I am Bitter

I have to admit something here… I am bitter. I am bitter about the economy. And, I am bitter about the war. Barack Obama is right that people in this country are bitter. Where Barack Obama got it wrong however, was in drawing the condescending correlations that he did about small town and rual Americans, while talking to a group of wealthy donors in San Francisco.

The thing is, people don’t “cling to guns or religion” because they are “bitter” about the economy. They cling to “religion” because “faith” is a grounding force in their lives and they cling to “guns” because they believe in the 2nd amendment.

Mike Allen pointed out on Politico that “Obama’s views might have been received very differently if he had expressed them in public to Pennsylvania voters, saying he understood and could alleviate their frustrations.” Touche

Hearing second hand that Barack Obama was talking about small town Americans in the manner he did, was a slap in the face.

He was talking campaign strategy with wealthy donors who wanted to know how he was going to utilize their investment in his campaign and win over those voters. He statements, meant to not go past that event ended up caught on tape and now the Obama campaign has been on overdrive to ease the pain.

Allen lists 12 reason why “bitter is bad” for Obama and he’s right on the money with some of them:

  • Some people actually use guns to hunt — not to compensate for a salary that’s less than a U.S. senator’s.
  • Some people cling to religion not because they are bitter but because they believe it, and because faith in God gives them purpose and comfort.
  • Some hard-working Americans find it insulting when rich elites explain away things dear to their hearts as desperation. It would be like a white politician telling blacks they cling to charismatic churches to compensate for their plight. And it vindicates centrist Democrats who have been arguing for a decade that their party has allowed itself to look culturally out of touch with the American mainstream.

The problem with Barack Obama in my opinion is that he doesn’t come off to middle of the road voters as a candidate who is listening to them. He’s speaking at them, he’s speaking about them, but he’s not listening to them.

Hillary Clinton established herself early on as the candidate who was listening to the needs of the voters. She established herself early on as the candidate who was paying attention to the voters who were “invisible” to politicians on Capitol Hill.

Now, knee deep in the controversy over his “bitter” remarks, Barack Obama is telling voters he understands that he “didn’t say it as well as” he “should have.” But he’s still not getting it right. What happened when Barack Obama’s statements were exposed was a gap in his thinking was also exposed. He simply doesn’t get the “Heartland.”

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16 Responses to I am Bitter

  1. Gilbert Martinez says:

    According to Brazile on This Week, it was “Professor Obama” having a hard time lecturing ignorant people. I’ll have more on that later…

  2. smorganevans says:

    I am a 62 year old former elementary school teacher from Eastern Ohio. My husband lost his job when the Western Pennsylania steel mill he worked in closed. We are not bitter, we have not turned to our religion and guns. We are not any of the things Obama has described. Actually, because of governmental intiatives, my husband is now enrolled in a College in Youngstown, Ohio. His tuition is being fully funded and he is receiving unemployment compensation until he graduates in two years. So, the reason we voted for Hillary Clinton in the Ohio primary cannot be explained to wealthy donors from San Francisco by Obama’s rationale. We simply believe Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to defeat John McCain. Another Clinton may have a better chance of wiinning than a candidate that John Kerry supports. If I recall, John Kerry lost in 2004 and Bill Clinton won twice.

  3. coldH2Owi says:

    It was not a gaffe, it was a man talking to the country, via the press, as if the country had a brain. I live in a small town. It’s easy to say people cling to their “faith” because it means something. What’s true, once you get past the platitudes, is that this faith only supports itself, i.e., the institution of the church, the financial concerns of the church, no matter what the denomination. Let’s be honest, the Republicans have manipulated those among us who have lost a lot in the last 30 years. If you can’t convince your employer or the federal government to provide worthwhile health care, it’s easy to blame those who are poorer, or who are gay, or those you think are going to take away your sacred guns. The ultimate problem is that these folks, to bring up Bob Dylan, really have no faith to lose. What they have to lose is the false identity of being for some god, for guns, & against gays. It’s an identity they did not freely choose. Let’s all get real here, people. If this is true, then John Kerry is an elitist for wind-surfing, something a lot of not too rich people do up here on Lake Superior on a warm day. A really warm day, believe me.

  4. J. Diamond says:

    I was canvassing for Hillary in PA this weekend in a philadelphia suburb. as i knocked on one door i saw a 50ish y/o man get up off his sofa to answer the door. I told him why i was visiting and he said, “well, i was undecided, but i just heard something that i don’t like. i don’t like what barack obama just said about pennsylvanians. i’m not making up my mind yet, but i’ll be watching the debate this week to see what happens.”

