Saturday, April 12, 2008

Obama sticks his foot in his mouth

The Jawa Report blogged The something about Barack Obama is that he just doesn't get it when he tries to relate to people whose American experience is different from his. Obama on rural Americans:

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
People cling to guns to protect themselves, because they know the government is incapable of doing it.
or religion
People cling to religion because they know that God will be with them, when government will not.
or antipathy to people who aren’t like them
The shuld respect, or at least tolerate, people who are not like them, but what solice can they get from them, i.e. why should they cling to them
or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment
You and Hillary are bringing the anti-trade sentiment, to placate the labor unions
as a way to explain their frustrations.
Look Barack, you and Michelle grew up in primarily urban environments, and it seems that silver spoons were never far from your mouths. The rural American experience is alien to you. Now, you're trying to relate, and I give you some credit for that, though trying to pound the round peg of country life into the square hole of the nanny state isn't the way to do it.

Let's take that clinging to guns thing, for instance. Now, I grew up in a rural hamlet in upstate New York. A hamlet is a place so small that it has a name, but the only local "government" is maybe a volunteer fire department, if that. Apart from the fact that we use our guns to hunt game, both big and small, there's another issue. Something that might not occur to you high-falutin' city folk. Let's say that you, Barry, suddenly find yourself in need of assistance from the police. A typical white, born-again, drunken, anti-trade bigot who hates illegal immigrants is banging on the door to your mansion and you're afraid for the safety of your family. Why, I'll bet the Chicago police are there inside of five minutes with bells on and whistles blowing. And it probably will be quicker than that; it'll just seem like five minutes to you. Back in the sticks, where us rubes hang out swilling beer, ogling cousins, and shooting up road signs, it's a different story.... since the sheriff is located in the county seat on the other side of the county, it's going to be at least a half hour before help shows up at her not-a-mansion door. Maybe she'll get lucky and a deputy will be on road patrol somewhere closer, say, only twenty minutes away, or so. Mr. Obama, sir, can you see why this poor woman might need an equalizer?

The Page quotes Obama saying 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…
Oops, almost said what you mean. And what should they be appreciating?
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.’
I don't know what your pastor drummed into you for 20 years, but most white working-class people I know want to work, as do the yellow, red, brown, and black working-class people.
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.
You should know better than t read the New York Times, especially the Sunday edition.
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?
No the question is what is he going to do to me. How much is he going to raise my taxes, while pretending to only tax the rich, and how badly is he going to hurt the health care system, by taking services some people now pay to get, and spreading them so that all illegal aliens get the same services nut we just have to pay for it.
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.
And illegal alien tat can get across the border that we will leave open.
John Hinderaker asks Is Obama's Campaign Over? It may be. I don't see how anyone known to have uttered these words can be elected President

James Joyner blogged The more we learn about Obama, the less saintly he appears. That was inevitable, of course; he’s just a man. But he’s had a huge advantage coming into this race as simultaneously a superstar and a virtual unknown. He’s been able to inspire people with his rhetoric while being sufficiently vague that those who “hope” for “change” could paint their own picture and have him be just the change they were hoping for. As the long campaign forces him to reveal more of himself, though, it’ll be far easier to campaign against him.

Ed Morrissey blogged Only a rookie would make a colossal blunder like calling Midwestern, small-town voters a bunch of bigoted, overly religious gun nuts.... That’s the risk of running for the highest office without garnering the necessary experience beforehand. Unfortunately for the Democrats, they had already put most of their eggs in his basket before he got properly vetted. No matter what they do now, they’ve handicapped themselves heavily for the November election.

StopTheACLU blogged Wow! I go out on one Friday night and the gaffe of the election season takes place! Here is the transcript via Huffington Post…they also have the audio in Obama’s own voice.

Michael Goldfarb blogged it isn't a gaffe, just a revealing slip of the tongue. Orthodox, secular liberals like Obama tend to explain religious fervor as a symptom of fear and bitterness. Likewise the irrational racism, xenophobia, and attachment to firearms of the "typical white person."

Marc Ambinder blogged We're dealing tonight with a classic Kinsleyian "gaffe," where a candidate says what he means and then is forced to account for it. Let's separate, for the moment, the politics of Obama's words from the argument he is making.

1 comment:

sisterrosetta said...

April 11, 2008
Obama Spins Furiously


Note the difference between what Obama said in an unguarded moment in San Francisco, and the cleaned-up version he tried to sell tonight.

San Francisco:

So it's not surprising then that 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.


So people end up voting on issues like guns and are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. They take refuge in their faith and their community, and their family, and the things they can count on.