Sunday, April 13, 2008

Yippie-ki-yay fellow bitterzens

I was going to blog about the controversy over Obama’s controversial observations about some of the controversial behaviors of America’s putatively embittered citizenry….
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 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.
…. But then I pretty much said what I had to say over at
There are only three points I would fault Obama on here.

(1) Don't say "bitter," which implies passivity and internalization. Say "angry." Americans really like being called angry.

(2) Don't say "cling." Again, that's too passive, and also implies dependence and dainty femininity (unless you're a mountain/rock climber clinging to a cliff, in which case you're macho).

(3) Don't ever use religion or guns as examples of comfort "blankies" -- even though that's what they're there for. I can't even think of safe substitutes -- drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling -- since you don't want to risk the votes of overindulgers. It is a close election, after all.
On edit, I would add the following to the list of things Americans don’t like to be reminded they use as comfort blankies: bigotry, homophobia, misogyny, and belief in an all-powerful, always infallible US military.

BONUS LINK: Enjoy the video fun at Red State Update as Jackie and Dunlap respond to Obama.

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