Streetwise Professor

April 14, 2008

That’s the Way to Win Jacksonian Hearts!

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 8:31 am

I’ve opined a couple of times that the Democrats’ big vulnerability is “Jacksonian” voters in swing states such as Pennsylvania, and that Obama is particularly vulnerable to large scale defections from such voters. I acknowledged that bigotry might be a–small–reason for this. It now appears that the real bigot is Obama; and that he has seriously increased the risk of defection of this key voting block. His disdainful dismissal of the benighted gun loving freaks in Jesusland to an audience of Lotus Eaters in Marin County (!) was a true gaffe–in the Michael Kinsley telling what you really think sense of the word. Given his wife’s more candid remarks; his associations with Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, and other assorted hard lefties; the fact that his mother was an anthropologist; the adoration which he receives from the most “progressive” precincts of academia; it is pretty clear that Obama’s remarks reveal his true regard–or lack thereof–for rural Pennsylvanians and millions of their compatriots in the South and Midwest. He shall reap what he has sown. It may well cost him the election.

Many have noted the condescension dripping from Obama’s remarks. That much is obvious. What has received less attention is how badly this reflects on Obama’s carefully cultivated image as a conviction politician who has the ability to unite America. Contrast Obama’s comments in California to his attempt to persuade Pennsylvania voters that he respects and supports their right to bear arms (in spite of his long history of supporting onerous gun control.) The gun grasping gaffe reveals that Obama is just another politician who will say what the audience in front of him wants to hear; that he will appeal to their preferences and prejudices in order to gull them into voting for him. This is par for politics, but it is especially damaging to Obama because he presumes to transcend politics. Thus, condescension is the least of Obama’s problems.

Obama was in his element in Venusian Marin County. One can imagine that uniform-obsessed pinhead Matthew Debord nodding vigorously in agreement to Obama’s characterization of his country cousins. (As an aside, what serious paper would even think for a moment of granting one column inch to its wine editor to pontificate on the uniform of a combatant commander when testifying in front of Congress? But it is my mistake to consider the LA Times a serious paper.) Once Obama gets identified with this crowd, a group that makes what Jeane Kirkpatrick called the San Fransisco Democrats look like paleocons–and he will–his chances in the South, the non-coastal West, and states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, and Missouri, and even Florida, will sink like a stone.

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