Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, April 15th, 2008.

Who’s Bitter?

Democratic Party

Not these guys.

Today George Will accuses Barack Obama of elitism, which is a bit like being called bloodthirsty by Hannibal Lecter.

Obama does fulfill liberalism’s transformation since Franklin Roosevelt. What had been under FDR a celebration of America and the values of its working people has become a doctrine of condescension toward those people and the supposedly coarse and vulgar country that pleases them.

Will, of course, is a Man of the People because he writes about baseball. And he knows the simple natives are not frustrated and bitter. What could they possibly be frustrated and bitter about? Life is fine for George Will, after all.

See the artfully titled “Cracker-quiddick Fallout Continues To Haunt SnObama” (so clever, those Righties) at Lulu’s blog. A blogger named see -dubya breathlessly quotes such plebeians as Will, John Fund, James Lileks, and of course Little Lulu herself on the awfulness of Barack Obama’s elitism. And the blogger does this in wide-eyed innocence of the inherent irony he is wallowing in. It’s almost cute.

As E.J. Dionne says,

It has been sickening over the years to watch Republicans, who always rally to the aid of the country’s wealthiest citizens, successfully cast themselves as pork-rind-eating, NASCAR-watching, gun-toting populists. To have the current White House occupant (Yale, Harvard Business School, son of a president) run as a good old boy should have been the final straw.

But here are the two remaining Democratic candidates, Obama by speaking carelessly and Clinton by piling on shamelessly, doing all they can to make it easy for Republicans to pretend one more time that they are the salt of the earth.

Now we’re into the debate about the fallout. On the one hand, you can find commentary that says Obama’s political career is all but over and his poll numbers in Pennsylvania are tanking. And you can find other commentary that says there is remarkable little change in the poll numbers and that those small-town Pennsylvanians don’t seem to give a bleep about what Obama said. I suspect the truth is somewhere in between, but we’ll see.

I think the real test for both candidates will be the debate in Philadelphia tomorrow night. Bittergate will give Obama an opening to address blue-collar issues, which he needs to do. And I will be surprised if his wording will be as clumsy as it was in San Francisco. He’s not a man who makes the same mistake twice. Senator Clinton, on the other hand, never seems to know when to leave well enough alone. She may still be in Annie Oakley mode. Anything can happen.

While I don’t agree with every word, Richard Cohen’s column is, for once, worth reading. See The Politico on Obama’s counter-punching style. See also Bob Herbert.

Update: Eugene Robinson also is particularly good today.

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