neck of the woods, requires firearms. Going to church, for many, is a way of life that stretches back over many generations. People didn’t suddenly take up and embrace these things because they became “bitter” over losing their jobs at the sawmill. That was Obama’s insinuation, and it’s ridiculously out-of-touch with BOTH the culture and the issues the people care about.

              I’ve got relatives in the Pacific Northwest who used to work in the logging industry as well. Rightly or wrongly, that industry has been strangled over the last twenty years by regulation. Remember the whole deal with the spotted owl?

              I happen to agree with a lot of the environmental measures taken, but I also know that there was a lot of resentment over how they were high-handedly imposed with little thought to how peoples’ lives and livelihoods were being destroyed. There was a feeling that urban liberals cared more about an owl—which may or may not have been actually threatened—than they did people, and the whole tone was one of “We know better than you, so just shut your mouths.”

              Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 13, 2008 11:21 PM
              Comment #250504

              “We know better than you, so just shut your mouths.”

              Sounds a lot like this whole war on terror thing.

              Posted by: Rocky at April 13, 2008 11:26 PM
              Comment #250505

              Another big issue for small town and rural voters has been private property rights.

              Craig mentions the urbanites who come in and start imposing their own rules. This has been a serious source of resentment for a whole lot of people.

              Across America, you have urban retirees or millionaires buying vacation property who come in with no roots in the community and then use their money and influence to prevent development.

              To the locals, many of whom own land but are cash-poor because their former professions are being stifled by the policies of urban liberals, it’s adding insult to injury.

              For example, I know people who were first prevented from logging their land, and were then prevented from developing it or selling it a price the market would otherwise have allowed because rich urbanites in the area wanted to make sure that their vacation properties kept their unspoiled character.

              Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 13, 2008 11:41 PM
              Comment #250506

              LO,
              I live in Oregon.

              Very few loggers are prevented from logging “their” land. They do, however, face restrictions when logging public land, and for many good reasons.

              Logging was huge until the 1930’s. Roughly 1/3 of the state had been clear cut by that point. The brakes were first put on because of environmental catastrophes, in particular, enormous forest fires, culminating with the Tillamook burn. There are still old growth forests, but most of the trees people see are not over 60 years old.

              Logging is still big, but it is regulated, and unfortunately that allows Canada to ship wood into the US at prices that undercut American loggers. For the rural population of Oregon to blame regulatory restrictions is absurd. We went down that road, and it was not a good one. Ultimately, it did not really benefit anyone in the long term, rural or urban. We’ve allowed foreign imports to undercut prices in this country, and that is where both rural and urban concerns can come to agreement.

              I think the situation with urban v rural conflicts in OR is considerably better that it was 30 years ago. Right now Oregonians are facing a disaster with the fishing communities on the coast. The rise in the price of fuel was bad, of course. But it turns out rockfish (cod, snapper) live to be over 100 years old, and they reproduce very slowly. No one meant for it to happen, but the rockfish rockfish populations were overfished, and they collapsed. Worse, salmon populations have been declining.

              Oregon without salmon is like Wisconsin without cheese, or Maine without lobster, or Louisiana without shrimp. Wild salmon is ordinarily a dinner staple, reasonably priced and readily available. Now it is no longer in the stores. Clear cutting polluted rivers with silt, but most likely, the biggest culprits are dams. There are some very hard choices coming for everyone in Oregon, urban and rural and Native American.

              But one thing about Oregon. The liberals are in charge. They’ve done a terrific job with urban planning. Portland is a model of how to create a great city with rapid transit, and without urban sprawl. This is a state with inspiring natural beauty, and Oregonians treasure it.

              Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2008 12:28 AM
              Comment #250509

              just curious phx8…….. where in Oregon?
              Gresham, here.

              Posted by: janedoe at April 14, 2008 1:29 AM
              Comment #250510

              Dan-
              I posted that with the intention of running what actors would call a through-line through it. If a character says certain things in one scene, and the same things after that, is that not the indication of a character constant?

              If words are all you will care about, when words are twisted and distorted, your own words will follow. What’s more important: perfect communications, or consistent good intentions over time?

              Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2008 2:18 AM
              Comment #250511

              http://www.bestplaces.net/crime/?city1=51150000&city2=54159000

              Check out the crime rate for Portland, Oregon.
              Right up there with Washington, D.C.

              Posted by: Weary Willie at April 14, 2008 4:08 AM
              Comment #250512

              If we have total faith in our government we will no longer need to cling to our guns and churches.
              The government and our politicians will take care of us. We must stop fighting it, and just let them do their jobs.

              Posted by: Dawn at April 14, 2008 8:09 AM
              Comment #250514

              phx8

              I served my last two military years in Klamath Falls. Oregon was my state of choice upon leaving Vietnam. You are so correct in considering your state a treasure. Anyone who loves the beauty and serene calm of the outdoors should experience Oregon. I absolutely loved it and had every intention of returning after my military term was up. Unfortunately none of my life roads led me back in that direction. I spent a few weeks of my military vacation replanting forest cuts in the wilderness areas. I did it because I felt it was useful and it got me a free ride into some of the most beautiful areas of this earth I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. A good friend of mine was from Portland and I was able to visit him twice during my stay there. I was very impressed with the city and in general with the emphases the state put on responsible conservation. At the time I was very young but still capable of recognizing that the philosophy’s of your state excelled and were not in keeping with the norm in this country. You are very lucky to live in such a wonderful state and you are right to be proud of the example they set.

              Posted by: RickIL at April 14, 2008 9:41 AM
              Comment #250516

              Re Logging

              I am a forest owner and active in my state’s forestry association. I take very good care of my trees. We have significant trouble with less informed people coming and trying to impose the kind of nature rules they learned from watching Bambi.
              Phx8
              You are right re old growth forests. Many “old growth” forests are not very old. People see big trees and think preservation instead of conservation. At any time, there will be some old growth, some new growth, some middle aged growth and (yes) some clear cut. In the course of an individual’s long life, his land may pass thought a couple of those stages and certainly the land around a state will do that. What is hard to explain to people who do not live long with the resource, is that conservation means using some of the trees at some times. You cannot and should not try to preserve everything. Much of the resource can and should be used to produce a healthy whole.

              Using the “some of” idea again - Some things should be preserved to the extent possible because they are particularly unique. I say to the extent possible, because nature does not cooperate with preservation. Nature is dynamic and that really impressive forest you see today is just part of the changing picture. Some things should be used intensively and most things should be used sometimes.

              The dictates of urban environmentalists is s source of some discomfort among land owners. I feel personally insulted when some clown comes down with an attitude and tells me that what I am doing is bad. I welcome GOOD advice and there are many great environmentalists who take the time to get to know the land and the people and find win/win solutions. I want to conserve my land. If they want to help, I welcome them in. But I don’t need those who don’t know telling giving me their opinions and dictates about what isn’t theirs.

              I sense in Obama’s words some of the attitude I see among the uniformed urbanites. I bought my land because I wanted to. I am informed about its history and natural communities. When I reject the sage advice of those who have not walked my land or spent even a season watching the changes, I am bitter – but not driven to other things. I am bitter against these fools for their ignorance.

              Please don’t take this as an attack on your statement. I can read in your comment much sensitivity to the complex relationships. But not everybody, or even most, understands as you seem to. I don’t believe most urban liberals have a clue about this.


              Posted by: Jack at April 14, 2008 9:57 AM
              Comment #250518

              Dawn-
              No. That’s not it. He’s saying that people will start voting their economic interests better when they have some feeling that they’ll get results. As long as they don’t, they’ll protect what they’ve known and loved: their society as it was, their morality as they know it, the traditions, activities, and faiths they engage in against outside interference.

              I don’t expect people to flock to the banner of big government; it’s not something I’ve flocked to myself. The banner I follow is that of good government, and far from being a passive philosophy, it requires active involvement.

              In its way, these wedge issues are basically about being left alone, stemming perceived erosion of what one cares about. Because of that, there’s a kind of stiff resistance to change here, a conservatism born not of elective choice, but desperation to preserve what one loves.

              What I would hope is that if we succeed in reaching out to these people, their culture would become more robust, still rooted in their own values, but getting along better with their fellow Democrats and the rest of the country.

              Weary Willie-
              Portland, Oregon’s just as bad as Tulsa as well. But of course, since you’re going on an abstracted rating, we don’t know how the actual statistics compare, or even the character of the crime problem, geographically speaking.

              LO-
              The quoted lines which started this controversy were a response to somebody essentially asking, “why bother?”

              His points were that these people were not uniformly against him, but that there were those who would be skeptical of those calling for government solutions, given how little the government has really done for them. They have been promised a lot, he said, by a series of governments that didn’t come through.

              As he meant to say, had said before, and would say afterwards, it isn’t that in their bitterness people are turning to these things. They don’t love guns because of their increasing poverty. They don’t have faith in Jesus because their steel plants were closed by big bad business. They aren’t the victims Marxist literature portrays. What’s really going on here, is that as things become tougher and tougher for them, they’re turning to what they love, what gives them strength, and protecting that.

              The problem for them is that they’ve been voting against their interests. That said, it’s not like they actively said to themselves that they wanted to shoot themselves in the foot. No, what’s really happened is that they’re not convinced that voting for Democrats will necessary change their situation for the better.

              And are they wrong to think that? With the Democrats often going along with the Republicans and their anti-union, pro-corporate agenda, there’s little reason for them to do anything but stand firm on the other issues.

              They now, though, have cause for hope. The Party’s become less monolithic on these cultural issues, more relaxed about faith and other things. That said, like Obama said (you may not have seen the whole transcript), these people need concrete policy promises, not merely more high flown rhetoric. They’re looking for a solid reason to vote Democratic. Hopefully, we can give it to them.

              As for livelihoods? What good does it do to protect the livelihoods of some, if by doing that you sacrifice those of many? There’s a balancing act tht must be performed by government between the interests of the few and the interest of the public. You can’t simply disregard local and special interests, but you also can’t coddle a few people at the expense of screwing the many.

              Very often, though, special interest have used workers as human shields for defending unsustainable economic activities, or money-making schemes. That’s how we were sold on knocking down many of the regulations that used to prevent fiascoes like Enron and WorldCom. The economic interests of big companies and the average citizen are not necessarily one and the same.

              Craig Holmes-
              The truth is, our agenda is not anathema to most people. Look at the polls. Look at who was President over the last few years. Look at how quickly and remorselessly they threw the Republicans over the side.

              The wedge issues were designed to separate people from what they would otherwise consider their interests. If you think those people in Pennsylvania are entirely aligned with you about these issues, try bad-mouthing unions in front of them.

              When you get complications like this in play, people can often face significant conflicts on the issues. The real question in the next election is how many people can Obama convince to compromise on cultural issues enough to vote their economic interests. That, Obama was trying to say, was the challenge in dealing with people, and the reason we should respect their differences on cultural matters.

              At the same time, you should consider that there’s a certain kind of offensiveness to somebody using the old tropes about liberals, the old charges of elitism. Yes, there are some of us who get annoying, who are blinkered, and clueless, and disrespectful in a needless manner. I don’t know whether you’ve looked at a newsstand lately, but there are many Republicans that who are just as bad.

              Which is to say arrogance is a human flaw, not merely one of certain kinds of partisans.

              Part of that arrogance is on display concerning Obama’s remarks. Republicans and Hillary diehards are grabbing onto his remarks as some kind of patronizing gaffe, and then turn around and play the same old tired tropes that have been used on people for years. There are many people in Pennsylvania who found Hillary’s outrage at Barack Obama saying they were bitter false, who said “Damn right, we’re bitter!”

              Hillary can say “These people aren’t bitter!” and then go into a chorus of “Shining Happy People Holding Hands”, but there are plenty of people who won’t be smiling or dancing with her. There are plenty of people who roll up their sleeves, and have to pause as they remember the much better paying jobs they were forced out of. There are plenty of people who add up their expenses and find more and more of their money going to people who need it less and less. When oil companies make record profits, even as the cost of a barrel of oil goes up, you have to ask yourself whether these prices are merely a figment of somebody’s imagination.

              The bitterness has grown beyond the old coal-fields and shuttered steel mills of the Northeast and Atlantic States. People really are pissed off. They really are believing now that the Government’s not merely standing by and letting these troubles fall on our heads, that it’s actively participating in being the cause of these problems, either by failing in its regulatory duties, or by pushing policies that supercharge the problematic behavior itself.

              Ethanol’s one example. Oil and Gas subsidies another.

              People want a change. That isn’t a fringe position. The Republicans claim to know what most people want, but they consistently take positions that defy what most people want, and speak of continuing America down a path that four out of ever five Americans believe is the wrong one.

              The Republicans have long posited that they have the silent majority, that they are the center and the rest of us are the fringe. Unfortunately for them, the silent majority they depend upon is now silent because it no longer exists.

              Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2008 10:11 AM
              Comment #250519

              Caution, insistent spin will call dizziness!

              The guy made a poor political statement and at least had the guts to apologize. That would be enough for most campaigns.

              The problem with Obama, however, is he still undefined. So when he says, or in the cases of Wright and Michelle someone close to him says, something other than “change” the words get dissected to see if there is a glimpse of who he really is in them.

              Is he an elitist liberal? Is he an American hater? Is he the black candidate? Or is he the uniter? Because we just don’t know his words have a tendency to draw microscopic review.

              I know one thing; the man and his team have run a masterful campaign.

              Oh and Jack, my trees are probably not as pretty as yours, but here’s a braggin photo none the less.

              Posted by: George in SC at April 14, 2008 10:32 AM
              Comment #250520
              Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- I posted that with the intention of running what actors would call a through-line through it. If a character says certain things in one scene, and the same things after that, is that not the indication of a character constant?
              Maybe.

              Again, I don’t dislike Barack Obama, and still feel like Obama may still be the best choice of the three available (e.g. Obama, Clinton, McCain). but feel like his statement (below) was not true, and he then stubbornly insisted it was true.

                Obama said:
                • “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.

              Stephen Daugherty wrote:
              If words are all you will care about, …

              Words are important, but deeds too. Part of my opinion is also based on Obama’s voting record, published opinions, and official platform. There are no favorites for me, and all three candidates and their words should be carefully weighed with their actions and voting records too.

              Charlie Rose was trying to warn Barack Obama about his opinion about “small town” America, and Barack Obama obviously ignored Charlie Rose’s advice.
              Again, Barack Obama would be wise to heed Charlie Rose’s advice and avoid what he perceives as side-effects of peoples’ bitterness, such as what Obama perceives as people in “a lot of small towns” and that “they get bitter, they cling to”:

              • (1) “guns”,

              • (2) “religion”,

              • (3) “anti-immigrant sentiment”,

              • (4) “and anti-trade sentitment”,
              “as a way to explain their frustration”.

              It would be far better for Barack Obama to focus on the sources of many peoples’ bitterness, such as the severely bloated, irresponsible, corrupt, and incompetent federal government, and the resulting decline of economic conditions due to these 10 abuses.


              Stephen Daugherty wrote:
              If words are all you will care about, when words are twisted and distorted, your own words will follow.

              I don’t have to twist anything.

              The twisting occurs when people turn themselves into a pretzel trying to re-interpret, re-explain, and defend the indefensible.
              My reasons for criticizing Barack Obama’s statement is not unreasonable, even if I am a minority in my opionion (i.e. based on polls).

              Stephen Daugherty wrote: What’s more important: perfect communications, or consistent good intentions over time?
              Both are important (both words and deeds).

              I fully expected Barack Obama to come out and say “I am sorry. The part about religion was totally out-of-line, and as for the other three things, I only meant that SOME PEOPLE cling to guns, anti-immigrant sentiment, and anti-trade sentiment. I did not mean that was true of all people in even one small town, much less a lot of small towns”.

              That would have diffused the situation.
              But, perhaps Barack Obama is stubborn?
              Instead, he first defended his statement at the truth by saying “I said something everybody knows is true”.
              Then his made a very weak apology: “If I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”
              The usage of the word “If” in any apology is suspect.
              And “regret” does not necessarily equate to “apologize”.

              The first step in apologizing is admitting that you’re wrong.
              People were offended by what he said, and justifiably since the part about “clinging to religion” was completely out-of-line.
              But Barack has clearly unwilling to admit that mistake.
              That means something too, even though a person’s words should also be weighed with their actions.

              At any rate, I still believe these are five valid reasons for believing:

              • (1) Barack’s statement about people that “cling” to “religion” … was completely out-of-line (and I’m an agnostic).

              • (2) Barack’s subsequent follow-up that defended his original statement by saying: “I said something everybody knows is true” … is also false, since no one can paint such a broad stroke of one “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”. Barack still failed to make that very important distinction.

              • (3) Barack’s apology (“If I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”) was a weak, since he used the word “If” and “regret” instead of simply saying “I was wrong. I am sorry.”

              • (4) It was a simply a dumb thing to say (whether he actually believes it or not). That speaks to his judgement. Barack admits he could have worded it better, but It may upset some Barack supporters, but the truth is, many of Baracks supporters are cringing and thinking: “Gee, I wish Barack had not said that. Don’t give your opponents ammunition”.

              • (5) The truth is, Barack brought it on himself, and could have quickly diffused it too, but failed to do that too. Is that stubborness, or does he truly believe his original statement?

              Thus, that line of logic and reasoning is sound and plausible (IMO).

              Lastly, I see your points, and they have some merit, but not enough, and still do not explain-away Barack’s statements (or his voting record), or the five points I listed above.
              My position was not without much consideration.
              Not at all, because I also do not like turning myself into a pretzel trying to defend the indefensible.

              And Obama may still be the best of the three candidates.
              It’s hard to tell, since we don’t know that much about him.
              Unfortunately, my opinion is that all three choices are not very good and this nation is in trouble: one-simple-idea.com/NeverWorse.htm

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 14, 2008 10:46 AM
              Comment #250522

              Janedoe,
              I’m in Tigard.

              Weary,
              Crime is not that bad. Perhaps as a percentage of population, it might compare with large cities, but with a metropolitan population of @ one million, no one would compare Portland with D.C. Probably the biggest problem with crime stems from a combination of a lack of jails along with a lack of investment in drug prevention through education.

              Like CA, at one point OR went through a lesser version of the CA tax revolt, and we are paying the price now, in education but especially with petty crime. Failure to invest in jails and drug prevention programs means petty criminals operate on a catch and release program. Not good. Having said that, compared to the social problems experienced in large cities, Portland is in good shape.

              Jack,
              I’ve read your past comments about forestry, & appreciate it.

              Differences between urban populations have been around as long as people. Naturally there are differences. I think it would be fair to characterize Obama as candidate with an “urban” focus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is completely insensitive to “rural” priorities. As for McCain, he has an “urban” focus too, but poses as a candidate with “rural” priorities. At some point, McCain will need to reconcile his stands with who he really is… or maybe not… A lot of people thought Bush was a rural Texan with a ranch, as ridiculous as that might sound.

              Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2008 11:16 AM
              Comment #250523

              Stephen
              “What I would hope is that if we succeed in reaching out to these people, their culture would become more robust, still rooted in their own values, but getting along better with their fellow Democrats and the rest of the country”

              I am one of “these people,” Stephen. Sure is nice of you to include us dumb backwoods, sister marrying rednecks in your “care” column. But, despite your generous words, I must say that you have no clue whatsoever on what we are about.

              Our culture is just fine and we love it. We want to live our own lives and don’t care how you live yours. Well, we don’t care how you live your lives until you start pushing it onto us.

              Our values are also doing just fine. They make for closer communities, friends and family. Our values are important to us and we don’t need your values in order for us to be better.

              As far as getting along better with the rest of the country? BS!
              We are not going to change who we are and how we live, just to make you happy. We do not fear our 2nd Amendment right. We see nothing wrong with: the word God being in the pledge. Wearing a cross. Nativity scenes in the town square. Driving pick-ups. Putting family first. Spanking. Having a boys league and a girls league. Running a business how you want. Wearing a yellow ribbon. Being responsible for ones own actions. Etc…

              You would have better luck at “getting along” with us, if you would accept and respect our way of life, instead of trying to change it to be more like yours.

              The “wedge issues” that you dismiss as not real and want (need) ignored, are not important to us because we are simpletons. They are important to us because they are part of our life.
              We haven’t been conned by the Republicans either. We know where liberals stand on these issues and we do not agree with them.

              We don’t need a better understanding of liberal life, liberals need a better understanding of ours.

              Posted by: kctim at April 14, 2008 11:17 AM
              Comment #250524

              Craig Holmes said: “What is hard for Liberals to figure out is that the divide is not issues, it is culture. Obama just insulted rural culture.”

              No, he spoke the truth to the American people about embittered folks, which is what he has said from the beginning he would do, win or lose.

              I live in a rural community, mostly conservative, and the topics of religion, guns, anti illegal immigration, trade displacing jobs are all issues of great concern for my neighbors who are willing to speak up about them at community meetings or corner store or in parking lots waiting for a ride. These are also issues my teen daughter hears discussed amongst some of her HS friends. 81% of Americans believe America is moving in the wrong direction, and my community is one of them. Obama’s comment is so common knowledge, that such baring of naked truth by a politician evokes a knee jerk reaction. How dare he say Americans experiencing negative economic impacts tend to focus on wedge issues and traditional issues and values as a consequence. Such a shocking statement absolutely supported by the polls and research as true.

              There is nothing here any harder for liberals to figure out than for conservatives about urban liberals.

              Posted by: David R. Remer at April 14, 2008 11:30 AM
              Comment #250527

              “How dare he say Americans experiencing negative economic impacts tend to focus on wedge issues and traditional issues and values as a consequence”

              Yeah, I know I am worrying about my gun rights when I can’t pay a bill.

              Those “topics” are important to us, that is why they are always on our minds, even in “negative economic” times. To say we focus on those only because we are too dumb to understand the economy is a slap in the face.

              Posted by: kctim at April 14, 2008 11:58 AM
              Comment #250528

              David:

              I agree with you that those issues are important in a rural community.

              I disagree with you that rural americans carry guns and go to church out of bitterness. Obama did a direct insult on rural america. He did this because he is urban. There is a huge divide between how urban Americans think and Rural americans.

              Of course rural Americans are concerned about which way America is moving. In the rural community I am a part of they are deeply concerned about Sawmills shutting down, and about access to the nation forest being limited as well as the issues you raise.

              There is deep suspician of Urban slick lawyers. Obama just fell right into that stereotype.

              Wow, to say rural faith, and hunting is out of bitterness!!

              I think it is understandable. Obama is new to national politics and is very liberal

              Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 14, 2008 12:01 PM
              Comment #250530

              kctim-
              What do you have to be offended about? First, don’t put words in my mouth. I’m not reeling out the Jeff Foxworthy jokes and taunting you as you get angrier. I’m not saying you’re to be pitied. I am saying, though, that a rather profound gap of distrust has opened up, fed by some with political self-interest in playing off of some divisions. Now, I may not be referring to you in particular, given the fact that much of this debate concerns people who traditionally vote Democrat, who believe in Unionized workforces. The debate here is about which way Reagan Democrats trend.

