Obama Disses Blue Collar Voters Again: Says They "Cling to Guns or Religion" Because They Are "Bitter" [UPDATED]
First, he said that blue collar voters had supported Ronald Reagan because of "anger over welfare and affirmative action". Now, Barack Obama has once again taken off his mask long enough to show blue collar voters what he really thinks of them:
A political storm is brewing over Sen. Barack Obama's recent statements. Last Sunday, Obama was explaining his difficulty with winning over working-class voters in Pennsylvania and the Midwest, saying they have become frustrated with economic conditions:(emphasis added)
"And 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," Obama said.
The comments were posted Friday on The Huffington Post, creating a wave of criticism from Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain, and other politicians as the April 22 Pennsylvania primary draws near.
“The people of faith I know don’t ‘cling to’ religion because they’re bitter. People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich,” Clinton said at a rally in Indianapolis.
I'm starting to think that the one who's "bitter" is Obama; and that he's taking his bitterness out on working class Americans who aren't "smart enough" (unlike all those liberal college students and professors) to recognize Obama for the savior that he is.
The Catholic League responds:
OBAMA OWES CHRISTIANS AN APOLOGY
April 12, 2008
It was reported yesterday that on April 6, Sen. Barack Obama made the following remarks about the white working-class: “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.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue wasn’t amused:
“Commentators are already saying that Obama’s remarks are an attack on small town America. But they are more than that.
“Just as words can be taken out of context, it is equally wrong to dismiss the context in which words are spoken. The forum Obama chose to make his remarks was a crowd of wealthy, left-leaning secularists in the most left-leaning, secular city in America—San Francisco. In other words, it was a safe venue for him to speak condescendingly about those so-called small-minded Christians.
“This is hardly the first time working-class Christians have been labeled parochial by elites who fancy themselves open minded. But for a serious candidate for the presidency to float this stereotype is despicable. Ironically, on the same day this story broke, Catholics learned that the Obama campaign had just announced the formation of the National Catholic Advisory Council. I have a suggestion for Obama: He can begin his outreach effort by apologizing to Christians for his insensitive remarks.”
UPDATE #2 (14 April)
Obama Unveils Jobs Plan for Bitter Rural People(Hat tip: Southern Appeal)
(2008-04-12) — Senator Barack Obama today announced a plan to employ millions of bitter, small town Americans who, in their anger over jobs lost in the 1980s, have turned to guns, God, and xenophobia.
Campaigning in Pennsylvania, Sen. Obama said his new proposal addresses remarks made this week at a San Francisco fundraiser, during which he said, “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.”
The presumptive Democrat presidential front runner, said his plan would employ “these Archie Bunker-type people” in government programs “to register and/or confiscate inappropriate personal firearms, to monitor churches for hate-speech about homosexuality or abortion, and to build tax-funded housing for low income illegal aliens.”
“Twenty-five years is a long time to wallow in bitterness like our friends in Pennsylvania, the Midwest and elsewhere have been doing,” said Sen. Obama, “So, until the steel mills can all be converted to casinos and re-opened, we’ll provide good government jobs at high wages that will soothe the rage, and help to re-educate these small-town folk.”
UPDATE #3 (14 April)
Be sure to read Dale Price's take:
... Thank you, Lord, for finally sending a prophet who understands us small town Cro-Magnons. Yes, we'd drop the guns, god-bothering and intrinsic xenophobia in a heartbeat if we only had a new federal jobs agency ensconced at the thorp hall. Not to mention a federal denture program and counselling on how to select mates from outside the extended family. In fact, a lot more of us would probably be gay and/or eat Whole Foods arugula.
I'm just baffled by how the kid raised in Hawaii with the Ivy League education acquired such intuitive knowledge about the wood-burners who live in Deliverance country....
UPDATE #4 (14 April)
The Cranky Conservative adds:
... The word “elitism” has been thrown around a lot in reaction to this quote, and it is certainly an elitist, condescending and smug statement. But it is fundamentally more problematic than that.
First of all, the sentiment expressed deligitimizes the personal opinions of these voters. Deeply held beliefs are dismissed as little more than angry reactions to “fuhr’ners” and governmental inaction. It is easier to dimiss these beliefs if you ascribe base motives to them, and indeed Obama follows the left-wing playbook in doing so.
Moreover, it’s just bad sociology. I’ve heard these statements defended on the basis that Obama is really just telling the truth. But he’s not. As is often the case, there might be a select few who do hold these opions because of bitterness, but a stopped clock is also right twice a day. The overwhelming majority of those who “cling” to religion and guns do not do so out of bitterness. Think about it. Are the four million or so dues paying members of the NRA all out of a job? Is everyone sitting in Church upset at the government? Again, a handful so inclined doesn’t justify the overall sentiment. I can tell you that there this no chance that an illegal immigrant is going to take my job, and yet I still oppose comprehensive immigration reform. Maybe I am opposed to illegal immirgration and supportive of gun rights because I have - what’s the word? - oh yeah, principles...
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Obama's Problems in Pennsylvania Mirror His Problems in Ohio
Obama Attributes Support for Reagan by Blue Collar "Reagan Democrats" to "Anger Over Welfare and Affirmative Action" [UPDATED]