Sunday, April 13, 2008

Haircuts, Drivers' Licences, Bitterness and Hypocrisy

Having read the various apologetics from Obama supporters in their comments to Annie Kenet's post earlier today, "Obama Rules" Broken, I'll weigh in, too.

Of course the current "bitter voters" story is dumb.

Of course Mr. Obama's comment about gun-toting, bible-clinging, bitter Pennsylvanians has been spun out of proportion and robbed of context in the uproar that has followed.

And of course it's unfair to an Obama candidacy that is about a whole lot more than one, ill-conceived comment.

Thing is, this is how the American political process always plays out.

These press pile-ons are ridiculous, dysfunctional, and the root cause of the triumph of incompetence that twice led the nation to elect George Bush as its president.

But pardon me for noting that Mr. Obama's defenders are sounding an awful lot like schoolyard bullies who've thrown lots of sucker-punches, but break into unabating tears after receiving a taste of their own medicine for the first time.

Nothing contributed more to Mr. Obama's January 3rd Iowa caucus victory than the manufactured silliness that followed an October 30th Democratic candidates' debate, when Hillary Clinton supposedly equivocated about a New York State bill that dealt with drivers' licences for illegal immigrants.

Of course, this was a local state matter, entirely out of the federal domain, entirely irrelevant to the serious issues affecting the well-being of the nation, and entirely removed from Mrs. Clinton's control or influence in Washington.

So where was Mr. Obama then, when the press savaged Mrs. Clinton as a vague, untrustworthy flip-flopper?

Ummmm... he was jumping on the bandwagon, hitting hard too, building momentum, and watching the votes roll in:

Hillary Clinton, in the recent Democratic Debate, was savaged by John Edwards and Barrack Obama for her apparently contradictory stances on immigration. She said she favored the plan by the state of New York to issues drivers licenses for illegals, but said it wasn't the best thing to do, but that it was needed to bring illegals out of the shadows.John Edwards attacked Hillary Clinton for saying two things in the space of two minutes. Barack Obama also chimed in claiming he didn't understand Senator Clinton's answer. However, when asked by Tim Russert where he stood, Barack Obama essentially held the exact same position as Senator Clinton.

Similarly, much earlier in the campaign, when the cost of John Edwards' haircuts rose to national prominence as an election "issue," where was Mr. Obama?

We know the answer.

He was sitting back, watching Mr. Edwards' candidacy be delegitimized and destroyed by a media narrative that repeatedly hinted at the candidate's "masculinity deficit."

And, of course, all the while, Mr. Obama was watching his votes roll in.

Let's face it. Mr. Obama's candidacy has benefited enormously from these previous media hit-jobs.

Now, it is he who misspoke, and it is he who is on the receiving end. Like it or not, this may just be the beginning for him.

In an ideal world, this minor gaffe would not be a big deal.

U.S. politics, however, is no ideal world.

These are the kinds of issues, regrettably, that seem to galvanize the media and resonate with voters. U.S. elections are won and lost on this silliness.

Mr. Obama did not rise to defend his adversaries when they got "the treatment."

And from where I sit, he can't sit back and reap the benefits when it happens to his opponents, but credibly cry foul when it happens to him.

That is just hypocrisy.

And America has a few too many hypocrites in office, already.

Bitter hypocrites, in fact.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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Roxanne said...

If you lose your job and watch US companies outsource all the jobs you have skills to perform, you become bitter.

If you lose your home to foreclosure and watch the banking industry be bailed out, while you are forced to work multiple jobs at minimal wage, you become bitter.

If you can’t afford to buy health insurance and are told help is on the way just to find out that the help is that you are being forced to buy health insurance or you will be penalized, you become bitter.

Make no mistake, Barack Obama is very in touch with the citizens of this country because even if these things haven’t happened to us yet, we know that they could at any given moment because of the direction our country has been taking for the last 8 years. Even if we don’t feel comfortable admitting it publicly because we are proud, we know that what he is saying is unfortunately very true.

Don’t let the way he said it make you give the power to the people who do not understand what it is like to have to choose between putting gas in your car or food on your table or paying your bills. We all know that he is right. No one cares about the people who have become homeless because our administration has sold our country’s economic well-being down the river.

We need change and we need it now. Vote Barack Obama!

Anonymous said...

Obama didn't rise up to the occasion to defend his rivals...but he also did not contribute or cause the continuation of the media flair. That is the difference...Hillary Clinton could not wait to get before the media and make much to do about a "misstatement"...many times people do "misspeak"...and this is one time that Obama's words were truly twisted...unlike when Clinton was under misle attack in Bosnia and everyone was told to sit on their bullit proof vest...while she was escorted into the cockpit...Obama was not trying to belittle or minimize the feelings and concerns of the Penna. people...he was trying to explain and justify why they felt and did what they did..."bitter"...may be a little strong...but they are "dissatisfied" and it is true...that when people are dissatisfied with things that they can not control...they resort to those things that are familiar and give them the comfort and pleasure that they seek...