              I’m the last person, being a native Texan, who is going to play too heavily on redneck stereotypes. My accent would probably get me pegged as a moron by some in the Northeast. But will start becoming an angry avenger of the South because of that? God, I hope not. I would hope to be the kind of person who earns respect, who responds to prejudice with some kind of dignity.

              The truth is, the world’s not naturally divided into those kinds of extremes. We can clam up and try to keep things from changing, hoping that that things we think are just fine will remain that way, or we can face up to the fact that change will come eventually to us, whether we like it or not.

              Around where I live, the green used to be much more common. The roads used to be lined with it. But during the housing boom of the 90’s and 2000’s, a lot of that got cut down and paved over. Now some folks like Jack would rationalize that by saying that this was all just new growth, that it was just overgrown anyways, but the fact remains, that I liked having my area look this way, and so did many of the people who came out there. Suddenly, you have this rather red suburban area getting troubled about all the green that’s going away.

              They aren’t alone. Out west, they see their land prices skyrocket as citified folks chase nature out into the country, pay too much for the land, and drive up the land taxes and the costs of generations holding onto land with their excess.

              Folks in red states are discovering that they’re green as well. Same thing with Evangelicals, who have gone from supporting the GOP line to a movement towards environmentalism.

              People have much more in common than they might think. You tout the sensibilities of your corner of American culture almost as if they’re unique to them. Truth is, you’d find much more support from your average liberal if you weren’t overlooking their common ground with you. Instead, you and many others simply drop the same old garbage distortions of who we are into the conversation, and many of us feel more comfortable siding with the people who respect us in our own party, rather than building bridges to folks who won’t give us a fair shake.

              The Democrats have started to build those bridges, to tone down the rhetoric, to work with the interests of those beyond our normal party base. Obama’s candidacy is part of that. Would some elitists even condescend to competing for all those red states, all the ones that the Clinton campaign dismiss as insignificant?

              And it’s working, and in no small part thanks to the Republicans. The Wedge issues were meant to be distractions, long-term cultural conflicts that would separate people from the sides of the Democrats, but people are realizing that they are not only being taken for granted by the Republicans, but they were also actively getting screwed by them, their patriotism and love of their own culture used to justify the destruction of their jobs, the environment around them, to feed more of the money they need to live into high gas and food prices.

              Politics doesn’t simply take place in the abstract. People can reconsider political points of view according to the reality of their own lives.

              Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2008 12:25 PM
              Comment #250532

              This article is one of the earliest on Obama: http://www.chicagoreader.com/obama/951208/
              and is regarded by some as his manifesto, the last third of the article is an account in his own words of his views. Since many of his speeches are variations on what he has written before, the part about:
              “intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia” might be particularly relevant here.

              Posted by: ohrealy at April 14, 2008 12:27 PM
              Comment #250535

              Stephen:

              You are making too much of this. (maybe we all are).

              Obama is an urban liberal and he is predictably going to step in it among rural folk because he doesn’t have a complete grasp of small town culture.

              I did the same thing once in a gay forum. All of the forums then were by number so you really didn’t know what section “17” was unless you went and looked it up. Anyway I responded to this man’s post and innocently stepped on several hot bottons in the gay community. It was new years day, and I spend almost the whole day adn then some trying to dig my way out.

              It’s just experience or the lack of it. Expect more as Obama stumbles around the country. He is brilliant, talanted, liberal and urban. He will be fine with time once he gets through the vetting process.

              This was a pretty big one however. Liberals really look silly when it comes to rural american values. Check this one out from 2004,

              http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/22/politics/campaign/22kerry.html

              The mighty hunter!!! The things people do to get elected.

              Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 14, 2008 1:01 PM
              Comment #250537

              Stephen
              “Truth is, you’d find much more support from your average liberal if you weren’t overlooking their common ground with you.”

              Would liberals not also find common ground with me if they weren’t overlooking?
              There is a huge difference in both sides overlooking this common ground: I do not go to their house and try and change it to suit me.

              “Instead, you and many others simply drop the same old garbage distortions of who we are into the conversation,”

              Garbage? Which liberal view do we have wrong? I know you guys are trying like hell to keep these issues on the back burner, but since Obama is a liberal and he is your #1, maybe you can tell us where we are wrong.

              “and many of us feel more comfortable siding with the people who respect us in our own party, rather than building bridges to folks who won’t give us a fair shake”

              Of course you do, it is easier and you do not have to give in order to get.
              It pisses you guys off that not all us are so willing to give up what we believe in order to get something else. You cannot understand why we won’t vote for an anti 2nd Amendment candidate even though he promises free healthcare. It works so well on the city folks, so it should work on us rednecks, right? Wrong.
              We are two very different cultures and you cannot expect people to simply shut up and conform to your views so that we all get along better.

              And again, you refuse to acknowledge that we do not agree with liberal policy. You would rather blame the Republicans or our stupidity for your bad policy. We do consider political points of view according to the reality of our own lives, and according to our reality, your political points of view do not pass.

              Posted by: kctim at April 14, 2008 1:08 PM
              Comment #250539

              kctim :

              Wow was that well said.

              I think the same thing goes in reverse. It is understandable why the press is pretty liberal/urban. That is where they live!! It’s hard when the Beverly Hillbillies (Republicans) come to town and are in charge. It doesn’t make any sense to those in the city.


              Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 14, 2008 1:41 PM
              Comment #250541

              ohreally, Good point. Again, those sort of broad generalizations, even if only partly true for SOME PEOPLE, are not helping Obama. He needs to be very careful to say SOME PEOPLE, and avoid lumping all people in any entire group, small town, region, religion, left, or right all together as he did in this statement too:

              • Obama said: “The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building these organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have. But it’s always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia. And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.”

              Trying to put large groups of people into strict categories can never be accurate.

              George in SC wrote:Oh and Jack, my trees are probably not as pretty as yours, but here’s a braggin photo none the less.
              Here’s mine (elevation: 8000 feet). The biggest problem we’ve had are some people (some were illegal aliens) cutting the trees to sell for fence posts and Christmas trees, burglary, poaching (deer and elk), and squatters making camp fires (which can be dangerous in dry periods).
            • ________

              David R. Remer wrote: No, he spoke the truth to the American people about embittered folks, …
              That part about bitterness is true for many people.

              But that part (about bitterness) is not the part that offended some people.
              That part about bitterness itself shouldn’t offend anyone.
              I do not understand anyone getting upset about the bitterness portion, because the dismal approval ratings for Congress (as low as 11% to 18%) are ample evidence of most peoples’ disdain for government incompetence, corruption, bloat, and irresponsiblity.

              The part that offended some people, and understandably, was the part about “they cling” to “religion”, without the important distinction that it was only applicable to SOME PEOPLE that may have become intolerant, and/or prone to infringe upon others’ rights, and/or dangerous.
              Without that very important distinction, Obama appears to be denigrating an entire region (e.g. “a lot of small towns”).
              For anyone whose profession is one where language is very important, it is paramount that such generalizations are avoided, since they can rarely be accurate.

              Again, the reason for some people being offended is because it denigrates people for what they should be doing; they should “cling” and even embrace their beliefs.
              And how does one “cling” to “religion” in a bad way?

              • (1) Obama did not intend “cling” to “religion” in a good way. It was also included in the group of 4 other things that bitterness drove those people in “a lot of small towns” to “cling” to “religion”; as if it was not a good thing. Obama’s statement might make some sense if he were talking about some sort of radical and dangerous religious group, or people that are so radically intolerant that they are offensive and infringe on others’ rights. These distinctions are very important, and Obama can not assume others know exactly what he means. Otherwise, whether anyone chooses to “cling” to “religion” is nobody else’s business; not something to be subject to disdain (as long as others’ religious beliefs do not infringe on others’ rights). Obama’s statement raises the question: Should anyone’s feelings, clinging, and/or embracing their religion be subject to such a criticism?
                Shouldn’t people not only “cling”, but “embrace” their “religion”?

              • (2) The statement was also not saying that they “cling” to “guns” was a good thing. However, gun ownership isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. Not unless people are so bitter that they are become one-issue voters, or perhaps violent.

              • (3) The statement was also not saying that they “cling” to “anti-immigrant sentiments” was a good thing. This portion has some merit. We should not be anti-immigrant. However, most people don’t have a problem with legal immigration; they have a problem with illegal immigration. Therefore, that portion too is a bit problematic too.

              • (4) The statement was also not saying that they “cling” to “anti-trade sentiments” is a good thing. This portion has some merit. We should not become isolationists. We should embrace free-trade. However, most people do not have a problem with free-trade; they have a problem with unfair-trade and other manifestations for unchecked greed. Therefore, that portion too is a bit problematic too.

              While portion number (2), (3), and (4) can be explained (above), number (1) can not (i.e. the poriton about “cling” to “religon”).
              It is still difficult to explain away or rationalize portion number (1).
              The main issue with Obama’s statement; the one thing that is hard to defend is portion number (1), which was exacerbated by the subsequent follow-up and defensse: “I said something everybody knows is true”.
              In fact, no apology would have been necessary had Barack Obama clarified that he meant people that had gone to extremes, become intolerant, and/or isolationist, and/or one-issue voters, and/or dangerous. But that opportunity may now be lost forever.

              Still, it’s safe to say, as Obama admits, it could have been worded better.
              He also has not done a very good job of clarifying his statement.
              Actually, it would have been best to avoid focus on many peoples’ bitterness (and side-effects on the people), and focus instead on the SOURCE of their bitterness.

              Therefore:

            • [1] There is no good explanation, no matter which way you cut it, for Obama’s statement about people that “cling” to “religion”.
            • [2] As for guns, Obama’s statement may have something to do with his position on gun control?:
              • Co-sponsored bill to limit purchases to 1 gun per month. (Oct 2007)

              • Concealed carry OK for retired police officers (Aug 2007) {But not licensed citizens?}

              • Keep guns out of inner cities (Oct 2006). {So people in cities can’t own firearms?}

              • Ban semi-automatics [not merely fully automatic], and more possession restrictions. (Jul 1998)

              • Voted NO on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. (Jul 2005) {Perhaps we should also let people sue pencil manufacturers because pencilz misspel wordz?}

            • [3] As for Obama’s anti-immigrant statement, that may have something to do with his position on illegal immigration?:
              • Deporting 12 million people is ridiculous and impractical (Feb 2008). {Don’t need to. Stop illegal employers, and many will self-deport}
              • Immigration raids are ineffective (Feb 2008). {True, if they are released over and over. Some have been arrested many times, and some have deported dozens of times}

              • Solve the driver’s license issue with immigration reform. (Jan 2008) {Obama said we should give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens}

              • Immigrants are scapegoats for high unemployment rates. (Jan 2008) {Unemployment is not that high (yet). Wage depression and many other costs are a real issue.}

              • Support the DREAM Act for the children of illegal immigrants. (Jan 2008) {a.k.a. anmesty}

              • Health plan: not enough resources for illegal immigrants. (Jan 2008) {? ? ?}

              • Illegals shouldn’t work; but should have path to citizenship. (Dec 2007) {More misplaced compassion.}

              • Don’t deputize Americans to turn in illegal immigrants. (Dec 2007) {True. It is useless. Even if a U.S. citizen called to report it, nothing would happen.}

              • OK to provide government services in Spanish. (Dec 2007) {Interesting. What about French, German, Icelandic, Chinese, etc., etc., etc.}

              • Comprehensive solution includes employers & borders. (Nov 2007) {We’re still waiting. Is Obama waiting for the amnesty to be passed first?}

              • Undocumented workers come here to work, not to drive. (Nov 2007) {That’s B.S. Just ask the victims and surviors of victims of illegal aliens driving drunk}

              • Support granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. (Nov 2007) {? ? ?}

              • FactCheck: Lightning IS likelier than employer prosecution. (Nov 2007) {Wonder why that is?}

              • Illegal immigrants’ lack of ID is a public safety concern. (Oct 2007) {More B.S. That statement clear indicates a motivation to allow illegal aliens to stay here.}

              • Immigration system is broken for legal immigrants. (Sep 2007) {Duh! We are still waiting for existing laws to be enforced}

              • Pathway to citizenship, but people have to earn it. (Aug 2007) {Yeah, right. Is that why Obama is voting for amnesty?}

              • Let’s be a nation of laws AND a nation of immigrants. (Aug 2007) {OK. Then do something about illegal immigration.}

              • Do a better job patrolling the Canadian and Mexican borders. (Jun 2007) {Duh!}

              • Give immigrants who are here a rigorous path to citizenship. (Jun 2007) {Yeah right. That will be enforced about as well as existing laws.}

              • Extend welfare and Medicaid to immigrants. (Jul 1998) {Immigrants, OK. But 32%-to-36% of illegal aliens already receive welfare, Medicaid, and/or Medi-Cal, while U.S. citizens go without.}

              • Voted YES on comprehensive immigration reform. (Jun 2007) {a.k.a. shamnesty}

              • Voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the US government. (Jun 2007) {That’s not surprising.}

              • Voted YES on establishing a Guest Worker program. (May 2006) {Nothing like pandering for votes, and cheap labor, eh?}

              • Voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. (May 2006){Never mind that it is already in trouble.}

              • Voted YES on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship. (May 2006) {More pandering. The U.S. population is already growing by 5 million per year; millions are illegal aliens}

              • Comprehensive immigration reform without amnesty. (May 2005) {Yeah right. Pay no attention to YES vote on comprehensive immigration reform (Jun 2007) which was essentially another amnesty}

              • Sponsored bill paying fair prevailing wage to guest workers. (May 2006) {More misplaced compassion}

              • Provide funding for social services for non-citizens. (May 2006) {More misplaced compassion}

              • Rated 8% by USBC, indicating an open-border stance. (Dec 2006) {More proof of misplaced compassion}

            • [4] And, As for Obama’s anti-trade statement, that may have something to do with his position on trade?:
              • Strong labor, safety, and environmental standards on trade. (Feb 2008) {Yeah right. Like poisonous products from China, not to mention conditions for some Chinese and other foreign workers?}

              • More Transition Assistance for displaced workers. (Feb 2008) {For illegal aliens? Are U.S. Citizens included?}

              • Enforce environmental & labor provisions in trade agreements. (Jan 2008) {Yeah right. We won’t hold our breath}

              • Enforce existing safety laws against Chinese products. (Dec 2007) {Again, we won’t hold our breath}

              • NAFTA needs to be amended. (Dec 2007) {Again, we won’t hold our breath}

              • Stand firm against CAFTA for labor & environmental standards. (Aug 2007) {Again, we won’t hold our breath}

              • Congress subsidizes megafarms & hurts family farmers. (Aug 2007) {Yet Obama said we should only cap the farm subsidies for Fortune 500 companies. (Dec 2007) }

              • Amend NAFTA to add labor agreements. (Aug 2007) {We won’t hold our breath}

              • Reinvest in communities that are burdened by globalization. (Jun 2007) {But pay no attention to illegal immigration}

              • Insist on labor and human rights standards for China trade. (Jul 2004){Again, we won’t hold our breath}

              • Fair trade should have tangible benefits for US. (Jun 2004) {Duh!}

              • Voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman. (Jun 2006) {Oman has bad labor laws, and the deal contained investment provisions even more damaging to the ability of government to act in the public interest than NAFTA or CAFTA.}
            • Regardless of Obama’s statement about bitter people that:

              • “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”.
              … his voting record doesn’t look much (if any) better than the other candidates.

              That is why it is important that voters not forget about Congress.
              Whoever the next president is, what will the next president be able to accomplish if the voters sabotage and saddle the next president by repeatedly rewarding the same corrupt, FOR-SALE, pork-happy incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in the do-nothing Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates?

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 14, 2008 1:54 PM
              Comment #250542

              d.a.n. & George,
              Wow, nice. D.a.n, those are amazing pics, very pretty. I live on a 750 foot ‘mountain,’ and my back goes down quite a ways on a steep slope, so my deck looks into the canopy of 200 foot Douglas Firs. It’s very fine, but d.a.n & George, you both enjoy beautiful surroundings… Makes me pine for the country life…

              Posted by: phx8 at April 14, 2008 2:16 PM
              Comment #250543

              Beautiful cabin d.a.n.!

              Thanks phx8. I live in another part of SC though; that particular track of land has been in our family pre-civil war. This area of SC has double digit unemployment and about 20% of the population is below the poverty line. Lots of hunting, fishing, and church going in those parts :)

              Posted by: George in SC at April 14, 2008 2:52 PM
              Comment #250544

              phx8, George in SC, Thanks!.
              That’s my vacation home in New Mexico (32 acres bordering the Sante Fe National Forest). I wish we could live there year round, but it gets a little cold in the winter, and there are no jobs there. So work prevents it, and we live 9 hours away; just north of Dallas, TX. (which, unfortunately, is a very heavily populated, congested, rat-race, metroplex (population about 3.9 million), and prone to purple OZONE alerts in the summer; i.e. nothing to celebrate about too much). We have a lot of tornados here too. A storm last week had golf-ball size hail and high winds broke off a huge branch on one of the few trees we have on our tiny 0.2 acre lot where our ordinary middle-class home sits.

              Craig Holmes wrote: It is understandable why the press is pretty liberal/urban. That is where they live!! It’s hard when the Beverly Hillbillies (Republicans) come to town and are in charge. It doesn’t make any sense to those in the city.
              Good observation; one I’ve not considered.

              Those people in some “big towns”, and in “a lot of big towns”, “they get bitter”, and they cling to “big town” ways, “as a way to explain their frustrations”.

                : )

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 14, 2008 3:31 PM
              Comment #250545
              George in SC wrote: I know one thing; the man and his team have run a masterful campaign.
              True. Obama may still win despite this gaffe. I’m not sure Obama is doing himself any favors now calling Hillary Clinton “Annie Oakely”. Time will tell.

              I think if Obama changed his position on illegal immigration (i.e. giving drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens, etc.), he’d win the election.

              After all, illegal immigration is still ISSUE # 5 on the list:

              • (01) 42% - ISSUE # 1: Economy, Economic stimulus

              • (02) 21% - War in Iraq

              • (03) 18% - Health care
              • (04) 10% - Terrorism
              • (05) 07% - Illegal Immigration
              • (06) 02% - Other:
                • Abortion

                • Education

                • Energy

                • Environment

                • Free trade

                • Guns

                • Homeland Security

                • Housing

                • Iran

                • Same-sex marriage

                • Social Security

                • Stem cell research

                • Taxes

              Do people vote mostly on based on emotion, or issues, or both (equally), or a mixture? My choices:

              • (01) Clinton[_] , McCain[_] , Obama[_] , None[X] , All[_] , NoDifference[_] : 42% - Economy

              • (02) Clinton[_] , McCain[_] , Obama[X] , None[_] , All[_] , NoDifference[_] : 21% - War in Iraq

              • (03) Clinton[_] , McCain[_] , Obama[_] , None[X] , All[_] , NoDifference[_] : 18% - Health care

              • (04) Clinton[_] , McCain[X] , Obama[_] , None[_] , All[_] , NoDifference[_] : 10% - Terrorism

              • (05) Clinton[_] , McCain[_] , Obama[_] , None[X] , All[_] , NoDifference[X] : 07% - Illegal Immigration

              • (06) Clinton[_] , McCain[_] , Obama[_] , None[X] , All[_] , NoDifference[_] : 02% - Other: (see list above)

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 14, 2008 3:46 PM
              Comment #250546

              “I think the same thing goes in reverse”

              I agree Craig, but its alot rarer. How often did Mr. Drysdale try to get Jed to live the Drysdale (urban) way and how often did Jed try to get Drysdale to live the Clampett (rural) way?

              IMHO, ego plays a big part in it all.
              They get angry because we really don’t care how they live their lives and they get downright PO’d about us not needing them telling us how to live our lives.

              Shoot, we’d all get along better if they gave us even half of the respect and understanding they demand for our enemies.

              Posted by: kctim at April 14, 2008 4:04 PM
              Comment #250549

              Blasts from the past:

              Bobby Rush 2000 election comments about Obama:

              “He went to Harvard and became an educated fool,” he says scornfully of Obama, and declares, “We’re not impressed with these folks with these eastern elite degrees.” Obama’s overeducation left him with an “ivory tower” outlook, Rush charges.
              “Barack is a person who read about the civil rights protests and thinks he knows all about it,” he said.

              How Rush got elected:
              Rush seems to be winning the most pastoral endorsements, and that’s key in this race, because as pastors vote, so vote their congregations. Rush has been hitting the churches hard, and he’s found support on both sides of the pulpit. At Evening Star Missionary Baptist, pastor O.C. Morgan called Rush “our friend,” then invited the congressman to pose for a group photo with the congregation.

              Lu Palmer, a radio talk show host and chairman of the Black Independent Political Organization, dismisses Obama as arrogant and compares him to Mel Reynolds, who went from a Rhodes Scholarship to Congress to prison.
              “When Obama first hit town, my recollection is that he came here running some voter registration drive,” Palmer said. “He came to our office and tried to get us involved, and we were turned off then. We sent him running. We didn’t like his arrogance, his air.”

              There are whispers that Obama is being funded by a “Hyde Park mafia,” a cabal of University of Chicago types, and that there’s an “Obama Project” masterminded by whites who want to push him up the political ladder.

              “Barack is a very intelligent man,” Miller(Rich Miller, the publisher of Capitol Fax, a Springfield newsletter) said. “He hasn’t had a lot of success here, and it could be because he places himself above everybody. He likes people to know he went to Harvard.” “He’s had some really good ideas,” Miller admits, noting that Congressman Jan Schakowsky of Evanston was also considered a self-righteous goo-goo in Springfield but came into her own in Washington. “He’d probably make a pretty good congressman.”

              (Obama went to Occidental for 2 years and Columbia for 2 years. Several years later, he went to Harvard Law School)

              from
              http://www.chicagoreader.com/obama/000317/

              Posted by: ohrealy at April 14, 2008 4:30 PM
              Comment #250557

              kctim:

              The small town we are moving to would agree with you. Liberals move there, and then try to change everything.

              My wife and I have discussed this at length. Our tactic of moving into the community is different. She greets most people with baked goods. We do really well with zuccini bread. This weekend our neighbor’s son-in-law died. My wife made strawberry-rubarb pie, with a card from the Internet and took it over.

              It is a much better approach to come in under the radar and put a shoulder to the wheel, voluntering at the county fair etc. It’s not as good coming in telling people how wrong they are in their politics and way of life. It’s also not a good idea to talk about how big and wonderful things are in the city.

              In truth there is so much wisdom in rural life. There is much to learn from the slower pace.

              I went to the hardware store. I saw a friend there who I had met in the mountains. He told me I should apply for credit. I really didn’t want any but trying not to be rude I took an application. I asked them what they would require for credit references. They said “just your name and address!! In my book that is a superior way of life!!

              Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 14, 2008 5:47 PM
              Comment #250562

              This is comparing apples to oranges folks. I was raised in a rural, farm communtiy. I was very conservative then iI spent half of my life there. I now live in moderately large city near San Francisco and today I am very liberal. I think often people in rural america are solidly conservative and urban folk are liberal it is necessity to be liberal in cities where the population is a melting pot of religions and cultures. In rural america live is predominantly static and conservative values work better because small communities are really very large families and need a common system that reflects their needs.
              As an example, rural folk tend to have a higher population of hunters because rural living lends itself to that lifestyle and the added food to the budget helps since wages in rural america are always lower. These folks are predominantly pro 2nd amendment.
              Urban folk very simply can not live in such large populations with so much diversity and not have conflicts, that is the main reason urban liberals are for gun control.
              We are all to a certain degree a product of our enviornment.

              Posted by: napajohn at April 14, 2008 7:29 PM
              Comment #250567

              napahohn, that an interesting thought. I live in a small Texas community of 2000 people. We generally have about 20 to 30 interested citizens show up for the monthly city council meetings.

              Let’s assume you live in a city with a population of 1 million. Would you expect to see 1 to 1.5% (10,000 to 15,000) show up for the city council meetings? I doubt it. Perhaps rural folks are more involved with local government and consequently more conservative as they understand how easy it is for government to become corrupted. Our rural government is monitored directly by the voters and don’t have governments decisions and actions filtered thru the media and distorded and/or misreported.

              Rural folks are generally more self-reliant than large city folks and tend to be more independent with less reliance on government to solve their problems.

              Posted by: Jim M at April 14, 2008 8:05 PM
              Comment #250568

              Regarding Obama calling Hillary “Annie Oakley”.
              I think he is digging himself a deeper hole.
              Of course, staunch Obama supporters will deny it.
              It is probably a mistake to prolong this issue.

              Posted by: d.a.n at April 14, 2008 8:17 PM
              Comment #250570

              The suburbans towns in the area where I live are all around 40-50 thousand people. Council meetings, board meetings, and every other kind of public meeting are all on cable access, and are probably watched by a similar percentage of the population. If you go to the meetings, it’s the same kooks all the time, or people with agendas related to their specific pieces of property. I knew people who went to the meetings all the time, when the city was trying to change zoning for condos. The developers almost always get their way eventually.

              Posted by: ohrealy at April 14, 2008 9:07 PM
              Comment #250574

              But the challenge point for Democrats is that they owned small towns a generation ago. They were pro farmer, pro union etc. Now that has all gone red.

              If you look at this map:

              http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/vote2004/countymap.htm

              And then re read Obama’s remarks, the Democratic party needs to come out and disavow all of those remarks. This is worse than Rev Wright by far. This is offending a huge wide part of America that the Democratic party used to own and would love to get back.

              The problem is however that the Democratic energy comes from the left. It’s so liberal it has squeezed out these small town folk. I think to win the presidency liberals need to lead a coalition government with moderates. There just aren’t enough ilberals like there are conservatives.

              Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 14, 2008 10:14 PM
              Comment #250575

              The Democratic party has a huge risk right now.

              You can,

              1. Nominate Hillary and alienate African American voters which could last a generation.

              2. Nominate Obama and risk loosing the election.

              What is sooooo bad about this from the Dem side is that if you can’t win this year when are you going to win? We on the right don’t have nearly as much pressure. We aren’t suppose to win. We have a spendy congress that was correctly booted out of office, and a president that is setting new lows in public opinion.


              Wow, what does this say about Democrats if McCain wins? It’s the New England Patriots loosing in the Super Bowl. It’s huge.

              I think your party has a huge problem this fall. Rev Wright plus this last issue, and we are not even near the Convention yet. If I am a hard core inner circle top Democrat, I would be really concerned with what is happening right now.

              Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 14, 2008 10:19 PM
              Comment #250576

              All this and the Dems have the media on their side! Hilarious.

              Posted by: Honest at April 14, 2008 10:28 PM
              Comment #250577

              On that map, how does Maine end up with 2 Rpblcn senators, and Montana with 2 democrats? The parties are more local and differ from one state to another, and both parties in the same state tend to have some of the same agendas for their representatives in DC. In Illinois, Democrats are a large minority in some Rbplcn counties, but Rpblcns are a small minority in the Democratic ones. The Rpblcns have given up on urban America.

              The presumption for Obama is that GWBush has nearly killed his party, and they won’t come out in November. Tune in next November, or more importantly December, and find out.

              Posted by: ohrealy at April 14, 2008 10:30 PM
              Comment #250580

              Craig Holmes-
              I think he grasps it just fine. I think people failed to grasp his real point. Before you bring experience into this, and start talking about how he has no skill with engaging small town America, do yourself a favor and look at his pattern of victories. If he was bad in small towns, he would have lost the election by now.

              He’s done it mostly by being himself. The Small-town union crowd got a good laugh when he talked about Hillary and the duck-blind. I don’t think people need flattery more than they do respect. It’s empty flattery for a candidate to make out like they’re one of them.

              Speaking of that, as a Texan, I must disavow that Connecticut Yankee who goes around talking as if he’s some Dyed-in-the-Wool hardscrabble rancher. This is a multi-millionaire trust-fund kid who went to Andover, whose first business success was using eminent domain to get rock bottom prices in a land speculation scheme. If that’s the kind of authenticity you accept, what room to you have to complain about Obama?

              Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2008 12:07 AM
              Comment #250581

              Stephen

              There is a big difference between forestry and development. Your type of urban guy “I Iike to look at other people’s property” creates more development by making good forestry more difficult and less profitable.

              Folks like me have been green before most of the current crop of environmentalists was born. Some of those trees you enjoy are because of us. We are not discovering we are green. The fact that you can even think that way indicates what we might now call Obama blindness toward the non-liberal. It might cost him the nomination and it will certainly be an issue in the election, but you guys just cannot see it.

              It is possible to be a very green person and still agree with almost nothing in Dem policies. IN fact the urban Obama types are not good stewards of the land. They understand it only in textbooks.

              If you drive past the green that I have created and you like it, help me keep it green by not bothering me with liberal ideas of nature. If you like those strip malls, regulate the hell out of rural land and drive everybody to sell. It may seem a paradox to those who have little experience, but that is what happens.

              Posted by: Jack at April 15, 2008 5:49 AM
              Comment #250586

              Rural Vs Urban

              It seems like a lot of people in this column can’t get past Obama’s generalization.

              Mainly, I am irritated by the debate over was it an insult or not. It totally takes attention from the point he was making. What do you call this again? Spin?

              If you are discussing issues in a political forum online, you are obviously not who Obama was addressing.

              Don’t tell people there aren’t ignorant country folks that vote on gun issues and vote against their own interests. We all have seen these people, if not in real life, on Cops.
              And we all won’t pretent that there aren’t urban people with these same problems, ignorant about the same issues.

              I grew up in the city during the school year and every summer spent it in the country. We all know that there are ignorant people in both places.

              It seems to me the posters are well educated land owners who are not feeling the pinch as hard as the people Obama was addressing.

              So stop whining. Please. The people in the trailor park with real problems, low education and no work actually depend on other people making decisions for them, like it or not. People in the slums, who sell drugs because its better pay than MickyD’s, and have no education, need America to improve for the sake of their community and for their children.

              Posted by: Jason Ziegler at April 15, 2008 9:33 AM
              Comment #250588

              NapaJohn
              Well said sir. I am glad that some are willing to acknowledge and respect the fact that they are two different ways of life and one should not be pushed onto the other.

              JZ
              The point Obama was trying to make, exists only in the minds of partisans. Who are you or Obama, to tell me what is in my own best interest? Does the fact that someone does not vote how you think they should, mean they are voting against their own best interest? Should people compromise their beliefs and vote for the liberals who promise them freebies for their vote?

              “…need America to improve for the sake of their community and for their children”

              America will not improve until the people improve. They need to stop sitting in their trailers and depending on other people to make their decisions for them. They need to obey the law, take that McD’s job and work their asses off, like the rest of us do.

              Posted by: kctim at April 15, 2008 10:14 AM
              Comment #250589

              “vote against their own interests”, or maybe the political parties are trying to appeal to people who don’t vote for them as well as the people who do, but calling them “ignorant country folk” sounds like a great vote-getting strategy.

              “People in the slums, who sell drugs because its better pay than MickyD’s, and have no education, need America to improve for the sake of their community and for their children.”

              People in the slums work at all kinds of jobs, including cooking food for your kids at school.
              People sell drugs because there is a market with a large profit to be made.
              MickyD’s here employs mostly immigrants who barely speak English.

              People have no education because they’re not in the schools, it’s cool to be stupid, way cool not to be able to figure out how to wear a pair of pants, the crotch is down by your knees.
              Need America to improve, like New and Improved America, the advertising slogan?

              Posted by: ohrealy at April 15, 2008 10:21 AM
              Comment #250591

              KCtim
              1) In my mind I thought that some posters on this site were saying every one in the country is well educated on the issues, and no one is bitter or misinformed on these issues, because Im not.
              I was trying to say there are people who are exactly what Obama painted the to be. Are the a significant majority? In some towns not others, in some states not others. There are a thousand answers to that question.

              2) I never told anyone who they should vote for. I was implying that some parties press certain issues in order to get votes from people who might not otherwise vote for them.

              Ohrealy

              Everyone knows that these people, the scum of our society, needs to get jobs and work their asses off. You brought up some great points on the education and social problems in America.
              To me education in America is a big issue. Lets talk about that.
              My point is that some people didnt here the point of Obama’s comment because of the words. They couldnt see the forest through the trees, in my opinion. Then the post lost all direction and became a Rural vs Urban post.

              Posted by: Jason Ziegler at April 15, 2008 10:47 AM
              Comment #250593

              KCtim

              “Should people compromise their beliefs and vote for the liberals who promise them freebies for their vote?”

              Should people compromise their beliefs and vote for the conservatives who promise them freebies for their vote?

              Posted by: Jason Ziegler at April 15, 2008 11:00 AM
              Comment #250595

              The point of Obama’s comment is that he resents the influence of religion as opposed to intellectuals. He had to kiss up to people like Rev Wright, while resenting the fact that churches are the most prosperous and influential organizations on the south side of Chicago. Rev Wright’s congregation is building him a million plus house for his retirement. There was apparently another fun Wright sermon a few days ago, but people just keep saying it was at a private gathering and won’t say exactly what he said.

              BET founder and HRC supporter Bob Johnson, from Freeport,IL, UofI and Princeton, another 56 year old, echoed Ferraro’s comments again about Obama’s qualifications.

              Posted by: ohrealy at April 15, 2008 11:10 AM
              Comment #250598

              JZ
              Its not a rural vs. urban thing that was going on. It is acknowledging that they are two very distinct lifestyles and cultures and how important it is to see and respect that difference.

              Small town life is not better than urban life in general, but it is better for me and I am sure the opposite is true for city folks.

              1) It would be silly to say that everyone in the rural or urban areas is well educated on the issues, some obviously do not care enough to be. That is why Obama’s words were insulting. He generalized us rural folks as being uninformed, bitter hicks who would rather cling to guns or religion, than vote for what he thinks would be best for us.

              2) While you did not come right out and say who they should vote for, you did assume just like Obama does:

              “Don’t tell people there aren’t ignorant country folks that vote on gun issues and vote against their own interests”

              Of course there are people who vote based on a single issue, but to say it is against their own best interests or that it is because they are uninformed, is unfair.

              “My point is that some people didnt here the point of Obama’s comment because of the words”

              Obama’s point was that we are so dumb and bitter, that we vote to protect silly things we believe in, instead of what he thinks is best for us.

              Posted by: kctim at April 15, 2008 11:20 AM
              Comment #250600

              Stephen:

              You are getting a bit defensive. It looks to me like we have a competitive race on our hands.

              On our side, we have a well seasoned (too well seasoned?) candidate and a crappy record to run on. It’s been a long war that will not go away and we are in a recession with an un popular incumbant.

              We also have a candidate that is closest to the center politically. (Our country is right of center).

              On your side you have a candidate that is on the far left extremely talanted (gifted) but inexperienced on the national state.

              Or on your side you have a candidate, that half the country is convinced she flies on a broom. (stolen but well but phrase).

              I think what we have going forward is a very different election that what was predicted. I think most of us thought this would be a democratic cake walk. Looks to me like we are going to have one barn burner of a general election.

              Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 15, 2008 11:22 AM
              Comment #250601
              Stephen Daughery wrote: I think people failed to grasp his real point.

              The problem is that:

              • [01] the “real point” of Obama’s original statement was not clear.

              • [02] and Obama still did not clear it up, due to the subsequent follow-up statement that defended the original statement as they “true”:
                • Obama said: “I said something everybody knows is true”

              • [03] and Obama’s apology was hardly an apology (very weak to say the least):
                • Obama said:If I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”

                • [04] Some people were offended and/or concerned about the portion about people in “a lot of small towns” … “cling” to “religion”. No matter how you cut it, that statement is difficult to explain away. The only way that statment could be true is if people in “a lot of small towns” were somehow radical and/or infringing on other peoples’ rights in some way (e.g. engaging in discrimination, intolerance, or even dangerous behavior). While there may be SOME PEOPLE like that, it most certainly does not apply to people in “a lot of small towns”. It can only apply to SOME PEOPLE, and they are not only found in “in a lot small towns”. Thus, regardless, Obama’s statement about “religion” was simply wrong, and it is still not explained away by the subsequent weak apology starting with the word “If”, and ending “regret” instead of “sorry” or “apologize”. Therefore, it is quite understandable when some people say that wasn’t much of an apology at all, and raises concerns about whether Obama:
                  • is merely stubborn,

                  • and/or actually believes his original statement to still be “… something everybody knows is true”,

                  • and/or showing us a real side that slipped out for all to see,

                  • and/or let his status go to his head a bit,

                  • and/or is perhaps really an elitist,

                  • and/or simply does not understand how his statement is not only inaccurate, but fails to understand (at the very least) that it is not a smart way to address voters, whether he truly harbors such beliefs.

                • [05] Some people were offended by the portion about people in “a lot of small towns” … “cling to guns”. It raises questions about his position on gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment; especially after looking at his voting record on gun control.

                • Some people were offended by the portion about people in “a lot of small towns” … “cling to” … “anti-immigrant sentiment”. That is a bit strange too, in a nation that is one of the biggest melting pots in the world. It’s also unlikely that most Americans are anti-immigrant. It ‘s more likely most Americans oppose illegal immigrants. That is yet another important distinction that Obama failed to make.

                • [06] Some people were offended by the portion about people in “a lot of small towns” … “cling to” … “anti-trade”. That also doesn’t make sense either. It is very unlikely that most Americans are anti-trade. It ‘s more likely most Americans oppose unfair trade. That is yet another important distinction that Obama failed to make. For someone who should understand the importance of language, Obama failed to make 4 important distinctions.

                • Some people were offended by the portion about people in “a lot of small towns” being bitter. That portion is the only thing in Obama’s statement that is true, but not only of many people in “a lot of small towns”, but of a lot of people nation-wide. Thus, there is something a bit strange about that statement too, and fuels the theory that Obama has a preconceived idea of people in “a lot of small towns”.

                • [07] Some people were forgiving, and dismissed it. Some (not all) staunch Obama supporters are likely to take that position.

                • [08] Some people thought the statement was badly worded, and lacked the important distinctions that it can only apply to some people, and the portion about religion was completely out-of-line, and that many elements of the statement fuel the theory that Obama has a preconceived idea of people in “a lot of small towns”.

                • [09] Some people also thought the statement was completely true. Some (not all) of the most staunch Obama supporters are likely to take that position, and ignore and defend the numerous and valid issues and concerns that some people have raised. Some people will exacerbate the problem by telling those people that are raising issues and concerns with Obama’s statement, that they:
                  • (a) simply can’t understand the truth in Obama’s statement.

                  • (b) and/or that they are misinterpreting (innocently) Obama’s statement.

                  • (c) and/or accuse them of twisting (uninnocently) the meaning of Obama’s statement.

                  • (d) and/or that the statement was simply badly worded (despite the subsequent follow-up that defended the original statement as “true”).

                  • (e) and/or that they should accept Obama’s apology (which was a very weak apology at best).

                  • (f) and/or that they are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

                  • (g) and/or that we should not focus on Obama’s words, but only on Obama’s deeds.

                • [10] And some people don’t care one way or another.

                • [11] And some people will try to make as much of this issue as they can, to put it in the most damaging light possible. Some (not all) staunch supporters of the other candidates will obviously try to capitalize on Obama’s gaffe.
                At any rate, regardless of what people think Obama’s statement (and even some of Obama’s staunchest supporters probably cringed at Obama’s statements and the way it was subsequently handled), it certainly wasn’t a smart thing to do, because it focuses on the side-effects of many voters’ bitterness (and not only in “small towns”), rather than the sources of many people’s bitterness.

                Stephen Daughery wrote: I think people failed to grasp his real point.
                Stephen Daugherty, you are not alone in your position, but it won’t be easy trying to explain away all of those issues and concerns (above) raised by:
                • Obama’s original statement: “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”.”
                • and the subsequent follow-up statment in defense of it: “I said something that everybody knows is true.”,
                • and the subsequent weak apology: “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”
                • and the subsequent retaliations on Hillary and McCain to cloud the issue, divert attention, and obscure the facts (essentially digging a deeper hole).
                Even some Obama supporters are cringing.

                It may now be too late, but the best thing Obama could have done was:

                • make a genuine apology about the portion about people that “cling” to “religion”,

                • and clarify his original statement and make it crystal clear that he was not speaking only about people in “a lot of small towns”, but only SOME PEOPLE, and nation-wide.
                Had Obama done that instead, this entire issue would probably have already gone away. That fact that Obama failed to do all of those things in a string of events reveals something about his judgement that may raise valid concerns for some people. While the other party is naturally going to use it, Obama also bears some of the responsibility, since he actually did it to himself, and the question still remains unanswered:
                  Does Obama still truly believe his original statement as “I said something everybody knows is true” ?
                … leaving many people to still wonder or believe that the answer may be yes.

                Posted by: d.a.n at April 15, 2008 11:23 AM
                Comment #250603

                KCtim

                I think that’s where we disagree KCtim. I dont think Obama was saying anyone was stupid.

                Think about this.

                A school teacher is teaching a class. Half of the class is playing and talking, the other half is doing their work quietly. The teacher says, ” You guys need to do your work quietly, get back to your seats.” A student who is sitting quietly doing his/her work says, “But I am doing my work in my seat quietly.”

                Now does that student have a valid point or is he/she desperate for attention?

                Posted by: Jason Ziegler at April 15, 2008 11:36 AM
                Comment #250604

                Voting against ones own interests

                To me a voter in Phillidelphia, where 1 person a day is murdered, that votes against a law requiring people to report lost or stolen handguns to the police is against your best interests.

                Voting against a ban on assault weapons in a state where kids are getting assault weapons and killing their classmates is against your own best interests.

                That is my opinion. I wouldn’t ever call them stupid. But I would try to understand why they vote like that. I think Obama was trying to give his opinion why these people feel like they do.

                Posted by: Jason Ziegler at April 15, 2008 11:46 AM
                Comment #250605

                d.a.n said: “Some people were offended and/or concerned about the portion about people in “a lot of small towns” … “cling” to “religion”. No matter how you cut it, that statement is difficult to explain away.”

                d.a.n., No matter how you cut it, that is a true statement. Note the definitions of ‘cling’:

                1. To hold fast or adhere to something, as by grasping, sticking, embracing, or entwining: clung to the rope to keep from falling; fabrics that cling to the body.
                2. To remain close; resist separation: We clung together in the storm.
                3. To remain emotionally attached; hold on: clinging to outdated customs.

                How is it untrue that people in small towns in America cling to religion in as great or greater percentages than people in cities? By any definition of the word cling, Obama’s statement rings true. Rural folks cling to the 2nd Amendment interpretation of citizen gun ownership rights more than urban folks do by percentages in each demographic. An empirically true statement.

                Go through his list of items, they are all true, and most are demonstrably true in polling and demographic and sociological research papers dating from the present to as far back as the 1950’s. As the economy worsens, people hold onto what they have or have inherited from their parents, including values, the more ardently. Which is another way of saying, they are less likely to take risks and try different things or ideas. Also demonstrably true in areas of human demographics such as Wall St. investors, to American soldiers (else why the enormous re-up bonuses necessary to retain them?)

                There are four responses to Obama’s words evident so far.

                1) Ignore it. Those who could care less what any politician says.
                2) Support it whatever it means, because this person supports Obama because he feels right to them.
                3) Derogate his words in any way possible because this person doesn’t support Obama be he feels wrong to them.
                4) Objectively assess what the words mean according to available research and data and dictionary, and decide if Obama’s intent was to demean the people he sought votes from, or he is not bright enough to realize he was baring his bigotry toward small town Americans in his choice of phrasing, or he less than expertly sought to appeal to their economic plight with an offer of hope. His comment afterall, was predicated on the economic conditions of many small town Americans he has spent time with and campaigned to.

                4) Works for me. Obviously not for everyone in the punditry, blogs, and media, however. But, then many of non-bloggers get paid to make a mountain out of a mole hill wherever possible and incite interest in their spin on what others say and do. Hillary is a perfect example.

                How Hillary can justify acting as Obama’s Republican opponent in order to attempt to salvage her floundering campaign, says much about Hillary’s character. Who will she attempt to denigrate, lie about, and destroy for personal gain with the power of the presidency, one has to wonder. What loyalty she had to the Democratic Party took a back seat to personal ambition a very long time ago in this campaign, but, that is now only becoming obvious in hindsight.

                As a sidenote, C-Span’s Wa. Journal has the racist bigots calling in. A Republican Congressman from Kentucky was quoted yesterday as saying of Obama, ‘That boy has no business putting his finger on the button’ referring to the president’s control of nuclear weapons. Slip of the tongue or revealing racism? Don’t know. Have to ask him. I am sure he did not intend to publicly call a Black candidate for president BOY, and I am sure he has by now apologized and stated it was not his intention.

                I find in such matters, it is best to give the author of the comment the benefit of the doubt, right up until a pattern of repeats is established by their words and deeds. Not knowing the Ky. Representative’s history, I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. It is therefore reasonable to ask others to give Obama’s explanation the benefit of the doubt, while keeping a sharp ear and eye for any other words or deeds of his own that would give one pause in granting benefit of the doubt, again.

                Posted by: David R. Remer at April 15, 2008 11:58 AM
                Comment #250606

                Jason Ziegler:

                I don’t necessarily think it is what Obama thinks (it might be), but rather that he mis spoke.

                I would expect things like this to continue. This is a normal natural process of electing presidents. He is simply being vetted. It is really important as well. I would rather have him tick off small towns, and cause us to have these debates, than to have this happen with a foreign government.

                Obama is a brilliant, inexperienced, liberal candidtate. On the left, you will have to take the good with the bad. He is going to be tied to some of our more interesting folks on the left, (Rev Wright), and he is going to say some stupid things.

