Obama “Bitter” Remarks Reveal Liberal Elitism

Obama “Bitter” Remarks Reveal Liberal Elitism


So, Barack Obama has kinda, sorta apologized for his comments on voter bitterness. Some did not find the comments offensive, others have been less generous in their interpretation. So, was it a telling gaffe or an innocuous comment that Obama opponents have spun to their advantage?

First, it’s not about the bitterness. Sure, people are bitter, that’s apparent to anyone paying attention. What’s disturbing about the comment is the “clinging” statements. People in floods cling to trees not because those trees are wonderful places to be but because they can’t find anything else. If we gave them a boat, they’d use the boat. So, when Obama says people “cling” to guns and religion, anti-immigrant feelings and anti-free trade sentiments, what he’s saying is that, if we only gave them better lives (cured their bitterness), they’d let go of these inadequate, insubstantial matters.

I don’t know how else to interpret the use of the word “cling” but as condescension. It’s a word of pity – we feel sorry for those who have to cling. So, yes, Obama was being quite condescending to frame people’s religious beliefs and NRA memberships as things to which people must hold on to because they have nothing better available to them. Obama is displaying the elitist liberal tendency to see blue-collar and rural “red” voters as misled people who would surely vote Democratic if only they were better enlightened. Then they wouldn’t cling to such unnecessary matters as religion and guns.

I can’t use this one comment to brand Obama as undoubtedly elitist, but at the very least, it shows how, when going off-script, he’s likely to reach for the elitist liberal ideology to frame his opinions. His own experiences show he understands the value of religion and his opposition to NAFTA shows he doesn’t really think anti-free trade sentiments are merely something to cling to (unless he’s a hypocrite, which is possible), but this comment is nevertheless revealing.

As I’ve said many times before, this is the problem with Obama’s inexperience. He simply doesn’t have a deep enough public record for us to know who he truly is and where he truly stands. He’s highly scripted, so when he goes off-script we have to give those remarks real weight. Is he a liberal elitist at heart? I don’t know but I suspect he’s much closer to being one than his unity rhetoric leads some to believe.

  • Mark

    I think your evaluation fails at comparing religion or guns to a tree. Yes, “cling” was a poor choice of words, but it doesn’t imply that the thing clutched is otherwise unnecessary. The famous “Footprints” story of Jesus is every bit as appropriate, and it doesn’t require the reader to believe that Jesus was only important while carrying the struggling soul.

    I cannot speak for Obama, but I personally do not believe he is speaking of those traditions or beliefs as a crutch, only needed until the infirmary is mended. Perhaps the anti-immigrant mentality can be categorized by the tree analogy; at least one would hope that sort of scapegoating was motivated by personal distress and not bigotry. I think he was clearly saying that, when voters don’t expect economic issues to be meaningfully addressed, they forgo considering them and place more emphasis on, or “cling” to, voting the other issues important to them, which for a lot of rural Americans would be guns, God, and anti-immigration.

  • http://wpblog.ohpinion.com S.W. Anderson

    “I don’t know how else to interpret the use of the word “cling” but as condescension.”

    The problem here is that rather than interpret, you’re reading into what Obama said.

    What Obama was talking about is how people act in response to difficulties and frustrations they feel powerless to do anything about. Things like losing their jobs to people on the far side of the world who accept a fraction of American workers’ pay rate and are happy to get that much. Things like having more and more foreign workers come here. Things like feeling crime is getting out of hand, on the street, in executive suites, in high government offices and so on.

    People’s anger and frustration also concerns having a Decider, not a normal president, who chose from the beginning to govern for his base, his financial backers, his fellow millionaires and billionaires, and to hell with everyone else. It concerns having a president who behaves like a dictator, unbound by the Consistitution, by statutory law and by norms and traditions of governance that go back to George Washington’s administration.

    It concerns having our economy screwed up, our government screwed up, and being kept in a horrendously expensive and futile occupation in Iraq, more than anything so George W. Privileged Character won’t have to preside over what he terms a defeat.

    Obama wasn’t being condescending, just honest and realistic, albeit his word choice could’ve been a bit better.

  • http://sidewaysmencken.blogspot.com michael reynolds

    I seldom disagree with you Alan, but I think this is just another gotcha pseudo-gaffe signifying nothing. Had he said “hold tight” rather than “cling” we’d be gaffeless. Means the same thing. But holding tight to religion sounds okay and clinging to religion doesn’t. Holding tight to guns sounds heroic and clinging sounds scared.

