Thursday, April 17, 2008

April 15, 2008

     What did Barack Obama say? He said, "It's not surprising, then, they (working class Americans) get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment or antitrade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."  Hillary Clinton said this was "elitist...and frankly, patronizing."  Really?
     There's no doubt factory jobs are fewer now than they used to be.  No doubt, I think, that some Americans are frustrated because of that, because it takes more education now to get ahead and because not every American can get that education.  Do those Americans turn to guns?No, I think Obama, whatever he meant, is wrong about that.  Lots of Americans own guns and like to hunt or shoot, but that's not economic.
     Do some turn to religion?  I hope so;  what on earth could be wrong with that.  Do some of them blame illegal immigrants for their woes? Sure--just remember back to the immigration debate in Congress a few months ago.  It's one of the issues that hurt John McCain, for a time.  And are there still some racists left?  Yes--not as many as there used to be, but yes.
     I don't know if any of that is elitist or patronizing.  The economy is in trouble and some working class Americans are hurting because of it.   
     What might be more elitist or patronizing was Sen. Clinton stopping in a bar to have a shot and a beer.  This is an exercise called, "watch me pretend to be just like you."  And maybe it's smart politics, but most folks, I suspect, will say, "Hunh?  She what?  She's about as likely to enjoy a shot and a beer as Dorothy would be to do a strip tease in the middle of Oz."  You can see Sen. Clinton with a glass of white wine, maybe even with a whiskey sour.but a shot and a beer?  No way.
     Oh well.  Politics is many different things and artifice plays a role no doubt.  Pennsylvania votes a week from today, and then we'll have something real to argue about. 

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