                It would have been much better in hind sight for the Democratic party if Obama had come in a resectable second, and been a running mate and VP, only to run later for President after he had learned where more of the political “land mines” had been placed.

                I would expect a steady diet of this sort of thing for quite a while. After all the man is in his 40’s and he has been up to some things the last 20 years or so. All of that record will need to be brought into broad daylight between now and November.

                What will be interesting on the left will be to watch if there is this “Republican hit squad” rhetoric. Every national candidate has to go through it. It’s how we elect Presidents.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 15, 2008 12:04 PM
                Comment #250607

                DRReemer, how about a fifth possibility, external reality? Religion is just as important to Obama’s more urban supporters, but he would rather that they listen to teachers than preachers. Guns also seem to be an urban priority, because people are getting shot in Chicago every day. Concerns about the number of high school students shot this year are being voiced, but the guns are still out there for those who want to hunt high school students.

                Posted by: ohrealy at April 15, 2008 12:08 PM
                Comment #250612

                David-

                Or how about that there is so little data on who Obama is as a politician that anything he says must be thoroughly examined for insight. To me that is what this is about more than anything.

                Posted by: George in SC at April 15, 2008 12:37 PM
                Comment #250614

                JZ
                The student has a valid point and the teacher is wrong for not being clear. But thats not a fair description of what happened with Obama, is it.

                Anyway.

                “I think Obama was trying to give his opinion why these people feel like they do”

                Thats what we are discussing.
                Are we simpletons and cling to guns, religion etc… because we are frustrated, like he said or is it “he didn’t mean it that way,” as his apologists say, yet again?

                He said what he said. I doubt if his followers will acknowledge he was out of line and I doubt if others won’t be insulted.
                Guess we’ll just have to wait and see at the polls eh.

                Posted by: kctim at April 15, 2008 12:49 PM
                Comment #250615

                kctim-
                It isn’t as if people are just aliens. However, there is an obvious contradiction between somebody who relies on union jobs voting for somebody who hates unions, somebody who relies on jobs staying here voting for somebody who would ship them overseas in the name of globalism and market economics with no remorse. The obvious question for some presented with this apparent contradiction is basically “are these people idiots?

                Barack’s response is to say “No. If people like us don’t do what has to be done for them economically, then there really is no economic self-interest to vote for, so they’ll just vote for what they hold dear, for what they enjoy”

                He then says, you have to deliver on your promises. He says you have to respect their beliefs. In this way, it becomes easier for these people to overcome their skepticism.

                It’s easy in the abstract to effectively point at that person living in the trailer and say: get a job. But that person says: where? Where do I get that job? I’d love one, if I could afford to get there, or afford to move somewhere else, etc. It takes education, financial resources, and transportation to get these jobs, and people don’t always have that.

                As for your view on the law, I don’t think obedience to the law is such a passive thing. I think people should be deeply involved in their democracy, and at the same time more respectful about the rules. We need to get back to a sense of common interests, of negotiated interests. Nobody can do everything or make everybody do everything by themselves.

                Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2008 12:53 PM
                Comment #250618

                David:

                There are more options. I think you are right in that we all look at it through our own lense.

                I just think it is inexperience. He probably believes what he said. On the other hand it’s one of those “low level” biases that we all have. Now that it has been challenged, I’m sure he has corrected himself internally if he needed to.

                I do think that “you” Obama supporters should brace yourselves for more to come. I think you should simply take the good with the bad with your candidate. He is green and is going to step in it once in a while.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 15, 2008 1:18 PM
                Comment #250620

                Stephen
                I don’t totally disagree with you on that, I am just looking at it from the other side, I think. Many of us place a greater emphasis on our rights and freedoms than we do other things.
                You ask “are these people idiots?” when they are union and don’t vote for the party who panders to them and I ask if they are idiots when they say they love their 2nd Amendment right, but vote for a liberal candidate. That is why I don’t believe it is up to you, I or Obama to determine if someone votes against their own best interest.

                One mans economic self-interest vote, is another mans rights and freedoms self-interest vote.

                “But that person says: where? Where do I get that job? I’d love one, if I could afford to get there, or afford to move somewhere else, etc.”

                And while that person is making excuses, another person is walking, driving, calling or whatever, to find a job.
                Yes, its easy to point, but thats because I was once there and worked my way out.

                “It takes education, financial resources, and transportation to get these jobs”

                No, those are only tools. All it takes is the desire to do better and the pride to not settle.

                “We need to get back to a sense of common interests, of negotiated interests”

                I know you will not like this, or even see why it is relevent, but here goes.
                If you feel such a need to do these things, then why are you supporting such a liberal candidate? Millions of us have nothing in common with Obama, but would have alot in common with a Democrat.
                Us getting Obama as a President will be the same as you guys getting another Bush.

                “Nobody can do everything or make everybody do everything by themselves”

                Of course not. But, if we are not going to make people work, then we sure as hell shouldn’t make those who do work support that poor choice.

                Posted by: kctim at April 15, 2008 2:20 PM
                Comment #250622

                kctim:

                You sure are make a lot of sense in your posts. I think it especially hard for liberals because they haven’t had a turn at the Presidency in a generation. When there is “hope” they are extremely excited. The problem is that this is not a liberal country, but rather a right of center country.

                If we look at Obama through the eyes of “the great white hope”, of finally getting a win, it explains why there is so much agast at some fairly routine and predicatible events.

                I think it is probably frustrating in areas where liberals congregate. Places like Universities, major cities, black churches etc, because from these liberal areas, one could conclude that this is a liberal country, “after all everyone I know is liberal”. What a shock when liberals start out ahead in poll numbes and then decline by election time.

                I wonder if Obama isn’t going to be a traditional democratic candidate like Mondale, Dukakis, and Kerry. Sort of another footnote in history. It is sure looking that way. Dukakis in the tank, Kerry with his flipflopping and Obama with his gaffes. In each case America correctly decided they were outside of mainstream.

                This fall will be facinating. Will Obama fade as liberal’s have in the past? It’s looking more and more like that may happen.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 15, 2008 2:37 PM
                Comment #250624

                Craig
                Yes, fall will be very interesting, but I don’t see Obama fading a whole lot. The MSM’s love for him and McCain not exciting voters enough to show up, may be all he needs to win.

                In fact, I’m already trying to create a budget my family could survive on after the pay-cut an Obama or clinton win will bring us.

                Posted by: kctim at April 15, 2008 3:11 PM
                Comment #250627
                David R. Remer wrote:
                  d.a.n said: “Some people were offended and/or concerned about the portion about people in “a lot of small towns”“cling” to “religion”. No matter how you cut it, that statement is difficult to explain away.”
                d.a.n., No matter how you cut it, that is a true statement. Note the definitions of ‘cling’ …
                It is not true, because:
                • (1) It does not apply to all people in even one single “small town”. There is diversity even in small towns. There is diversity nation-wide.
                • (2) It can not possibly apply to one entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”.
                • (3) Not all people are religious, even if bitter.
                • (4) People do not have to be bitter to “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”.
                • (5) There is a big difference between SOME PEOPLE and people in “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”. Why reference people in “small towns” this way? Can we look forward to the next speech that denigrates people “in big cities”?
                • (6) There are SOME PEOPLE all throughout the nation, and in some big cities too, that may fit Obama’s description, but not only “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”.
                • (7) Trying to make such broad generalizations of entire communities, such as “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”, is rarely (if ever) accurate.
                • (8) Best case, Obama’s statements can only apply to SOME PEOPLE, and not only people in “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”.
                Thus, Obama’s statement was:
                • (a) not only false,
                • (b) it understandably appears to be denigrating too. Obama’s statement was not said in praise of those values. It was more likely a denigration, and embedded within the same sentence that denigrated several things:
                    “a lot of small towns” that “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”.
                  Especially in view of Obama’s sentiments and voting records about gun control, immigration, and rrade.
                David R. Remer wrote: How is it untrue that people in small towns in America cling to religion in as great or greater percentages than people in cities?
                Non-sequitur, because:
                • (1) I am not, and have never argued that people should not cling to their religion. That is a personal matter and no other persons’ business what so ever, which is why Obama’s statement about religion was out-of-line. But that certainly is not true for the atheists and agnostics. People everywhere embrace relgion to varying degrees, and some not at all.
                • (2) and the percentages are irrelevant, since they are not 100%, and Obama’s statement was not praising the people in:
                    “a lot of small towns” that “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”.
                  Especially in view of Obama’s sentiments and voting records about gun control, immigration, and rrade.
                David R. Remer wrote: By any definition of the word cling, Obama’s statement rings true.
                No, many parts of Obama’s statement are not true (see 8 reasons above), but the bigger issue is that Obama’s statement was not said in praise of people in:
                  “a lot of small towns” that “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”.
                David R. Remer wrote: Rural folks cling to the 2nd Amendment interpretation of citizen gun ownership rights more than urban folks do by percentages in each demographic. An empirically true statement.
                Maybe. But Obama did not say SOME PEOPLE, and that was not the main issue.

                The main issue is that Obama was not praising people for their values by saying people in:

                  “a lot of small towns” that “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”.

                As for clinging to the 2nd Amendment, that applies to SOME PEOPLE all across the naiton, whether they live in urban or rural areas.
                Even if the percentage is higher for people living in rural areas, why denigrate those people and the 2nd Amendent by saying peoples’ bitterness causes the people in:

                  “a lot of small towns” that “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”.

                David R. Remer wrote: Go through his list of items, they are all true, and most are demonstrably true in polling and demographic and sociological research papers dating from the present to as far back as the 1950’s.
                I have many times very carefully, and:
                • (1) Obama’s statement is not true (see 8 reasons above),
                • (2) but more importantly, Obama’s statement appears to be a denigration of people in:
                    “a lot of small towns” that “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”.

                That denigration is difficult to deny, as evidenced by this thread, even many Obama supporters were most likely cringing, and the diversions as what degree of truth there is in the statement is a diversion from what was also a denigration (certainly not praise) of people in:

                  “a lot of small towns” that “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”.

                David R. Remer wrote: As the economy worsens, people hold onto what they have or have inherited from their parents, including values, the more ardently.
                And there is nothing wrong with that. That still does not explain-away Obama’s statements, following-up statements, and voting record. Also, if you watched the other video, Obama said the same thing before, and Charlie Rose warned Obama about not “looking down on them [people]” and sounding condescending. Unfortunately, Obama failed to heed Charlie Rose’s warning. Thus, there is a track record developing. Does that mean Obama is a bad person, or worse than Hillary or McCain. Probably not.

                That is why it is strange for Obama to appear to be denigrating people by saying people in:

                  “a lot of small towns” that “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”.

                David R. Remer wrote: There are four responses to Obama’s words evident so far:
                • (1) Ignore it. Those who could care less what any politician says.
                • (2) Support it whatever it means, because this person supports Obama because he feels right to them.
                • (3) Derogate his words in any way possible because this person doesn’t support Obama be he feels wrong to them.
                • (4) Objectively assess what the words mean according to available research and data and dictionary, and decide if Obama’s intent was:
                  • (a) to demean the people he sought votes from,
                  • (b) or he is not bright enough to realize he was baring his bigotry toward small town Americans in his choice of phrasing,
                  • (c) or he less than expertly sought to appeal to their economic plight with an offer of hope. His comment afterall, was predicated on the economic conditions of many small town Americans he has spent time with and campaigned to.
                David R. Remer wrote: 4) Works for me.
                There are three sections to number (4). I assume you chose section (c).

                I think it is most likely that Obama revealed an unflattering side of his personality (i.e. being disdainful of people in small towns), and Obama then fueled that theory with his subsequent follow-up responses, which is why it won’t be easy trying to explain-away all of the issues and concerns (above) raised by:

                • Obama’s original statement: “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”.”

                • and the subsequent follow-up statment in defense of it: “I said something that everybody knows is true.”,

                • and the subsequent weak apology: “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”

                • and the subsequent retaliations on Hillary and McCain to cloud the issue, divert attention, and obscure the facts (essentially digging a deeper hole).

                David R. Remer wrote: Obviously not for everyone in the punditry, blogs, and media, however. But, then many of non-bloggers get paid to make a mountain out of a mole hill wherever possible and incite interest in their spin on what others say and do. Hillary is a perfect example.
                Yes, as I said above too, some will attempt to make a mountain out of a mole hill. However, in this case, I do not think it is making a mountain out of a mole hill. It appears quite likely that Obama was denigrating people in:
                  “a lot of small towns” that “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”.
                Especially in view of his follow-up statement in defense of it as “true”, the weak apology, his voting record, and his previous conversation with Charlie Rose.
                David R. Remer wrote: How Hillary can justify acting as Obama’s Republican opponent in order to attempt to salvage her floundering campaign, says much about Hillary’s character. Who will she attempt to denigrate, lie about, and destroy for personal gain with the power of the presidency, one has to wonder. What loyalty she had to the Democratic Party took a back seat to personal ambition a very long time ago in this campaign, but, that is now only becoming obvious in hindsight.
                I am not a fan of Hillary, McCain, or Obama.
                David R. Remer wrote: As a sidenote, C-Span’s Wa. Journal has the racist bigots calling in. A Republican Congressman from Kentucky was quoted yesterday as saying of Obama, ‘That boy has no business putting his finger on the button’ referring to the president’s control of nuclear weapons. Slip of the tongue or revealing racism? Don’t know. Have to ask him. I am sure he did not intend to publicly call a Black candidate for president BOY, and I am sure he has by now apologized and stated it was not his intention.
                Such statements, are wrong.

                But for me personally, this issue about Obama’s statement has nothing to do with race, so I’m not sure of the reason for that sidenote.

                David R. Remer wrote: I find in such matters, it is best to give the author of the comment the benefit of the doubt, right up until a pattern of repeats is established by their words and deeds.
                I agree.

                And that is why Obama’s combined statement, his follow-up statements, and his voting record fuels the theory that his statment was a denigration of people in:

                  “a lot of small towns” that “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”
                Some people contend that he wouldn’t say such a thing, because it wouldn’t be smart to alienate the voters whose votes are being sought, but people often sabotage themselves by slip-ups that reveal their real inner-character. And it is quite possible, plausible, and reasonable to believe that is what has happened. Especially when considering the statement, follow-up defense of it, and his voting record on some of the items in his statement (e.g. gun control, immigration, and trade).

                David R. Remer wrote: Not knowing the Ky. Representative’s history, I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. It is therefore reasonable to ask others to give Obama’s explanation the benefit of the doubt, while keeping a sharp ear and eye for any other words or deeds of his own that would give one pause in granting benefit of the doubt, again.
                HHHmmmmmm … I not so sure.

                Had Obama quickly apologized and moved on, many people probably would have dismissed the entire matter, but not when Obama:

                • (1) subsequently defended his statement as being “true” by saying: “I said something everybody knows is true”

                • (2) skirted the issue about the statement denigrating people in “a lot of small towns”.

                • (3) and the weak apology that was actually no apology:If I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”

                This doesn’t mean Obama is a bad person.

                But it’s going to take a much better explanation to explain-away the combination of his statement, the defense of it as “true”, the denigration, the weak apology, and his voting record.

                Posted by: d.a.n at April 15, 2008 3:31 PM
                Comment #250629

                ohrealy-
                He never called them ignorant country folk, or made any such suggestion.

                I think this tendency some have of playing on the insecurities, real and imagined, of these people is the true elitism. Is it not a condescending act to basically ignore people 95% of the time, and then play to their anxieties when you need them? The truly egalitarian thing to do would be to try and get folks to understand this situation, offer them concrete proposals that can do them some good, and then ask for their support

                Which, as a matter of fact, he is doing.

                Some folks believe that you can change America by avenging it’s downturns on some non-conforming and/or dysfunctional segment of society, and beating the crap out of them for a bit. Has it helped? No, it’s left people (wait for it) angry and bitter. It wasn’t welfare that brought us down. When LBJ created it, the big problem was that he tried to fund the war on a deficit, in order to preserve his programs. He didn’t feel he could do both. That was part of what created the disasters for America’s economy in the next decade. Nonetheless, people blame welfare, when actually it was fiscal irresponsibility.

                Unsurprisingly enough, after each Republican administration where spending was heaped on spending, and taxes either cut or kept at insufficient levels, our economy suffered.

                On Obama’s religious beliefs, he is the most openly religious of any of the candidates. McCain is very private about his beliefs, and Hillary is not one of those kinds of Democrats comfortable with faith being out there. This guy doesn’t sound like Kerry or Gore on the subject. If you want to imply he’s just some fairweather Christian, go ahead, but be prepared to offer serious evidence rather than simply expecting the rest of us to share that opinion.

                As for Reverend Wright? He delivered a eulogy at some guy’s funeral and praised him for his respect of people of all religions and backgrounds, saying to applause that the right wing pundits were too dumb to understand the value of that kind of respect.

                Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2008 3:44 PM
                Comment #250631

                S.D., “ignorant country folk” is from Jason Ziegler. Please read before posting.

                The biggest problem with Obama is his ambition. The day after he was elected to the Senate, he started running for the Presidency. I voted for him because I thought he would be a good senator, and also to make up for the loss of Carol Moseley Braun. If she had been reelected in 1998, she would have been more likely to fight against GWBush becoming POTUS, after Jeb Bush eliminated the voting rights of thousands of people in Jacksonville. Now I am suspicious of what happened in that 1998 campaign. Incidentally, HRC raised a lot of money for her, and blamed herself for not doing more to help.

                This was not the first time that Obama has been elected, only to look for the next step on the ladder. Soon after he was elected to the state Senate, he began a tour of Illinois to determine if he could run for higher office. People who support him are not reticent about talking about him. HuffingtonPost had a lot to do with spreading the current controversy and probably some of the Kossackers too.

                Posted by: ohrealy at April 15, 2008 4:40 PM
                Comment #250632

                Craig Holmes-
                Defensive? No. More like tired of these lazy kinds of fictions that pass for qualifications for office nowadays.

                I recall some rancher out near Crawford remarking that a rancher who knew what he was doing would cut brush in November, when the weather is considerably milder than do it in August. August in Central Texas is not a nice time to do heavy work outside.

                Bush was considered a straight shooter. Because he told the truth? As it happens, no. He was considered that because he emphatically stated what he believed or wanted others to believe as fact. Nothing like confident lying to bring down people’s guard.

                Now we have pundits speculating on the meaning of Obama drinking orange juice, bowling a low score, and now having made a verbal gaffe that a serious examination of his past statements and talks would quickly clarify. And why? Because supposedly, that’s how we’re supposed to do things. We’re supposed to judge people by superficial criteria, rather than deal with the big issues out there, all in the name of defending us from elitists and those who don’t project a working class demeanor. Except it doesn’t, because like most human beings, these elitists and trust-fund babies can learn mannerism and stage stunts, like blue-blood Bush Sr tooling around in a speedboat to prove he was a man.

                Obama is exactly what he seems to be: a highly educated lawyer once lower middle-class, now in the upper-income brackets, who has waged one of the most effective campaign anybody has seen in a generation, despite the incredible silliness that seems to be endemic to both politics and the press these days about unimportant issues.

                Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2008 5:08 PM
                Comment #250633

                ohrealy-
                Hillary Clinton ran for public office the first time in 2000, with no experience whatsoever as an elected official. Obama, on the other hand, already had served in the Illinois legislature since 1996 when he came to the national scene four years later.

                By that logic, Hillary’s the one who has the ambition problem. She expects, with four fewer years than Obama, to rise that much faster to election as president.

                It’s only our rather shortsighted focus on current events that convinces us that the brevity of our current candidate’s experience is a problem. LBJ and Nixon’s long tenures in politics did not make the better leaders.

                Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2008 5:15 PM
                Comment #250637

                Obama is exactly what he seems to be, Stephen?

                Is he still for single-payer universal healthcare coverage, like he was in 2003?

                Does he still say, unequivocally, that he will not be running for national office in four years, and that his entire focus is making sure that he’s the best possible senator on behalf of the people of Illinois?

                Does he still believe that the United States has an “absolute obligation” to remain in Iraq long enough to make it a success, as he did in 2004?

                Why would a “senior lecturer” tell people at a fundraiser, that he is a constitutional law professor?

                Is he against decriminalizing marijuana, like he said in a 2004 debate? Or is he for doing it and always has been? Another “mistake” on his part?

                How come he said, “”Had I heard them in church I would have expressed that concern directly to Rev. Wright.” and then later, tell us he did hear them, but it was like listening to a crazy uncle?

                Obama says what he believes we want to hear, Stephen. He says whatever he thinks will cover his ass and help him in the polls.

                Obama is exactly what he seems to be, Stephen. A politician willing to do or say whatever it takes to get elected and have power.

                It’s sad that you railed against this type of behavior for the last 8 years, but now you defend, ignore or excuse it.
                Just more proof that we are going to more of the same with the next President.

                Posted by: kctim at April 15, 2008 5:41 PM
                Comment #250640

                HRC has been involved in public policy for her whole life, from the Nixon hearings, to more recently helping adult women coming out of a lifetime of foster care, with a thousand other qualifications in between. The people of NY evidently found her to be acceptable in 2000 and reacceptable in 2006. She dealt with hostile senators as first lady, while trying to get national health care. She met foreign leaders, brought the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to public attention, and has the best advisor that anyone could ever have, if she needs him.

                BHO doesn’t compare favorably to Stevenson, McGovern, Mondale, and Dukakis, much less Gore, Kerry, or Carter. He has charisma, luck, and a gift for gab, and affirmative action has helped him every step of his way. I don’t dislike the guy, he just isn’t presidential material yet, and what is his big hurry anyway? It seems like some kind of psychological problem, like he needs to get the presidency before people find out who he really is.

                The more I hear of people supporting him with very thin arguments, the more I want to know who he really is. If a member of the VRWconspiracy endorses him, what is it that they are seeing that they think they will be able to use against the country that they want to remake into a church/state?

                Posted by: ohrealy at April 15, 2008 5:59 PM
                Comment #250649

                ohrealy:

                I agree. I think it would have been far better for the country and for the democratic party and for Obama if he had run a respectable second place, and would be on the ticket THIS TIME as VP.

                All of this hand ringing and concern about pettiness is because of a “Rush to judgment” on the part of Democrats. There is no hurry for Obama to become president.

                So now when the country is looking extra close at his moves, and he is getting close scrutiny there is a problem with the rest of the country. New comers to national politics should get extra scrutiny.

                Shoot, if something else comes out about some land deal with Hillary no one will really care. As someone said, (I like this line), half of the country already thinks she flys on a broom. Actually she should use it to make fun of herself.

                I also think Obama should come clean about just being a liberal. Actually I think most of the presidential candidates from the left should come clean on the issue instead of ducking it and coming across disingenuiss.