    These guys talk constantly for what, a thousand hours over the course of a campaign? Ten thousand hours? Speech after speech, conversation after conversation. On and on and on. They hit the wrong word and that’s supposed trump our concern for actual issues and doom a candidacy? This kind of bullshit — and believe me, there’s similar coming for McCain — is why we don’t get anything done.

  • Avinash_Tyagi

    Sorry Alan, sounds to me like you’re merely overlaying your bias against Obama to read more than what he meant into his comments, he’s human, and as a result he doesn’t always say things with precision, what he meant was people hold onto what is left in their lives that is solid, that they feel they have some control over.

    Bash him for not being as eloquent as he should be but don’t label him and eltist for a mere verbal flub

  • USD Law Student

    Obama went into this issue and explained it in more depth on Charlie Rose in 2004: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oGF3cyHE7M

  • reason

    It doesn’t matter how you spin it, Obama’s words reveal his elitist, out of touch core. He actually believes that people “hold tight” as you say to religion, our second amendment rights and anti-immigrant sentiments because they are bitter. Nothing could be further from the truth or more out of touch.

    People from all walks of life believe in god, guns etc because that is who they are. And guess what, they believe those things when they are happy too.

    Obama spent too much time in a book and all the wrong ones. He believed the lies of his ivory tower professors and now the whole world is waking up to it. His 6 hour bus tour of small town america was just a smoke screen so he could say he’d been there. Then he put words into the small town inhabitants mouths that they never said or felt.

    He’s just another demagogue. Sad but true.

  • TerenceC

    I find it hard to believe that Hillary Clinton and John McCain are both attacking Obama about these comments – and no one in the media has brought up that fact. I have to ask when was the last time Hillary or John lived like the rest of us…..20 or 30 years ago easy (Obama does live in a nice home in Chicago, but he only just finished paying off his student loans).

    Clinton and McCain are both multimillionaires and have made their money on the status quo – what have either of them done in that 20-30 years to help these small town people – nothing is what they have done. They are rich and hold positions of prominence by doing and saying nothing that would rock the boat.

    People who look at Obama’s comments as liberal and elitist are full of crap…….there is nothing elitist about telling the truth. Knowing the truth but saying nothing is the real issue here. Clinton and Mccain have known the truth for decades and have said and done nothing to help. They are the worst form of people in my opinion and deserving of much scorn and derision.

  • Dos

    He’s words and meaning are clear. No interpretation needed. He said the same thing in the Rose interview, to wit: For lack of sound economic policies and leadership, the blue-collars hold-tight (if you like Micheal) to cultural issues. It is the exact idea expressed in the ultra-condescending liberal-elitist book: What’s Wrong with Kansan. This is who BHO is, I know you don’t like it, because it serious flaws his unity rhetoric, but that was already shot with the revelaton of his racist church/uncle. The Dems should really vet their candidates before drinking the cool-aid.

  • http://sidewaysmencken.blogspot.com michael reynolds


    Don’t people cling to religion when they’re scared? I thought that was one of the points of religion, to have something to hold onto when life was looking bad. Aren’t you supposed to cling to the old rugged cross?

    Obama said people had lost jobs that weren’t coming back. That they felt abandoned. So they clung to God or guns or whatever. What’s wrong with that? You can’t claim on the one hand that God is the succor in moments of weakness and then get irate when someone suggests that people feeling weak and afraid and abandoned might cling to God.

    This is a bullshit non-issue. As for the claim that Obama’s an elitist. No duh. Every person who claims they and they alone are fit to lead the greatest nation on earth is arrogant and egotistical and elitist. It’s not a job for the humble and meek. It’s a job for megalomaniacs. That’s a given. What we’re discussing now is how effectively these three hyper-extended egos manage to conceal the extent of their raging egomania from the voters. In other words, the problem is not that Obama is an “elitist” but that he let it show. He failed to conceal his certainty of his own near-divine superiority.

    Which is what makes this a bullshit non-issue. We’re down now to marking off for honesty. Only the most convincing liars need apply.

  • Avinash_Tyagi

    There Are No Atheists in Foxholes goes the old saying, and its true, when people are in trouble they will look anywhere for hope, they will take comfort in family, in religion and hold onto what they can still control

  • reason


    People “cling” to religion at all times, good AND bad. Religion trumps feelings. You don’t turn to religion just because” you are scared. Anyone who believes that is very, very out of touch.

    Belief in god transcends everything. It is not a pill you grab only when you are feeling sad.

