Monday, April 14, 2008

Gonna Die in a Small Town. That's Probably Where They'll Bury Me...

I just wanted to add my take on the latest faux-scandal that the media is obsessing over because the important stories are, like, way boring. Yes, nothing makes an election more exciting than a hyped-up 'culture war' issue because seriously if we have to hear about Iraq or the Olympics or recessions one more time, we'll all just kill ourselves.

I think many agree that the point Sen. Obama was making is accurate, if poorly worded (guns and religion become wedge issues, but hardly began in bad economies). Understandably he might not be bringing his a-game to a private, casual fundraising event in California. That this has become a 'scandal' is a reminder of how ridiculous the media makes politics (Obama drank orange juice at a diner... what a weirdo!!).

But not only is the point that he's making apt-- as someone with a gun-owning, religious, and very bitter brother who lives in rural Pennsylvania, I can vouch it is-- it's hardly a new point from Obama, or Democrats in general.

Here's Obama a few weeks after his Senate victory in 2004, making the same exact points-

And here's Bill Clinton himself last December making a similar point-

I'm glad to see that-- despite the necessary clarifications-- that Obama isn't being forced to back down or apologize for his honest remarks. Yes, phrase things a bit better next time, but keep making the point. Because these bitter, f'ed-over small town voters are crucial voters for us in the Fall. These voters had previously been the Democratic base, until the 1980s when the GOP began mastering the art of using social/cultural wedges to pry them away (abortion, gays, immigrants, etc). Democrats have to directly confront those wedges used to get so many to vote against their own economic interests. Most voters appreciate honesty, so give it to them.


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