What is Elitist?

The back-and-forth, quoting out of context, and general cattiness of politics gets pretty tiresome, especially during an election season. For the most part it’s better to ignore it. Sometimes, though, a candidate says something too ridiculous to let slide:

“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 going to regenerate and they have not,” he said.

“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,” he also said.

If you read the CNN story that I’m quoting here, it’s pretty clear that Obama’s response is more of the now-standard Barackish dissembling. Instead of simply apologizing for being careless, Obama has to blame the listener – “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that,” – and complain about how his opponents nit-pick his every word.

Well, Barack, maybe you should stop saying idiotic things. If it’s not elitist to say, effectively, that small town Midwesterners are unemployed racist yokels waiting for the federal government to repair their crappy communities, I don’t know what would be. The question is not whether people like me are turned off by what the personality candidate says and the extremist name-your-far-left-hero types he hangs out with. But what about some of the moderates who might have been convinced that Obama was, in fact, a leader as great as his speeches?

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