    People who look at religion from the outside never get it. They explain it away like Obama did. And when they do that they belittle the beliefs and people who hold them.

    Religion is a fact of life for the vast majority of the world’s people. Obama has shown he is incapable of understanding not only the american people but all of humanity.

  • http://www.donklephant.com Justin Gardner

    You can’t claim on the one hand that God is the succor in moments of weakness and then get irate when someone suggests that people feeling weak and afraid and abandoned might cling to God.


  • http://across-the-grain.com BenG


    So now we’ve found an imperfection in the man who seems headed to replace your last choice for president. Did he show some sort of elitist attitude towards those values at the core of many conservatives? God, guns, free trade, immigration- wow, he seems to have struck a nerve!

    What I got from the whole thing was that he voiced concern about a large group of people in this country whom he feels are greatly in need of attention. He’s outlined what he’d do to help if he was president, as mentioned above in his Charlie Rose interview. I feel he’s being sincere in the point he was trying to make during an ‘off camera moment’ to an audience far from the small towns in PA. Time will tell if this is true, as I do believe he has ‘some xplainin to do’ to clarify his poorly chosen words – or as you said, simply the one word – ‘clings’.

    I’m disappointed in you, however, for finding him guilty with the title of your post, then later giving him the benefit of the doubt. You made your ‘headline’ doing the most damage with a sharp right hook, then had to contradict yourself at the end by not branding him an elitist from just this one comment. Didn’t you already do that?

  • Avinash_Tyagi

    Sorry reason, religion isn’t as important to people when times are easy and things are going great, they might still consider themselves religious but they’ll prefer to watch the game or sleep in instead of going to church

  • http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com Jimmy the Dhimmi

    My favorite perspective on this comes from Michael Young of Reason Magazine:

    What Obama implicitly regards (in both his statements) as signs of disintegration, as reflections of popular frustration, are in fact examples of a thriving culture… Obama’s approach betrays a very suffocating vision of the state as the be-all and end-all of political-cultural behavior. Outside the confines of the state there is no salvation, only resentment.

  • http://sidewaysmencken.blogspot.com michael reynolds


    What a friend we have in Jesus,
    all our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    everything to God in prayer!
    O what peace we often forfeit,
    O what needless pain we bear,
    all because we do not carry
    everything to God in prayer.

    2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged;
    take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful
    who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    take it to the Lord in prayer.

    3. Are we weak and heavy laden,
    cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge;
    take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
    thou wilt find a solace there.

    Yeah. Nothing in Christianity suggests you should cling to Jesus in times of trouble.

    Save your phony baloney for someone else. I was a Christian before I was an atheist.

  • http://wpblog.ohpinion.com S.W. Anderson

    “People who look at religion from the outside never get it. They explain it away like Obama did.”

    What idiocy. Obama didn’t explain away religion. What’s going on here, reason, is that you are trying to depict him as irreligious, which by all I’ve seen and heard from Obama is not true.

    FWIW, statistics — and I just recently saw a fresh batch on this — show the largest number of new church members and regular churchgoers are people in their fifties and older. It’s also historical fact that in the most dangerous and troubled times, people have turned to faith for something to bring them hope and stability.

    Those with a political ax to grind have jumpred to make Obama’s statement out to be pejorative and/or dismissive. It isn’t necessarily either one.

    Obama is a lot of things but a detached, unrealistic elitist isn’t one of them. That’s just a conservative Republican label that has worn thin to the point of transparency from over use. After being applied to every Democrat to run for president since at least Mike Dukakis, it’s no longer viable.

    But keep trying, guys. Maybe you can distract people from noticing how out of touch and wrongheaded about a lot of things John McCain is, since fear doesn’t seem to be selling so well any more.

  • corn dog

    White people are bitter and frustrated. Better-qualified white students, employees, etc. face intense racial discrimination. Obama and his liberal comrades call it “Affirmative Action”.
    Millions of white Americans see “people who aren’t like them” illegals and inner-city parasites sucking up on free benefits.
    Millions of tax paying white Americans can no longer use the public school system because “people who aren’t like them” have made the schools awash with violence, drugs, and gangster rap.

  • http://maverickviews.blogspot.com/ Alan Stewart Carl


    For the record, I’ve never voted for Bush, not for Texas governor and not for president. Don’t pigeonhole me.

    As for the headline, would it have been better if I used “may reveal?” I thought “reveal” was light enough. I could have said “prove” or even “demonstrates.” Semantics, I guess.