                What they should say is (Yes I am liberal, but I am going to govern towards the center. Here is what I did in my home state as govenor). And have integrity to govern to the right of their beliefs because that is where the country is. Sort of lead over a coalition government between liberals and moderates.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 15, 2008 8:06 PM
                Comment #250658

                kctim-
                The University of Chicago Law School publically stated that Obama was considered a professor. The Job title simply meant he wasn’t tenure track. The health coverage thing might be a bit of a foot in the door proposal, a way to start the ball rolling that way after he’s elected.

                On Iraq, we’re talking 2004, and he was saying that we had to prevent the collapse of the Iraqi state. He said this in a season where he and many other Democrats were supporting John Kerry, and the general line was that the war was a mistake, and that we needed to make it right by doing what it took to keep Iraq together and give it a bright future. It was not a flip flop to say contradictory to say that Iraq would be a mistake, and then to later say that we needed to redeem that mistake before it was too late.

                The unfortunate fact, though, was that Bush’s Iraq policy’s allowed the very thing that we Democrats were seeking to prevent to come to pass. Iraq’s civil order has collapsed, and it is beyond the current strength of the military to put the country back together. The surge didn’t help, as events have demonstrated, but has actually made things worse by sapping America’s military resources faster without strategic benefit.

                On Reverend Wright, attendance of the sermons in question is not necessary for him to deliver that chagrinned take of his Pastor sometimes acting like the eccentric old uncle.

                Again and again here, what we have are manufactured controversies. The senior lecturer thing is one, a quibble about a job title that even one of the nation’s best law schools doesn’t get its jockeys in a twist about. We have this insistence on Barack Obama keeping the same carbon copied positions over the course of several years, and this additional assistance that all of Barack Obama’s positions be superficially consistent, even if it means their deeper consistency is in question.

                My sense is that people are simply looking to jump on him on the least quibble. I don’t feel like dignifying petty talking points with that kind of credibility.

                ohrealy-
                Involvement is not the same as experience. Up until 2000, she didn’t have decision making power directly in her hands. It’s that decision making ability we’re discussing

                You can make a circular argument about how Barack Obama doesn’t compare, but you underestimate his strengths badly. He has more or less wrested the nomination from the person who’s supposed to be the stronger, more experienced politician. That could happen by accident once or twice, but what happened Super Tuesday was undoubtedly part of an organized plan. Obama knew he would probably lose some of the bigger states, so he campaigned where Hillary didn’t see fit to.

                Now Hillary’s trying, with utmost political brutality, to knock him out by convincing the political elites to turn against him.

                Except he repeatedly does the same thing: he gets out into these states, and closes the gaps every time.

                As for the vast right-wing conspiracy? When Hillary made her comments on the Wright controversy, she did so with Richard Mellon Scaife in the room. Richard Mellon Scaife is well known as a major architect of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Why is she sitting down with him? Because she wants to win, and hoped to capitalize on things to keep the polls from sliding further away from her.

                Most polls have her lead at ten or less. That won’t be a ringing advertisment for her nomination, not with the general math against her.

                Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2008 10:33 PM
                Comment #250662

                Craig Holmes-
                You missed the chance eight years back to see a government truly move towards the middle. Had Bush acknowledged people’s thirst for unity, and not tried to force the conservative agenda down people’s throats, you might have had it.

                Unfortunately, people don’t want that kind of centrism anymore.

                In one debate, he gave a statement I think clears things up considerably. He took the National Journal to tasks for its ratings, pointing out that many of the bills or positions they labelled as liberal were in fact more universal than that.

                Liberals support a lot of things that are not esoterically liberal, that have across-the-board appeal. The question is not whether he’s liberal, it’s whether anybody cares, or if they do care, think it’s a bad thing. Judging from results so far in places that are supposed to care, no. Why? Because he’s not a politician who relies on the political divisions to succeed. His appeal is more broadly cultural.

                Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2008 10:54 PM
                Comment #250665

                Who are these “political elites”? Anyone not supporting Obama? Aren’t Kennedy, Kerry, Richardson et al part of this elite?

                HRC was in a room with Scaife. I saw the pictures, they weren’t kissing.

                Beyond PA, is IN, where BHO is ahead of HRC. Does anyone seriously think that IN will be in the Democratic column in November, unless Bayh is on the ticket? What is the meaning of a victory centered in University towns in so many states that always vote Rpblcn? Are the University students going to persuade the rest of the state to vote for BHO? Will the BHO campaign send out more professors to lecture the population?

                I am absolutely sure that BHO could be selected President in Evanston, Ann Arbor, Madison, Champaign, Bloomington, DeKalb and many other similar towns, but those are not the only people that will be voting in November, and those are not the members of the electoral college that will be voting in December. Illinois, with 21 electoral votes, has about 7 million more people than the 7 smallest states that together also have 21 electoral votes.

                HRC is being as mild as she possibly can in order not to antagonize people, but do you think the Rpblcns are going to hesitate to do anything to win, whether McCain approves or not? BHO is the son of an immigrant from a bigamous marriage raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. It’s all too exotic. Who was the last son of an immigrant to win the Presidency? Does anyone really think BHO is the next Andrew Jackson? Because campaigning ability and lecturing and speechmaking are on a par with war hero now?

                Posted by: ohrealy at April 15, 2008 11:46 PM
                Comment #250676

                Stephen
                “Again and again here, what we have are manufactured controversies”

                It is hard to manufacture the man’s own words Stephen. He has lied, changed and distorted his views and life experiences in order to get votes. He is a typical politician, not a change we can believe in.

                Posted by: kctim at April 16, 2008 9:13 AM
                Comment #250694

                Craig:

                But the challenge point for Democrats is that they owned small towns a generation ago. They were pro farmer, pro union etc. Now that has all gone red.

                It’s true, small town people all across America (for the most part) were convinced by the Cons to swallow the Red Koolaid for a handful of silly cultural-war issues (none of which the GOP ever delivered on), and just look what has happened in rural parts of the country ever since!

                Many are almost like ghost towns. The Unions were busted. There is a serious lack of decent jobs because most of the big industries have moved to third world countries. Folks are now working for piss-poor wages at places like Walmart, Sizzler, McDonalds, Pizzahut, and Home Depot because the vast majority of the smaller businesses were killed off by Big Souless Corporate. Those not getting Medicare often have no health care at all, and when they get sick (or their kids get sick) they often have to seek government assistance for health care, even as they’re working full time. Many are on food stamps, or if they’ve got kids they may qualify for WIC. They used to eat more protein, but now are forced to eat a lot more carbohydrates because it’s cheaper — which tends to make them and their children obese, and generally unhealthy overall.

                People are bitter as hell, even when they don’t like to say so. Even when they’d rather act like it’s a highly offensive insult to make a remark about that obvious bitterness in the context of their economic hardship and misery, without a lot of BS political rhetoric. Many prefer hearing that it’s actually all to the contrary from the mouths of multi-millionaires (and/or obscenely wealthy media pundits) of the American Brahmin class on the campaign trail.
                Even when Clownton and McSame attempt to utterly ignore their bitterness and stroke their egos by gushing over the “resourceful-rural-folk” myth as a salve to their pride.
                Even if it’s a just a brief respite from their bitterness, the sycophantic mythologizing makes them feel a little better. Sure, it’s hauled out every four years in order to garner their votes once again, and the praise and promises have delivered them nothing, but it’s obviously hard to resist the empty flattery intrinsic to Cons working a confidence game.

                The best thing these people could do would be to start voting for Liberals again. Hopefully they’ll come to realize it, or maybe they already do. Because liberals don’t want to feed these folks a line of bullsh*t. Nor stroke their egos, or ignore their real plight. Nor salve their pride with a load of empty praise when the level of poverty in their towns has steadily risen to the point of being an American Tragedy that is a sad disgrace to the entire nation.

                Instead, Liberals would rather talk honestly, and then work like hell to make sure these towns and these people can finally get a break. They need some decent jobs, better opportunities to improve their educations or learn new trades, and some affordable health care so that they can truly take care of their families once again. These are the very things that will actually give them back their pride, not merely act as a temporary salve.

                As for farmers, it’s time to sort the wheat from the chaff. American taxpayers don’t deserve to be ripped off by their fellow citizens, whether it’s in Iraq, or in rural areas in our own country.

                Who am I, an urban liberal living in the San Francisco Bay Area to say such things about small town rural America?
                Oh, I’m one of those dreaded middle class intellectual “elites” whose family collectively owns forty two acres in rural Pennsylvania, right on the edge of one of those small towns that have become economically depressed over the past thirty years that everyone has been discussing here.

                Our family has for many years used the land as a vacation retreat — and it’s a wonderful place full of good apple trees and beautiful views of what’s known as the Endless Mountains. We bought it from the guy who once upon a time owned a longstanding family business in the heart of town, but who was driven out of that business by a big box store that went up out near the freeway. Lucky for him, we middle class urban intellectual “elites” were willing to buy the old house and land from him so that he could go make a new start with his family in a slightly more urban area in order to financially recover.
                We thought it was funny how we heard that he referred to us as “flatlanders” when he told his neighbors about the sale, yet was more than happy and polite about taking our money so he could leave to become a “flatlander” himself! We don’t care if the label is derogatory, they seemed like nice enough people, and we wished them all the best.

                What’s also funny about all this dumping on liberals and San Francisco that’s being done over this ridiculous flap is that a large number of the people who live in this area actually came from small towns in California or from numerous others across the nation. Many people come here because they wanted a chance at a better life or career than where they came from. Others couldn’t stand the thought of living their entire life in a small town and couldn’t wait to leave as soon as they could.
                Contrary to what has been said in this thread, not everyone who has had a rural upbringing feels fulfilled living their lives based around the activities of their church, or feeling coerced into attending an excessive number of bible study classes, or killing animals for food or sport, or want to spend lots of time obsessing over guns and talking about their Second Amendment rights.

                People who know something about both urban and rural areas can see right through all the political games that are being played here. And clearly all the trite rural mythologizing that is being pretentiously used to market the latest “liberal elitist presidential candidate” accusation is merely the same old partisan dart throwing.
                Unlike Kerry, this time the darts seem to be sliding right off Obama. He may not be small town, but it’s kind of hard to pin that label on a guy who grew up lower middle class, was raised by a single mother and grandparents, and who has had to earn everything he’s got.

                Well, make that everything but the charisma. That’s something that can’t be earned, learned, bought or inherited by anyone.

                Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 16, 2008 11:20 AM
                Comment #250700

                Ah yes VV. The issues we are concerned about are silly, our way of life is a myth and we are so dumb, all people have to do to get our vote is to stroke our ego’s. There is no way in hell that we could possibly value our rights in economic hardtimes, is there.

                Gosh golly darn, thank God somebody who vacations with us simple folk a few weeks a year, has finally come to tell us what the 365 days a year we spend here, are really like, tell us what is really important and how we should live our lives.

                Seeing how you both look down upon us simpletons, your blind support of Obama makes total sense.

                Posted by: kctim at April 16, 2008 12:19 PM
                Comment #250703

                kctim,
                You sound very bitter.
                Truth sometimes hurts does it not?

                Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 16, 2008 12:32 PM
                Comment #250705

                Bitter VV? Not one bit.
                Tired of liberals looking down on me and telling me how I should live my life and what I really care about? You bet.

                As far as the truth, neither you, nor your prophet Obama, have a clue as to what the truth is.

                Posted by: kctim at April 16, 2008 12:51 PM
                Comment #250707

                kctim

                kinda of like us democrats and liberals being tired of the GOP, religious right, and conservatives telling us how to live, what to believe, and how to think.

                Posted by: Carolina at April 16, 2008 1:06 PM
                Comment #250710

                ohrealy-
                By definition, that’s what the superdelegates are: party leaders and officials elected to high office. Former Presidents and Candidates. To call them political elites is accurate.

                Hillary wasn’t merely in the room with Scaife, she was talking to his paper, a paper that was a large source of many of the vile material that was thrown at them during the whole Whitewater mess. He bankrolled and financed much of the attacks on them. They may not be there for face time, if you will, but she’s certainly joining with a Right Wing Ideologue to bad-mouth one of her own fellow Democrats.

                Not very sympathetic of her. She’s no victim, she’s being crippled by the toxicity of her own campaign. Winning at all costs, like I’ve said before, is winning at high cost.

                I think you give people too little credit for their ability to accept the exotic. He won Iowa for crying out loud. The Democrats there, by the elitist estimations of those scared of the Obama campaign, should be afraid of a candidate with a strong tan, for crying out loud. Instead, people went for him in droves.

                He impresses people, plays the politics with a sophistication and with class that people thought was dead in American politics. Most people don’t care enough about his differences from them to let that distract from his charismatic, compelling style of politics.

                I think one of the main responses to Hillary’s antics, her sniper fire thing, her driving of this “bitter” controversy, her “working class” stunts is that people get the impression that she thinks we’re stupid. She talked about people not looking down on them, but isn’t a politician looking down on people when they go through these obvious motions believing that folks will simply buy it?

                People aren’t biting. Hillary supporters love it, but undecideds watching the “Bitter” ad are worse than indifferent.

                There’s a first for everything. McCain may be a war-hero, but that’s no guarantee of victory. Bob Dole lost to Clinton. So did Bush 41. Kerry, who saw actual combat, lost to Champagne squadron veteran George W. Bush.

                Obama’s got much more solid support, much better campaigning and organizational skills. His supporters will be much harder to peel away than McCains, with the Republicans as divided as they are.

                I’m not going to run around like a chicken with my head cut off getting scared at every little gaffe that the Clinton and the media blow up. It’s just silly.

                kctim-
                It’s easy to twist words, to conveniently forget context, clarifications, and past expressions of views along the same lines. If you examined those, you would know exactly what he meant, rather than making up a subtext that other evidence would prove erroneous.

                He’s a politician, and I’m sure he’s keeping an eye on the message he’s sending and emphasizing positives over negatives. I don’t doubt that some of his proposals won’t come to pass, or he’ll think of something different. However, he seems to be better able to negotiate and far more willing to acknowledge both what people want, and what’s actually going on. The other candidates are in their own fantasy worlds, trying to pretend that the electorate is not mad as hell, that if they play by the old rules, they’ll win.

                They think if they speaking in glowing terms of gun rights and the goodness of the salt of the Earth, that if they pull the usual stunts, there’s nothing that will keep the voters away from their side.

                But people aren’t quite as brainless as they would hope. If they see an opportunity for economic change, if they see somebody who, when he talks with them, gives them the sense that he respects not only their values but their intelligence and maturity, then he can win these people over.

                The thing is, people don’t blindly support Obama, necessarily. I began my support of him, not so much for ideological reasons, but because I felt that strategically speaking, he was the better candidate. He appealed more broadly, campaigned in more states, ran a tighter ship, and I didn’t have reservations about his willingness to to stand firm against the Republicans, like I have with Clinton for various reasons.

                It’s an added bonus that he’s a candidate folks are willing to invest emotionally in. It’s easy when the support of the candidate largely rests on abstracts for negative attacks to work. If you’re better invested, you’re likely to give the candidate the benefit of the doubt. McCain is fashionable for the Republicans, their best chance to look centrist, but he can’t take the ball on change and departing from the Bush legacy and run with it. His support depends too much on kissing the right buts and repeating the same dogmas. The more he appeals to the center, the more he risks the fringe. Obama doesn’t have that problem.

                Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2008 2:04 PM
                Comment #250713

                YES Carolina.
                While it is rarer for them to come into a place and try and change it to fit their views, I am sure it sometimes happens.

                Look at all these posts. Who is saying “this is our life” and who is saying “this is how your really is?”

                I’ll take a self-righteous righty who tells me I’m going to hell over a rights taking liberal, any day.

                Posted by: kctim at April 16, 2008 2:22 PM
                Comment #250721

                Stephen
                I know its easy to “conveniently forget context,” I have watched the left do it for the past 8 years with Bush and currently with McCain.

                I have examined his words and only a partisan could come to the conclusion that he isn’t just another politician saying what he thinks needs to be said in order to get elected.

                Why is speaking in support of the 2nd Amendment a stunt? It is one of our most important and cherished rights and many people believe in it.
                Granted, clinton doesn’t believe in it and she is making herself look like a fool by acting like she does. But is that really worse than trying to make people ignore ones anti 2nd Amendment voting record, as Obama is doing?

                I am glad to hear that you took the time and researched Obama and then decided to support him, but come on Stephen. His liberal voting record hardly shows that he understands people like me or that he will respect my beliefs and values once he is elected, especially with a liberal house and senate in his pocket.

                There is nothing that shows I will not receive a pay-cut and lose more individual rights when he is elected.

                As far as McCain and clinton. McCain is McCain and is not my candidate. And clinton? Well, she is clinton so no surprise there. Of course, watching all the lefties use the same words and concerns they once condemned the right for, is very entertaining.

                Posted by: kctim at April 16, 2008 2:56 PM
                Comment #250730

                Veritas Vincit:

                You are way off base. The reason why small towns switched from blue to red is cultural.

                Ever look at the statistics of how many white liberals attend church once a week?

                White Liberals are far far more secular than small town Americans.

                This is one of many issues where Liberals are just not cut out of the same cloth.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 16, 2008 4:51 PM
                Comment #250736

                How many colleges are there in Iowa, for crying out loud? I know of three in Dubuque. My aunt lived there and my brother went to Loras. There is a college in every town including the former Parsons now Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield. Is there some kind of Maharishi Choprah Oprah Obama conspiracy afoot here? I don’t know. What I want to know is how much money David Axelrod is making this year off his product. Isn’t not politics, it’s BHO. Good slogan, or lawsuit?

                Posted by: ohrealy at April 16, 2008 5:15 PM
                Comment #250740

                Stephen:

                The thing is, people don’t blindly support Obama, necessarily. I began my support of him, not so much for ideological reasons, but because I felt that strategically speaking, he was the better candidate. He appealed more broadly, campaigned in more states, ran a tighter ship, and I didn’t have reservations about his willingness to to stand firm against the Republicans, like I have with Clinton for various reasons.

                I understand why you support Obama. He is the most liberal candidate. You agree with him on the issues that matter most to you.

                My only encouragement is to take the good with the bad. I don’t think the bad is over. I think he will say one or two dumb things going forward because of his lack of experience, and I think more associations will come forth that are “interesting” because of how far to the left he is.

                Actually, I’m enjoying this campaign because I have a candidate that is finally close to me ideolically. I have always worked with Democrats to solve problems. I can’t support many party ideals. I’m pro life, pro military, conservative financially.

                I agree with McCain on the war. I think the left’s answer is that two wrongs make a right. (leaving too soon, I think is just as wrong as going in when we shouldn’t). Obviously I am comfortable with McCain.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 16, 2008 5:56 PM
                Comment #250745

                Another blast from the past, this time from Carol Moseley Braun about Obama’s senate race, calling BHO “a young whippersnapper, a pretender, a cheat”
                Bobby Rush called him an “educated fool” when he was running against him.

                So is the Kossacker double standard on account of HRC’s race or sex or both? Pardon me if I’m not impressed with a candidate who expects us all to experience his intellect and be transformed.

                Posted by: ohrealy at April 16, 2008 6:46 PM
                Comment #250756

                Craig Holmes-
                People talk about what we don’t have in common. Personally, I’m sick of this. I’ve lived around conservatives, cultural and otherwise all my life. Some are jerks, but the cultural divides in many of the ways that matter are just not there like they used to be.

                We have more in common, in the end, than might be instantly apparent.

                Here’s something you understand: I supported the Clintons. I was very much a hawk, very much comfortable with a relaxed regulatory environment, so long as things ran right. Ideologically, I’m not the most leftist Democrat you’ll run into by a long shot.

                But then again, I’m not very ideological. I don’t support regulation because I believe its perfect, or perfectly applicable. I support it because I remember what happened with junk bonds. I support it because I remember what happened with Savings and Loans. The system will suffer problems from time to time, but the question is, how widespread? All too often, deregulation has been done with such disregard for the stability and health of the markets, much less the good of the average person, that small problems end up snowballing into even larger ones.

                I also threw my support to the Democrats because I sensed an increasing anti-intellectual, anti-science bent to right wing politics that just appalled me. It didn’t help that these people didn’t care whether government functioned at all. In the end, I became a Democrat because the Republican Party no longer seemed a party that had any practical sense about government.

                Big, small, I don’t care. It has to work, though, and society has to run smoothly.

                I might have thrown my support to Bush, in the end, if he had proved as good a leader as those first months after 9/11 indicated he might be. He wouldn’t be the first dilletante leader forged anew in the fires of crisis. Instead he veered sharply off course in the War on Terror. Then came the War in Iraq. I didn’t like it at first, until Colin Powell made his presentation. But then it turned out that was crap.

                Well, I could have lived with a bit of dishonesty, had they actually run the war well. Nope, no luck there. Then I thought for a while that public concern and criticism might lead the Republicans to join the rest of us and figure out how to improve things.

                But no. Not to be. The Republican Party was more interested in protecting its precious political turf than it was in taking care of its mistakes.

                I was never one to think that being a liberal was a problem. I never saw any sign that liberalism was really all that hated by the average person. Culturally, top to bottom, the entire country is less uptight than it used to be, sometimes too loosey goosey for my tastes. Republicans and Christians play rock music. What does that tell you.

                But as for Barack Obama? I like that he’s a liberal, given what non-liberals have done to us, but that’s not his main selling point for me. The main selling point is that he’s not a prisoner of the “political reality”, that seems to get in the way everytime some push is made by the public to get the messes in Washington cleaned up. He’s a politician, no doubt, but he seems to be the kind who can rearrange the political reality around him, rather than lockstepping his moves transparently to it.

                These last few years, it’s been like most politicians are on another planet. Barack Obama, at least, seems to be within shouting distance of this planet, if not there with his feet on the ground.

                As for McCain? He is the compromise candidate for a party that doesn’t do compromise well anymore. That’s a losing proposition. He can’t appeal to the average voter without decimating his base. He can’t appeal to his base without alienating the center, which no candidate can win without. Meanwhile, he faces a candidate who’s overturned his rival from the inside out. Hillary underestimated him. Now look where she is.

                ohrealy-
                What’s happened is that Barack’s netroots allies more or less form on their own, and then he coordinates them when he comes around. No cult, really, just networking through the medium best suited to it.

                As for Carol Moseley Braun and Bobby Rush? It’s easy for experienced politicians to underestimate him on account of the fact that he didn’t sit in one place for long to rest up. But that’s given him an advantage: he hasn’t fallen into the rhythms of Washington Politics, become a career legislator with roots and half his heart in Congress. He’s fresh, and people want that, especialy given what the Democrats did over the last year, which was essentially nothing.

                As for Kossacks? I think what you have is one of the most activist netroots sites and one of the most effective employers of that strategy joining forces. It’s a natural fit. The folks who post on that site are not at all pleased and not at all ignorant of how things have gone. They have the least inclination to follow a politician they know has gone against their interests on key votes. Gender is the last problem HRC has. It’s her record people dislike, and the record of her political allies.

