Spouting Leftist boilerplate about rural people is not always wise if you want their vote
Obama, back from the hinterlands, reports on the aboriginals:
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.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
There's always the possibility that these backward hicks like their guns and their religion, and don't like strangers, regardless of who is or was in Washington. But he's the anthropologist who did the field work, so we'll have to take his word for what's going on in deepest, darkest Pennsylvania.
It's pretty rough stuff. Here's the sugar-coated Mr. Rogers version, compliments of the Huffington Post. Mayhill Fowler takes us on a charming ramble far from her California home, then addresses the regretable condescension:
Obama made a problematic judgment call in trying to explain working class culture to a much wealthier audience. He described blue collar Pennsylvanians with a series of what in the eyes of creamy Californians might be considered pure negatives: guns, clinging to religion, antipathy, xenophobia. I'm not sure this is what at least this lot of Californians needed to hear about Pennsylvanians. Such phrases can reinforce negative stereotypes among Californians, who are a people in a state already surfeited with a smug sense of superiority and, as an ironic consequence, a parochialism and insularity at odds with the innovation, prosperity and openness for which California is rightly known.
She wants creamy, surfeited Californians to understand the hardscrabble, backward Pennsylvanians are poor as dirt and hung up on the past. At least, I think that's what she was trying to avoid saying. She goes on to report that Obama plans to invite everyone to a big table to celebrate their differences.
"I'll have the biggest chair, because I'll be President," he added. One of the roles of host is making introductions. Just as Californians need to learn a few things from Pennsylvanians, the reverse is also true. California is the, most racially tolerant and ethnicity-tolerant state in the Union. California has found a way to bring strict environmental standards to prosperity's table. Californians celebrate entrepreneurship, open-mindedness and creativity.
While celebrating their differences, perhaps the West Coast sophisticates can teach the Appalachian throwbacks not to be such simple-minded beercan-tossing bigots. At least I think that's what she's trying not to say.
Prairie Pundit comments
Most of the comments I have seen on this talk about how he is being condescending toward a group of voters that are going for his opponent for the most part. That is certainly true, but the thing that struck me was his acknowledgment of the inability of government to change their circumstances whether Democrat or Republican. Certainly what he is offering in specific "changes" will not change their circumstances. Those changes have to come from within for the most part. They need the entrepreneurs who can develop products and services that people want who will in turn need to hire more people to provide those products and services.
The problem is that in these states Democrats have made the economy unattractive to those people who create jobs and opportunities. That is why Toyota built its pickup truck plant in San Antonio instead of the region Obama is complaining about. Labor unions have also made the area unattractive for new business. They have saddled old business with built in costs which make them uncompetitive.
His lack of understanding of the values of those Pennsylvania voters will also hurt him this fall. Personally I like Pennsylvania. I enjoy the history associated with Philadelphia and I think the countryside around Pittsburgh is some of the prettiest I have ever seen. I know why some have those whistle gadgets on their bumpers of their pickups to shoo the dear off the road and why they don't want anyone messing with their right to hunt them.
Many of the people he was describing are Scots-Irish whose forefathers came there 200 years ago and spread through Appalachia in West Virginia and down into Tennessee and Alabama as well as the Carolinas.
They do not take kindly to people looking down their noses at them. This description of why he is behind in Pennsylvania is not likely to turn the situation around.
McCain spokesman on Obama's insulting descriptions
"Instead of apologizing to small town Americans for dismissing their values, Barack Obama arrogantly tried to spin his way out of his outrageous San Francisco remarks. Only an elitist who attributes religious faith and gun ownership to bitterness would think that tax cuts for the rich include families who make $75,000 per year. Only an elitist would say that people vote their values only out of frustration. Barack Obama thinks he knows your hopes and fears better than you do. You can't be more out of touch than that." -Tucker Bounds, Spokesman John McCain 2008
Yid with Lid comments:
In the Senator's opinion Small Town America is nothing but a bunch of KKK-joining goobers who sit on their porches all day, with a shotgun slung over one shoulder, screaming obcenities to immigrants (except for Sunday when they go to Church).
Even though I have lived in or near a big city my entire life, I have visited rural America enough to truly appreciate it. You see Senator, when people talk about American Values, those values were formed in the Rural parts of the US. Rural America is where people still believe in the goodness of hard work, its where families still get together for dinner and a man's word is still his bond. Rural America is where people still have 4th of July parades and still stop to salute the flag of the nation that gives them a home.
Do people in rural America think differently than in the big city--YOU Betcha! In the small towns that you put down so easily, people think to bring food over to their neighbors who may be a little under the weather, they still take their hats off when they go inside and still believe that it is worthwhile to listen to an old person because you can learn from their experience.