    As for the rest of the comments on the thread, I don’t buy that the choice of the word “cling” was just unfortunate. I think he meant to cast the things he listed in a negative light.

    A lot of people seem to be focusing on the “bitter” aspect and acting like he’s speaking some truth everyone else is afraid of telling. Of course people are bitter. Hell, after the last 8 years, we’re all bitter in one way or the other. The problem is with what he said bitterness is leading to — the things he listed as that to which we “cling.”

    Obama belittled people’s religion and their love of guns — those things are important whether or not times are tough, whether or not you are bitter. Why would he even mention guns and anti-immigration in the same breath as religion unless he meant it as a negative association?

    I think those who are accusing me and others of over-interpretation are themselves guilty of trying to spin Obama’s words into irrelevence.

    It may be a tempest in a teapot but it’s still a tempest.

  • http://wpblog.ohpinion.com S.W. Anderson

    I don’t want Obama’s words spun into irrelevance at all. I hope people will think about and discuss them. I just don’t want the discussion to be as cast by Clinton, McCain and the right-wing noise machine.

    Eight years of a president, vice president and other administration officials who don’t care what most Americans think, want and intend have had an angering and frustrating effect. This is not how American democracy is supposed to be. Whether they retreat into rap music pumped into their ears by iPods and 1,000-watt car amplifiers, or vent their spleen on a blog or letter to the editor, or complaining to whoever will listen, about three quarters of a very big, very powerful nation is highly dissatisfied and very frustrated. That’s an unprecendented situation in modern times. It bears plenty of thought and discussion.

  • TerenceC

    I don’t believe it is Alan. The last 4 national elections were ultimately determined by the issues of guns, religion, life style preference, and generally things not even remotely important to the USA as a country. Meanwhile the core issues effecting the country were glanced over, minimized, belittled, discussed as too complicated, or my personal favorite – beyond the average voter.

    The relity of the situation is the people who suffer the most in this country are listened to the least. Are people from poverty stricken areas of big cities any different than people from poverty stricken area of small towns? Maybe on the outside they are, but if you knock that “shell” away I find that there is very little difference between poor people from the Bronx and poor people from Woodstock, VA or Erie, PA.

    I think it is easiest to slam Obama for his poor choice of words as a way of scoring political points for his opposition. Imagine what could happen in government if poor people from the large cities and poor people from the rural areas were joined together in one political unit – would multi-millionaires stand a chance at holding elected office? Probably not, so it’s best to keep those groups divided isn’t it. “Clinging” to issues of little importance provides comfort – and threatening those issues causes emotional distress – whether the threat is warranted or not. People from these rust belt towns and areas aren’t stupid people, but they have been lied to for so long that someone coming along and saying out loud what they have felt for some time (and done nothing about) must seem bitter indeed.

  • Lit3Bolt

    ASC disliked Obama before, but he didn’t know why. Now he does and can rationalize why he dislikes him.

    Kudos for toeing the party line on this one, Alan! The Right Wing Noise Machine salutes you!

  • http://crapomatic.blogspot.com/ Dyre42


    I would have gone for “The Old Rugged Cross” since it actually uses the word cling in its chorus.

  • Earll

    Obama didn’t say logs were bad. He said that holding onto logs that won’t keep you afloat is what people are doing because logs that would keep you afloat aren’t there, and they’re bitter because in some places those are the only logs left. Holding onto religion is a beautiful thing. But it’s no replacement for sound economic principles, and that’s true regardless of the political spectrum you’re on. If you read the full transcript, Obama’s talking about bitter people who’ve been left behind by past administrations (and indeed by America at large). They exist, and it’s to the media’s discredit that instead of focusing on the real hardships these people face they’ve turned Obama’s poor choice of words into a talking point. Could he have worded himself better? Certainly. But out of the three candidates, he’s the only one who seems to actually recognize these people exist:

    “”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.”

    That’s what he said beforehand. He’s right.

  • http://www.donklephant.com Justin Gardner

    This is completely unfair…

    Kudos for toeing the party line on this one, Alan! The Right Wing Noise Machine salutes you!

    If Alan is anything he’s a fair broker, so lazy comments like this only serve to distract the conversation and it’s not appreciated.

  • http://sidewaysmencken.blogspot.com michael reynolds

    Alan is in no way, shape or form part of anyone’s noise machine. He calls it as he sees it, and is one of the most honest writers I know of online. The fact that I disagree with him on this matter does not mean I have to be unpleasant about it.

    Dyre: Let us all turn to page 138 in the hymnal . . .

