I’ve been reading online about Obama’s speech in San Francisco. He referred to people from little towns in Pennsylvania having a tough time, and implied that they feel betrayed because multiple administrations have done nothing to help them.
Maybe some people in rural Pennsylvania do feel betrayed by the government, but it’s not because the federal government has failed to help them. Populist politicians have conditioned voters to believe that the government is the only group that can help. Obama faults people for clinging to religion and it’s clear; he wants them to cling to government.
This populist view is dangerous, the federal government can not come into small towns and solve every problem. Unfortunately, candidates have been promising solutions and letting people they really understand the problem and will help us – as long as we elect them and not the other guy.
Here is the full transcript, with my emphasis added.
OBAMA: 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, [ed: they have been beaten down by federal government regulations] 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). [ed: guess he has to call someone a racist]
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 [ed: again, he wants them to cling to government] to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you’ll find is, is that people of every background — there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you’ll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you think I’d be very strong and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you’re doing what you’re doing.
Malkin visited Pennsylvania last week and points out:
When I think of “small-town Pennsylvania,” I think of the people of faith and fortitude I met last week–with open hearts, big smiles, and a boundless belief in the ability to help others, even on a shoestring budget and a steep political incline.
The HuffPost has the audio from the speech, and commenter SimpleTwist sums up the Obama supporter position quite well.
What is so bad about what he said? Life isn’t looking so well for a lot of Americans and Obama said they are bitter and frustrated about it. How is that being insensitive? It’s the truth!
People amaze me when they attack Obama for saying things like this. Sad, really.
Do the people who are “Obama enthusiasts” understand what they are asking for? This type of policy breeds more dependence. Health care, school lunch programs, mortgage bailouts, federal dollars for schools – all of these programs build and build to the point where citizens depend on the federal government for almost every portion of their lives.
And that’s how liberals – and the the Democrat party – want you, dependent.
Update: Obama is lashing out.