Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Markadelphia Defends Obama's Elitism

This one deserved a post of its own. In response to yesterday's Quote of the Day, Markadelphia responds:
About two weeks ago, Senator Obama was on Hardball and told the audience that he believed that marriage was defined as being between a man and a woman. There was little or no reaction to this comment, the "liberal" media did not cover it wall to wall for two days, and the gay community did not go ape shit.
Yeah, why is that? Could it be because he's a Democrat?
Compare the reaction at that time with his most recent comment....hmm...we'll come back to that in a moment.

So, why don't we look at the FULL quote.

"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, the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow those communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it's not surprising to me 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 to way to explain their frustrations."

Based on the reaction he has received about the comment, I think his statement is quite accurate. The Qotd reaction (and Kevin's) is quite typical of the "rock granite" stubborn refusal to look at who is actually fucking them over and continually blame the "other" which, ironically, is what Obama is describing. It's a distraction from the serious issues of the day and it puts energy into something that will ultimately solve no problems--which works out perfectly for the people (Bush, Cheney and pundit machine) who supposedly are on their side.
I have a tradition of letting other people's words say things if they can do it better than I, so here I will quote Marc Danziger, the "Armed Liberal" from on the full quote:
Here's Obama's original quote:
So, it depends on where you are, but I think it's fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre...I think they're misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to 'white working-class don't wanna work -- don't wanna vote for the black guy.' That's...there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today - kind of implies that it's sort of a race thing.

Here's how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by -- it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter).

But -- so the questions you're most likely to get about me, 'Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What's the concrete thing?' What they wanna hear is -- so, we'll give you talking points about what we're proposing -- close tax loopholes, roll back, you know, the tax cuts for the top 1 percent. Obama's gonna give tax breaks to middle-class folks and we're gonna provide health care for every American. So we'll go down a series of talking points.

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. 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. 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.

Obama believes that the people he's discussing - poorer, gun-owning, church-going economic left-behinds in rural America are bitter and negative toward government because it hasn't delivered.
There's an alternate hypothesis, which is that they don't think it's supposed to. That there are a solid body of Americans who believe - with whatever justification or historical validity - that government's role is to leave them alone. I'll bet that people who believe those things tend to migrate away from major cities or never move to them, tend to go to church a lot, believe in guns, and in American culture. They are - wait for it - culturally conservative.
Marc thinks that liberals "can reach them, should reach them, and must reach them.

I disagree, because I'm one of the ones who believes that government's role ought to leave me alone as much as possible. Here's the Rev. Donald Sensing on the same point:
Let's look at Obama's laundry list of Pennsylvanians' dysfunctions again:

  • bitterness
  • "Clinging to"

  • guns
  • religion
  • racism
  • chauvinism
  • anti-trade sentiment
  • Reading the full context of Obama's remarks, it strikes me that he believes that all of these (presumed) symptoms spring from the fact that there is too little control of the economy by the federal government. Obama said that all of these dysfunctions began when the government let their jobs go away and then, through both Republican and Democrat administrations, did nothing to "regenerate" them.

    It is the lack of regulation of the economy, Obama believes, that makes people bitter, racist, religious, hunters, patriotic or protectionist. All these things are bad, and they all result from free-market, democratic capitalism. I know that many of you reading this will think I'm over-reaching here, but I stand my ground: Obama's remarks are in fact as clear a declaration of cleaving to socialism as almost anything he could have said.

    Mrs. Clinton had a politically brilliant, though ideologically identical, rebuttal:
    "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."
    Coming from a hard leftwinger like Hillary, this statement is easy to parse: the presumed reason those jobs were were lost 25 years ago was lack of federal regulation of corporations. Since Hillary has already said she wants to force mortgage lenders to freeze rates of existing and future loans for five years, it's not hard to imagine that she might propose one day to forbid companies from firing people or moving jobs elsewhere in the country or the world. I mean, she actually did propose, back in the day, that you and I not be allowed to choose our own doctor. What level of coercive regulation could possibly be considered a stretch for her to embrace?

    It has been commented exhaustively across the blogosphere and the MSM commenti that there's not a dime's worth of difference in the political ideology of Hillary and Barack. True that, and it's Euro-style socialism through and through.

    But what I find especially disturbing in Obama's remarks, that I have not seen in Mrs. Clinton's ever, is the ideal of the "perfectibility of man." This is the hoariest socialist doctrine of all, explicit in Marxism and later, Marxism-Leninism. This is an idea so utterly vacuous and foolish that not even the Euro socialist governments cleave to it, if they ever did, except in Eastern Europe, and then only when they were communist. Clearly implicit on Obama's remarks is the idea that since racism, religion et. al., arise from the lack of government regulation, they can be expunged by more of it.
  • You remember the "perfectibility of man," don't you? Obama's going to "heal our souls" - he's the only candidate that can!
    You see, we can all become virtuous if only the government controlled our lives.

    Not only are Obama's remarks a clarion call to socialism, they also objectify the people he refers to. He dismissed them as free, moral agents in their own right. Gosh, it's no wonder those white people hate blacks and Hispanics, go to church and buy guns and feel angry - they can't help it. The government has let them down. But with proper government regulation, intervention, activism (oh, just pick your own name), then they won't be racists, religious, xenophobic, or own guns.

    It gets worse:
    "It comes off very badly," Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers said of the small-town America remarks." They are things that I think in a liberal world sound totally normal, and outside of that world I don't know that he appreciates how it sounds. And it just sounds very elitist, and it sounds like he's looking down on people."
    Emphasis added. (I except WOC's own Armed Liberal from Ms. Powers' observation, but that a Democratic "strategist" said it is pretty revealing, I think.) That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    Yes, it does come off very badly. But Markadelphia doesn't recognize that. He continues:
    The people they should really be pissed off at are laughing all the way to the bank.....the people that have manipulated their bitterness and their honesty into votes.

    Several here lament long and hard about how liberals are "sheeple" who follow along with whatever their side says. To a certain extent and with certain people, this is true. However, the art of getting people to become sheeple has never been more perfected than it has with the "stupid rednecks in flyover country who believe in God, guns and country." This recent flap is an excellent example.
    Thanks, Mark, for telling us what you really think of us pore, ig'nant, Jeebus-freak gun owners! You sound exactly like Obama! (I'm shocked, shocked, I say!) You too believe that "it is the lack of regulation of the economy that makes people bitter, racist, religious, hunters, patriotic or protectionist," so what Obama said rolls off you like water off a duck's back.
    It illustrates how the "fake outrage machine" works in this country.
    Trust me - the outrage ain't fake.
    A bunch of people will now get angry at Obama for being "condescending" or the terribly false belief that he actually looks at people as Kevin says he does.

    So, by all means, let's continue to debate, ad nauseaum, how Senator Obama is an "elitist" or a hater of America. Meanwhile, Bush Co will dance with glee as it continues to pull several layers of wool over millions of eyes.
    Mark? Bush isn't running this year. And all three candidates with any chance for the office are elitists who believe that they know better than everyone else how to run our lives.

    Hillary Clinton thinks of Middle America the same way, but she's (so far) been smart enough not to say so in public. And McCain? I think he believes he knows how to do everything better than anyone. Take his "comprehensive immigration reform," his "campaign finance reform" etc., etc.

    You don't go into politics unless you think you're better than other people.

    Here's a clue for you, Mark: All politicians "pull the wool" over the electorate's eyes. It's been that way from the beginning. In Barak's case, the mask slipped - very publicly.

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