Yesterday I posted on Nation editor Kartina Vanden Heuvel’s attempt to justify Sen. Barack Obama’s “bitter” remarks in San Francisco. Vanden Heuvel was long on attacks of “the Right” and linked her readers to Obama’s remarks in Muncie, Indiana attempting to explain his “bitter” remarks.
But she didn’t quote the “bitter” remarks or link to a transcript, audio or video of them, all easily available.
That’s a very good indicator even a leftist ideologue like Vanden Heuval realizes how damaging those remarks are to the Change candidate who “wants to bring us together.
More damage today and from pundits who are quoting and providing context for the “bitter” remarks.
First Bill Kristol in the NY Times begins - - -
I haven’t read much Karl Marx since the early 1980s, when I taught political philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. Still, it didn’t take me long this weekend to find my copy of “The Marx-Engels Reader,” edited by Robert C. Tucker — a book that was assigned in thousands of college courses in the 1970s and 80s, and that now must lie, unopened and un-remarked upon, on an awful lot of rec-room bookshelves.
My occasion for spending a little time once again with the old Communist was Barack Obama’s now-famous comment at an April 6 San Francisco fund-raiser.
Obama was explaining his trouble winning over small-town, working-class voters: “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.”
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.”Or, more succinctly, and in the original German in which Marx somehow always sounds better: “Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes.”
Now, this is a point of view with a long intellectual pedigree prior to Marx, and many vocal adherents continuing into the 21st century.
I don’t believe the claim is true, but it’s certainly worth considering, in college classrooms and beyond.
But it’s one thing for a German thinker to assert that “religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature.” It’s another thing for an American presidential candidate to claim that we “cling to ... religion” out of economic frustration.
And it’s a particularly odd claim for Barack Obama to make. After all, in his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, he emphasized with pride that blue-state Americans, too, “worship an awesome God.”
What’s more, he’s written eloquently in his memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” of his own religious awakening upon hearing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s “Audacity of Hope” sermon, and of the complexity of his religious commitment.
You’d think he’d do other believers the courtesy of assuming they’ve also thought about their religious beliefs.
But Obama in San Francisco does no courtesy to his fellow Americans. ….
Kristol’s entire column is here.
Now take a look at some of what the New York Daily News’ Michael Goodwin is saying this morning. It’s a scorcher. - - -
Having grown up in one of those small Pennsylvania towns Sen. Barack Obama sneers at, I know what really makes people there "bitter." It's slick-talking politicians who look down on their beliefs and values.
Small-town people get doubly "bitter" when those pols have the gall to ask for their votes while demeaning their lives. See, even hicks don't like being played for suckers.
When they accused Obama of being out of touch for saying small-towners "cling to guns or religion" out of frustration, Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain were too kind.
Snob-ama is not just out of touch. He's from another planet.
He might consider going back there, because the White House now looks out of reach. All the more so because he later added opposition to gay marriage as another sign of benighted bitterness.
Snob-ama's lame concession yesterday that his mistake was "I didn't say it as well as I should have" only makes the repeated smear worse.
He should get off his Ivy League horse and apologize to the millions of Americans he insulted. As it stands, he has confirmed he doesn't understand or respect them.
Through his warped vision, if you own a gun, oppose gay marriage or want our nation's borders sealed, you're just bitter over your lousy job. Amazingly, he even sees the embrace of God as a reaction to the bad economy.
As gaffes go, they don't get much bigger. Then again, it's not a gaffe when you believe what you're saying, as Snob-ama clearly does.
The trouble started when the Chicago Democrat, after saying Washington had failed to stem the tide of lost jobs, dropped a bombshell on his fellow Americans by saying: "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 one sentence, Snob-ama de-legitimized every choice people in America are free to make. It's arrogance on steroids, fueled by a secular, elitist view of middle America as filled with ignorant red-necks.
Turn his screed around and it comes out this way: If the hicks had good jobs, they wouldn't need God or guns. Then the borders could be wide open for the enlightened world to come here 'cause our hate would vanish. …
Goodwin’s entire column is here.
I agree with everything Kristol and Goodwin are saying.
Here we are at Monday. Obama is still trying to “clarify” his remarks by obfuscating them. He continues to make things worse for himself.