Many of the people in rural America not only look after their own kids, but aren't afraid to "report" bad behavior of other kids to their parents. You see, more than any other place in this country, in rural America they believe in doing the right thing, EVEN if it doesn't make you popular.
And yes many people in small town America are Church-goers. They aren't too cynical to say they believe in God, just the way they are not to cynical to say that they live in the best damned country in the world.
That is the problem with Obama, all he talks about is change. He should be thanking God every day for Small Town America, because it is one of the very many things in the United States that should not change.
More commentary here and here
Obama hearts Sweden
Back in February Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden endorsed Barack Hussein Obama for President of the United States. He looked into Obama's heart, and what he found there seemed so similar to his own party's policies that he had no choice but to get behind B. Hussein. It's a bit, shall we say, inappropriate for the head of an elected government to make campaign endorsements for a candidate and party of a different country. But leave that little indelicacy aside for a moment, and consider the fact that Barack Hussein Obama (and certain members of the United States Congress) have returned the favor by expressing their admiration for Sweden's immigration policies. Ah, yes - Sweden the Model.
And all this just after the Swedish MSM has begun a public debate about the wisdom of the country's current immigration practices. What had been hitherto all but unsayable is now out in the open, and ordinary Swedes - who know all too well that the light of Multiculturalism has failed - can read in their newspapers actual heresy, journalists questioning the rationale behind mass importation of Third World immigrants into the country. And now the American lawmakers choose this particular historical moment to admire Sodertalje. Great timing, guys. From The Local:
US Congress praises Sodertalje mayor
Sodertalje mayor Anders Lago received praise while in Washington this week from US presidential candidate Barak [sic] Obama and other members of congress for how well his city has handled its influx of Iraqi refugees. Lago had a chance to speak with Obama on Tuesday ahead of the Swedish mayor's scheduled appearance on Capitol Hill Thursday to discuss the Iraqi refugee crisis.
"He said word for word that he was ashamed that the United States didn't take greater responsibility for Iraqi refugees. Then he praised Sweden and Sodertalje for how we've dealt with the issue," Lago told the TT news agency.
Sodertalje, a town of 80,000 residents, has taken in more Iraqi refugees that the United States and Canada combined, a fact which has come to light in several US media recently, and the motivation behind Lago's invitation to testify before the Congressional panel. "The senators posed questions about how we in Sodertalje can take in so many Iraqi refugees," he told the news agency TT.
How can Sodertalje take in so many Muslim refugees? Did it never occur to the esteemed gentlemen from the United States Congress that it might be because the Swedes are fools, or deluded, or on crack, or some combination of all three? No, it must be because they are morally superior to the rest of us. 'Twas ever thus.
Joining Lago at the hearing organized by the US Helskinki [sic] Commission were representatives from the US government responsible for refugee issues, as well as the Washington director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
"I explained that Sweden will continue to have a generous asylum policy and that we need immigration, but I also discussed the difficulties with arranging housing, employment, and schooling when so many refugees come at the same time," said Lago.
Not to mention the difficulties with restraining the newcomers from stealing, mugging, raping, attacking ambulance drivers, and burning schools. But now is not the time to discuss such trivial concerns.
The Helsinki Commission is US government agency that monitors human rights and security issues of concern to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and includes members from the US Senate, and the House of Representatives, and US government agencies. According to Lago, the senators were impressed that Sweden had taken in more refugees than the United States. "They promised during the hearing to try to increase the number of refugees received to 12,000 this year," he said.
You hear that, Sweden? You don't have enough Multiculture, so more is on the way!
Sweden received around 19,000 asylum seekers from Iraq last year. Although Obama was not a member of the US Helsinki Commission, Lagos's thoughts returned to his meeting earlier in the week with the senator from Illinois, whom Lagos calls his "favourite candidate". "He even tried to pronounce `Sodertalje'," said Lago.
It looks like Obama and the EU are going to get along just fine. He and Blair and Fogh and Barroso can gather in the gilded palaces of Brussels and Strasbourg and set the world to rights.
What Obama and co. did not know:
Actually the town of Sodertalje has fared so well because the immigrants there are mostly Christian Assyrians/Syriacs that are fleeing Islamic persecution from Iraq/Turkey etc. Demographically the town is probably something like 70% Christian Syriacs. These people share common religious beliefs as the west and are not there to cause trouble. If the town was 70% Muslim I think we would have a completely different story here.
