Monday, April 14, 2008

The Politics of Beerfest

Just when you think they can't sling any more BS, they reach deep under the bull to find another turd.

This weekend Clinton latched onto this comment Obama made at a fundraiser in California. I'm posting up more of the quote so you can see his context:

"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," Obama said. "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."

In my opinion, he's correct. Just like the black community, there are elements among poor working class whites who rightly feel that they've been shafted by their representatives, and like the black community their rightful anger has led to frustration and bitterness. Seems like this would be something that Clinton would agree with, right? Wrong:

"I saw in the media it's being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who faced hard times are bitter. Well, that's not my experience.


"As I travel around Pennsylvania, I meet people who are resilient, who are optimistic, who are positive, who are rolling up their sleeves. They are working hard everyday for a better future, for themselves and their children.

"Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them, they need a president who stands up for them, who fights for them, who works hard for your futures, your jobs, your families."

Following this steaming pile Clinton ran to a bar in Indiana to establish more blue collar cred, by downing a beer and a shot of Crown Royal--which, ironically, doesn't seem to be the working class' booze of choice. Anyway, Obama fired back today with this nugget:

"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.


"After all, you've heard this kind of rhetoric before. Around election time, the candidates can't do enough for you. They'll promise you anything, give you a long list of proposals and even come around, with TV crews in tow, to throw back a shot and a beer.

"But if those same candidates are taking millions of dollars in contributions from the PACs and lobbyists, ask yourself, who are they going to be toasting once the election is over?"

Basically I'm sick and tired of this type of pandering nonsense. When candidates play dress up and campaign like it's Halloween it only makes them look as fake as their costume. Is anyone thinking that because Clinton downs a pint that she's a steel worker? Is is the level of our political discourse? Does Obama have to dress up like Bob the Builder to show that he cares for the working class?

I mentioned a while back that Edwards got the shaft unfairly because he owned a big house and liked to get his hair done, and this to me seems like a continuation of that same argument, but it's even worse because where as the right-wing stuck him with that 'elitist' label, Hillary, hardly a model of June Cleaver, is tossing Obama under the bus. You know, I don't know what makes me sicker, the fact that she's doing this, or the fact that I actually have to take up space to talk about it while all this other crap is happening. Let's just hope this doesn't turn out to be Obama's screaming moment.

Josh Marshall gives a good summary here, but I have a better one; Hillary--there's the door.

PS: Looks like the people aren't buying it either.

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