                His intelligence is no small attraction for us. Makes it easier to like him. But his attitude towards politics is the major selling point. We believe the system as it is, in our party, and outside of it, has failed us, and Obama’s the closest we have to the person we need to break out of that. So far, he hasn’t disappointed. So far, unlike Kerry, he seems to have the proper fighting spirit to take the bat and smack the beanballs back at his opponent. You can’t imagine how grateful we are for that, after years of more passive candidates.

                At the same time, though, he seems quite capable of defying party lines as he pleases. So he’s, I guess, an overall superior candidate. Why pass him up? They don’t exactly grow on trees.

                Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2008 8:45 PM
                Comment #250759

                Stephen:

                Thank you for your post.

                We may have some things in common and I am certain we disagree on a lot.

                On the disagreement part, fundamentally is probably Iraq. I think the liberal position is that two wrongs make a right. “it was wrong to get in so the obvious answer is to leave now.”

                I think we have to leave ugly and slow. It may take a very long time to do it right. Debating why we got into it seems a bit pointless except for the sake of not starting another war.

                I’m with McCain 100% on doing what it takes to get Iraq on it’s feet. I do not want us do do to the middle east what we did to South East Asia with a couple of million dead.

                On the economy there is probably reason for some agreement. On the disagreement side, I hear what you say about S&L’s etc. Failure happens. However if we increase taxation and the size of government we will inevitably slow the economy down as per old europe. France, Germany etc are examples of long term growth rates inferior to our own. Also standards of living inferior to your own.

                What I agree with however is that globalization has cause the lower income brackets to not do nearly as well. Wealth disparity is real.

                The research I have seen is that the only true way to help the poor and middle classes is through education and job training. You can count me in 100% on this issue.

                As for medical care, putting on my right hat I am open to being a partner. I can back univeral health coverage only if we fix the system. It doesn’t make any sense to me to add more money to cover the poor and still see costs going up in an unsustainable manner. Convinced of a change in the growth rate of spending, I can support universal health coverage.

                I believe the only way to truely “fix” entitlements is with a bipartisen approach. That means that you and I need to be able to find ways to reach past labels to agree on solutions or quite frankly our county will be overwelmed in costs. There is a gun to both of our heads. find a way to agree, or kiss the country’s future good bye.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 16, 2008 9:49 PM
                Comment #250762

                “you give people too little credit for their ability to accept the exotic”

                Did you notice in tonight’s debate that Obama mentioned that his mother and maternal grandparents are from Kansas again? The people who raised him in Honolulu, where he was born? Why emphasize Kansas intead of Hawaii? It’s probably David Axelrod again, who also advised Deval Patrick, and may be the link to both on the “just words” flap of earlier in the campaign.

                Posted by: ohrealy at April 16, 2008 10:16 PM
                Comment #250764

                Craig:

                Veritas Vincit:

                You are way off base.


                How am I “way off base”? Because I’ve told you what I’ve seen with my own eyes in the rural area where I own land? Or am I “way off base” simply because the truth stings?

                The reason why small towns switched from blue to red is cultural.

                Uh yeah, I actually stated that in my first sentence:

                It’s true, small town people all across America (for the most part) were convinced by the Cons to swallow the Red Koolaid for a handful of silly cultural-war issues (none of which the GOP ever delivered on), and just look what has happened in rural parts of the country ever since!

                The reason these culture war issues are silly is because no liberal has tried to tell a rural person how to live. No one is saying they can’t keep their guns. No one has told them they can’t go to their churches all they like, or build their whole lives around religious edicts if they choose. No one is telling them they can’t reject the idea of abortion by refusing to have abortions themselves. No one has said they can’t force their gay children into a closet of denial until those kids are old enough to finally leave home in order to live exactly as they please. No all we’ve made an issue over is these people making these particular issues the focus of what party they’ve been voting for to their own detriment for many years. It is just plain nonsensical for those who are struggling to continue to vote for the GOP, because it has only meant economic suicide the way they’ve put the interests of the wealthy above their own needs, and those of their children. Especially for a handful of cultural issues that no one has attacked their personal freedom over in the first place.

                kctim:

                Bitter VV? Not one bit.

                Really? Could have fooled me.

                Tired of liberals looking down on me and telling me how I should live my life and what I really care about? You bet.

                Who has looked down on you? Certainly not Barack Obama (who wishes to be a catalyst of positive change for all Americans), and no one who calls themselves a liberal who has replied to you in this thread. In other words, this perceived slighting of your life and what you really care about sounds more like a figment of the imagination that is being projected onto us.

                Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 16, 2008 10:47 PM
                Comment #250766

                VV:

                How am I “way off base”? Because I’ve told you what I’ve seen with my own eyes in the rural area where I own land? Or am I “way off base” simply because the truth stings?

                Because most of this happened while Democrats controled Congress.

                I remember this exact thing in South Dakota when I was in Seminary there. The towns were (are) drying up. I was there from 1979 to 1982.

                You make this sound like Republicans/conservatives are all to blame, denying that your party controlled Congress for most of the time when this occured.

                I grew up in such a town. That was when Kennedy and Johnson were president.

                You say that the answer is to vote liberal again. Let’s go back to the 1970’s when you had control of Congress and the presidency and see what utopia is like.

                Ideology driven comments like you gave is horse manure. Both liberalism and conservativism have fatal flaws. Ideology driven politics moves to crap. What we need is practical solutions that work from what ever side they come from.

                that is why you are off base.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 17, 2008 12:04 AM
                Comment #250767

                Craig Holmes-
                Staying in Iraq is compounding a mistake. It’s not merely a distraction from Afghanistan now, but a strategic ball and chain that essentially makes us vulnerable to any kind of military emergency.

                Everything we’ve said we stayed in Iraq to prevent, has happened anyways. We try and prevent the insurgency from growing, it grows. We try and prevent them from fomenting a civil war, guess what happens? We try to prevent the different sides from flying apart on issues with our surge…

                … and they’re still flying apart.

                What is our purpose in staying? We failed to put in the troops, the planning, and the expertise necessary to cut violence and chaos short in Iraq, failed to get in the necessary government to hold the country together.

                Because we failed at those things, success would take numbers now that are made exceedingly unlikely owing to the fact that even our best effort with what we have available are insufficient.

                Now we can continue to beat our heads bloody against the wall trying to make it work, or we can cut loose of it.

                As for the financial failures? Failures happen, but the nature of the market, properly constructed, usually contains that.

                For Enron, more balanced balance sheets would have been an excellent start. market forces would have acted on a properly disclosed financial report earlier, and that feedback would have halted the problems in the company, led them to seek truly profitable relationships.

                Failing that, Enron should have been an isolated problem. But it wasn’t. Other companies had been allowed to play the same game.

                That’s what makes the disasters I described trully damaging: industry-wide weaknesses in their practices.

                More in the morning.

                Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 17, 2008 1:34 AM
                Comment #250780

                VV
                Read your post again. You have taken the stereotype about rural culture and equated it to the whole.

                “small town people all across America (for the most part) were convinced by the Cons to swallow the Red Koolaid for a handful of silly cultural-war issues”

                You call our values and concerns about our Constitutional rights “silly,” and say that we are not intelligent enough to keep from being duped by the “Cons.” You say we are bitter, but not smart enough to know it. That we are not educated enough to understand the context of our economic hardship and misery, so we cling to silly things like guns, God and illegal immigration.
                But you don’t see how that is looking down on others or just how condensending it really is, do you. It is funny how the ones looking down, are always the ones who cannot see.

                “this perceived slighting of your life and what you really care about sounds more like a figment of the imagination that is being projected onto us”

                And you guys wonder why the words “liberal elitest” are so popular.

                Posted by: kctim at April 17, 2008 9:55 AM
                Comment #250782
                Stephen Daugherty wrote: Staying in Iraq is compounding a mistake. It’s not merely a distraction from Afghanistan now, but a strategic ball and chain that essentially makes us vulnerable to any kind of military emergency.
                Whether it is currently compounding the problem is questionable, and some Iraqis are probably happy to let the U.S. nation-build and police their civil war indefinitely.

                However, the main reason for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq is because:

                • It is not the duty of our troops to be ordered to risk life-and-limb for nation-building and policing other nations’ civil wars. If that is our duty, then there are other places in the world that need nation-building and policing too.

                • The U.S. can not be the world police.

                • And even though the U.S. invaded Iraq, it is now time (after more than 5 years) for the Iraqis to govern their own nation, regardless of whether they can do it themselves (or not).

                • Even if the Iraqis’ fail to make their nation livable, that is not and will not be a failure of the U.S. Troops’ efforts, who have sacrificed much.

                • It is not right and just to tell any U.S. troop to go risk life and limb for any other purpose other than to defend their own nation.

                • The argument that nation-building and policing the Iraqis’ civil war is making the U.S. safer is a very weak argument (at best), and if we are truly afraid of terrorists following us from Iraq back to the U.S., then border security would make sense. However, our borders are near wide-open, and more Americans have been killed by illegal aliens in 3 years than all 4026 U.S. Troops killed in Iraq in 5 years.

                • The reasons for being in Iraq in the first place are questionable, since no significant amount of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were ever found. And it is difficult to deny that oil has something to do with the entire matter.

                • Because it is hypocrisy to fear monger about terrorists following us here from Iraq, should we pull out of Iraq. First of all, terrorists can come from many places as evidenced by the terrorists of 11-SEP-2001, which are mainly from Saudi Arabia (not Iraq). If we really fear terrorists following us from Iraq, then why not pull our troops out of Iraq, and secure our own national borders, and enforce existing immigration laws? Especially since 11-SEP-2001 was perpetrated by several illegal aliens, 18 of the 19 terrorist hijackers on 11-SEP-2001 possessed 13 state-issued drivers’ licenses and/or 21 other ID cards, and all 19 terrorits had obtained Social Security numbers (some real, some fake).
                  The terrorists of 11-SEP-2001 very simply tapped into an enormous market of fraudulent documents that exists because 12+ million illegal aliens have successfully breached our borders and now reside here illegally, anonymously, and spawning wide-spread document and identity fraud that threatens our ability to distinguish illegal aliens from U.S. citizens and legal foreign residents. IDentity theft is also the fastest growing crime in the U.S. Thus, all of those reasons makes the argument about terrorists following us from Iraq back to the U.S. not only weak, but ridiculous and hypocritical. And even if there was some truth to it, there are better ways to deal with it, such as securing our own borders and enforcing existing laws.

                • The U.S. can not afford the cost to be the world police, because nation-wide debt is already $53 Trillion (3.81 times $13.86 Trillion GDP!).

                  • Total Domestic Financial Sector Debt = $15.8 Trillion

                  • Total Household Debt = $13.88 Trillion

                  • Total Business Debt = $10.16 Trillion

                  • Total Other Private Sector Foreign Debt = $1.8 Trillion

                  • Total Federal Government National Debt = $9.4 Trillion

                  • Total State and Local Government Debt = $2.2 Trillion

                  • __________________________________________________

                  • Total = $53.3 Trillion

                  • Now add the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching, and the total is $66.1 Trillion! ($216,721 per person).

                  The U.S. won’t be able in a position to do much of anything if the economy is destroyed by debt of nightmare proportions.

                Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2008 10:34 AM
                Comment #250783

                Stephen:

                What is our purpose in staying?

                At the very very minimum, preventing what happened in South East Asia when we left.

                Over time, I believe we can create far better than that.

                Intentionally creating a vacuum, without any knowledge of how that vacuum will be filled, I think is irresponsible.

                Instead, I think we do what we did in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Kuwait. Our success stories involve long military presence.

                We have 30,000 roughly in S Korea, eventually we should be able to have about half that many in Iraq. Over then next 10 years or so we should gradually draw down our forces to that level.

                To my knowledge the best way to resolve this war with the least amount of human death and suffering is gradually.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 17, 2008 10:59 AM
                Comment #250785

                Stephen:

                I agree with you to a point on regulation. Regulation needs to be continually updated for several reasons.

                First of all we live in a dynamic ecnomy and new vehicles to create wealth are continually being created. These follow typical patterns. Unregulated capitalism almost always leads to suffering. (slavery, and child labor as extreme examples).

                On the other side of the coin, de regulation must always occure because outdated regulation puts and unnecessary burden on industry and restricts improvement in our lives via capital formation.

                Neither are good or bad in and of themselves. I would argue instead of ideology based “We need to vote liberal because we need more reguation.” Or “vote conservative because we need less regulation”. The real answer is we need both based on a case by case basis, because the ecnomy is churning.

                You can see my moderate leanings. I support regulation and deregulation depending on the individual case. I do not support either out of ideology.

                I fear over reaction and over regulation as well. Obviously I would be an ally with you on Hedge funds. I however would probably oppose you in that I think the regulations that were imposed since 2000 should be moderated, (deregulation) as they have placed and undo burden on well meaning securities firms.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 17, 2008 11:10 AM
                Comment #250792

                “People who know something about both urban and rural areas can see right through all the political games that are being played here.”

                Guess I fit in this category since I was raised in an incredibly rural state where the largest city in the entire state numbered 35000, cows outnumbered people, It was the least ethnicly diverse state in the union and the largest exports are dairy and syrup (and extreme cold). I moved to the bay area in High School and have lived here ever since. In fact I have spent almost exactly equal amount of times LIVING in both areas. Oh, and consequently, the Bay Area (while liberal in general) is more so in the actual city of San Francisco and Berkeley than in other parts (say like Saratoga, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Mountain View, Redwood City, Los Altos Hills…etc). I have actually lived in the city of San Francisco as well as a mile south of Berkeley (I live 30 seconds away from the Code Pink Hideout - I let my dog poop on their lawn).

                Why do I bring this up - it is because I do not believe that you are exactly qualified to argue from both sides of the fence. You have a “vacation retreat” in a rural area but do not live there, nor has your family lived there for generations, so you cannot be an expert on the mindset of those that do. You live in the Bay Area, but we are talking about the liberal mindset of San Francisco - not silicon valley, which is completely different. I know. I went to highschool in Cupertino (very rich) but moved to San Francisco, where I lived and worked after college. I now live about 1 mile away from Berkely, which in many ways is even more wacky than San Francisco. I don’t think you can claim to know the depths of the absolute fanatical mindset of the ultra liberal (to whome BHO was pandering to in SF)until you’ve lived in their midst. It is as scary as if there were a bunch of people wearing sheets surrounding you.
                Lets not pretend to tout yourself as an expert into the mindset of both as a tool to drive home your point.

                Agreed?

                Posted by: B0mbay at April 17, 2008 12:53 PM
                Comment #250814
                Craig Holmes wrote: Intentionally creating a vacuum, without any knowledge of how that vacuum will be filled, I think is irresponsible.
                Nation-building and being the world police is not the duty of our U.S. Troops.

                So, you have no problem in telling the U.S. troops to go risk life and limb for something other than defending their own nation, the U.S.?

                Craig Holmes wrote: Instead, I think we do what we did in Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Kuwait. Our success stories involve long military presence.
                Those were different.

                There was no civil war to police.

                Craig Holmes wrote: We have 30,000 roughly in S Korea, eventually we should be able to have about half that many in Iraq. Over then next 10 years or so we should gradually draw down our forces to that level.
                Being the world police is our troops duty.
                Craig Holmes wrote: To my knowledge the best way to resolve this war with the least amount of human death and suffering is gradually.
                Then you are willing to risk more U.S. Troops lives and limbs for nation-building and policing the Iraqi’s civil war.
              • Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2008 4:04 PM
                Comment #250815

                Craig:

                You make this sound like Republicans/conservatives are all to blame, denying that your party controlled Congress for most of the time when this occured.

                Wrong. We bought the land in 1990, and things weren’t all that bad for the town back then. Some of the people were poor, but almost everyone is much poorer now. Many businesses in the heart of town were still actually being run by people whose fathers or grandfathers had started them. There were still industries nearby who employed a large number of people who lived in the area. Now, the vast majority of those store fronts sit empty and people shop at Walmart. The industries are all gone. Things have grown steadily worse in that region over time. Republicans controlled Congress for most of those years.

                You say that the answer is to vote liberal again. Let’s go back to the 1970’s when you had control of Congress and the presidency and see what utopia is like.

                What’s funny about this is that if you got to know some of these people as I have, you’d hear the Seventies being referred to as the “good old days”.

                kctim

                You have taken the stereotype about rural culture and equated it to the whole.

                No, you’re the one generalizing here. I’m talking about a specific town in rural Pennsylvannia where I own a piece of the land, and where I’ve gotten to know people, and what I have observed and noticed.

                You call our values and concerns about our Constitutional rights “silly,” and say that we are not intelligent enough to keep from being duped by the “Cons.”

                Yes, very silly, because in an economic context those values and concerns don’t pay the mortgage, or put food on the table, or gas in the tank, or pay the hospital bills, or send bright children off to college. So important priorities are clearly being neglected. Also silly because those values and concerns aren’t and haven’t been under attack by Liberals. Only Rightwing propaganda has incorrectly painted Liberals as a threat to those values and concerns.

                Currently the candidate for the GOP is a man who traded in his supportive wife who raised his three children for a younger, richer and more politically connected model who was able to fund his political career, while Obama has earned his own way, has a solid and successful marriage, and has been involved with the raising of his children, so I’m left wondering if these people still think that the only the GOP could possibly “share their values.”

                You say we are bitter, but not smart enough to know it.

                No, that’s what you’re saying. I know these people are fully aware that they’re bitter about their economic situation, it’s just that a certain percentage don’t always like to admit that they are.

                That we are not educated enough to understand the context of our economic hardship and misery, so we cling to silly things like guns, God and illegal immigration.

                Actually, I don’t believe that these people are too stupid to grasp that they’ve been duped to vote against their own economic interests. I think they know they can no longer afford to vote for the GOP, no matter how their carefully crafted rhetoric has been designed to appeal to a handful of emotional hot buttons, rather than bread and butter issues.
                That’s why I think that a Democrat is going to be the next president.

                But you don’t see how that is looking down on others or just how condensending it really is, do you. It is funny how the ones looking down, are always the ones who cannot see.

                Bullsh*t.

                And you guys wonder why the words “liberal elitest” are so popular.

                No, I don’t wonder why. I know that those words are popular propaganda buzz words that have demonized Liberals so that the wealthy, represented by the GOP, could rob everybody blind. It has worked for a long time, but judging by the numbers of people who have switched party affiliation and have come out to vote in the Democratic primary, I don’t think this propaganda is working nearly as well for the GOP as it used to.

                Bombay:

                I have actually lived in the city of San Francisco as well as a mile south of Berkeley

                I’ve lived and worked in SF, I’ve also lived in Oakland, and currently, in Berkeley.

                I do not believe that you are exactly qualified to argue from both sides of the fence. You have a “vacation retreat” in a rural area but do not live there, nor has your family lived there for generations, so you cannot be an expert on the mindset of those that do.

                Actually, I lived in the house from 1996-1998, and so, am fully qualified to to argue from both sides of the rural/urban fence.

                I don’t think you can claim to know the depths of the absolute fanatical mindset of the ultra liberal

                Of course I do. As I said, I live in Berkeley.

                (to whome BHO was pandering to in SF)

                No, ultra liberals were not who Obama was speaking to at that fundraiser.

                It is as scary as if there were a bunch of people wearing sheets surrounding you.

                I wouldn’t go that far. Although people on the far left can be rather annoying sometimes. Like the Libertarians, the Communists, Democratic Socialists, some in the Green Party, and some on the far left fringes of the Democratic party seem to do a lot of complaining, yet don’t seem to have too many practical solutions to problems. For this reason, it can occasionally become tiresome to listen to them, I’ll admit.
                To these folks, I’m often considered much too conservative.

                Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 17, 2008 4:10 PM
                Comment #250818

                Dan:

                I appreciate you comments. The debate about whether or not we are the world’s policeman is too late. We are in Iraq. As Colin Powell said, “if you brake it you own it”. By that he meant if you invade you are now responsible for fixing it.

                What is common about Germany, Japan, South Korea and Kuwait is that we invaded these countries. South Korea was precisely a civil war.

                Then you are willing to risk more U.S. Troops lives and limbs for nation-building and policing the Iraqi’s civil war.
                You are trying to put your words in my mouth.

                I believe we have a moral obligation to fix what we have broken.

                I will put my words in your mouth. I think you position is two wrongs make a right.

                I believe Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Kuwait and positive examples of how do win peace. I believe Viet Nam is a negative example.


                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 17, 2008 4:14 PM
                Comment #250822

                kctim-
                The words “liberal elitist” are popular because many Republicans don’t want to have to explain why tax breaks for the rich, a preference for letting the economic elite who run the fortune 500 decide things for the country, and pandering to the well-funded special interests should be considered egalitarian.

                Obama’s words were poorly chosen, but they were not reflective of contempt for any of those things. The condescension here seems to be from conservatives who wish to tell us how offended all small-town Americans are by what Barack Obama said, even before they’ve had a chance to speak up for themselves. Fox news cornered one guy, hoping to get a full on flame, and he said: the guy’s right, we are bitter.

                Obama’s poll numbers have held steady, despite the controversy. If things keep up, he might come within a few points of winning, if not winning altogether.

                Americans are tired of being told what to think by the Republican Party, tired of being treated as if they could be replaced by a button. They are beginning to see that they didn’t get very far in their fight for their values, and in return, the economic screwings become even worse. They want better, and they’re willing to take a risk to do that, and so are many others.

                Craig Holmes-
                What happened in SE Asia, that is, the collapse of the Cambodian government, was more the result of the destabilization of the regime there. It tells you something that in the end, Pol Pot was run from power by the Vietnamese.

                Our illegal invasion of Cambodian territory was part of what occasioned that collapse. So, in essence, our staying had a more terrible effect than our going.

                We already created the vacuum; it’s existed since we replaced the strong (though fundamentally evil) Baathist regime, and replaced it with a series of ineffectual governments. Because of those failures, there’s nobody who’s really got central power for us to hand these responsibilities over to.

                As for Korea? It’s useful to keep in mind that there were central governments to make deals with, to maintain a long term armistice. The Bush administration can’t answer a simple question relating to that: who do we make that deal with? If we had moved to capture the capital and Hussein, and arranged for a more orderly transition of power, such that one person could speak for the rest of Iraq, then such a deal might have been in the offing. Instead, we wrecked the whole enterprise, both accidentally and on purpose. That’s working against us now.

                We had peace and kept peace in those places you mention. That won’t happen with Iraq. Sooner or later, we have to slide the American presence out from under them, and let them down easy.

                Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 17, 2008 4:28 PM
                Comment #250824

                Stephen:

                Sooner or later, we have to slide the American presence out from under them, and let them down easy.

                Just like we did in Germany, Italy, Kuwait, South Korea and Japan. But not like we did in South Viet Nam

                Craig


                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 17, 2008 4:45 PM
                Comment #250826

                Stephen:

                Continued:

                Which is why I support Senator McCain’s position. I think Obama’s is too simplistic and shows his inexperience. His answer is basically just to leave. I don’t think he has any grasp of the hundreds of thousands of casualities that he risks.

