Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bitter-Sweet

Senator Barack Obama was careless with his language and as usual Senator Hillary Clinton pounced. Obama said that people in small towns are bitter about their deteriorating economic conditions and as a result concentrate more on social rather than economic conditions. Clinton attacked his remarks as “elitist.”

At a fund raiser Obama said:

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.

Clinton immediately called Obama "elitist" and "out of touch" with average Americans. She has put out an ad that says the same thing. So McCain followed suit. And why not? This is a tactic directly out of the Karl Rove playbook.

Obama shot back that he mangled his words but he does not retract his basic idea that the average person's economic fortune has deteriorated badly.

Definitely. Gas prices and food prices are gong through the roof, while the average guy's income is stagnating if not decreasing. Our dollar is worth less and less each day. Jobs are being cut and sent overseas - outsourcing. The country's debt has reached the stratosphere - 64% of the GDP. Healthcare is out of reach for many. So are college tuition costs. The list goes on.

Today I read that Clinton did not change people's minds about Obama. I find this very encouraging. Americans are beginning to see the huge difference between Clinton and Obama. Voting for Clinton will give us the same polarizing and backbiting political talk that we have had for too many years. Voting for Obama will bring a change in the political atmosphere: Conservatives and liberals will talk to each other!

Of course, there is no guarantee everybody's wish will be fulfilled. This is impossible. But at least the country will be at peace with itself - and ready to solve problems.

One can say that, through her constant attacks, Clinton has done Obama a favor. She has demonstrated for all to see that Obama truly represents a change while she represents the same old, same old... From the "bitter" remarks our fortunes have become sweeter - bitter-sweet.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 15, 2008 5:16 PM
Comments
Comment #250638

Why is Obama “careless” with his words and we must read into everything he says in order to understand what he “really” means, but every utterance from McCain or Bush must be taken literally without context?

“But at least the country will be at peace with itself - and ready to solve problems”

Keep dreaming there big guy. But even it that does happen, how will that lower food and gas prices?

Posted by: kctim at April 15, 2008 5:51 PM
Comment #250641

Paul,

When are candidates going to learn that in today’s world of cellphone cameras, mini-cassette recorders, compact digital video cameras and instant fact checking…they are “on” 24/7?

If today’s candidates can’t watch every…single…word they say, this is what we will get. Non-existant sniper fire in Bosnia and denegration of every day small town folks.

Candidates can’t even whisper their thoughts (“He’s a real asshole”) without it being heard or recorded somewhere…and then instantly uploaded on the internet.

Hint to candidates: Don’t even THINK of saying what you mean or straying from a written and vetted speach. If you do, then Barak’s your aunt and Hillary’s your uncle…and you deserve what you get.

Posted by: Jim T at April 15, 2008 6:17 PM
Comment #250642

“Conservatives and liberals will talk to each other!”

We already do, but I forgot, BHO isn’t done reinventing the wheel yet. When he says so, then we will really be talking to eachother, after a nice lecture from our professor explaining our opinions to us, after a little trip to San Francisco, getting reaffirmation from the cognoscenti about how foolish the ordinary people are to vote for different reason than the ones he approves.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 15, 2008 6:44 PM
Comment #250643

“careless with his language”…

I find that I more disturbed with BHO’s cavalier attitude as to what he deems the “truth” is for the rest of us non-enlightened people. His truth is that there are two very different classes of people - the rich San Francisco/Los Angeles/NY/Chicago Liberals who know damn well what is good for the rest of the country, and the rest of the people who are so embittered that the only thing their feeble minds can cling to are guns and religion.

Wow - careless with his words? More like careless with his logic and sense of reasoning. The guy is a complete joke.

Posted by: b0mbay at April 15, 2008 6:57 PM
Comment #250644

The democrats presented a change when they took over both houses. To date I HAVE YET TO SEE CHANGE. So what change is Obama Bringing?

Posted by: KAP at April 15, 2008 7:16 PM
Comment #250645

“So what change is Obama Bringing?”

His “change” will be:

1) The redistribution of wealth
2) Higher taxes
3) Increased spending on his social agenda
4) Weaker stance on foreign policy issues
5) Amnesty for Illegal immigrants

But at least the rest of us can cling to our guns and religion while the country goes down the toilet with him in office.

Posted by: b0mbay at April 15, 2008 7:22 PM
Comment #250646

bOmbay
AMEN TO THAT

Posted by: KAP at April 15, 2008 7:30 PM
Comment #250647

On guns, the big story here today was that the police shot a cougar in Roscoe Village, in Chicago. They finally concluded that this was in fact a wild animal, not an escaped pet. Coyotes have come back to munch on kittens, so maybe this guy was looking to get some coyote. For years, we had deer everywhere in the inner suburbs, which they tagged and tracked with radar to try to control. What happened was that we got different deer, reddish ones instead of tan ones.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 15, 2008 7:31 PM
Comment #250653

It’s much more effective to tag them with something of higher caliber and uses more velocity. Tracking is cut to a minimum and they are permanently controlled.

Deer are too big to be running around loose.
So is government, by the way!
Hire this guy to go in the right direction

You don’t cost the government money, the government costs you money!

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 15, 2008 9:32 PM
Comment #250654

Cyotes, Cougars, Deer??? We got Bigfoot running around these parts!

Posted by: George in SC at April 15, 2008 9:46 PM
Comment #250656

That sounds more like an efficient homeless guy.

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 15, 2008 10:01 PM
Comment #250660

Too bad the SC primary is over, they could send the candidates out to track big lizard guy, but I agree with the response that he is trying to scare people away from his weeds. I knew a family from northern GA, real life Beverly Hillbillies, that were big growers.

In Palm Beach County, FL, my mother-in-law had a freezer full of alligator heads on her back porch from when it was legal and they served gator tail in restaurants. Years later, after they were endangererd, I went to Saddlebrook, an upscale tennis resort, and it was swarming with alligators.

The topic is bitter-sweet, but which one is bitter and which one is sweet? I’m for HRC over BHO any day.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 15, 2008 10:39 PM
Comment #250661

Bombay said “I find that I more disturbed with BHO’s cavalier attitude as to what he deems the “truth” is for the rest of us non-enlightened people. His truth is that there are two very different classes of people - the rich San Francisco/Los Angeles/NY/Chicago Liberals who know damn well what is good for the rest of the country, and the rest of the people who are so embittered that the only thing their feeble minds can cling to are guns and religion.”

http://loudobbs.tv.cnn.com/

The poll on Lou Dobbs today asked if we are in fact bitter. Despite Lou’s negative comments, of his listeners that responding, 48% said they were in fact bitter . The poll now shows 66% bitter. Seems Obama may know a little more about what is true in PA and the small towns across the country than all the outraged cons sputtering over such a nonsensical issue.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 15, 2008 10:44 PM
Comment #250666

“Bitter” is not the real issue here. Lots of Americans would admit to being bitter. The real problem with BHO’s comment was attributing Americans’ Faith and fondness for firearms to poor economic status (hunting is expensive, BTW), and then equating religion and gun ownership with racism, xenophobia, and protectionism. Only from the lips of the most liberal Senator in one of the most liberal cities in the country among liberal kool-aid drinkers behind closed doors do you hear how liberals really view the rest of us redneck, Bambi killing, Bible thumping, sheet wearing, cross burning, cousin kissing, foreigner hating, regular Joes. Now if they could just manage to pull the wool over enough of our glassy eyes to get elected……

Posted by: Duane-o at April 16, 2008 12:09 AM
Comment #250668

I’ll admit. I can’t post this link without thinking it is cheesy, or opportunistic. It’s just information, yet it’s presence is automatically negative when presented.

I just don’t get it.
May, 6th is the primary in Indiana

Posted by: Weary Willie at April 16, 2008 12:54 AM
Comment #250669

Obama said “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.”

