The whole damned world is going complete apeshit crazy because Barack Obama spat on a few sacred cows during a fund-raiser in San Francisco.
I'm sure you've seen it 1,982 times already, but just in case you're new to this pitiful excuse for controversy, here's what Barry 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.
Oh. Fuck. The world is about to end. People are pissed.
Who's going crazy? Let's take a look...
The Dummies of Faith will be in a tizzy. How dare Obama claim that religious fervor tends to increase in times of stress and difficulty! Where does he get off saying something that every social scientist to graduate from every school other than ol' Stephens College (Taylor Marsh's alma mater) has said before? Sweet baby Jesus wearing a miniskirt while drinking Schlitz, who does Barack Obama think he is saying something that makes such complete fucking sense that no one with functioning synapses would dare deny it?
Oh, he pissed off the gun-nuts, too. They're suspending their Charlton Hesston mourning to yap about the way Barry O. just insulted their honor! Who is the Hussein Obama man and why would he argue that insecurity intensifies the desire to maintain gun ownership! Where does this charlatan get off claiming that gun owners are suspicious of a government that fucks them over lubelessly on a regular schedule? Barack Obama, don't even think of believing that unemployment increases crime rates, which inspires gun ownership.
Those who feel uneasy around people whose skin is darker than a standard Mead manilla envelope are angry, too. Barack Obama actually has the gall to say that unemployed blue-collar workers without college degrees might have a tendency to blame immigrants for their woes. That's crazy talk! Who could possibly imagine that poor white guys who've lived in Levittown since Day One and are scrapping for something to replace a lost union job might be a wee bit resentful of the brown dudes with whom they're now competing for lower-paying gigs? That's just ridiculous.
Obama was an idiot for thinking that some people are anti-trade. It's not like the entire Democratic party has been telling them that the 3-M plant and the Dial soap factory shut down because of NAFTA or anything. Why on God's green earth would Obama think that people become reflexively anti-trade after hearing alleged authorities blame the nation's ills on bad trade deals? Silly stuff, huh?
Barack just pissed off the whole USA by saying something that's basically true. It might not be convenient and it certainly doesn't meet our usual standards of ass-kissing vote-pandering, but it certainly isn't untrue.
Was it insulting? I suppose a wildly religious person who hated Mexicans, despised NAFTA and believed in black helicopters for reasons unrelated to economic decline might be a bit upset. Otherwise, I don't really see the insult.
Apparently, though, a lot of people seem to think those statements are Obama's way of pissing from the jet on the heads of those who populate flyover country.
John Brown knows flyover country. I'm in Kansas. And let me tell you a secret. That shit Obama is saying about small-towners and their weirdness? It's true. Shhhhh.... I don't want my neighbor to bash my head in with his die-cast NASCAR stock car replicas tonight, but it's true.
It's not true about everyone and it isn't always that simple. It is, however, pretty damn accurate. Which is probably why it's going to hurt some feelings and cause some backlash amongst the dumb-asses who refuse to recognize their craziness and who, frankly, are accidentally dragging the country down with every stupid step they take.
For those with reading comprehension problems (and I know you're out there), please not the following:
Barry O. didn't say that every gun owner was a nutjob motivated by irrational fear or a person who perceives oppression based on hideous economic conditions who is looking to assert some sort of control over his/her life in the midst of chaos via strident pro-gun thinking. Those folks are out there, but I don't see Obama claiming that every firearm owner is a psycho.
Obama didn't say that everyone who prays to the little baby Jesus is merely taking a hit from a hookah filled with the opiate of the poor. He's just noting the reality that certain kinds of religious intolerance tend to be ratcheted up when people have to eat hot dogs and ramen noodles while discussing the collection letters they just grabbed from the mailbox night after night. He's not saying that my great aunt the nun was a byproduct of poverty or that she joined the convent because she feared for her long-term economic well-being.
Obama isn't saying that every poor white person goes bigot. He is merely recognizing that xenophobia, bigotry and discriminatory acts tend to increase when the economy is in the shitter. That's not ground-breaking and it isn't insulting.
None of this matters, though. The world is pissed off. He didn't just touch the third rail, he did so while wearing a suit made of copper wiring.
The people who smell a little bit of the ugly truth cooking in their own kitchens will get disproportionately defensive. Those who are more interested in winning votes than being honest will mock outrage. The least bright among us will believe the nonsense the TV talking heads chant as they try to make this into Something Big. It's predictable. It's pathetic. That's why we're probably doomed in the long run.
We live in a world populated by so many idiots and assholes that something true will become something ugly. Somehow, this will become proof of a Racist Obama. It will be evidence of a Godless Obama. It will be offered as an indicator that Obama spends too much time at Starbucks being effete. And some people will believe it.
And you wonder why we have such a hard time getting anything done around here.
Sometimes, the problem with Barack Obama is that he overestimates the intelligence of his secondary audience. I think he knows how cynically cruel some can be and recognizes that things will be spun ugly. He just thinks we, as a nation, will see through it. He occasionally says something so easily misinterpreted because he assumes that people will listen and interpret rationally. He really believes that enough people out there can connect the dots appropriately.
I'd like to think he's right. At moments like this, though, I have my doubts.
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