  • http://maverickviews.blogspot.com/ Alan Stewart Carl

    Justin and Michael,

    Thanks. I’d defend myself but I have to go take this call from Karl Rove.

  • http://maverickviews.blogspot.com/ Alan Stewart Carl

    I wanted to add, if Obama had just mentiong “religion” then you could make the argument that it was a benign statement. But he followed it up with anitpathy towards those who are different and anti-immigration sentiments … are those also possitive traditions?

    No. I’m sorry. The right wing noise maching may be pushing this story too hard, but Obama supporters are being too quick to give the man a pass on a statement that was clearly elitist in its tone. It’s not a big issue because it’s just one statement, but it is revealing. I think Kaus’ post on this is pretty good in terms of showing Obama’s defense to be nothing but damage control and spin.

  • http://www.teristyrades.blogspot.com/ Teri B.

    I see few articles denoucing Obama’s statement, and tons blaming Clinton for his troubles. You’d think she said it – no if she’d said it the media would crucify her and start demanding she quit again – is there any part of democracy the media plans to leave us?

    Spin, spin, spin. Wish us good luck with this president the media is chosing for us. I sincerely hope it doesn’t come back to bite us in the butt like their sorry reporting leading up to the Iraq war. I guess democracy is over and we’ve got information filtered by a corrupt media, just like in N. Korea. Yippee!

    I know ratings are all important, and there’s an influx of Obama followers who just discovered politics, but remember when they move on to their next hobby, the majority of lifelong democrats who supported Clinton or Edwards will not tune in anymore. I’m close to going PBS and NPR exclusively for my “news.”

  • Thomas

    Being intelligent is not being elitist.

    Saying the truth is not being elitist.

    Being multi-multi-millionaires and wanting to maintain the status-quo (McCain, Hillary) thats being elitist. How the hell can you call a black man from the south side of Chicago who grew up without a father and without money… who has worked his entire life for the poorest in our community…. how can you with a straight face call him elitist and out of touch? Name another politician of any prominence who is as close to the people and their problems as he is.

    Don’t hate him because he has a brain and is not afraid to speak his mind.

  • Thomas

    Oh and tempests in teapots are NOT real tempests…. they can’t be, because they are in teapots. Thats the whole point of that idiom.

  • Catesown

    Good Grief! The ship is sinking, the passengers are crying for help and the band plays on! Lets get to the REAL issues and the REAL folks in crisis and quit the bickering over the use of a word or phrase. Obama nor Hillary are perfect – Hillary has been caught in many lies – Bill blamed it on her being tired. So where does she or anyone else get off being so high and mighty.
    Elitist? Condescending? How about just plain old Holier than thou?
    And to belly up to the bar and chug a few shots with the common folk is not condescending or patronizing?

  • http://maverickviews.blogspot.com/ Alan Stewart Carl

    Liberal elitist. As in an ideological elitist — believing his world view is superior to that of others. Monetary elitism is only one of many possible elitisms.

    As for tempests … what, a guy can’t twist around a cliche? Fine. Plain English then: it may not be an incredibly important story but there is validity in calling Obama out on his elitist remarks.

  • C Stanley

    I think just about everyone is missing the point. The issue to me is that Obama thinks that the folks in struggling industrial towns should be clinging to big government, and it’s only because govt has failed them that they fall back on these other things (some of which he apparently thinks are OK as ‘bulwarks’, while it’s also problematic that he lumped the OK things in with things that none of us should consider OK, like racism and xenophobia.)

    In the end, although few people have articulated this, I think this is why this comment will hurt him. He’s making an implicit argument that wedge issues have only become important because politicians have chosen to use them to hide the ineptness of their economic policies, but at the same time, he’s offering nothing new or different that would make us think that his government solution for the problems of a changing global economy will really help (in fact, he accidentally indicted himself when he mentioned politicians who promise protectionist policies.)

  • http://s-mk.blogspot.com Sarah

    First of all, I want to thank you for providing a distinct, unusual perspective on this issue. Too many blogs covering the “elitist” issue are taking a similar stance, defending Senator Barack Obama’s comments with little or no sound justification. These blogs do little to hide their unwavering allegiance to one candidate, and blind hatred of another.

    Barack Obama is considered a highly skilled rhetor and like you pointed out, it is a rare event when he errs in his words. Especially in unscripted segments, the blunders are scrutinized for their implications; are they indicative of his “true feelings” or a simple misstep? Also, given that he was addressing urbane, wealthy donors in San Francisco, rural Pennsylvanians could find the words very offensive. I appreciated your focus on the word “cling”, which I agree has negative and even condescending implications; it struck me immediately when I first read his comments.