Duane-o said Obama said “The real problem with BHO’s comment was attributing Americans’ Faith and fondness for firearms to poor economic status (hunting is expensive, BTW), and then equating religion and gun ownership with racism, xenophobia, and protectionism.”

And then interpreted what Obama said as: “Only from the lips of the most liberal Senator in one of the most liberal cities in the country among liberal kool-aid drinkers behind closed doors do you hear how liberals really view the rest of us redneck, Bambi killing, Bible thumping, sheet wearing, cross burning, cousin kissing, foreigner hating, regular Joes. Now if they could just manage to pull the wool over enough of our glassy eyes to get elected……”

Is it just me or are you putting a lot of words into his mouth Duane-o? Seems the only one calling names is you. At least you dont let facts and substance get in the way of your illogical rant. Afterall Obama did sat bitter yet you say “bitter” is not the issue. Go figure.

I guess you have to find something to attack, because the repubs are giving us McBush, but this is pretty slim pickings. BTW your in good company as Hillary Clinton is agreeing with you on this one, Im sure she appreciates your help with the spin. :)

Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2008 1:19 AM
Comment #250670

“The poll on Lou Dobbs today asked if we are in fact bitter. Despite Lou’s negative comments, of his listeners that responding, 48% said they were in fact bitter . The poll now shows 66% bitter.”
That really isn’t the point now is it? You wouldn’t happen to being trying to intentionally obfuscate the real point which I and others have succinctly described above now would you?

I live in San Francisco, so I am well versed with the type of liberal BHO is.

Posted by: b0mbay at April 16, 2008 1:24 AM
Comment #250671

“That really isn’t the point now is it?”
Well it depends, Bombay, if your point is to put the words of the liberals you know, because you live in SF, into the mouth of Obama then no its not the point. However if your point is to discuss what Obama actually said then it is exactly the point. In fact Obama made a correct observation that describes many but not all people he was speaking about. To imply that some people dont vote for dems because of the guns, god and gays issues is accurate. To imply that some people are looking at a single issue instead of the overall picture is a fair comment. He wasnt the first to say it. To take offense is silly, despite the cons wish that he had made a snide and demeaning remark so they actually had a reason to be upset it didnt happen.

“You wouldn’t happen to being trying to intentionally obfuscate the real point which I and others have succinctly described above now would you?”

The only point succinctly described above is what you want to interpret Obama as saying. It was a speech for Christs sakes not professor Obama in a classroom explaining in detail his theory on why certain voters are not attracted to his viewpoint. The poll on Lou Dobbs was specifically about what Obama said. Dobbs has been talking about it for a few days and his listeners are well informed on the issue. They are bitter for the reasons Obama mentioned.
You guys on the right certainly have thin skins if your so offended by the words he actually said not the words you have tried to put into his mouth. The entire speech he made in SF was recorded. There was no rude comments about cousin kissing yadayada whatever. So to answer your question no the obfuscating has been done long before I posted.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2008 2:00 AM
Comment #250672

Hi all,

Think about this type of change, not only to America but to the world

What I Would Change About The World:
I say we separate wealth from power and give poor, working and middle class people larger votes.

I think Discussion is at the heart of social change and humankind’s evolution as a whole… and if we just slow down, recognize each individual’s worth and take a moment to engage in intelligent Socratic discussion, we’ll see some real progress.

Balancing the playing field is key… and right now there are so many voiceless members of society who have the answers to social progress. It’s time to listen! (Roxy Vote Sizer).

Find out more at www.votesizing.org

Posted by: Votesizer at April 16, 2008 3:20 AM
Comment #250673

Okay then j2t2, sticking to the Obama script, poor people cling to guns, religion, antipathy to people different than them, anti-immigrant sentiment, and anti-trade sentiment to explain the frustrations they have that the government hasn’t given them enough money. So religion goes in the same category as being anti-immigrant, defense of the 2nd amendment goes hand in hand with racism, and all these misguided emotions stem from economic status. If only the government would make all those uneducated hardworking people as rich as San Franciscans, they would soon become harmless, gunless, open border advocating, color blind, free trading atheists and we’d all live happily ever after, right? Karl Marx said “Religion is the sigh of an oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of a soulless condition. It is the opium of the people.” Marx says it much more “artfully” than Obama, but the message is the same.

Posted by: Duane-o at April 16, 2008 4:09 AM
Comment #250674

Hey Paul
“Voting for Obama will bring a change in the political atmosphere: Conservatives and liberals will talk to each other!

Of course, there is no guarantee everybody’s wish will be fulfilled. This is impossible. But at least the country will be at peace with itself - and ready to solve problems”.
I’m Libetarian, very pro 2nd amendment,against affirmative action,for school vouchers,typical white person and well,you get the drift.
Anyway,what legislation has Obama ever come up with aimed at reconciling His position with mine? Other than fancy talk,he is a dyied in the wool LIberal. Which is fine if you like Liberals,but does absolutley nothing for me.
Talk is cheap. All obama offers to me is talk. This “typical White person” would’t vote for Obama if he was running unopposed. Hell,I’d vote for Hillary first. At least she doesn’t give me a “typical Black person’s” constant whine about racisim.


Posted by: t-bone at April 16, 2008 5:33 AM
Comment #250677

Stephen Daughtry gave us more context here:

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.

Posted by: Jason Ziegler at April 16, 2008 9:17 AM
Comment #250679

The thing is that no one I know who owns a gun does so because he or she is bitter. I don’t own a firearm myself, but I certainly want to reserve the right to do so. I want that right for the sake of protection, both from threats within my community and from the threat of governmental overreaching. That is not bitterness. It is a rational assessment of the situation in the world.

Nor do I “cling” to religion (interesting words coming from a Christian, don’t you think?) out of bitterness. I spend much of my conscious time pondering the fundamental wonder and mystery of existence as I experience it from the tiny space I personally occupy. Religion seems to me a not-unnatural response to the incredible depth of this experience.

Such words, coming from the mouth of a serious presidential candidate, can only be seen as, at the very best, foolish intellectualist blather.

At worst Obama reminds me more and more of Peter Sellers’ character in “Being There”, save that as the credits run he can’t walk on water.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 16, 2008 9:43 AM
Comment #250680

The poll on Lou Dobbs today asked if we are in fact bitter. Despite Lou’s negative comments, of his listeners that responding, 48% said they were in fact bitter . The poll now shows 66% bitter. Seems Obama may know a little more about what is true in PA and the small towns across the country than all the outraged cons sputtering over such a nonsensical issue.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 15, 2008 10:44 PM

Those are some nice choices Lou gave there.

“Which of these best describes your attitude as an American citizen?
Partisan & pitiful 2% 221
Bitter & angry 67% 7663
Independent & proud 31% 3482
Total Votes: 11366

This is not a scientific poll”
from loudobbs.tv.cnn.com

The number of people that are ‘bitter & angry’ has gone up after watching Lou Dobbs? I can understand that.
These people may now have more information, that makes them feel that way, than they did before.

Would we even be discussing this if Obama hadn’t added the remarks about clinging to guns and religion?
I chose #3 - the best choice for us would have been #3 & #2. Maybe not bitter but angry fits.

Angry because the more our government does to ‘help’ us the worse off we become.
Angry because our federal government has taken over in areas that should be left to the states/local people.


‘Bitter’ from losing jobs is not just a small town feeling. I know alot of ‘bitter & angry’ people in the Buffalo area. Far from ‘small town’. They go to church and carry guns or hunt.

‘Angry’ from finding out the government had alot to do with the job loss and it wasn’t just your old company you should be pissed off at?
‘Angry’ because the average American was not brought into ‘the loop’ when the big business model switched from employee/consumer concerns to shareholder profits?

Angry & bitter because our government can’t/won’t control the influx of illegal workers?
Angry & bitter because people are realizing it is the policies(not just the Iraq War- though a large amount of the cost is due to speculators raking in the profits based on fear & the inability to stabilize the situation) of our own government(Rep & Dem) that have caused the hike in oil/gas prices & not just our consumption?


