Monday, April 14, 2008

OBAMA SAID PEOPLE ARE BITTER!: (and oh yeah, Bush created a torture regime)

Well, it turns out that President Bush knew about and approved of the torture techniques that were used at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. But there's no time for the American media to report on the deliberate rape of the American Constitution when there's an opportunity to give that nerdy Barack Obama a wedgie in public, huh?

In every American news source of note - far more than have cared to even acknowledge the torture story - the following remarks from Obama were given weighty and insanely intense consideration:
"You go into some of 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."

Apparently this is what Hillary Clinton is courageously trying to save the Democrats from: a candidate who doesn't speak to the masses and comes across as secretly hating them. Others are going so far as to paint Obama as a godless Marxist for daring to suggest that people only turn to religion in order to ease their pain.

Except he never said anything of the kind of course.

And it does seem that the media elites and conservative elites have misjudged the opinions of the masses on whose behalf they are expressing such outrage. Seems that there are quite a few people who are bitter, and think that Obama has a point when he brings it up. Even USA Today reports that this supposed "gaffe" doesn't seem to be getting a lot of traction among those"rural voters" whose opinion the media elite has bothered to actually ask for.

I do find the Marxist accusation amusing, given that just one month ago this supposed evil secularist was being criticised for being part of a "wacko church". A little consistency in the anti-Obama smears, please?

Anyway, I think the bullshit about "insulting" people by calling them bitter, and how bitterness is an emotion that many rural Americans do as a matter of fact really feel in the wake of the Bush years, has been effectively dealt with by Obama and others. But the lie that Obama said people ONLY turn to guns and religion when economic times are bad is still being pushed by many of his opponents. The linked posts includes the specific lie that "Barack thinks that people would stop "seeking refuge in" and "clinging to" religion, if only they had a government they could "count on."", with bonus red-baiting: "That's what Karl Marx said, too."

Rebuttal? Simple. He never said anything of the kind. Anyone who thinks they can prove that Obama believes this is bullshitting themselves. And Reds under the Bed is sooo early 1950s. There will be people voting in the upcoming Presidential election who were toddlers when the Soviet Union collapsed. The fight is over. America won. Please accept the pain of no longer being able to gloriously give the impression of fighting that evil enemy. The post-Boomer generations thank you in advance.

For a consideration of Obama's remarks that comes from this century rather than last century, let's turn to John Robb, of Global Guerrillas fame. Rather than misleading the public with a bullshit insertion of the word "only" in Obama's comments - "they ONLY 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 frustrationst", which Obama never said - let's admit that rural Americans have always thought that religion is extremely important and have always been avid hunters. I believe this. Obama accepts this. It's only now that things are getting REALLY bad under Bush that these things have gone from "deeply held beliefs" to "things that people cling to", because they've got nothing else. Obama was neither insulting nor dishonest: he accurately saw what has always been important to rural Americans, and accurately saw that they now cling to those things because Bush's incompetence has ensured that hunting and religion is all they have.

John Robb's 21st century explanation for this is that rural Americans are reverting to primary loyalties: when a government is so incompetent and ineffective that it cannot function as a government, people abandon that government and instead place their loyalty with people they know they can always trust: for rural Americans, that's their church congregation and their hunting buddies. Robb focuses on military examples of this phenomenon, particularly its application to places like Iraq and Lebanon, but the non-military aspects fit the current situation of the deprived of America extremely well. No Marxism here, just an honest assessment of the colossal fuckup that the Bush Administration has been for the United States of America.

I don't suppose people already convinced that Obama is Stalin reincarnated will find this convincing, but I do feel that in the wakes of such brazen lies about what Obama believes, I ought to speak up. I do still wish that the simpering adolescents in the American news industry would actually take a slight peek at that "Bush personally authorised torture" story. Please?

Oh yes: and "Bittergate?" The Watergate scandal was one of the biggest and best pieces of investigative journalism in America's history. Please stop trying to apply that magic to petty bullshit like this. You just can't.

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