  5. Gilbert Martinez says:

    The tragicomedy of coldwater.

    The GOP’s real base is the wealthy. Try as you must to claim that poor, ignorant religious folk are manipulated by the GOP, but take a look at the facts. The poor and less educated were more against the Iraq War than their wealthy counterpart, just as they were during Vietnam. The poor ignorant folk who “lost a lot” that I went to church with didn’t have elaborate megachurches. I remember sermons on overcoming adversity through faith. This yokel remembers mostly sermons on The Good Samaritan.

    I went to church at least three times a week for the 13 years that I remember and you know the number of times I remember a political sermon? One. And it was that we should chose Jesus. No abortion. No gays. No Democrat. No Republican. But compassion. And it wasn’t even a liberal church. Spare me this manipulation, crap.

  6. Zee says:

    ” it was a man talking to the country, via the press, as if the country had a brain. ”

    ====

    Apparently those rose-colored glasses the Obama campaign hands out to their diehards interferes with their reading comprehension.

    What part of Obama was explaining to his wealthy donors why it was so hard to get the small town yokels on board the Hope Train did you miss? The part that it was a private event in a mansion? The part that the media was excluded? Or the part that Obama never meant for the general public to hear those words?

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  8. Janis says:

    I’d like to ask Obama, if people cling to xenophobia, violence, and bitterness as a result of economic distress — does that explain his church and his having sat there for 20 years listening to it? Because I heard rather a lot of hatred of people who look different from Rev. Wright, along with a lot of bitterness and more than a little celebration of violence and mass murder.

    If he wants to see bitter, violent, religious xenophobia, he should know. He’s sat through it for two decades.

  9. coldH20wi

    “it was a man talking to the country, via the press”

    Say what? Barack Obama was talking to wealthy San Francisco donors at a fundraiser closed to the press.

  10. coldH2Owi says:

    Mr. Martinez:
    I will not doubt your wonderful religious history, of compassion, etc. It’s too bad you live in sunny CA. Up here, the local Roman Catholic priests got one of their own elected country judge because he was running against a Jew. Nice religion you have their. I understand from an early post that you are moving out of CA;. Good luck with your worthless comedy routine. The only tragedy here, is that you are do blinded by eliminating welfare as we know it Sen. Clinton, by don’t ask don’t tell, yes, I know those were her husband’s words, but she sure supported him didn’t she. The woman I married never would have.

  11. coldH2Owi

    Thanks for sharing and following our comment policy. Not!

    1) You rudely assume that Gilbert is Roman Catholic although he said nothing about which church he attends and go on to disparrage the Catholic religion.

    2) You insult Gilbert on where he lives – completely off topic. I live in CA too, will you next insult me for living here?

  12. coldH2Owi says:

    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.
    –Karl Marx

    Some us haven’t forgotten what we learned the hard way. & yes, Gilbert Martinez, Michael Moore is fat.

  13. coldH2Owi

    Take it elsewhere. Clearly you are as out of touch as Barack Obama. People choose faith and yes, they choose to own guns too.

  14. coldH2Owi says:

    If I’m so out of touch, how is it that I hunt every upland bird season, each deer season except bow season, own four bird dogs (Gordon Setters), chair a local housing authority, teach kids who have been thrown out of the public school, been married to the same women for 36 years, worked in the woods, etc., etc. Please don’t dis me for being someone who reads. It’s clear that the Democratic Party has been out of touch, Obama at least in terms of Reagan & Soc. Security. But more of the same DLC crap & we’ll just be another Chile under Pinochet. Thanks for the dis-invite. Tolerant & willing to debate place you have here. It’s clear that y’all don’t belong to the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

  15. coldH2Owi

    For what ever reason you chose to assume what Gilbert’s religion is and use that as a stepping stone to gripe about that religion and bring up issues YOU have with Senator Clinton that are baseless — to be honest.

    You showed yourself here as intolerant and biased and bigoted against religion and faith.

    The “Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party” doesn’t tolerate bias and bigotry — does it?

  16. CognitiveDissonance says:

    This is one of Obama’s faults that I find most disgusting: that he makes broad sweeping generalizations about people he doesn’t understand and hasn’t bothered to get to know. Instead of letting people tell him what they think and how they feel, he digs into his own personal prejudices and interprets them on that basis. This is called stereotyping, and that someone who so often complains that others do it to him, is the height of irony. And it’s not the first time. That’s part of what I find so offensive about “typical white person,” as if we were all the same, and as if he knows what we think and feel without asking us. This is the very definition of elitism.