The list goes on….

Posted by: Dawn at April 16, 2008 9:48 AM
Comment #250681

What J2t2 said…

Posted by: Jason Ziegler at April 16, 2008 9:58 AM
Comment #250682

Clinton will now attack Obama on any opening for spin she can contrive. She is desperate to win and has demonstrated a willingness to do whatever it takes at any cost to try to salvage her campaign. She is after all, entitled to the office, in her own mind. Bill and Hillary have been hatching this entitlement egg since before Bill left office. One does not usually plan, work, and prepare for an eventuality for 8 years and leave the outcome to others to decide.

Obama on the other hand, has been in the driver’s seat for some time now in this race, and either by choice or circumstance, has refused so far to cast ethics and civility aside in order to win. It is working in his favor.

According to the polls, Clinton’s scorched earth policy is not working for her. The sideways motion in the polls appears to show that her attacks are losing her as much support from some, as it is gaining her from others. Soon though she will get a modest bump in the polls. It is the wounded animal sympathy poll. Her loss will become a near certainty, and the anguish of that realization will elicit a sympathy vote in the pollings of a percent or two. That will mark the unofficial end of Hillary’s campaign.

Then it is onward to Obama running over McCain like a freight train on the vision issue, Iraq and Iran, on spending priorities and the economy, on responsible government, meaning responsive to the majority of voters and tax payers, and integrity.

Especially issue integrity. In the end, McCain’s populist issues to garner the Independent vote will tear his integrity apart as his social and fiscal conservative issues contradict his populist positions. Obama’s positions are not tied to an ideology or ideological base, but, to a vision toward solutions regardless of whether those solutions come from the right, left, or center. Hence, his vision for change and solutions remain integrally intact.

McCain now has the Kerry flip-flop moniker to deal with being launched against him by conservatives. The conservative Radio Talk show hosts are tearing McCain apart. McCain has but one strategy in the face of having lost the conservative base, and that is to shoot for the Independent voters. There, he will find extremely stiff competition from Obama for those votes. Obama will garner nearly all the Democratic votes, plus a slight majority of the Independent votes.

That puts Obama over the top by a significant margin in the general election due to the fact that Registered voters now identify with the Democrats by a significant margin, and because the reduced size of the GOP vote will be further decreased by the social and fiscal conservatives who will stay home in Novemeber’s election.

Obama will win the popular vote by a significant margin, which even has a small chance of swelling into a landslide victory.

Because of gerrymandering, however, the electoral college vote will be more predictable and though Obama will win it, the margin will be smaller than the popular vote.

OK. That’s what the throw of my wheat flakes into the cereal bowl reveal morning after morning. If it proves correct, I will remind you all of it in January 09 so you can pay due homage :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2008 9:59 AM
Comment #250683

JZ
“as a way to explain their frustrations”

The liberal position on guns, religion and illegal immigration is the explaination for their frustrations.

They are not “clinging” to guns, religion or illegals because they are frustrated govt has ignored them. They are frustrated because govt takes so much of the money they earn and need, because govt wants to take away their 2nd Amendment right, because govt wants to tell them where they can and cannot have faith and because govt wastes their hard earned money on those who are here illegally.

Obama shouldn’t be blaming them, he should be blaming his agenda which does not represent all.

Posted by: kctim at April 16, 2008 10:11 AM
Comment #250685

David,
“Because of gerrymandering, however, the electoral college vote will be more predictable and though Obama will win it, the margin will be smaller than the popular vote.”

David, you are smart enough to know the fallacy of this statement. Gerrymandering, pioneered by Elbrige Gerry, who, though he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, seems to have had some serious issues with popular election, is the reshaping of electoral districts to take advantage of concentrations of voters with narrow interests for the sake of political leverage. Representation in the electoral college is a function of the representation accorded to states in the Congress. States, of course, have such borders as they have. They are not subject to change for the concentration of political leverage. (For all those who think of northwest Louisiana as “Occupied East Texas”, sorry, the French get to keep the place…)

“Gerrymandering” has nothing to do with what happens in the electoral college. Preservation of states rights is what that is about.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 16, 2008 10:21 AM
Comment #250688

DRReemer, so the election is over in April, even though no one will actually be nominated for months, and the people vote 7 months from now, and the electors about a month and a half later? Because nothing can happen in all that time that would change anything from the perfect scenario that you have all mapped out in your cereal bowl?

“Clinton’s scorched earth policy”, are you kidding? The grass hasn’t even been singed yet. BHO hasn’t even doen a serious interview yet, it’s all just advertising and free air time for speeches.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 16, 2008 10:55 AM
Comment #250690

Lee, your understanding of the Electoral College has one serious flaw:

“In all but two states, the party that wins the most popular votes becomes that state’s electors, essentially a winner-take-all.”

Hence, gerrymandering has incredible influence in certain elections in the outcome of which party wins the most popular votes. Gerrymandering preempts minority party voters from even showing up when they live in gerrymandered districts which give a majority to the other party.

You may want to revisit the history and fundamentals of how the Electoral College is established and how gerrymandering in close races can make ALL the difference.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2008 11:08 AM
Comment #250692

ohrealy asked: “DRReemer, so the election is over in April”

Yep, according to the throw of the wheat flakes in my cereal bowl, as I said. :-)

Get a sense of humor, man. Borrow one, steal one, buy one. But, get one. Oh, and yeah, that smiley face is often a good indication that humor has been injected into the comment. No guarantee of good humor, but, of intent, at least.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2008 11:12 AM
Comment #250693

Dawn, excellent commentary. And yes, the list does indeed go on, and on, and on.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2008 11:15 AM
Comment #250696

David,
The electoral college is the only reason presidential candidates care a whit about the majority of the states during the electoral process. That winner-take-all is of vital importance to the electoral significance of the smaller states. Just read up on how Karl Rove did his strategies and you’ll see winner-take-all magnifying states like Alaska, Iowa, and Mississippi. Remember that, had ANY state switched from Red to blue, includng his home state of Tennessee, in 2000 Al Gore would have been president.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 16, 2008 11:34 AM
Comment #250697

“Obama’s positions are not tied to an ideology or ideological base, but, to a vision toward solutions regardless of whether those solutions come from the right, left, or center. Hence, his vision for change and solutions remain integrally intact.”
Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2008 09:59 AM

David, where was the smiley face on this failed attempt at humor? The real fun begins when Obama is asked real questions by media not controlled by the left. The vision you refer to could come from using an illegal substance. (Sorry, I couldn’t find my smiley face button)

Posted by: Jim M at April 16, 2008 11:35 AM
Comment #250698

All of those large city folk voters are bitter about the political climate for the last eight years and cling to saving the humpbacks, same sex humping, taking religion out of schools unless you are muslim (because that would be just intolerant) freedom from oppression for the Dhali Lama and tibetians, but screw the Iraqi citizins who lived under a meglomanic tyrant for years or antipathy to people who aren’t like them as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Posted by: b0mbay at April 16, 2008 11:42 AM
Comment #250701
Paul Siegel wrote: Senator Barack Obama was careless with his language and as usual Senator Hillary Clinton pounced. Obama said that people in small towns are bitter about their deteriorating economic conditions and as a result concentrate more on social rather than economic conditions.
Yes, Barack Obama said:
  • In Pennsylvania (on 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”.
  • (12-APR-2008): “I said something that everybody knows is true.”
  • (12-APR-2008): “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”
However, whether it was merely “careless” is debatable and probably one of several diversions being used to cloud the issue.

And whether people are “bitter” is also not the real issue with Obama’s statement, since many people (as many polls reveal) are understandably upset.
So that is probably another diversion.
And whether or not there was some truth in Obama’s statement, which is highly questionable, and certainly can not apply only to people in “a lot of small towns”, is also probably a diversion to cloud the issue.
Especially in view of Obama’s subsequent defense of it being “true”, the weak apology, and his voting records on gun-control, illegal immigration, and trade.

