Well, remember the little trip Barack Obama made to Billionaire’s Row last week? You know, the one that was closed to the public, and no press? Well something of the meeting slipped out. Something rather…condescending. The money quote:
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, and they feel so betrayed by government, and 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 (laughter), then that adds another layer of skepticism.
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. 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. (emphasis mine)
The context here is that an Obama organizer asked him for talking points for when he went into Pennsylvania. You know, to talk to the little people. Remember here that this is an event that was closed to the media, and anyone who wasn’t an Obama supporter. In San Francisco. On Billionaire’s Row. He felt free to speak his mind, and why shouldn’t he? No one’s going to hear what I say here, right? Listen to the audio for yourself.
First things first. The part of the speech dealing with clinging to guns, religion, and bigotry, you may have heard already. The part in the first paragraph I think adds to the hypocritical message of the Obamassiah. He’s not just telling his like-minded followers that the hayseeds in Pennsylvania and the Midwest are gun-totin’, Bible thumpin, bigoted non-economically oriented hicks. He’s also telling us that we fools aren’t going to want to hear the message that we won’t be allowed to “go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.” by a…shhhhhh…black man. Oh, the horror of it all! My ears can’t stand it!
The Obamaphiles in the media are trying to explain away this mind-numbingly arrogant riff by focusing on the ‘bitter’ part of the statement, and ignoring the rest completely. For me, the bitter thing is the least of it all. Ed Morrissey gets it bang on when breaking down the components of this statement.
- “[T]hey cling to guns…” Cling to guns? Americans have “clung” to guns since the founding of the Republic. It’s such a core value to this nation that its founders placed it second on the Bill of Rights, right after freedom of speech and religion. Speaking of which …
- “or [they cling to] religion …” People don’t become religious because the economy hits a few bumps in the road. Obama may have chosen his religion based on politics, but most people follow a religion out of a deeper sense of spirituality. I can’t think of a more condescending and contemptuous analysis of religious dedication than this statement.
- “or [they cling to] antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment…” Small-town voters are bigots and xenophobes; there’s no other way to read the first part of this statement. The second part, about them being “anti-immigrant”, is a non-sequitur. They may be anti-illegal immigrant, but that’s a far different issue. Obama offers no proof that small-town voters are xenophobes, but the Frisco audience didn’t demand any, either. It’s part of their own bigotry that makes them see middle America in those terms.
- “or [they cling to] anti-trade sentiment …” And this is just jaw-droppingly hypocritical. This comes from the same candidate who opposes the Colombian free-trade agreement and wants to throw NAFTA out the window. Who’s clinging to anti-trade sentiment? Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Big Labor.
Shortly after the story broke, Obama came out on Friday saying that he ‘misspoke’
“And nothing ever happens, and of course they’re bitter, of course they’re frustrated, you would be too. In fact, many of you are. Americans don’t vote on economic issues, he continued, because they don’t believe Washington can deliver. “So people end up voting on issues like guns … like gay marriage,” he said. “They take refuge in their faith and their community and their families and the things they can count on. So people, ya know they vote about guns or they take comfort from their faith, and their family, and their community, and they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country, or they get frustrated about how things are changing. That’s a natural response. (emphasis mine)
Oookaaayyyy… Of course we’re bitter. Of course we want Washington to fix our economic woes. Of course we only have our faith to take refuge in when times are hard. Notice how he softened the terms from the previous statement in order to make it look like we ignorant fools are taking him way too seriously. ‘Cling to guns’ becomes ‘vote about guns’. Cling to religion becomes ‘take comfort from their faith’. He slips in family and community where it wasn’t before. ‘Antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment’ becomes ‘get mad about illegal immigrants’. Allahpundit gets it right saying
If his original statement boiled down to “religion is the opiate of the masses,” think of this as adding, “and what wonderful things opiates are.”
Bill Kristol notices the comparison, and takes it further.
This sent me to Marx’s famous statement about religion in the introduction to his “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”:
“Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of a soulless condition. It is the opium of the people.” (emphasis mine)
Then, after taking a beating over the weekend on the punditry shows, even by Democrats like James Carville and Chrissy Matthews, Obama came out on Monday saying:
“Now it may be that I chose my words badly. It wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. But when I hear my opponents, both of whom have spent decades in Washington, saying I’m out of touch, it’s time to cut through their rhetoric and look at the reality,” Obama told steelworkers in Pittsburgh. “They are angry and frustrated with their leaders for not listening to them; for not fighting for them; for not always telling them the truth. And yes, they are bitter about that,” he said.
