Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Obama and the Bitter Folks in the Middle

What’s all the mud against the wall over Obama’s remarks?
I don’t get it!

by Charlie Leck

"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." [Barack Obama]

I don’t get it. What’s all the excitement about Obama’s remarks? They seem quite right-on to me. Look here, we’re talking about people who are going through some shaky times right now. That Dodd fellow on CNN says they’ve disappeared and fallen a rung lower on the socio-economic scale. I’d be bitter, too.

I am bitter. I’m trying to figure out what to cling to. In my case, guns or religion won’t work and I don’t mind people who aren’t like me and I don’t have anything against immigrants.

So I cling to a rage against the stupid idiots who got us into this jam. I begin with the crummy President of the United States, who happens to be the leading idiot among this vast group of jerks.

They came to us claiming to be genuine conservatives. They were frauds. They’ve grown government to the largest size in our history. They’ve cut taxes for the wealthy and forgotten about those bitter folks about whom Obama talked. They started a war that wasn’t necessary and it’s cost us 3 trillion dollars and the health of our economy.

Who wouldn’t be bitter if they were from the vast, former middle class of our nation?

I think Obama made a mistake by trying to retract the comments. “I could have expressed myself better,” he said. That was after earlier saying there was a…

“…political flare-up because I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter…. They are angry. They feel like they have been left behind. They feel like nobody is paying attention to what they're going through… So I said, well you know, when you're bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country."

Well, I have a bunch of friends who would say, Obama was talking about me and he got it precisely correct. What was it that Howard Beale, the newscaster played by Peter Finch in Network said? He went to the window and shouted it to the world. “I’m bitter as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

All right! So he didn’t use the word “bitter” at all. He actually said angry. Would Obama’s words have come off better if he had used “angry” instead of the reference to bitterness? Answer: Yes, a little bit better.

However, it appears the real criticism has to do with his description of these foundering folks clinging to things like guns, pickup trucks, religion or to an anger against immigrants and people unlike them (racially, maybe)?

The truth is, people have got to cling to something when they get so ripped off. I do! I cling to these daily blogs and I leak out some of my frustration on you.

Senator Obama, let me tell you this: You got it right if you were talking about me and you got it right if you were talking about a lot of my neighbors. We’ve no life vest and no other devises to keep us afloat. We’re thrashing around, looking for something to cling to. We know that the government isn’t going to help out.

George Bush isn’t worried about the sky-rocketing cost of health care. Look at the new insurance company policies revealed in the last couple of days about enormous co-pays on expensive prescription medicines. We just got the shaft again!

George Bush isn’t going to give any careful thought to a creative, sane and fair way to end this war.

George bush doesn’t care that our schools are in shambles.

George Bush doesn’t have to worry about the price of gas.

What’s wrong with the economy, George? “We built too many houses,” is precisely want he told a TV interviewer. He meant it. George Bush is incapable of figuring out this rotten economy and he won’t be able to fire it up again.

Unemployment is at its highest level in many, many years. George Bush has no ideas about what to do.

Oh yes, our national debt is at an astronomical level and solving that problem is going to be left to our children and grandchildren.

You bet your ass that I’m looking for something to cling to. You bet I’m bitter. I’m damned angry and I’m damned bitter.

You got it right on the button, Senator Obama, and we the people know it!

Remember these words that Howard Beale also said in that movie, Network:

"Television is not the truth! Television is a goddamned amusement park!"

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