Paul Siegel wrote: Clinton attacked his remarks as “elitist.” … Clinton immediately called Obama “elitist” and “out of touch” with average Americans. She has put out an ad that says the same thing. So McCain followed suit. And why not? This is a tactic directly out of the Karl Rove playbook.
Despite what Obama said, that is probably not a fair assessment of Obama, and neither Hillary Clinton, nor John McCain have much room to talk. All of them have exaggerated and said things that are not “true”:
  • Wolf Blitzer said (26-Mar-2997): BLITZER: “Everything we hear, that if you leave the so-called Green Zone, the international zone, and you go outside of that secure area, relatively speaking, you’re in trouble if you’re an American.”
  • John McCain said: “You know, that’s where you ought to catch up on things, Wolf. General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in a non-armed Humvee. I think you ought to catch up. You see, you are giving the old line of three months ago. I understand it. You certainly don’t get it through the filter of some of the media.”
    __________
  • Hillary Clinton said (at George Washington University, March 17, 2008): “I remember landing [in Bosnia] under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”
Paul Siegel wrote: Obama shot back that he mangled his words but he does not retract his basic idea that the average person’s economic fortune has deteriorated badly.
And that is yet another problem.

There are two problems with that argument (a.k.a. diversion):

  • (a) Did Obama really merely “mangle” his words, or did Obama reveal something about his character we have not seen before?

  • (b) The issue is not that:
    • economic conditions for many people have deteriorated,

    • or that many people are bitter about deteriorating economic conditions,

    • or that SOME PEOPLE (not all, and certainly not only in “a lot of small towns”), may possibly harbor anti-immigrant and anti-trade sentiments,

    • or that SOME PEOPLE (not all, and certainly not only in “a lot of small towns”), may be one-issue voters with regard to gun-ownership,

    • or that SOME PEOPLE (not all, and certainly not only in “a lot of small towns”), may be religiously intolerant to the extreme,

    • or that SOME PEOPLE (not all, and certainly not only in “a lot of small towns”), may Obama’s description to varying degrees.

  • All of those arguments are all weak and clever attempts to cloud the issues, obscure the facts, and divert attention away from the real issues.

The real issues with Barack Obama’s statements are:

  • (01) Barack Obama’s statement was not said with praise. It most certainly appeared as a denigration of people in “a lot of small towns”:
      Obama said: “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”.

  • (02) Obama helped give credibility to that theory with his follow-up defense by saying: “I said something everybody knows is true”

  • (03) Obama’s apology was not much of an apology at all: “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”

  • (04) Obama (23-Nov-2004) in an interview with Charlie Rose, said almost the very same thing, and Charlie Rose cautioned about not “looking down on them [people]” and sounding condescending. Unfortunately, Obama failed to heed Charlie Rose’s warning.

  • (05) Obama’s choice of the words, “anti-immigrant” is interesting, in a nation that is one of the biggest melting pots in the world. It is unlikely most Americans are “anti-immigrant”. It is more likely many (if not most) Americans are “anti-illegal-immigration”. There’s a big difference, but Obama’s voting record on illegal immigration also gives credibility to the theory that Obama’s statement was a denigration.

  • (06) Obama’s choice of words, “anti-trade” is also interesting. It is unlikely most Americans are “anti-trade”. That makes no sense. It is more likely that most Americans are opposed to unfair-trade practices. And again, Obama’s voting record gives credibility to the theory that his statement was a denigration, since Obama voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman (BILL S. 3569 ; vote number 2006-190 on Jun 29, 2006), even though Oman has bad labor laws, and the trade-deal contained some investment provisions even more damaging to the ability of government to act in the public interest than NAFTA or CAFTA.

  • (07) Obama’s choice of words, “cling to guns” is also interesting. If he means that some voters become one-issue voters, he completely failed to make that important distinction, and it does not help at all that is lumped together with “religion”, “anti-immigrant”, and “anti-trade sentiments”, and directed only at people in “a lot of small towns”, as if these alleged tendencies do not affect people in other areas or big cities. Obama’s voting record on gun-control also gives credibility to the theory that his statement was a denigration. After all, Obama:
    • co-sponsored a 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?}

  • (08) Obama’s statement about people in “a lot of small towns” that “cling” to “religion” is problematic too, since it is hard to defend Obama’s statement as anything but a denigration (certainly not praise), and especially since it was combined with denigration of “guns”, “anti-immigrant”, “and anit-trade sentiments”. No matter which way you cut it, that statement is difficult to explain away.

  • (09) Obama’s statement fails to focus on the sources of peoples’ bitterness, and instead, focuses on what he perceives as peoples’ abberations in “a lot of small towns”. There is no doubt that many people are bitter, but not only in “a lot of small towns”, and the bitterness some people have is certainly not something to be denigrated by saying: “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”.

  • (10) Some people have argued that Obama’s statement was true. Even Obama’s follow-up statement asserts that very thing: “I said something that everybody knows is true”.
    However, it is not true, because:
    • (1) Obama’s statement is not true for all people in even one single “small town”. There is diversity even in small towns. There is diversity nation-wide. In big cities too.

    • (2) Trying to make such broad generalizations of entire communities, such as “small towns” or “a lot of small towns”, is rarely (if ever) accurate.

    • (3) It can not possibly apply to one entire “small town”, much less “a lot of small towns”.

    • (4) Not all people are religious, even if bitter.

    • (5) 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”.

    • (6) There is a big difference between SOME PEOPLE and people in “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”.
      Why refer to people in only “a lot of small towns” this way?

    • (7) There are SOME PEOPLE all throughout the nation, and in some big cities too, that may fit resemble Obama’s description, but not only “small towns” and “a lot of small towns”.

    • (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 (on several counts),

  • (b) but it also appears to be denigrating people “in a lot of small towns”, and the statement was not said in praise of those values, nor merely consoling, understanding, or identifying with people either. It was more likely what it appears to be: a denigration of several things. Thus, there may be a pattern developing. And Obama’s previous discussion with Charlie Rose, Obama’s voting record on gun-control, immigration, and lend credibility to that theory.

Paul Siegel wrote:
Obama shot back that he mangled his words but he does not retract his basic idea that the average person’s economic fortune has deteriorated badly.

And that was a mistake. He fell right into the trap, and is now digging a deeper hole. He should have simply apologized and explained what he meant. Certainly not make it worse by saying: “I said something everybody knows is true”

Paul Siegel wrote: Definitely. Gas prices and food prices are gong through the roof, while the average guy’s income is stagnating if not decreasing. Our dollar is worth less and less each day. Jobs are being cut and sent overseas - outsourcing. The country’s debt has reached the stratosphere - 64% of the GDP. Healthcare is out of reach for many. So are college tuition costs. The list goes on.
That part is all true, but it is still not sufficient to explain-away Barack Obama’s statement.
Paul Siegel wrote: Today I read that Clinton did not change people’s minds about Obama. I find this very encouraging.
And that is fine. That may be true. Obama’s statement doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, and it is unlikely that Hillary Clinton and John McCain are better.
Paul Siegel wrote: Americans are beginning to see the huge difference between Clinton and Obama. Voting for Clinton will give us the same polarizing and backbiting political talk that we have had for too many years. Voting for Obama will bring a change in the political atmosphere: Conservatives and liberals will talk to each other!
That would be nice. However, not if Obama continues to make more statements that denigrate specific groups, such as people in “a lot of small towns”.
Paul Siegel wrote: Of course, there is no guarantee everybody’s wish will be fulfilled. This is impossible. But at least the country will be at peace with itself - and ready to solve problems.
Not if too many voters continue to repeatedly reward too many irresponsible incumbent politicians in Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

Not if voters focus to much only on the presidential election.
Not if voters saddle their next president with another irresponsible, FOR-SALE, corrupt, dysfuncational, and wasteful Congress.
Especially when most polls consistently give Congress dismally low approval ratings (as low as 11% to 18%).
The next president is unlikely to get much accomplised if too many voters merely pull the party-lever and continue to repeatedly reward too many irresponsible incumbent politicians in Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

Paul Siegel wrote: One can say that, through her constant attacks, Clinton has done Obama a favor. She has demonstrated for all to see that Obama truly represents a change while she represents the same old, same old… From the “bitter” remarks our fortunes have become sweeter - bitter-sweet.
That’s some nice spin, but Clinton didn’t do it to Obama.

