WORTH REPEATING: Goddamn Right We’re Bitter!

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johnbaer.jpgBY JOHN BAER OF THE DAILY NEWS As a native-born, small-town Pennsylvanian, a son of native-born, small-town Pennsylvania parents – one from the coal region, one from Lancaster County – let me assure you that the so-called offensive, condescending things Barack Obama said about the people I come from are basically right on target. “Bitter” perhaps best describes my late mother, an angry Irish Catholic who absolutely clung to her religion. Dad, also a journalist, wasn’t really bitter as far as I know, but he sure liked to hunt.

So, despite carping from Hillary Clinton and annoying yapping from her surrogates (really, it’s like turning on the lights at night in a puppy farm), I take no offense.What’s offensive to me is suggesting that small-town, working-class, gun-toting and/or religious Pennsylvanians are somehow injured by ahillarywilkesbarre.jpg politician’s words. Are you kidding me? They’re injured all right, but the injury is long-term and from lots more than “just words.” They’ve been injured from decades of neglect by political cultures in Washington and Harrisburg driven by special interests. They’re injured by a system of isolated, insulated political leadership that protects itself and the status quo above all else.

They’ve been taken for granted by political parties and candidates who stay in power by – and this was the apparent gist of Obama’s remarks – forcing attention and debate on issues tied to guns, religion and race (precisely because such issues resonate) rather than real problems such as health care and the economy.And I especially don’t want to hear such arguments from a candidate who spent decades in the bubble of a governor’s mansion, the White House and the U.S. Senate, and under the blanket of $109 million income during the last eight years. Pennsylvanians might cling to religion and guns. I hope they don’t cling to stupidity. MORE

gunnut2.jpgRELATED: So now, Barack Obama tells the truth about conditions as we know them–that the countryside and the small towns are dying in many places in our country, and that the corporatocracy doesn’t care enough to do a thing about it. He points out that immigrant-baiting, gay-baiting, gun-baiting, and religious pandering have helped to destroy those towns and that countryside, that those being destroyed have been cynically enlisted by their very own destroyers to provide the votes that help accomplish the destruction. And this is what Senator Hillary Clinton says about it: “Senator Obama’s remarks were elitist and out of touch. They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans.”

ABC NEWS: Sen. Hillary Clinton spoke to the American Manufacturing forum in Pittsburgh, Pa., Monday, saying she wanted to focus on solutions and the problems Americans are facing — but the New York senator did manage to squeeze in a slam towards her Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama. Her remarks were received poorly by the audience and instead of eliciting applause, Clinton was jeered when she brought up the subject. “I understand my opponent came this morning and spent a lot of his time attacking me,” Clinton said to jeers from the crowd. “I know that many of you, like me, were disappointed, by recent remarks he made.” “No, no!” shouted some in the crowd, mildly heckling Clinton. MORE

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