    I have to disagree with you however that these comments exemplify even a reach for the “elitist liberal ideology”. It seems more as if you have framed the events to fit into the label than attempted to accurately characterize the words. The full transcript and audio of the speech have been made available online, and they distinctively show compassion and concern for Pennsylvanians rather than a snobbish attitude. I believe adding the word “liberal” diminishes your argument. Barack Obama’s comments merit analysis especially as they are offensive, but declaring liberal elitism after two sentences is hard to justify. Obama’s campaign is famous for raising large amounts of money from small donors, and rural Democrats are a definite part of his support base; I find no strong argument that his tendency is as a liberal elitist.

    At the same time, however, we agree that the comments warrant media coverage and examination. The same bloggers I mentioned earlier who will become apologists for candidates automatically brush-off the comments as irrelevant. Regardless, the comments have been made the focus of the public and therefore need to be addressed. Thank you again for providing a unique, relevant, and strong opinion on the topic.

  • http://stubbornfacts.us/ Tully

    How the hell can you call a black man from the south side of Chicago who grew up without a father and without money… who has worked his entire life for the poorest in our community…. how can you with a straight face call him elitist and out of touch?

    ROFLMAO. He’s not “from” the South Side–he was born in Honolulu. He didn’t grow up poor–. From the age of 10 onwards he attended the most elite schools this nation has to offer, starting with the Punahou Academy prep school in Hawaii. After that he went to Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard. After that he became an attorney with a major Chicago firm that hired him out to left-liberal groups such as ACORN and was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. He filled in his spare time by teaching at the University of Chicago law school. Then he walked into a seat in the U.S. Senate when Jack Ryan’s campaign imploded in a sex/divorce scandal. And let’s not even get into his work helping Rezko become a major slumlord on the South Side using taxpayer funding!

    Jesus, savior of the poor, he is NOT.

  • Dos

    He’s making an implicit argument that wedge issues have only become important because politicians have chosen to use them to hide the ineptness of their economic policies, but at the same time, he’s offering nothing new or different that would make us think that his government solution for the problems of a changing global economy will really help

    Obama does not have a coherent economic philosophy other than the failed Keynesian policies of typical big-government liberals.

  • Victor

    I find it curious how many people are jumping on the “Obama is an elitist” bandwagon and defending the people who weren’t attacked in his statements.

    He didn’t say that there was anything wrong about clinging to religion, or guns, etc… (that’s being filled in by everyone else). He simply observed that the political machines (both Democrat and Republican) have spent far too much time and effort using those points to win elections at the expense of people who have become increasingly bitter (and if you think that’s untrue tell me what percentage of politicians you would take at face value when they promise you something). Since the politicians can’t (or won’t) say “We will fix (or help you solve) your economic problems” they go on to “defending” the sanctity of marriage, the flag, any damn thing that will get a rise out of people. They’re going to build border fences to protect us from all those illegals (and terrorists) coming across the border to mow our lawns (and sneak nail clippers onto planes) and who cares that someone in PA or IN just wants a job they can feel good about doing in their neck of the woods.

    Honestly, I find it pathetic that Obama is being attacked for one tenuously elitist comment after months of demonstrating actual intelligence and willingness to listen and talk to people of all affiliations, beliefs and perspectives, but it’s quite all right for someone like McCain to admit that he doesn’t really understand economics and for someone like Clinton to outright lie about dodging sniper fire. I don’t think he’s perfect, but I do think he’s a better alternative than his opponents and if this truly hurts his campaign, then we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves for clinging to our religion and our guns and our xenophobia even as our economy goes down like the Titanic. We’ll have no one to blame but the average joes who would rather vote for someone they can drink beer and go hunting with with than for someone who will spend 80 hours a week working on finding solutions to our problems.

    I don’t want to be friends with a workaholic, intelligent elitist. I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with them or have them as a parent, but I sure wouldn’t mind someone like that running the country.

  • Gina

    What’s most disturbing is how Obama is above reproach. It’s become almost blasphemy to criticize him in anyway. Kudos to John Stewart for pointing this out in his comedy routine, but he’ll probably catch flack for that, just like the rest of us. It’s as if Obama has been packaged and sold to us as some kind of diety, when he’s nothing more than a junior senator, with a thin resume, who voted present a hundred times at his job.