Are You Feeling Bitter Yet?

This falls into the category of dispatches from Weird World. Apparently Barack Obama said something about working class people that the other campaigns are using to attack him:

“So 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,” Mr. Obama said, according to a transcript on the Huffington Post Web site, which on Friday published the comments.

The remarks touched off a torrent of criticism from Mrs. Clinton, Mr. McCain and Republican activists and party officials, all accusing Mr. Obama of elitism and belittling the working class.
How does a statement that proves that he is in touch with what's going on with working class people "belittle" the working class? How is it elitism?

“It’s being reported that my opponent said that the people of Pennsylvania who faced hard times are bitter; well, that’s not my experience,” Mrs. Clinton told an audience at Drexel University. “Pennsylvanians don’t need a president who looks down on them; they need a president who stands up for them, who fights for them, who works hard for your futures, your jobs, your families.”

...

“It shows an elitism and condescension toward hard-working Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking,” said Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain. “It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans.”

Okay, wait, so, in your world, H. Clinton and J. McCain, acknowledging the problems of the electorate is "looking down on" them? Knowing how they're feeling as they have their jobs, homes, and healthcare taken away is... condescension?

So what is the correct thing to say to a suffering citizenry? Hey you guys are A-OK! You're happy and proud and successful -- no problems here!! Well that's a lovely thought, I suppose, but it's the very definition of "out of touch."
“Here’s what’s rich,” Mr. Obama said. “Senator Clinton said, ‘Well I don’t think people are bitter in Pennsylvania. I think Barack is being condescending.’ John McCain said, ‘How could he say that? How could he say that people are bitter? He obviously is out of touch with people.’ Out of touch? Out of touch? John McCain — it took him three times to finally figure out that home foreclosure was a problem and to come up with a plan for it, and he’s saying I’m out of touch?”
Glossing over the glorious class he shows by attacking only McCain and not Clinton, you have to agree that this whole non-tempest in media echo chamber makes no sense -- unless "bitter" is some sort of regional insult in Pennsylvania? I know that they have their own dialect up there -- is "bitter" a synonym for "bitchy" or something? Because where I come from, "bitter" describes a contained, realistic person who is smart enough to know that he/she is being done wrong by forces beyond his/her personal control. It describes someone who is intelligent and aware and determined to maintain his or her pride in the face of insult.

Is it just me, or is this a really accurate -- and not in the slightest bit insulting -- description of America's working class?

Barack Obama seems more aware of and in-touch with working-class issues than ever before. And as for the other 2 campaigns?

“Instead of apologizing for offending small town America, Senator Obama chose to repeat and embrace the comments he made earlier this week,” said Phil Singer, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton. He added, “Americans are tired of a President who looks down on them, they want a President who will stand up for them for a change.”

Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for Mr. McCain, issued a similar response. “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,” Mr. Bounds said, adding: “You can’t be more out of touch than that.”

Have you ever read more boiler-plate one-size-fits-all political attack speech? Who is out of touch again? Was it the mincing politicobots searching speech text for something that can be inflated into a "gaffe" by people who only speak in super-safe abstractions? Or was it the guy who knows how people are feeling and talks about it directly and openly?

This is like attacking a war hero by trying to use his military experience against him. They're throwing his strength at him and calling it a weakness. I know the media will go along with this, because they're as brainless as spineless -- but will the people be fooled?

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