Sunday, April 13, 2008

Small Town America Just Too Small For Someone As Big As The Obama

The McGovernization of Obama [Victor Davis Hanson]

I still believe that by August, Obama, the half-term rookie Senator, will have become the second George McGovern. Cf. his latest declaration to the Marin County faithful (coming on the heels of the crazy anti-Semitic rant of Rev. Eric Lee, a prominent LA Obama supporter):

"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."

Let us count the ways that this is a disastrous declaration:

1. “Nothing’s replaced them”? As someone who lives in a small rural town that saw a lot of closed plants and farm depression in the 1980s, a lot has “replaced them”—explaining why for much of the last decade the national unemployment rate has been below 5%.

2. “They”. This evokes Michelle’s similar “they” (as in the “they” who raised the proverbial bar on the Obamas), and likewise suggests both hostility and a certain us/they contempt for a slice of America that the Obamas apparently know very little about—but for the first time in their lives are rapidly discovering.

3. “They cling to guns or religion”. This is revealing for two reasons: one, Obama has been trying to finesse his position on guns to appeal precisely to gun owners and thus we start to see that his repositioning is cynical to the core; two, “cling to religion?” No rural Pennsylvanian clings to religion more than Obama himself, who for 20 years sat silent in the pews, while a hate-spewing minister damned his country and most everyone else. The question is not why Pennsylvanians “cling to their religion”, but why do the Obamas still cling to the Trinity Church that seems far more extreme than anything I’ve seen in rural America.

4. “antipathy to people who aren't like them”—as in the case of Rev. Wright’s views of Jews, whites, Italians, or Americans in general? In short, Obama accuses rural Pennsylvanians of a racism that they haven’t expressed while contextualizing the racism that his own Rev. Wright has.

5. “Anti-immigrant sentiment”? As in wishing that drivers’ licenses are not issued to those here illegally, or that we insist that those who immigrate to the U.S. do so legally?

6. The worst hypocrisy, of course, is Obama’s charge that these small towns in Pennsylvania express “anti-trade sentiment.” It was not George Bush or John McCain, but Barack Obama himself who tried to salvage Ohio by demagoguing NAFTA and opposing a free-trade agreement with Columbia. His entire campaign is predicated on showing more anti-trade sentiment that the Clintons.

7. Let me get this straight: Obama goes to the Bay Area to an affluent liberal enclave to give a condescending take on the supposed poor fools that he is currently trying to court. This is not just hypocritical, but abjectly stupid. All of Pennsylvania surely is asking today what is so hip and sophisticated about the Trinity Church and Rev. Wright?

So here we have the essential Obama, a walking paradox between the postmodern hip-Ivy-Leaguer who sneers at middle-class America’s supposed prejudices and parochialism, while at the same time courting an anti-Enlightenment, prejudicial demagogue like Jeremiah Wright. For free trade or anti-free trade? For 2nd-amendment rights or not? Post-religious or pious and fundamentalist? For public campaign financing or not? A uniter of various groups or someone who sees America in terms of “they”? Straight-talking or someone who evokes "context" to explain away the inexplicable?

Again, we will see more and more of these condescending statements of the Michelle Obama strain, more and more of Revs. Wright, Meeks, Lee and others peddlers of division like them, and more and more clues to a long hostility to Israel—in what will eventually become the most disastrous chapter in recent Democratic history.

And pundits keep wondering why Hillary won't give up?

04/11 08:58 PM

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