Pundits are swarming like hungry sharks, accusing Barack of elitist condescension toward small town America. I'm watching conservative populist Pat Buchanan on MSNBC trumpeting the same -crap- talking points Hillary Clinton is using in her newly revised stump speech. Does anyone in Hillaryland see ANYTHING WRONG WITH A DEMOCRATIC POLITICIAN cozying up to Pitchfork Pat, for chrissakes???
Small town America has suffered for decades with few answers coming from our leaders in Washington. The Free Trade agreements pushed by the Clinton and Bush Administrations (Hillary may hear "Ka-Ching," but small-town Americans hear Perot's infamous "sucking sound") have accelerated the Heartland's economic decline.
As The Boss sings, "these jobs are going, boys and they ain't coming back..."
This latest media feeding frenzy over our presidential contest is diminishing BOTH Democratic candidates and threatens to result in a fratricidal outcome. The "chum" this weekend (full quote included, bolded section is the sound-bite focused on by Clinton, McCain and the "media"):
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 to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Senator Obama's use of the word "bitter" may have been a miscue. But for Clinton to seize upon a word and divert attention from the real debate about lost jobs, economic dislocation and healthcare only aids McCain's general election chances.
It's clear Clinton and McCain don't understand the realities of 2008: When over 80% of respondents say they believe this country is "ON THE WRONG TRACK" most Americans are bitter about what has happened to this country.
And, I've got news for you: it's not just about lost jobs.
It's about shredding the Constitution. It's about warrantless wiretaps and granting the telecoms retroactive immunity. It's about an ill-advised war with no end in sight. It's about $4.00/gallon gasoline when oil companies make record profits. It's rampant foreclosures and a bailout of Wall Street while Main Street continues to suffer.
This is why Americans - in small towns and big cities - are angry.
I shudder to think what may happen to this nation if you take away the one thing we have left: