April 14, 2008


So Hillary Clinton has been driving me nuts these past few days. (Full disclosure: I'm definitely an Obama supporter, and I don't pretend to not have a horse in this race, so get your grains of salt ready.) Conflict and controversy suddenly erupted late last week over comments Obama made at a private fund raiser.

You go into 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.

Honestly, that seems like a fairly candid assessment of the possible sentiments of some Americans. Its not the rosiest picture of the American Electorate, but I think we have had enough happiness and sunshine in the face of Reality from Bush and Company for the past 7 years.

Is is crazy to posit that perhaps certain American might feel that their government is some big, burdensome, faceless entity which lacks compassion and understanding when it comes the the realities of their lives? Might they feel that the only way for them to affect change within the system is to focus on certain issues, like gun laws or abortion, as their most likely chance for a win, and to vote exclusively on that issue? Hell, I think we just described a majority of the electorate, just substitute "gun laws or abortion" with "Iraq, the economy, D.C. corruption, etc."

Now Clinton is claiming that those remarks are somehow "demeaning" and "out of touch." I understand that this is a campaign, and distinctions need to be made, but Gawd! Clinton spokesman Steve Schmidt:
It shows an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking.
Is this for real? This is the subject of 24 hour news coverage? Bush admits he "approved" of his top aides discussing exactly how and to what extent to torture specific individuals, and we labast Obama for discussing the sentiments of American Voters and asking for a glass of orange juice. Holy hell.

My point is, if this Barack guy wasn't running for president, would these statements be condemned in this way? I believe that Clintons' advisers aren't sitting around watching CNN, seeing these comments, and exclaiming "Shit! Listen to this pompous ass! Can you believe anyone could be THAT out of touch?" No, I bet the conversation went something like:

"Hey, someone give me the latest printout of everything Obama has said over the past 3 days. Ok, lets see here...nothing...nothing...Oh!...wait, no, thats pretty good...damn...wait! We can make this sound like hes some kind of snob or something! Someone hand me a thesaurus and call ABC, I need another word for stuck up...elitist...now we're talking."

This is not constructive, this is not revealing, this is just stupid. I know, I know, its how these things go. But if Clinton is attempting to recast herself as something other than a D.C. political elitist (read: the same ol' damn thing), this is not helping her cause.

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