This gaffe, Obama did to himself.
And he compounded it by defending it by saying, “I said something everybody knows is true”, and following up with a weak apology, “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”

Having said all that, it does not mean Barack Obama is a bad person.
It may not yet prove that he is an elitist.
It may not mean Barack Obama still isn’t the best choice (of the three) for president.
It does not mean Barack Obama can’t win.
And it is possible that Hillary Clinton also harbors similar (or worse) beliefs resembling Obama’s statement, but simply has not been caught or careless enough to ever say them in public?
At any rate, all of these three candidates (Clinton, McCain, and Obama) raise some serious concerns and questions, and that is why their statements get so much attention.

However, it is safe to say, Obama’s statement didn’t help him, it is most likely a denigration, and if he continues to denigrate, subsequently defend denigrations, and follow-up with weak apologies, he could destroy his campaign, and it won’t be Hillary Clinton’s or John McCain’s fault. It will be his own fault.

Posted by: d.a.n at April 16, 2008 12:20 PM
Comment #250702

j2t2, great posts.

David, I agree with your assessments.
As for the Hillary supporters, much like their candidate, they seem to be having a difficult time in the sense of humor department these days.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at April 16, 2008 12:22 PM
Comment #250704

“Karl Marx said “Religion is the sigh of an oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of a soulless condition. It is the opium of the people.” Marx says it much more “artfully” than Obama, but the message is the same.”


Well not just Karl Marx but the other evil manipulator Karl has been spouting it lately, yes Karl Rove who read it in the Kristol editorial in the NYT. Well and then countless other cons and repubs as if it was relevent to the conversation. I would call it a leap in logic if there were any logic to it at all.

To equate this- “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.” to the Marx/Rove/Kristol quote is .. well there is certainly no logic involved its just a cheap and dirty ploy designed to manipulate these same people Obama was referring to. Talk about insulting, Jeez, and so obvious.


“to explain the frustrations they have that the government hasn’t given them enough money.”

Or under the guise of free trade has allowed lord knows how many jobs to leave the country while at the same time bringing in foreign engineers, programmers and tradespeople to artificially supress wages, etc.

“So religion goes in the same category as being anti-immigrant, defense of the 2nd amendment goes hand in hand with racism, and all these misguided emotions stem from economic status.”

When discussing wedge issues I would say it is in the same category. I’m sure you have heard the short version before- Guns, God and Gays. So in context what did he say that would ruffle the feathers of someone who is looking to vote in the PA Democratic primaries? As far as economic status Im not sure but this is what he actually said- “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.” Pray tell what is so bad about that?


“If only the government would make all those uneducated hardworking people as rich as San Franciscans, they would soon become harmless, gunless, open border advocating, color blind, free trading atheists and we’d all live happily ever after, right? ”

But your not bitter! Yeah right. Did you forget volvo driving and latte drinking? Maybe not afterall isnt this just a sample of what your accusing Obama of doing? And why would you refer to these people as uneducated I didnt hear Obama say that. Seems the cons really are obfuscating the issues so as to keep McBush out of the public eye.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2008 12:43 PM
Comment #250709

“Seems the cons really are obfuscating the issues so as to keep McBush out of the public eye.”

really j2, he’s not up for re election. funny how this always seems to come up. why do cons care about keeping ” MC Bush” out of the public eye ? wanna see what a wonderful place the country will be with dems in charge of the whitehouse and congress, just take a look at the fine mess they’ve created in california. that ought to scare the hell out of anyone.

Posted by: dbs at April 16, 2008 1:27 PM
Comment #250711

Would you prefer McSame over Mc Bush, dbs?

Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2008 2:06 PM
Comment #250712

In a Charlie Rose interview in 2004, he fleshed out a point of view that people, in the absence of serious movement on getting government help to their local economies, people would vote their values, what meant something to them. He was not at all condesending about it, he was sympathetic and respectful.

This year, explaining what he really meant, he gave the same consistent explanations. So I think, from such evidence, that he is not an elitist, just somebody who chose his words poorly. If you want to be tedious and hold his words against him, okay, fine. Your prerogative. But if you care more about what he really meant, about the truth of his attitudes, which will determine the real strength of his leadership, then overall message, clarified and self-consistent over time should be your guide to his virtue as a candidate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2008 2:14 PM
Comment #250715

Obama spoke (or mispoke?) about small town people…he didn’t say anything about their being poor or economically disadvantaged…

Posted by: Rachel at April 16, 2008 2:29 PM
Comment #250717

“Would you prefer McSame over Mc Bush, dbs?”

i would prefer it over obama, or clinton, j2.

Posted by: dbs at April 16, 2008 2:35 PM
Comment #250723

Stephen, would people risk their values in order to get that govt help? IMO and experience, no. And assuming more govt “help” would make us toss those values aside and vote for “whats best for us,” is insulting.
Voting against ones values simply because some slick politician promises them govt money, is not for everybody.


And how in the heck are we supposed to know his “virtue as a candidate,” when you guys always have to explain what he “really” meant?

This is what I am saying - Check the publics reaction and the polls - This is what I meant to say.

Its getting a little old.

Posted by: kctim at April 16, 2008 3:25 PM
Comment #250725
Stephen Daugherty wrote: In a Charlie Rose interview in 2004, he fleshed out a point of view that people, in the absence of serious movement on getting government help to their local economies, people would vote their values, what meant something to them. He was not at all condesending about it, he was sympathetic and respectful.
That’s debatable. Perhaps not in that conversation with Charlie Rose, but it:
  • still does not explain-away Obama’s statement in Pennsylvania (on 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”.
    • shows that Obama, despite pondering this issue as least since 23-NOV-2004, still managed to sound condescending, and still denigrated people in “a lot of small towns”, despite Charlie Rose’s warning to “not look down on them”, which lends more credibility to the theory that Obama revealed a side of his character that is not very flattering.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: This year, explaining what he really meant, he gave the same consistent explanations.
    On the contrary. He defended his original statement by saying:
    • (12-APR-2008): “I said something that everybody knows is true.”
    • He had already tested it out on Charlie Rose, and Charlie Rose even warned Barack Obama about “sounding condescending”.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: So I think, from such evidence, that he is not an elitist, just somebody who chose his words poorly.
    Not likely, since:
    • Obama’s subsequent defense of his original statement was (12-APR-2008): “I said something that everybody knows is true.”
    • Obama’s voting record on gun-control (want to ban semi-automatic weapons?),
    • Obama’s voting record on illegal immigration,
    • and Obama’s voting record on trade.
    • and the targeting of “a lot of small towns”.
    • and the part about “religion” is wrong no matter which way you cut it.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: So I think, from such evidence, that he is not an elitist, just somebody who chose his words poorly.
    There are degrees of everything.

    As for looking at the evidence, and Obama’s comments and voting record, and his defense of original statement (e.g. “I said something that everybody knows is true.”), then Obama may indeed harbor some elitist attitudes.
    However, on the whole, I do not think Barack Obama is a severe elitist, nor a bad person, nor do I think Hillary Clinton or John McCain are better.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to be tedious and hold his words against him, okay, fine. Your prerogative.
    “be tedious” ?

    Attacking other’s opinion as being “tedious” is yet another of several attempts to cloud the issue, and discourage honest debate.

    It is completely plausible, reasonable, and logical reasoning to have concerns about Obama’s statement, the subsequent defense of it as being “true”, and the subsequent weak apology.
    It is not hard to understand why many reasonable and fair-minded people will find Obama’s statements concerning.
    And attacking others as being “tedious” is not going to help explain-away this issue.
    But attacking the messenger is a common tactic in trying to salvage a weak position, and defend the indefensible.
    But it is hard to do without turning one’s self into a pretzel.

    Again, had it not been for Barack Obama’s other actions, and comments in the past, subsequent defense of it being “true”, and the weak apology, the issue would have been easily dismissed.

    The fact is, Obama’s statement was not a mere poor choice of words, since Obama defended his original statement by saying:

  • (12-APR-2008): “I said something that everybody knows is true.”
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: “hold his words against him …”
    Anyone campaigning for President of the United States should know and expect to be held accountable for their choice of words.

    FYI: I am neither for or against Obama any more or less than Hillary Clinton or John McCain. I have no pony in this race, since I don’t prefer any of them more or less than the other. In my opinion, and based on all three senators voting records, the choices are not very good.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But if you care more about what he really meant, …
    I do care what he really meant.

    While I think Obama is genuinely concerned about solving economic and social issues, I also think Barack Obama probably said exactly what he meant, and revealed a side of himself that was not very flattering, since he later defended his original statement by saying:

  • (12-APR-2008): “I said something that everybody knows is true.”
  • Thus, since he subsequently defended his original statement, it is compeletely reasonable for many people to still be question whether Obama only merely chose his words poorly.

    After all, Barack Obama subsequently:

    • [1] (12-APR-2008): “I said something that everybody knows is true.”

    • [2] and (12-APR-2008): “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”
    So, which is it?

    Why apologize for something “everyone knows is true” ?

    Unfortunately, I think Obama said exactly what he meant, based on:

  • (1) previous comments, such as those in the Charlie Rose interview, where Charlie warned against “sounding condescending”,

  • (2) the subsequent defense of the original statement,

  • (3) his voting record on gun-control,

  • (4) his voting record on illegal immigration,

  • (5) his voting record on free-trade,

  • (6) and the weak apology. Why apologize if the original statement was “true” ?

  • (7) and there was really never a convincing follow-up to explain how his original statement was badly worded, which is probably because there really is no good way to explain it.

  • Thus, the excuse that it was merely “badly worded” is yet another diversion to cloud the real issue.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: But if you care more about what he really meant, about the truth of his attitudes, which will determine the real strength of his leadership, then overall message, clarified and self-consistent over time should be your guide to his virtue as a candidate.
    I agree.

    That is why many people naturally find Obama’s statement, defense of it, and the weak apology concerning.
    That is why even many Obama supporters were cringing at Obama’s statement, follow-up statement in defense of it as being “true”, and the weak apology.
    That is why this issue is difficult to explain away.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 16, 2008 3:42 PM
    Comment #250726

    “And how in the heck are we supposed to know his “virtue as a candidate,” when you guys always have to explain what he “really” meant?”

    the reason “us guys” always have to explain is becuase the cons spin machine restates what was said and broadcasts it to the movement faithful for distribution and people actual start believing the propaganda.

    “This is what I am saying - Check the publics reaction and the polls - This is what I meant to say.”

    Or make a statement, have it distorted , clarify the statement.

    “Its getting a little old.”

    True it is kctim, but, if the conservative movement would present issues instead of spin it wouldnt need to be this way. I know its hard when all you can say is stay the course bit we have heard that for so long and can see that all we get is more of the same and it aint working.

    Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2008 4:04 PM
    Comment #250729

    So its the “cons spin machine,” not his own words, that keeps me from being able to read past what he actually said and seeing what he really meant to say.
    Interesting J2.

    Damn conservative movement, using his actual words instead of the words he really meant to use.

    Posted by: kctim at April 16, 2008 4:42 PM
    Comment #250734

    Yep kctim, thats it. What is so hard to understand about what he said. Seems clear enough to me. If you actually had a tough time understanding what he said perhaps it is time to turn off the filters. Dont take my word for it but look through this thread and the previous thread as well as the news and you will see his comments have been compared to Karl Marx for crying out loud. Karl Marx. Each and every rightie here has filtered what he has said through their own belief system and altered what he said to fit their needs. Look at the posts here and tell me Im wrong kctim.Its nothing more than exageration and liberal bashing from the PC wing of the repub party (yes I include Hillary as well as the Kristols and Roves). This is much ado about nothing. To bad you dont have issues to stand on, then this kind of political crap wouldnt be needed.


    Obama was right in what he said , he was right the way he said it, for where he said it, and to who he said it to IMHO. He even went so far as to say he regretted it if he worded it so that you didnt understand. What more is there?

    Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2008 5:14 PM
    Comment #250737

    kctim-
    The Republicans are constantly re-explaining what they say and asking people not to take what they said out of context. Rather than just insult your intelligence by expecting you to believe that Barack was simply misunderstood on my own account, I pointed you to a video of him four years ago, when this current Presidential race wasn’t in full heat.

    If you were to listen to it, rather than skim over the video, you would find that Obama wasn’t saying we should ask people to give up on their other interests, but instead respect those differences and focus on extending the olive branch to them where they’ve been neglected.

    To put it another way, we’re asking them to balance their interests in the way they vote, which might occasionally work for liberals in our party, but might also work against them.

    As for giving them money? Many people in the Appalachians are on welfare already. Shaping labor laws and encouraging new opportunities by various methods would give them the government’s help without sacrificing their economic autonomy.

    Helping them in this way would help get the pressures of poverty off their culture, which would make some of these issues more casual in their significance to their voting. If people have more hope, more good-paying jobs, less stress from the failures of the economy, it would cut down on crime, cut down on teen pregnancy and family problem.

    But that would be their choice. Good politics is often about making such choices, though, easier to make.

    As for the public reaction and the polls? Generally not much at all. They aren’t so easily offended or mislead, it seems. And it does seem, if you look at the Right Track/Wrong Track ratings that people are deeply dissatisfied with the status quo. In short, people are bitter, and as Barack Obama later said, that’s perfectly understandable. They’re right to be. He wasn’t cutting them down by saying they were bitter, he was describing their mood, a mood the Right doesn’t want to admit exists in America.

    Dan-
    I think you want to look down on him. It’s not condescending to say that when all else fails, people will cling to what they know and love, to what seemed a better past. That’s human. Has it suddenly become forbidden to feel lousy about the way things are going in America, especially if you’re at the crappiest end of the crappy deal the average American’s gotten over the last few decades?

    People feel this way, and it’s true. And they’re going to cling to those issues where they believe somebody’s listening.

    As for saying people cling to religion when things go wrong, I could say that part of my conversion process to full Christianity was my experience of 9/11 and the awful events that followed. People need to believe in better things when times are at their worst. Is that wrong? Is that unreasonable?

    It’s not unreasonable to say that people don’t vote their interests when they don’t think their interests will be seen to. How else do you think Nader spoiled Gore? Those people believed, somewhat tragically, that Gore and Bush were no different. They likely regret that now, most of them. But you can’t take back the past.

    You can, however, take back your future, and that’s what people want to do. They believe, like many others do, that Obama represents a change in the Democratic Party, one that will restore it’s support for the needs of America.

    He has apologized for the clumsy phrasing but I don’t think he’ll apologize for what he meant. What he meant was true. People will start voting their economic interests when they don’t have to fight a sense of futility about real help coming and their other interests so much to make that vote. If saying that is offensive, so be it. It’s the truth.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2008 5:29 PM
    Comment #250738

    Dan-
    By the way: he said these words at a San Fransisco Fundraiser, not a Philadelphia function.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2008 5:34 PM
    Comment #250739

    kctim

    how dare you hold barack obama responsable for his remarks! how many times have you heard big city liberals refer to those who support gun rights, and religion as pick up driving rednecks, that obviously don’t know whats good for them. know what ? they either get it or they don’t. excuse me i’m off to play my banjo, and drink white lightening. ;-)

    Posted by: dbs at April 16, 2008 5:48 PM
    Comment #250741

    His position on and the lack of understanding the issues is the point J2.
    He treats our concerns about those issues as petty little things we “cling” to because govt has not put enough money in our pockets.
    He basically said that we would quit caring about these issues and our values if govt gave us more. He has no clue as to how important our values are to us and I really have not gotten the impression that he cares to know.