Yeah…blow the whole thing off by saying you ‘chose your words badly’. Then go on the offensive after your opponents.
Then, when that doesn’t work out too well, come out the next day and say that you ‘mangled’ your words, and your ‘syntax was poor’. He then went on to tell the Philadelphia Daily News that he
“conflated” two points – the first being that people who have felt abandoned by political leadership turn to their faith, family or traditions like hunting. His second point was that politicians have tried to distract those voters with wedge issues like homosexuality or immigration.
Yes…that’s what I take away from what he was saying, clear back the week before. And it’s surely what he meant in his first two clarifications. That weren’t working out so well. I wonder what the next ‘clarification’ is going to bring?
Okay, now for the humorous stuff:
And via Michelle Malkin, we get this illustrative picture:
The reference, for those who aren’t political junkies like me, is when Obama mentioned the leafy vegetable twice last year, in the rural state of Iowa:
“Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?” he asked. “I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff.”
That comment came despite the fact that Iowa does not have any Whole Foods stores, nor do most of its farmers typically grow any arugula.
Now, I may live in Hicksville (proudly, I might add), but I’ve been around the block a time or two. Until this happened last year, I’d never heard of this fancy lettuce that you have to go pay high dollar for at Whole Foods. People I know had never heard of it either. Guess we’re just typical Corncob-Smokin’, Banjo-Strokin’ Chicken-Chokin’ Cousin-Pokin’ Inbred Hillbilly Racist Morons.
On Tuesday this week, Obama had a very interesting thing to say while covering his assets yet again:
“Sometimes hope and anger go hand and hand,” he said today at the Philadelphia City Committee’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner. “People really are angry, they really are fed up, some of them are bitter because Washington’s forgotten them. And because it’s not me that’s out of touch, it’s folks who think that folks are happy when they are out of a job and they have lost their pension and they don’t have health care and their schools are under-funded.”
“Just because you’re mad, just because it seems like nobody is listening to ordinary Americans, that’s not a reason to give up hope,” Obama told the Building Trades National Legislative Conference. “You get mad and then you decide you’re going to change it. If you’re not angry about something you’re going to sit back and let it happen to you. If you’re only angry, you don’t feel hopeful.” (emphasis mine)
What makes this so interesting is that I’ve been reading Jonah Goldberg’s new book Liberal Fascism. In discussing the radicalism of the 60’s student fascism movement, there is much anger being fueled into their plan for change. The Black Panthers, the SDS, the Weathermen, all used anger to whip people into a frenzy, then go forth and Change the World. There are tons of examples of this in Jonah’s book. I heartily recommend picking up a copy and reading. Very enlightening.
The SDS’s current incarnation on their front page describes the situation in the 1960’s thusly:
Polite protest turned into stronger and more determined resistance as rage and frustration increased all across the country.
Notice the words rage and frustration, and Obama’s words angry, mad, frustrated. Notice how he claims that you don’t change things that you’re unhappy with unless you’re mad and angry.
James Miller, a member of the Weather Underground (the later, more politically correct name for the Weathermen), states that their violence had done “more damage to the ruling class…than any mass, peaceful gathering this country has ever seen.” A delegate to an SDS meeting says “Tactics? It’s too late…Let’s break what we can. Make as many answer as we can. Tear them apart.”
Saul Alinsky looks down on mere liberals, who simply observe the issue instead of taking action. As for the Radical? “Society has good reason to fear the Radical…He hits, he hurts, he is dangerous. Conservative interests know that while Liberals are most adept at breaking their own necks with their tongues, Radicals are most adept at breaking the necks of the Conservatives.” He also tells us “Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.” (above quotes from Liberal Fascism, Goldberg)
Yes, this is the same Saul Alinsky who wrote Rules For Radicals. The same Rules For Radicals who tutored Hillary Clinton. The same one whose student Mike Kruglik mentored Barack Obama on community organizing.
As Goldberg says, “The movement of the 1960s didn’t start out destructive. In fact, it started out brimming with high-minded idealism and hope.” Idealism and hope. Sound familiar, anyone?