More Obama deceit
Post below recycled from STACLU
David Bernstein at Volokh has this: Obama Lies About His Church's Honor to Farrakhan
In Levittown, Penn., today, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, was asked about his church's magazine giving an award to Rev. Louis Farrakhan. "This was done by a magazine that was connected to the church," Obama explained. "I would have never done it. It was primary focused on the rehabilitation work that they do for ex-offenders in Chicago. That doesn't excuse it, that just explains it."
The first time Obama said this, I could believe he was misinformed [update: indeed, the first time he said this, he only said he "assumed" this was the reason]. The second time, perhaps that he was caught offguard and didn't have his story straight. Now, I can only conclude that he is intentionally choosing to blatantly lie about this, hoping that no one will notice and call him on it.
Let's recall the facts: The magazine explicitly explained in the video it prepared for the banquet at which Farrakhan was honored that it was honoring Farrakhan for his purported dedication "truth, education, and leadership." [Surprise, surprise, the video seems to have been pulled from YouTube.] Obama spiritual mentor Rev. Wright, meanwhile praised Farrakhan in the magazine for his "astounding and eyeopening" analysis of the "racial ills of this nation," a "perspective" that is "helpful and honest." I even got ahold of the interview the magazine did with Farrakhan. No mention was made in any of these sources of "rehabilitation work for ex-offenders."
This is just plain disturbing. Paging William Safire...if Hillary is a "congenital liar," what might we call Obama?
Disgrace in Detroit
By JAMES TARANTO
The NAACP has been known as a venerable civil rights organization--so venerable that the "CP" stands for "Colored People," and everyone understands that is a relic of a time when that phrase provoked no offense. Founded on Feb. 12, 1909, the centenary of Lincoln's birth, the organization fought Jim Crow laws and segregation. It was NAACP chief counsel Thurgood Marshall who successfully argued the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court, a court Marshall himself would join 13 years later as the first black justice.
If you respect the NAACP's heritage, you will be disgusted to learn that the organization's Detroit chapter plans to honor a man who says that AIDS is a U.S. government plot to kill black people and that the Sept. 11 attacks were "America's chickens . . . coming home to roost," and who declares: "God damn America." As the Detroit Free Press reports:
Controversial minister Jeremiah Wright will speak at the Detroit branch of the NAACP 53rd Annual Fight for Freedom Fund dinner. . . . The Fight for Freedom dinner, which annually attracts about 10,000 people, will be held April 27 at Cobo Hall. The gathering is a key fund-raiser for the Detroit Branch NAACP, and is billed as the largest sit-down dinner in the country.
This appears to be a case of circling the wagons: Wright, a black man, is under attack, so the NAACP, an organization that seeks the advancement of black people, is defending him. In doing so, the NAACP is committing an analytical and moral error. Wright is under attack not for the color of his skin, but for the content of his ideas. To defend him is to countenance those ideas. Through its actions, the NAACP is in effect arguing that anti-Americanism is acceptable, so long as its source is black. The association is sanctioning both invidious ideas and an invidious racial double standard.
Over the past few weeks, we have received several emails accusing us of racism for criticizing Wright's ideas and for noting their disturbing prevalence among the black community. This accusation is nonsense. It is no more antiblack to oppose ugly views that are common among blacks than the NAACP was antiwhite in opposing the racism and anti-Americanism that were once common among Southern whites.
For a century, Southern white politicians were effective in preserving segregation, but they were marginalized in national politics. Between the end of the Civil War and the passage of the Civil Rights Act, no Southerner was elected president (with the partial exception of Woodrow Wilson, a Southerner by birth who moved North). In order to enter the American political mainstream, Southern whites had to give up defending segregation--or rather they had to be forced by a series of legislative, judicial and executive actions to give it up.
Although white supremacy is morally distinguishable from black separatism, there is this similarity: Ideas like Jeremiah Wright's contribute to the political marginalization of blacks. Barack Obama would be a much more attractive presidential candidate were he not the spiritual prot‚g‚ of a man who declares, "God damn America."
In his famous "race" speech last month, Obama declared of Wright, "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community." This was supposed to sound like a statement of personal loyalty, but given the way that community has rallied behind Wright, in retrospect it seems more a cynical assessment of what Obama had to do to keep his electoral base from disintegrating.
Obama is already the most successful black presidential candidate in American history, and he is more likely than not to become the first black major-party nominee. He claims to be interested in racial reconciliation, and he has a great opportunity to promote it by taking a clear stand against the extreme views that are depressingly common in the black community and that have been espoused by his own "spiritual mentor." So far, though, Obama has displayed a lot more ambition than courage.
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