    Stephen
    I listened to your video and gave it a fair chance. I believe I have seen it before and I believe it was on the same day I saw the one where he said he wouldn’t run in 08.
    Obama can say he doesnt want us to give up on our interest, be respectful and work together all he wants, but his voting record does not show the caring for different views you are trying to promote.

    “Shaping labor laws and encouraging new opportunities by various methods would give them the government’s help without sacrificing their economic autonomy”

    But by voting for Obama, they would be sacrificing the issues they are concerned about, the things he says they “cling” to because govt does not do enough.
    Hey, when Obama is President, he will support the liberal agenda without concern of those who do not agree with it. IF the people want it, you guys will still be in power in 2012. If the people get upset about those rights, you will not.

    If the public wasn’t asking questions, then Obama wouldn’t feel the need to explain what he “really” meant to say.
    Obviously, people are upset about the status quo you mentioned, but changing partys does not change that. The left will feel like the status quo has changed when their guy is elected and the right will be pissed off over what he does. Everybody else? Well, they will be saying WTF, nothings changed at all.

    Posted by: kctim at April 16, 2008 5:57 PM
    Comment #250742

    I think that his comments will come to bite him in the end in Aug.
    I am bitter, and I have religion, but had that before BO’s comment.
    And I am a Normal White Person living in the rust belt.
    BO is talking the talk, but can he walk the Walk. I don’t think so.

    Posted by: KT at April 16, 2008 6:23 PM
    Comment #250744

    There is definitely some spin on both sides (e.g. both by Democrats and Republicans), and some of it is not fair.

    However, the reason this issue is reached the level it has is not merely because Obama’s opponents are unfairly piling on.

    It is because there are completely plausible, reasonable, and logical reasons why many reasonable and fair-minded people also have concerns about:

    • (a)several parts of Obama’s original statement,

    • (b) the subsequent defense of it as being “true”,

    • (c) the subsequent weak apology,

    • (d) Obama’s voting record on illegal immigration, gun control, and trade,

    • (e) and Obama’s pondering on that very issue (since at least 23-NOV-2004), but the failure to still avoid the warnings about “sounding condescending”.
    And that is why this issue is difficult to explain-away and/or defend.

    The diversions to cloud the issue, such as:

    • Obama didn’t really say what he meant to say,

    • Obama merely misspoke,

    • Obama merely chose his words poorly,

    • Obama “said something that everybody knows is true.”

    • Obama’s weak apology (e.g. “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”) should be sufficient.

    • shifting focus to whether people are truly bitter, when few will argue that many people are understandably bitter,

    • shifting focus to whether people are truly clinging to guns,

    • shifting focus to whether people are truly clinging to religion,

    • shifting focus to whether people are truly clinging to ,

    • shifting focus to whether people are truly clinging to religion,

    • ignoring the fact that “a lot of small towns” were the group being denigrated (not big cities),

    • and ignoring the fact that Obama has pondered this very issue since at least 23-NOV-2004,
    … still do not explain-away Obama’s original statement, subsequent defense of it, the weak apology, failure to heed previous warngins of “sounding condescending”, and Obama’s voting record on illegal immigration, gun-control, and free trade.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- I think you want to look down on him.
    Not true.

    But I understand the frustration in trying to defend the indefensible, and turning into a pretzel while trying to find a way to explain-away the unexplainable.
    Attacking other’s opinion is yet another of several attempts to cloud the issue, discourage honest debate, and a common tactic in trying to salvage a weak position, and defend the indefensible.
    It is hard to do without turning one’s self into a pretzel.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s not condescending to say that when all else fails, people will cling to what they know and love, to what seemed a better past. That’s human.
    But that Obama said. Obama said:
    • (06-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”.
    • (12-APR-2008): “I said something that everybody knows is true.”
    • (12-APR-2008): “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”
    There’s a big difference between what you wrote above and what Obama said. But good try to continue to cloud the real issue with more obfuscation.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Has it suddenly become forbidden to feel lousy about the way things are going in America, especially if you’re at the crappiest end of the crappy deal the average American’s gotten over the last few decades?
    Not at all. But that is not the issue. But good try to continue to cloud the real issue with more obfuscation.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People feel this way, and it’s true.
    True. People are bitter. But that is not the issue.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: And they’re going to cling to those issues where they believe somebody’s listening.
    SOME PEOPLE. But not all people in “a lot of small towns” only, and Obama’s statement was not praise. It was denigration.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for saying people cling to religion when things go wrong, I could say that part of my conversion process to full Christianity was my experience of 9/11 and the awful events that followed. People need to believe in better things when times are at their worst. Is that wrong? Is that unreasonable?
    People’s clinging to (even embracing their religion) is no one else’s business.

    What is troubling is that “religion” was included with “cling to guns”, “anti-immigrant sentitment”, and “anti-trade and sentiment”.
    Obama was not praising people in “a lot of small towns” when he said: “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: It’s not unreasonable to say that people don’t vote their interests when they don’t think their interests will be seen to.
    Maybe, but that is not the issue, but yet another obfuscation.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: How else do you think Nader spoiled Gore?
    Nonsense.

    That is a severely partisan statement and there is no proof that people that vote for Nader would have voted for Gore instead had Nader not been on the ballot too.
    And even if there was, it fails to recognize many of those voters probably knew Nader couldn’t win, but didn’t care which of the other two candidates won.
    And that is not the issue, but yet another obfuscation.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Those people believed, somewhat tragically, that Gore and Bush were no different. They likely regret that now, most of them. But you can’t take back the past.
    Perhaps. But none of us are mind readers, and the problem is not only the president.

    A larger part of the problem is too many irrresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress, and too many voters that repeatedly reward too many irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You can, however, take back your future, and that’s what people want to do. They believe, like many others do, that Obama represents a change in the Democratic Party, one that will restore it’s support for the needs of America.
    Maybe. But not likely, since too many voters will probably continue to repeatedly reward too many irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    Unfortunately, too many voters are likely to sabotage the next president by saddling the president with the same corrupt, irresponsible Congress.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: He has apologized for the clumsy phrasing but I don’t think he’ll apologize for what he meant.
    That wasn’t much of an apology.

    After all, Barack Obama subsequently said:

    • [1] (12-APR-2008): “I said something that everybody knows is true.”

    • [2] and (12-APR-2008): “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”
    So, which is it?

    And why apologize if as Obama said: “I said something that everybody knows is true.”
    Thus, the apology still does not explain-away Obama’s statement, since he still defends his statement as being “true”.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: What he meant was true.
    No, 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.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: People will start voting their economic interests when they don’t have to fight a sense of futility about real help coming and their other interests so much to make that vote. If saying that is offensive, so be it. It’s the truth.
    Stephen Daugherty, Your statement (above) is not necessarily false, but that is not exactly what Obama said.

    What Obama said is not only false (see list of 8 reasons above) in many ways, but it was denigrating people in “a lot of small towns” by saying: “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”.

    Even if there were some elements of truth in Obama’s statement, it could only apply to some people, and certainly not only people in “a lot of small towns” only (while excluding big cities, and everything in-between). And the portion about religion is condescending no matter which way you cut it, since others’ religion is no one else’s business.

