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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Steyn on the Obama Gaffe

From The Corner:

Hicks nix clique's shticks [Mark Steyn]

I'm about done with Obama over this mill-closures-drive-small-town-losers-to-guns-and-God business. If you're running as a glamorous blank slate on which people project their own utopian fantasies, you've got to be very careful not to give the game away - especially when the game turns out to be the usual cliched elite disdain for the great unwashed. I mention in the current issue of NR how odd it is that Michelle Obama is in many ways more condescending on the stump than Teresa Heinz Kerry. Now her husband's at it, too. As Ed Driscoll says:

Leave it to Obama to make John Kerry's Brahmin hauteur seem earnestly goofy in retrospect.

Quite. I had a ton of fun covering Kerry's awkwardness with Americans but, in fairness, it was essentially a consumerist snobbery: he preferred the Newburgh Yacht Club for lunch over the local Wendy's, he'd rather be windsurfing off Nantucket than rednecking at Nascar, etc. Obama's snobbery seems more culturally profound, and unlike Kerry he can't plead the crippling disadvantage of a priviliged childhood. Rather, Barack's condescension reveals a man out of touch with the rhythms of American life to a degree that's hard to fathom. As Michelle says, they "chose" to "leave corporate America", and Barack became a "community organizer" and she wound up a 350-grand-a-year "diversity outreach coordinator". I've no idea what either of those careers involve, and most of us seem able to get along without them. But their remoteness from the American mainstream perhaps explains why the Obamas seem to have no clue how Americans live their lives.

And yes, I'm a foreigner. But it takes one to know one, and this guy seems weirdly disconnected from everything except neo-segregationist Afrocentric grievance politics and upscale white liberal condescension. Not much of a coalition.

For those who have not seen what the fuss is all about, this is Obama speaking to a gathering of San Francisco fat cats talking about small town voeters in Pennyslvania:

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.

The Obamas see themselves as enlightened ones, the kind of people who are chosen to lead the poor, ill educated rubes with the wrong ideas out of their humdrum lives, away from their misguided faith, and into the bright new world that they will create. Michelle Obama has said as much.

[Barack Obama]...will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zone. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. [Barack Obama] will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”

Well, as Mark Steyn said
I hate to sound like I’m walled up in the Shed of Cynicism, but the constitutional right to be “uninvolved” and “uninformed” is one of the most precious, at least if the alternative is being “required” to work at coming out of your isolation and engaging with fellow members of the uninvolved, uninformed masses as we push ourselves to move out of our comfort zone.

There is more than a hint of the Nazi here. Remember one of their slogans "Work makes free." I am not looking for a "Great Leader" or "Dear Leader" or "Big Brother." I do not want to dance to the tune of the "Enlightened." I want them to buzz off and leave me and all the people around me alone.

We'll call you if we need you, otherwise go away.

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