                I do think if he wins he will be faced with some very difficult choices that the left will not like. I don’t he will follow through on his pledge once he has been talking to generals eyeball to eyeball.

                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 17, 2008 4:49 PM
                Comment #250829

                VV
                “Yes, very silly, because in an economic context those values and concerns don’t pay the mortgage, or put food on the table, or gas in the tank, or pay the hospital bills, or send bright children off to college.”

                This is a perfect explanation of the difference between urban and rural that you and Obama do not understand. We are not so willing to give up our rights so that the govt can take care of us and our values are a big part of our lives.
                You say its silly to not give up our rights for govt handouts and we say its silly to give up our rights to govt.

                “So important priorities are clearly being neglected.”

                The most important priorities are our rights and neglected them causes them to disappear.

                “Also silly because those values and concerns aren’t and haven’t been under attack by Liberals. Only Rightwing propaganda has incorrectly painted Liberals as a threat to those values and concerns.”

                Voting records are not “rightwing propaganda.”

                “Currently the candidate for the GOP is a man who traded in his supportive wife who raised his three children for a younger, richer and more politically connected model who was able to fund his political career,”

                “so I’m left wondering if these people still think that the only the GOP could possibly “share their values.””

                You guys need to make up your mind. Are we supposed to ignore personal lives, like you told us in the 90s or are we supposed to take them into account?

                If you are left wondering why people think only the GOP shares their values, shouldn’t you first look at your own party, instead of blaming everything else? If the people would rather vote for the right-wing, doesn’t that tell you that they don’t agree with you?

                “no matter how their carefully crafted rhetoric has been designed to appeal to a handful of emotional hot buttons, rather than bread and butter issues.”

                Again, these are “emotional hot button issues” to you and Obama, because you don’t give a crap about them. For many of us, our Constitutional rights and our values are bread and butter issues.

                “That’s why I think that a Democrat is going to be the next president”

                I agree, our next President will be a Democrat. And, after you guys start pulling the crap you pulled in the 90s, you will be voted out and it will then be the Republicans turn again. Well, unless you have finally made the majority of Americans dependent on govt, then you will have a long run until the people decide they want their Constitutional rights and individual freedoms back.

                “Actually, I lived in the house from 1996-1998, and so, am fully qualified to to argue from both sides of the rural/urban fence”

                Now thats some funny stuff.
                Would you rather have the accountant, who practiced accounting for two years, ten years ago, controlling your finances OR the accountant who’s been practicing everyday for the past 20 or 30 years controlling your finances?
                Yeah, we’d go with the one who knows what the hell he is talking about too.

                Posted by: kctim at April 17, 2008 5:05 PM
                Comment #250832

                With all due respect Col., that was a bunch of crap.
                Obama is no more responsible for the actions of wright and farrakhan than hillary is for bills actions.

                Posted by: kctim at April 17, 2008 5:37 PM
                Comment #250838
                Craig Holmes wrote: d.a.n: I appreciate you comments. The debate about whether or not we are the world’s policeman is too late.
                It’s never too late to do the right thing for our U.S. Troops.

                That has more priority.
                The only sound reason to continue to occupy Iraq is if it is making the U.S. safer, and it isn’t.
                Our U.S. Troops have sacrificed too much already for an endeavor that is not making the U.S. safer.

                Craig Holmes wrote: d.a.n: We are in Iraq.
                And we can leave now.
                Craig Holmes wrote: As Colin Powell said, “if you brake it you own it”.
                Colin Powell isn’t in charge, and doesn’t make the rules.

                The priorities should be:

                • What is the right thing for our troops?

                • Nation-building and world policing is not what our U.S. Troops should be force to do.

                • Our U.S. Troops should not be risking life and limb for, unless it is making the U.S. safer.

                • Our U.S. Troops should not be forced to risk life and limb for anything except defending their own nation.
                These things have been violated.

                Craig Holmes wrote: By that he meant if you invade you are now responsible for fixing it.
                I disagree. I have never shared the opinion that we must rebuild our enemies.

                However, we invaded Iraq based on flawed intelligence (e.g. no WMD).
                But that is still NOT our U.S. Troops fault.
                That is the fault of the CIA, and the excecutive branch.
                Why must our U.S. Troops suffer for the mistakes of others’?
                Besides, 5 years is long enough.

                Craig Holmes wrote: What is common about Germany, Japan, South Korea and Kuwait is that we invaded these countries.
                ? ? ? Nothing.

                Japan attacked the U.S. first (bombed Pearl Harbor).
                The U.S. never (not in mass) invaded the Japanese mainland.
                Germany declared war on the U.S. first (when Japan attacked the U.S.), and Germany had already been sinking our ships.

                The Japanese attacked on Pearl Harbor, Philippines, Guam force U.S. into war; U.S. Pacific fleet crippled (Dec. 7th, 1941).
                The U.S. and Britain declared war on Japan.
                Germany and Italy declared war on U.S., and Congress declares war on Germany and Italy on (Dec. 11, 1941).

                “Kuwait” ?. The U.S. did not invade Kuwait.
                Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. Not the U.S.
                The U.S. was defending Kuwait against Iraq invasion of Kuwait.

                And the U.S. did not invade South Korea.
                South Korea was invaded by North Korea.
                The United Nations’ authorized a “police action” against the aggressors (North Koreans and the Soviet Union), which produced heavy military and naval involvement by the United States.
                The U.S. was defending South Korea against North Korea.

                Craig Holmes wrote: South Korea was precisely a civil war.
                Not really. North Korea and South Korea were two separate countries, and had border clashes before the war started.

                And technically, it has never ended. It’s really only a cease fire signed on July 27, 1953.

                In any war, there are always at least two groups.

                As for Iraq, the number of different factions in Iraq makes it especially worse.
                Thus, the Japan, Germany, Kuwait, and South Korea examples are not at all convincing.

                Craig Holmes wrote:
                  d.a.n Then you are willing to risk more U.S. Troops lives and limbs for nation-building and policing the Iraqi’s civil war.
                You are trying to put your words in my mouth.
                Not really?

                Perhaps you don’t agree that it is only for “nation-building and policing the Iraqi’s civil war.” ?

                But other than that caveat, regardless of the reason, you are “willing to risk more U.S. Troops lives and limbs”.
                I am not willing to ask any U.S. Troop to risk life and limb for anything, except defending our own nation.
                The arguements that Iraq is making the U.S. safer are very weak, and if we are afraid of terrorists following us back home, then border security should be the focus.

                Craig Holmes wrote: I believe we have a moral obligation to fix what we have broken.
                With the blood of our U.S. Troops that had no part in that blunder?

                Besides, Iraqis brought some of this on themselves.
                The Iraqi people are culpable too.
                Our U.S. Troops have already sacrificed too much (for over 5 years).

                Craig Holmes wrote: I will put my words in your mouth. I think your position is two wrongs make a right.
                Nonsense.

                Leaving Iraq will stop any more U.S. Troops from risking life and limb in Iraq.
                Iraq has had long enough, and nation-building and policing the Iraqis’ civil war is not the duty or responsibility of the U.S. Troops.
                Here’s a simple test.
                Pretend you are the President.
                Will you force U.S. Troops to risk life and limb for nation-building and policing the Iraqis’ civil war?
                Not me.
                No way.
                That’s not right.
                That’s a severely unfair thing to do.
                Our troops should never be forced to risk life and limb except to protect their own country.
                All of this nation-building and world policing has got to stop.

                Craig Holmes wrote: I believe Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Kuwait and positive examples of how do win peace.
                No. Your examples are factually flawed in several ways (see above), and the Japan, Germany, Kuwait, and South Korea examples are not at all convincing.
                Craig Holmes wrote: I believe Viet Nam is a negative example.
                Vietnam is also not a good example.

                However, look at Vietnam today.
                It’s much better off now than the condition the U.S. left it in April, 1975

                The U.S. can not afford to be the world police.
                Other reasons why we should bring our troops home.

                Posted by: d.a.n at April 17, 2008 6:48 PM
                Comment #250840

                kctim:

                This is a perfect explanation of the difference between urban and rural that you and Obama do not understand. We are not so willing to give up our rights so that the govt can take care of us and our values are a big part of our lives. You say its silly to not give up our rights for govt handouts and we say its silly to give up our rights to govt.

                So, what you’re saying is that making sure that decent jobs are created in America for Americans, or working to ensure that jobs don’t disappear through outsourcing to foreign countries constitutes a “government handout” of the sort that only urban liberals can admire. And making sure your right to hold a crappy paying job, taking welfare, health care assistance money from the government, food stamps and WIC is just the way to not give up your rights to the government — something only rural Americans understand and appreciate.

                The most important priorities are our rights and neglected them causes them to disappear.

                Really? Protecting your right to be a drain on the taxpayer by collecting from programs designed to act as an emergency measures when people find themselves out of work. Government programs mind you, that were created by Liberals so that the poor didn’t drop dead in the streets. Guns and fanaticism over religion now trumps the idea that people should have the ability to stand on their own two feet and provide for their families? It’s more important to allow the wealthy to get rich exploiting workers in foreign countries because paying the kind of wages that Americans need to survive is now considered too expensive, and not important enough to care about.

                Voting records are not “rightwing propaganda.”

                Exactly. And Liberal voting records show that your right to own guns and go to church have not been affected in the least.

                You guys need to make up your mind. Are we supposed to ignore personal lives, like you told us in the 90s or are we supposed to take them into account?

                When did we ever ignore issues regarding character? We didn’t. In fact, the kind of character issues raised by the Clintons are the main reason that Hillary is currently losing the primary, even though we were informed by the media she was certain to be “the inevitable nominee” for our party.
                At this point, the elite superdelegates of the party machine are going to have to steal the election away from the rightful winner in order to make her the nominee.

                If you are left wondering why people think only the GOP shares their values,

                I don’t think they do. Not any longer. I think most people see that the reason that Obama has been winning is because values among Americans aren’t really all that varied or different.

                shouldn’t you first look at your own party, instead of blaming everything else?

                Liberals do look at our own party, and place blame wherever it is warranted, just as we look at the GOP and place blame wherever it is warranted there, as well. That’s one of the best aspects of belonging to our party — that we can be self-correcting and highly critical, rather than march in mindless lockstep, which is an obvious major failing on the right.

                If the people would rather vote for the right-wing, doesn’t that tell you that they don’t agree with you?

                As I said, I don’t believe that the majority of people would rather vote for the right these days.

                Again, these are “emotional hot button issues” to you and Obama, because you don’t give a crap about them.

                You’re right, wedge issues don’t seem very important at the moment. These culture-war things pale in comparison to the very serious problems and crises this nation is currently facing.

                For many of us, our Constitutional rights and our values are bread and butter issues.

                Our Constitution and our Bill of Rights have been shredded since 2000, so people are no doubt looking to the Democrats to undo the damage there. As for personal values, Democrats want people to keep them, as long as they don’t try to force their values on others against their will. Indeed, the idea that people are free to think, speak and worship as they see fit is what the Bill of Rights is all about.

                I agree, our next President will be a Democrat. And, after you guys start pulling the crap you pulled in the 90s, you will be voted out and it will then be the Republicans turn again.

                I think you’re seriously underestimating the damage the GOP has done to this country, and the fact that people are fully aware of it.
                The GOP is going to have to work hard for a long time to earn back the trust they’ve squandered and betrayed during the last eight years.

                Well, unless you have finally made the majority of Americans dependent on govt, then you will have a long run until the people decide they want their Constitutional rights and individual freedoms back.

                Hopefully they won’t have to keep being dependent on government if some decent jobs can be created, or if people can go back to school or get job training for new careers. As for Constitutional Rights and Freedoms, people have already decided they want them back. And for both of these reasons they’re far more likely to vote for a Democrat over McSame.

                Would you rather have the accountant, who practiced accounting for two years, ten years ago, controlling your finances OR the accountant who’s been practicing everyday for the past 20 or 30 years controlling your finances?

                For me, it would all depend upon the level of honesty and intelligence of the accountant. Sometimes familiarity makes you trust that all has been going well, only to find out later that you were being ripped off for years, and didn’t even realize it was happening.

                Yeah, we’d go with the one who knows what the hell he is talking about too.

                Sometimes a fresh perspective can see things much more clearly. When people stay in the same place for too long a time, often they don’t even notice that a serious decline has gradually taken place.

                With all due respect Col., that was a bunch of crap.

                Agreed. Hubert built a veritable Mountain of Crap with that post. And I see no respect that could possibly be due after the stench it left.

                Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 17, 2008 7:43 PM
                Comment #250844

                Dan:

                Will you force U.S. Troops to risk life and limb for nation-building and policing the Iraqis’ civil war?

                Number one, this is an all volunteer military.

                Number two, the military does not want a forced defeat. They want to win. You’re position is forcing defeat on the military.

                Vietnam is also not a good example. However, look at Vietnam today. It’s much better off now than the condition the U.S. left it in April, 1975

                In the power vacuum after we left over a million people lost their lives. That is what your position risks


                Posted by: Craig Holmes at April 17, 2008 8:55 PM
                Comment #250858
                Craig Holmes wrote:
                  d.a.n wrote: Will you force U.S. Troops to risk life and limb for nation-building and policing the Iraqis’ civil war?
                Number one, this is an all volunteer military.
                Lame.

                Only joining is voluntary. Thereafter, troops have to go where ordered, or be court-martialed, incarcerated, and shamed.

                Craig Holmes wrote: Number two, the military does not want a forced defeat. They want to win.
                Lame again, a complete lack of priorities, and an insult to imply it is in any way a “defeat” for our U.S. Troops.

                What that really means by saying “win” is really saying “save face” for Bush and his administration.

                • Because there is no “defeat”, and there is no shame for our U.S. Troops. What is shameful and despicable is trying to “save face” by forcing our U.S. Troops to risk life and limb for nation-building, policing civil wars, and seek redemption for Bush and the administration that started a war based on false intelligence.

                • The overriding priority is that U.S. Troops should not be forced to risk life and limb for nation-building and policing civil wars.

                • What some in the military wants is not the overriding priority.

                • A large percentage of U.S. Troops believe the U.S. should leave Iraq.

                  • In Feb-2006, 72% of U.S. Troops in Iraq said: end the war in year 2006.

                  • 90% of retired and current military officers say the U.S. military has been stretched dangerously thin by the Iraq war (19-FEB-2008).

                • Most Americans believe the U.S. should leave Iraq. The U.S. has now been in Iraq for over 5 years.

                • A large percentage (35%-to-47%; it varies with conditions) of Iraqis want the U.S. to leave now. The Iraqis may never step up to the plate to secure peace in their own nation; especially if the U.S. is doing it for them.

                • Most people across the world believe the U.S. should leave Iraq. (67% as of SEP-2007)

                • The only acceptable reason to force our troops to remain in Iraq is if it is making the U.S. safer (which it is not).

                • It is wrong to force our U.S. Troops to risk life and limb for nation-building and policing civil wars.

                • Saving face is not, and should not be the goal (not at the risk of U.S. Troops losing life and limb).

                • If there is any true reason to fear terrorists following us home from Iraq, then securing the borders would make more sense, and not doing so reveals hypocrisy.

                Craig Holmes wrote: Your position is forcing defeat on the military.
                Nonsense.

                There is no “defeat”.
                What you perceive as “defeat” is non-existent, because:

                • even if the Iraqis’ fail to make their nation livable, that is not and will not be a “defeat” of the U.S. Troops’, who have sacrificed much to fight terrorists and police the Iraqis’ civil war.

                • if the Iraqis’ subsequently fail (after the U.S. leaves) to make Iraq adequately livable and peaceful, that is their own fault. The U.S. can not police Iraq forever, and forcing our troops to risk life and limb for nation-building and policing civil wars is an injustice to our troops.

                • even though the U.S. invaded Iraq, it is now time (after more than 5 years) for the Iraqis to govern their own nation, regardless of whether they can do it themselves (or not).

                • even though the U.S. invaded Iraq, it is not our U.S. Troops fault that the CIA and executive branch based it on flawed and false intelligence (i.e. no WMD). The reasons for being in Iraq in the first place are questionable, since no significant amount of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) were ever found. And it is difficult to deny that control of the oil has something to do with the entire matter. If being the world police is the goal, there are a lot of other nations in the world that need policing too.

                • the Iraqis are also culpable for this entire mess. They helped in creating this entire mess, despite the blunder of no WMD.

                • redemption and “saving face” for Bush and his administration should not be the goal.

                • it is hypocrisy to fear-monger about terrorists following us here from Iraq, should we pull out of Iraq. First of all, terrorists can come from many places as evidenced by the terrorists of 11-SEP-2001, which are mainly from Saudi Arabia (not Iraq). If we really fear terrorists following us from Iraq, then why not pull our troops out of Iraq, and secure our own national borders, and enforce existing immigration laws? Especially since 11-SEP-2001 was perpetrated by several illegal aliens, 18 of the 19 terrorist hijackers on 11-SEP-2001 possessed 13 state-issued drivers’ licenses and/or 21 other ID cards, and all 19 terrorits had obtained Social Security numbers (some real, some fake).
                  The terrorists of 11-SEP-2001 very simply tapped into an enormous market of fraudulent documents that exists because 12+ million illegal aliens have successfully breached our borders and now reside here illegally, anonymously, and spawning wide-spread document and identity fraud that threatens our ability to distinguish illegal aliens from U.S. citizens and legal foreign residents. IDentity theft is also the fastest growing crime in the U.S. Thus, all of those reasons makes the argument about terrorists following us from Iraq back to the U.S. not only weak, but ridiculous and hypocritical. And even if there was some truth to it, there are better ways to deal with it, such as securing our own borders and enforcing existing laws.

                • the U.S. can not be the world police. Especially with $53 Trillion of nation-wide debt (3.81 times $13.86 Trillion GDP!). The U.S. won’t be able in a position to do much of anything if its own economy is destroyed by growing debt of nightmare proportions.

                • it is not right and just to force any U.S. troop to go risk life and limb for any other purpose other than to defend their own nation. Using U.S. Troops for nation-building and world policing is wrong. It is an injustice to the troops.

                Craig Holmes wrote:
                  d.a.n wrote: Vietnam is also not a good example. However, look at Vietnam today. It’s much better off now than the condition the U.S. left it in April, 1975
                In the power vacuum after we left over a million people lost their lives. That is what your position risks
                The humanitarian argument is the strongest argument.

                However, the civil wars of other nations, while unfortunate, it still not the duty our U.S. Troops to police, because our U.S. Troops should not be used for anything that is not making the U.S. safer, and nation-building and policing the Iraqis’ civil war is not making the U.S. safer. Our troops should never be forced to risk life and limb for anything but defending their own nation.

                The other argument is that the occupation of Iraq is making us safer, because if we leave, the terrorists will “follow us home”.
                That argument is not only extremely weak, but hypocritical too, in view of the near wide-open borders and the lack of enforcement of illegal immigration laws.

                Also, what you may be unaware of is that the U.S., in 1954, with a minority in South Vietnam, was actually blocking a democratic eletion in Vietnam in which 80% of the total Vietnamese population would have voted for the North Vietnamese Leader, Communist Ho Chi Minh, over Emperor Bao Dai (a former puppet of the French and the Japanese).

                The President of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, declined to hold elections because he and President Eisenhower knew the minority could not win the election, which obviously raised questions of the U.S.’s genuine commitment to democracy. Thus, Vietnam was a pawn in President Eisenhower’s failed Domino-Theory policy, which contended that if South Vietnam (the minority refusing to hold elections) became communist, then all of South East Asia would become communist. The Eisenhower administration popularized the Domino Theory and argued that the spread of communism would follow us home by first reaching Hawaii and follow to the West Coast of the United States. That obviously is not what happened.

                Today, we are now hearing a similar lame argument; that the terrorists will “follow us home”.
                And even if that theory possessed a shred of truth, the hypocrisy of the argument is revealed by near wide-open borders 6.5 years after the terrorist attacks of 11-SEP-2001.
                If there is truly any fear of terrorists following “us home”, then border security and enforcement of illegal immigration laws would be a priority.

                Craig Holmes wrote: That is what your position risks.
                No, your arguments are not even remotely convincing, and the primary issue is respect and justice for U.S. Troops.

                U.S. Troops should not be used for nation-building and policing civil wars.
                U.S. Troops should not be used for things that are not making the U.S. safer.
                U.S. Troops should not be used to “save face” for Bush and an administration that started a war based on flawed intelligence.
                The primary issue should be respect for our U.S. Troops, first.
                To force U.S. Troops to risk life and limb for nation-buildinkg and policing civil wars shows a horrible disrespect for our U.S. Troops, and a complete lack of priorities.

                Posted by: d.a.n at April 18, 2008 6:00 AM
                Comment #250861

                Veritas Vincit, thank you for that last post. I can tell you put thought into it and it clearly gives a great example of liberal thought. Very informative.

                Its obvious that we could go back and forth like that all day long and neither of us would change our mind.

                Urban life and rural life are very very different and we cannot treat them as if they are not when we pass laws or when we vote for a leader.
                As a rural guy, individual rights are a key factor in how I vote and I understand they are not as important to urban people. And I am well aware that my way of life is not the kind of life urban people could possibly live.

                I also believe both groups want to be able to stand on their own two feet and provide for their families. But I do not believe we must compromise our rights and our values in order to be able to accomplish that.
                Voting for Obama or hillary would do nothing but say, “ok, take my values and the issues I care about away and hopefully you will improve the economy.” I cannot do that.

                You are incorrect when you say that the things that are important to us have not been affected in the least. I do not cling to these things, I cherish them, and they will always affect my vote.

                I do not ask urban people to change their way of life for me and I will always resist their demands that I change my way of life for them.

                I do not care if people understand that or not, I only ask that they respect it.
                If they don’t, they won’t get my vote.

                Posted by: kctim at April 18, 2008 10:15 AM
                Comment #250909

                kctim:

                But I do not believe we must compromise our rights and our values in order to be able to accomplish that.

                The way I see it, too many rural people have already been made to compromise their values, due to the fact that over the past thirty years they’ve had a harder and harder time of finding a way to stand on their own two feet and take care of their families. Several of the people I know in Pennsylvania have admitted as much to me. As it is now, too many folks and their families in rural areas of this country couldn’t even survive without the government handouts they’ve been collecting.

                The reason their lives have gotten to this point is because they’ve been voting for the Republican party, who made a false bogeyman out of the word Liberal, while simultaneously went about protecting and promoting corporate interests rather than American interests.
                Rural AND Urban Americans have all paid a heavy price for this, but because rural people have been bogusly propagandized into believing that it was far more important to support the GOP over a handful of emotionally charged cultural-wedge issues it continued as their towns steadily declined. Sad to say, this propaganda continued to work even long after it became clear that the GOP would do nothing to stem the bleeding of their jobs out of this country and as they were shipped off to third world nations to exploit a steady supply of incredibly cheap labor.