    And that is why it is so difficult to explain-away and/or defend Obama’s statements, due to his subsequent defense of it, the weak apology, the failure to still avoid the warnings about “sounding condescending”, and his voting record on gun-control, illegal immigration, and free-trade.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 16, 2008 6:40 PM
    Comment #250751

    I don’t think Gore blames Nader for 2000. After 8 years of bliss under William Jefferson Clinton, forty-second President of the United States, people felt secure in voting Green, not daring to believe that what was going on in Florida would result in the mess now known as Bush43. It was ridiculous enough that the Rpblcns would even nominate a crook like him after the years long investigations into every financial dealing anyone named Clinton ever made. Incorporated in the Cayman Islands, you’ve got to be kidding!

    DRReemer, I only read the words.

    On the topic, I guess the guns are the “false nostaglia” , religion is “intolerance” and antipathy/anti-immigrant/trade is “narrow-mindedness”, from ““intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia” ? Or is religion “narrow-mindedness, and antipathy/anti-immigrant/trade “intolerance”?

    I don’t think anyone who is the person that they want to be, is bitter about anything.

    Posted by: ohrealy at April 16, 2008 7:46 PM
    Comment #250772

    Scene:
    The living room of a poor, white couple living in a small town in central Pennsylvania. The furniture is shabby, the room is lit by a single gas lantern, and the cigarette-smoke-stained paint on the walls is peeling off, leaving little piles of lead lying about on the floor. It is Sunday evening and Maw and Paw are resting in their recliners.
    Maw: Paw, I seed you was out huntin agin today. You feeling bitter agin?
    Paw: Course I’m feelin bitter agin, Maw. I got no job now for 25 years. Reagan promised me one, then got so batty he didn’t get to doin it. Then Papa Bush, he promised me one. ‘Cept he got hisself unelected ‘fore he got around to it. Then Clinton promised me one. ‘Cept he was so busy chasin tail, he plum forgot all about it. Then Baby Bush, he promised me one. But, then he went about spendin all his money on EyeRak, so there wernt none left to give me a job. So, yeah, I was feelin bitter.
    Maw: Did the huntin help with the bitter feelins?
    Paw: It did, dear, and I ‘preciate you askin. I blew away a squirrel. Watched blood and guts fly all over the woods. Almost forgot about not havin no job. You know, Maw, you been seemin a little bitter your own self. Mebbe you’d like to come huntin with me.
    Maw: Now, Paw, you know I don’t abide huntin. Besides, I got my church. When you lost your job, I took up goin to church. I went this very mornin, and I ain’t felt bitter all the rest of today.
    Paw: How’s that work? You shoot squirrels in church?
    Maw: No, silly goose. It works different in different churches. I went to the United Church of Christ for a spell. The pastor told us that Reagan and Bush and Bush lied and lied and lied. So, I knew twasn’t your fault you had no job. I didn’t feel so bitter after that. Then, I went to the Evangelical Church. The pastor told us that Clinton lied and laid and lied and laid. All my bitterness just drained away. And, at each church we all prayed for the liars to burn in hell, so’s we could all get back to work.
    Paw: Did you pray for all the Neeegrows to burn in hell, too? It’s mostly their fault I ain’t got no job.
    Maw: At the Evangelical Church, we prayed for the Neeegrows to burn, but then at the United Church of Christ we found out that they don’t got no jobs either. So, we stopped.
    Paw: Well, if the Neeegrows ain’t got my job, who has got it?
    Maw: Meskins, I hear tell. They got 12 million jobs. One of them 12 million jobs figgers to be yours. I hate them Meskins for takin your job, Paw.
    Paw: I hate ‘em, too. Comin up here and takin my job. Makes me so bitter I want to run right out and shoot me another squirrel.
    Maw: Mebbe we should just move to where folks ain’t so bitter. Like San Fransisco, mebbe.
    Paw: San Fransisco? How come they ain’t bitter?
    Maw: I got a letter from Cousin the other day, Cousin who lives near San Fransisco. I took it over the the post office to have someone read it to me. Turns out, they got gobs of jobs in San Fransisco, so they ain’t never bitter.
    Paw: Never?
    Maw: Well, almost never. Cousin says they get a mite bitter cuz they can’t get married. And, also a mite bitter cuz of injustice…and global warming, and downturns on Wall Street, and Rush Limbaugh.
    Paw: Do they got squirrels to shoot or churches to go to when they feel bitter?
    Maw: Nope, Paw, they don’t. They got no guns to shoot the squirrels with and they got no churches, either, so says Cousin.
    Paw: So, what do they do?
    Maw: They go to Barak Obama speeches. Then they feel good the rest of the day.

    The fuel runs out in the lantern, and the dirty little room fades to black.

    The End


    Posted by: Steve at April 17, 2008 8:34 AM
    Comment #250986

    Regarding Obama’s statements, see this SurveyUSA poll (of 700 adults from the Harrisburg area; 534 identified themselves as being familiar with Obama’s comments and were asked the questions which follow. Research conducted exclusively for WHP-TV in Harrisburg):

    • Disagree with Obama’s statement (50%)

    • Were offended by Obama’s statement (40%).

    • Believe there will be a negative impact for Obama (40%).
    There are similar polls.

    However, it could be Obama didn’t lose enough voters to matter that much, but it is very unlikely he gained more votes because of what he said.

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 19, 2008 4:03 PM
    Comment #250989

    Seems this whole tirade has been much ado about nothing. More wishful thinking on the parts of the cons and the Clinton supporters than anything else judging by the poll results d.a.n

    Posted by: j2t2 at April 19, 2008 4:56 PM
    Comment #250997

    Maybe.
    Despite polls about whether people agreed with Obama’s statements, it doesn’t seem to have significantly affected whether people were going to voter for Obama or not.

    I know there is spin on both sides, but I really don’t have any strong preference for any of the candidates running for president. I’m merely analyzing all of the candidates voting records, deeds, and actions.

    I found the entire issue very interesting, because it was surprising to see the division which appears to be almost completely along partisan lines.

    Of course, the Republicans attacked Obama.
    Of course, the Democrats defended Obama.

    I was a little surprised that very few on either side appeared very objective about it. That is, I would have thought that many the people that are Obama supporters would still admit Obama’s statements were problematic. Yet, most bloggers appear to reject the idea that there was anything wrong with Obama’s statements.

    I think the poll numbers in which half (or more) people think the comments were wrong, but fewer were offended, and fewer thought it would hurt Obama’s candidacy, was interesting.

    Thus, you may be right.
    It may not have changed much of anything.
    It appears that it may not have hurt Obama.
    But it’s safe to say, it didn’t help him either.

    I personally still disagree with Obama’s statement, but I disagree with all of the candidates for president on many major issues (e.g. the economy, law enforcement, illegal immigration, taxation, etc.).

    I think Obama and Hillary are correct to start withdrawal from Iraq, and believe McCain is wrong to risk our U.S. troops lives and limbs for nation-buidling and policing the Iraqis’ civil war.

    I don’t think any of the three candidates are serious about the majority (if not all) of these abuses, resulting in these worsening economic conditions.

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

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 19, 2008 7:14 PM
    Comment #251082
    It is always someone elses fault. Right?
    Yep. It’s the OTHER party’s fault.

    Repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates makes it who’s fault ?

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

    Posted by: d.a.n at April 20, 2008 11:59 PM
    Comment #251311

    The chance is here. If Hillary become il Presidente she definitely will pursue major reforms… She has the brain, the will and the strength… She has proven that again and again…
    Obamatics have become so blind, they can not see further than their noses…
    Obamatics have become so blind, they can not see further than their noses…
    Ideological rhetoric without the any solid plan of how to deal with those three major issues (1. the WAR; 2. weak Economy; 3. the Environment) that are affecting our lives is just a hole in the water…
    Obama’s speech after he lost in Pennsylvania, was long, boring, repetitive, talked more against McCain than analyzing why he is not able to win in big states and metropolitan cities!!! Obama is lost in his narcistic believes that the American society owes him the presidency because he is black… It is a kind of a Presidential Affirmative Action. Doesn’t matter that the others are far more qualified than he…is

    Posted by: ARBAN Camaj at April 24, 2008 1:45 AM
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