                At this point, I am truly hoping that rural folks have finally grasped the full repercussions of what such unwavering GOP support has meant over the past thirty years. I am also hoping that they’ve finally seen through the propaganda and gotten wise to the fact that Liberals aren’t bogeymen who want to remove their guns, or interfere with their religious observances, or curtail their freedoms, or destroy their way of life.

                Contrary to the prejudice and elitism you’ve accused me of, I happen to know rural people aren’t stupid, and so I remain hopeful this election season.

                Voting for Obama or hillary would do nothing but say, “ok, take my values and the issues I care about away and hopefully you will improve the economy.” I cannot do that.

                Obviously the bogeyman propaganda is taking longer to wear off on some people than it is on others.

                You are incorrect when you say that the things that are important to us have not been affected in the least.

                Okay, then please name these things for me. Name the ways in which Liberals have affected or changed the lives and activities that are so vitally important to rural people.
                I want some specifics here, not a bunch of vague generalizations.

                I do not ask urban people to change their way of life for me and I will always resist their demands that I change my way of life for them.

                What “demands” would these be?
                Again, be specific, please.

                Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 18, 2008 5:35 PM
                Comment #250925

                vv

                kctim said

                “Voting records are not “rightwing propaganda.”

                vv said

                “Exactly. And Liberal voting records show that your right to own guns and go to church have not been affected in the least.”

                LOL!!!!!! i too live in california vv, in orange co. to be exact. i’ve never seen such an out and out LIE , or completely ignorant statement in my life. gun rights in california have been under attack by liberal democrats for years. as a gun owner i know this all to well. i could go on, but i’ll wait for the right thread.

                Posted by: dbs at April 18, 2008 9:00 PM
                Comment #250929

                Rural still means towns under 2500 people, right? What percentage of the population actually live in rural America? They’re just being outvoted by the numbers most of the time.

                For dbs, I wanted to post this before, when somebody was writing about Nambla in the OC. This is Phantom Planet when they were younger, live on Letterman, I think before the TV program came out:

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYn7t6Hu_C8

                Posted by: ohrealy at April 18, 2008 9:23 PM
                Comment #251089

                VV
                You seriously have no clue to the DC and Cali gun bans? Registration in all states? Confiscation in places like New Orleans?
                You’ve never read about students being forbidden to thank their maker during speeches? Nativity scenes being taken down?
                And you have no idea about where your own party stands on illegal immigration? Giving them welfare, access to hospitals and education?

                It’s not that liberals haven’t affected these things, its that you refuse to see how they have affected them because they are in line with your personal views.
                And liberal politicians and judges will do nothing but further enforce such views and actions onto the rest of us.

                Posted by: kctim at April 21, 2008 10:19 AM
                Comment #251130

                kctim:

                You seriously have no clue to the DC and Cali gun bans?
                DC’s gun ban is due to be voted on by the Supreme Court this June. But that isn’t a rural area. San Francisco’s proposed handgun ban was shot down (just like we all knew it would be), because it is an infringement on our State Constitution. And again, SF isn’t a rural area, so you’re not actually answering my question.
                Registration in all states?

                You mean registration of handguns, don’t you? I don’t know about your state, but rifles don’t have to be registered at all in California. The majority of people in rural areas here are sportsmen who collect hunting rifles, not handguns.

                Confiscation in places like New Orleans?

                Again, not rural. You’re avoiding my question.

                You’ve never read about students being forbidden to thank their maker during speeches?

                Not in rural areas of the country, no I haven’t.

                Nativity scenes being taken down?

                Not in rural areas of the country, no, never.

                And you have no idea about where your own party stands on illegal immigration?
                That is a problem facing urban areas, not rural ones. In fact, rural folks don’t even have jobs any more, so why would illegal aliens move to their areas? The answer is, they don’t for the most part. Too hard to live under the radar without a Social Security number or Green Card in such places.

                So kctim, you seem unable to answer my question at all.

                It’s funny, I can easily tell you that programs such as Medicare, Welfare, Food Stamps and WIC that Liberals have fought for are the very things that have been helping rural people to survive in these tough times since the GOP took control of Congress and allowed their jobs to move to third world countries, yet you can’t come up with a single way in which Liberals have harmed or affected the lives of rural people — other than to say they appear bitter over their obvious lack of economic opportunity.

                It seems clear that it is long past time for rural folks to realize that their real friends are Liberals, not Conservatives.
                If they start voting for us again, they’re going to have a much better chance of improving their futures, so they can stand on their own two feet again; rather than keep collecting on programs that were really meant to apply to people who were faced with an emergency in their economic situations, not a long term way for these folks to get by because most of their jobs have disappeared so that the corporately wealthy could make a little more profit.

                Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 21, 2008 9:30 PM
                Comment #251140

                With Obama taking discounts on his housing arranged by a criminal, failing to reach across the isle on any major, core issue, and speaking down to middle America when chatting to his left wing buddies in California….I’m not seeing anything different and I didn’t even mention NAFTA and his never having heard his preacher then a day or two later saying he did (flip flop).

                This is different? I’m not buying it. It’s radical left wing being foisted as “new and improved” but it’s not.

                Posted by: stephenl at April 21, 2008 11:12 PM
                Comment #251178

                VV
                Its not that I did not answer your question, its that you make up your own version to find an excuse for what you see as no big deal.

                DC’s gun ban is a gun ban. Whether it is voted down by the SC or not, no longer matters. Liberals support such a violation of our 2nd Amendment right.
                You also speak only of handguns, are they the only firearms? No.

                As far as registration: All states require govt permission for firearms. Ever purchased a rifle? It is nothing like good ole michael moore makes it out to be. The paperwork you fill out is nothing but owner registration, the govt knows when and where you purchased your firearm.

                I wonder why you only speak of handguns? Could it be because they are not the primary firearm of rural people and are an easier target? Or is it because fear is your best weapon in your fight against firearms and telling people everybody with a handgun is out to kill you?

                “Again, not rural. You’re avoiding my question”

                I am not avoiding your question, you are ignoring the reality of the issue.
                Liberals believe that since they fear their 2nd Amendment right, the whole country should also and they should live by your rules. Since liberals think govt should keep tabs on everybody who owns a firearm in the city, they want it to apply to the country as a whole and that does affect us.

                “Not in rural areas of the country, no, never”

                Of course not, what do you care about rural area. School districts and city govts are fearful of legal action for doing such things. Students are told not to mention God and finding a nativity scene at city hall is almost non-existent.

                “That is a problem facing urban areas, not rural ones”

                So all farms are now only in urban areas? Pork, beef and chicken plants are only in urban areas? You need to get out more.

                “yet you can’t come up with a single way in which Liberals have harmed or affected the lives of rural people”

                I gave you three real world ways, you just choose to live in your own little world and not accept them.

                liberal policy on guns, freedom of expression and illegal immigration, harms and affects the values and rights rural people cherish.
                We see how liberal politicians and judges vote against the 2nd Amendment and we disagree with that being the law of the land.
                We see how liberal politicians, judges and activists sue school districts and city govts for anything religious being visible.
                We see how liberal politicians, judges and activists encourage illegal immigration and tax-payer support of them and disagree with that.

                And you want us to ignore those things simply because you “promise” to give us more govt “aid?” I don’t think so.

                You have a very stereotypical view of rural people. Quit believing everything the MSM and kos tell you and get out there and see how we really are.

                Our way of life is different than yours and you and Obama need to see and know that.

                “It seems clear that it is long past time for rural folks to realize that their real friends are Liberals, not Conservatives”

                Maybe that will happen one day, I do not know. But for now, it seems as if most of us still believe our country and our rights as Americans, are more important to us than the money you hold so dear.

                Posted by: kctim at April 22, 2008 11:00 AM
                Comment #251226

                vv

                “You mean registration of handguns, don’t you? I don’t know about your state, but rifles don’t have to be registered at all in California. The majority of people in rural areas here are sportsmen who collect hunting rifles, not handguns.”

                it’s quite obvious to me that you know nothing about guns, or people who value thier 2nd amendment rights. as one of them, i can say that with absolute certainty, so go ahead and tell me how you once lived with someone who used to own a gun, and that you are qualifed to discuss it at length. LOL!!!

                kctim

                your wasting your time. these types of people have been destroying the once great state of california for a long time. all you have to do is realize that our projected budget deficit for next year is 14 billion dollars. this is the wonderful reality the liberal democrats have created for my once great state. it infuriates me to even think about it. just wait till they get ahold of the federal gov’t again. you aint seen nothin yet.

                Posted by: dbs at April 22, 2008 7:35 PM
                Comment #251232

                kctim:

                Its not that I did not answer your question, its that you make up your own version to find an excuse for what you see as no big deal.


                No, obviously you cannot answer my question, which was:

                Name the ways in which Liberals have affected or changed the lives and activities that are so vitally important to rural people. I want some specifics here, not a bunch of vague generalizations.

                kctim:

                I wonder why you only speak of handguns?

                Don’t try to play dumb. The reason that handguns are being required to be registered is because in America’s cities they’re the favored weapon of people who kill cops as well as a lot of innocent civilians. Why don’t you ask an urban cop sometime whether they think handgun registration is truly necessary. I know it may be hard for you to imagine, but in American cities, gang violence isn’t just something that’s on the TV.

                I am not avoiding your question, you are ignoring the reality of the issue.

                Yes, you did avoid answering, and now I know it’s because you can’t actually answer. Because the truth is, Liberals haven’t affected rural America in negative ways. Although our policies have provided programs that are currently helping these people to get by.

                Liberals believe that since they fear their 2nd Amendment right, the whole country should also and they should live by your rules.

                I don’t fear guns, my second amendment rights, or logical gun laws. I grew up with guns, I own guns, and I know how to use them.

                Since liberals think govt should keep tabs on everybody who owns a firearm in the city, they want it to apply to the country as a whole and that does affect us.

                No, Liberals understand that urban and rural areas are very different. Laws that are absolutely necessary in urban areas, often don’t, or shouldn’t apply to rural areas. Gun nuts refuse to acknowledge that these differences exist at all, which is just plain crazy.

                Of course not, what do you care about rural area.

                Why wouldn’t I care about rural areas of this country? I’m an American, and I care about all of our people. I also own land in both rural and urban areas, so unlike many of you who have posted in this thread, I’m not one who wants to dish dirt on anyone because of where they were born, or where they have chosen to live.

                Students are told not to mention God and finding a nativity scene at city hall is almost non-existent.

                I’m afraid you’re going to have to try to back this up with more than just your opinion. In the Pennsylvania town I’ve been referring to, not only does everyone feel comfortable talking about God and religion at the drop of a hat, but there is a giant old nativity scene displayed in the center of town every Christmas, and a long string of angels holding Merry Christmas banners that are suspended between the lampposts lining the main street.

                So all farms are now only in urban areas? Pork, beef and chicken plants are only in urban areas?

                Oh look, a strawman!
                Don’t put words in my mouth. I never said anything about farms only being in urban areas.

                You need to get out more.

                You need to answer the question I gave you, but it looks like you can’t, so instead you start pulling this sh*t.

                I gave you three real world ways, you just choose to live in your own little world and not accept them.

                No, you avoided my question, and talked about urban issues rather than rural ones. And now you’re stooping by trying to insult me because you were unable to answer.

                liberal policy on guns, freedom of expression and illegal immigration, harms and affects the values and rights rural people cherish.

                This is the nonsensical Liberal bogeyman that has been sold to so many rural people by the GOP. Personally, I think a lot of folks are finally realizing that it’s all been a load of crap that was used to separate their votes from their own economic interests.

                And you want us to ignore those things simply because you “promise” to give us more govt “aid?” I don’t think so.

                Liberal policies have already provided the government aid programs. In fact that’s how many rural folks have been keeping themselves alive after the GOP allowed so many of their jobs to be shipped off to third world countries.
                No, Liberals don’t want to give out any more aid. What we want is to rebuild the American economy so that it starts benefiting average Americans, for a change — both rural and urban. We want to see people to get back to work, get off the emergency government aid, and start prospering again.

                You have a very stereotypical view of rural people. Quit believing everything the MSM and kos tell you and get out there and see how we really are.

                You have a very propagandized view of Liberals. And obviously your reading comprehension is very poor, because as I’ve already told you, I lived in that rural town in Pennsylvania, and have been speaking directly from my own experience.

                Our way of life is different than yours and you and Obama need to see and know that.

                Such ridiculous defensiveness and puffed up combativeness. Whether we’re urban or rural, we’re all Americans, and we are all in the same sinking economic boat, so it’s time to grow the hell up and start bailing.

                dbs:

                it’s quite obvious to me that you know nothing about guns, or people who value thier 2nd amendment rights. as one of them, i can say that with absolute certainty, so go ahead and tell me how you once lived with someone who used to own a gun, and that you are qualifed to discuss it at length. LOL!!!

                You seem to think that hatred of Liberals gives rightwingers such as yourself a license to lie and spew a bunch of presumptuous bullshit about us, but it doesn’t.

                your wasting your time. these types of people have been destroying the once great state of california for a long time. all you have to do is realize that our projected budget deficit for next year is 14 billion dollars. this is the wonderful reality the liberal democrats have created for my once great state.

                You know what destroyed California? Enron. You know who owned Enron? Neocon Republicans who were “Bush Pioneers.” You know who is presiding over our current budget deficit? A movie star of a Republican Governor. Time to quit shoveling sh*t about Liberals, and start critiquing the cause and effect of the policies of your own political party.

                Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 22, 2008 11:50 PM
                Comment #251254

                VV
                “because in America’s cities”
                “but in American cities”

                In American cities, but yet, the anti 2nd Amendment laws passed for this urban problem has been forced onto the rural areas and the country as a whole.
                Fact: Liberal laws, politicians and judges have affected and changed the rural areas 2nd Amendment rights in a negative way.

                “No, Liberals understand that urban and rural areas are very different.”

                Really? I thought knowing we are different was “ridiculous defensiveness and puffed up combativeness?”

                “Laws that are absolutely necessary in urban areas, often don’t, or shouldn’t apply to rural areas.”

                Then why are the majority of them passed at the Fed and state level, instead of city?

                “Gun nuts refuse to acknowledge that these differences exist at all, which is just plain crazy”

                As with most liberal positions and views, I am afraid you have this ass backwards.
                We know there is a huge difference and that is why we don’t agree with anti 2nd Amendment laws, that are created for city problems, being forced onto us.

                “Don’t put words in my mouth. I never said anything about farms only being in urban areas”

                No, you said illegal immigration was a problem facing only urban areas, not rural areas and I pointed out how silly of a statement that is.
                Illegals work in many of our food processing plants and on many farms, in RURAL areas too.

                “No, you avoided my question, and talked about urban issues rather than rural ones”

                Because the liberal answer to urban problems affects everybody, including the rural areas and you pretend as if they don’t.
                I haven’t avoided your question one bit. You seem to believe the laws passed for urban areas have not affected us and you are wrong.
                Gun control didn’t start because some rural guy was afraid of his neighbor and some old farmer didn’t get tired of the nativity scene in his small town and start threatening lawsuits.

                “Personally, I think a lot of folks are finally realizing that it’s all been a load of crap that was used to separate their votes from their own economic interests”

                Apparently not as much as you hope. Hillary won last night and the majority of the people who Obama disrespected about “clinging” to their values, voted for Hillary, who did not disrespect them.
                The rural folks of your own party, chose the candidate who did not disrespect them, their values and their beliefs.

                “You have a very propagandized view of Liberals.”

                My views are based on personal observation and facts. I did not mention any conspiracy ideas or scream socialist or anything of the sort. I gave you real life examples that are easily understood by almost everybody. They are common knowledge amongst Reps, Dems and Indys, yet you still ignore them.

                “And obviously your reading comprehension is very poor,”

                Yes, I know, I’m a dumb ol rural redneck. You and Obama are better.

                “because as I’ve already told you, I lived in that rural town in Pennsylvania, and have been speaking directly from my own experience”

                I lived in Germany for 6 years and I don’t know crap about Germany other than what a few friends and teachers told me about it.

                I am sorry that the small town you visit is such a hellhole, but blaming only the Reps for that is no different than blaming libs for every slum in urban areas. Are you willing to do that?

                Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2008 10:26 AM
                Comment #251255

                dbs
                I actually thought VV was interested in discussing our differences and was willing to maybe learn something knew, I know that is what I was after. And I thought it was going pretty well too.
                And then, when at the end of the rope, the normal and expected words “gun nuts” showed up.

                The funny thing about it all is, I wasn’t trying to change VV’s views on the issues, I just wanted to maybe get VV to understand and respect my views a little.

                Oh well, the rural voters Obama disrespected voted overwhelmingly for Hillary last night, maybe that will give some clue to the people who think our values and beliefs are silly.

                Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2008 10:38 AM
                Comment #251283

                kctim,
                There really is nothing that backs up your propagandized opinions. Only gun nuts believe that citizens shouldn’t have any restrictions whatsoever on owning weapons. In fact, not even the NRA (who now works with Brady supporters to strengthen NICS) agrees with such extreme views.

                Hillary won last night

                Actually, Hillary won by a single digit margin yesterday when she had been ahead by 20 points. She needed a huge victory yesterday, didn’t get it, and has now officially lost the primary. The superdelegates simply aren’t going to hand the nomination to her and take it away from the candidate who holds a clear advantage in pledged delegates, popular vote, fundraising ability, and who has won twice as many states.
                So far today, Obama has already picked up four superdelegates. The first was Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry, and three more among 50 prominent former Edwards backers, David Price, Mel Watt, and G.K. Butterfield. Many others are sure to begin rolling in now…

                I lived in Germany for 6 years and I don’t know crap about Germany other than what a few friends and teachers told me about it.

                Shall we assume you were either in the military, or possibly jail, at that time? Or perhaps suffer from extreme anti-social tendencies?
                Even though we’ve only owned our land in Pennsylvania since 1990, and my husband and I personally only lived there for three years, we know an enormous number of the people in that town.

                I am sorry that the small town you visit is such a hellhole

                It’s not a hellhole — not yet anyway. It’s just become severely economically depressed over time. The people need jobs. And that’s why they’re going to need to vote for Obama, because McSame sure as hell isn’t going to help them with more of that trickle-down garbage that is the GOP’s incessant mantra.
                I’m pretty sure that many rural folks are aware of that, too. But whether they’ll finally decide to vote for a better future over a few ridiculous wedge issues, still remains to be seen.

                Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 23, 2008 4:07 PM
                Comment #251295

                VV
                The NRA is a lapdog group who is willing to compromise our 2nd Amendment right. I do not support them.

                Personally, I hope hillary stays in the race and keeps causing trouble. Another clinton or Obama administration will be disasterous to this country. McCain winning will only be slightly better.

                Yes, I come from a long line of military service and have served myself. I am not a criminal nor am I anti-social in the least. I have spent 6 years in Germany, but there is no way I could possibly know what it is like to be a German or how their life really is.

                People always need jobs in one place or another, at one time or another, and it won’t matter if McCain, Obama or clinton are elected, thats not going to change.

                As far as what you call “wedge issues,” they are real to us, not ridiculous, whether you wish to believe it or not, and a better future for us is one in which they are included.

                Posted by: kctim at April 23, 2008 5:56 PM
                Comment #251300

                vv

                “You seem to think that hatred of Liberals gives rightwingers such as yourself a license to lie and spew a bunch of presumptuous bullshit about us, but it doesn’t.”

                and you seem to be unable to refute my statement. what lies have i told ?

                “You know what destroyed California? Enron. You know who owned Enron? Neocon Republicans who were “Bush Pioneers.” You know who is presiding over our current budget deficit? A movie star of a Republican Governor. Time to quit shoveling sh*t about Liberals, and start critiquing the cause and effect of the policies of your own political party.”

                first of all, arnie is no republican, we call his type rinos, just like bloomberg was. secondly enron would not have been able to screw us if we had maintained the infrastructure to keep up with our energy needs. you can blame your buddy gray davis for that one.

                you say handguns should be registered. how many criminals do you think register the stolen guns they posses ? exactly none. funny how the cities with the most restrictive gun laws just happen to also have higher crime rates. just ask the folks in DC. the ban on handguns has made them so much safer. there is correlation between dropping violent crime rates and increase in the issuance of concealed carry permits. handguns are a far better choice for home defense, ever try to wield a rifle in a confined area, like a narrow hallway or such. rifle bullets travel at a much higher velocity, and are far more likely to go through your house, and through your neighbors house, get the picture. criminals love gun control vv, because it means they’re much less likely to be injured or killed when thier victims are unarmed.


                “There really is nothing that backs up your propagandized opinions. Only gun nuts believe that citizens shouldn’t have any restrictions whatsoever on owning weapons. In fact, not even the NRA (who now works with Brady supporters to strengthen NICS) agrees with such extreme views.”

                the nra backed the nics bill because it gave universal access to nics of those deemed mentally incompetant. they do not work with or back the brady campaign. i know this vv because i am a member, as i am also a member of crpa also.

                http://www.nraila.org/ wander around in here for a while and tell me how supportive the nra is of gun control groups.

                kctim


                “The NRA is a lapdog group who is willing to compromise our 2nd Amendment right. I do not support them.”

                i know we’ve talked about this before. i wish you’de give them another look. i’de be happy to supply you with links or any information i can.

                vv said
                “Laws that are absolutely necessary in urban areas, often don’t, or shouldn’t apply to rural areas.”

                this is absolute BS.

                kctim said

                Then why are the majority of them passed at the Fed and state level, instead of city?

                they shouldn’t be passed anywhere, because all they do is make criminals safer.

                even though i live in the city i also cherish your way of life, as i do my own. i would also go out of my way to protect your 2nd amendment rights, and i hope you would do the same for me. we may live in different circumstances, but our values are really no different.

                Posted by: dbs at April 23, 2008 8:16 PM
                Comment #251322

                dbs
                I appreciate your NRA comments and I do check in on them from time to time, but they compromise too much for me, personally. I admit that my views are now considered extreme and that it is probably best that some are fighting for what we have left, its just not for me though.

                “we may live in different circumstances, but our values are really no different”

                I am really glad to hear that db. I wasn’t trying to imply that I don’t care what happens to the rights of people in urban areas, because I do. I was only trying to say that federal and state laws passed for the “safety” of urban areas, also affect the rural areas.

                I always vote against any anti 2nd Amendment legislation, no matter who it affects. Urban or rural, it is our 2nd Amendment right and I’m right there with you in protecting it, always.

                Posted by: kctim at April 24, 2008 9:40 AM
                Comment #251333

                kctim

                thank you for your reply.

                “I admit that my views are now considered extreme”

                i think you might be suprised, your views are shared by far more people than you might realize. myself included. most gun control laws IMHO are useless. other than prohibiting violent felons, and people that are mentally incompetant all other gun laws IMO should be repealed.

                most states have uniform laws because allowing each city or local to have its own would make for a complicated situation. you could be fine in one city and be in violation in another with out even knowing it. what we need to do is work to reform these laws at the state level. i think that would probably be the most productive.

                Posted by: dbs at April 24, 2008 11:04 AM
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