Here We Go Again

Obama called elitist for telling the truth.
By Jane Smiley

You know, I just spent seven and a half years disagreeing with the administration that has given us an unprecedented military and economic mess. I saw it coming, it came, and in some ways it was worse, and promises to get worse, than I foresaw.

In the course of these seven years, I have had my patriotism questioned and demeaned fairly often. I was even put in a book, as one of a hundred people who were hurting America. When I got into this book, my relatives worried that I would get shot by some rightwing nut, even though several of them were and are rightwing nuts themselves (and they carry guns).

All this time, though, I considered myself a patriot and a loyal American because I was able to see the destruction that was being wreaked upon the nation, and in particular, upon the middle and working classes, by the Republican liars and war criminals and job outsourcers and health care destroyers and army wreckers and infrastructure ignorers and media whores and agriculture blackmailers (see this month’s Vanity Fair).

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.”

From Senator Clinton’s remarks, I infer that to actually see what has gone on in the US in the last 20 years is unAmerican. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you were born, what you pay in taxes, what else you might have contributed to the culture, how you vote, who you support. If you don’t support fundamentalist religion, job outsourcing, and free access to guns, then you are not even American.

I cannot believe how angry this makes me. I cannot believe that after the last seven and a half years, I can even get this angry. Yes, I know she is pandering to her audience. Yes, I know she will do anything to get elected. Yes, I know that she and Bill Clinton are corrupt to the core, and that I should have never expected anything better of her.

But, please, any of you angry white women who still support this craven shill, don’t mention it to me. Do me the following favor — apologize to your children for not stopping the war that HIllary voted for, the war that is going to impoverish them. Then apologize to them for the effects of global warming that are going to make their lives hell. Then apologize to them for the school shooting they may someday see, the one where the kid gets the guns out of his father’s gun case, or buys at a gunshow. Apologize to them for the meaningless wars they are going to fight and pay for. Then tell them that “American values” killed their hopes and maybe killed them. And ask them if they think it’s going to be worth it.

Source. / Huffington Post / April 12, 2008 / The Rag Blog

It Takes Real Chutzpah for a Guy Who Owns Eight Houses (McCain) to Call Barack Obama an “Elitist”
By Robert Creamer

McCain doesn’t lack “chutzpah.” Yesterday his campaign actually accused Barack Obama of being an “elitist” for saying that it’s not surprising that people in small Midwestern towns are bitter after seeing their standard of living systematically destroyed over the last three decades.

Damn right they’re bitter; they have good reasons to be. And most of those reasons are the economic and trade policies that have — and continue to be — championed by George Bush and John McCain.

The McCain campaign is managed by a cadre of Washington-insider special interest lobbyists. He and his current wife are estimated to be worth about $100 million. He reportedly owns eight houses. His let-them-eat-cake economic policies are based on George Bush’s failed radical conservative “you’re on your own buddy” philosophy. One after another he supported trade agreements that protect the rights of corporations, but ignore the rights of labor, and have devastated one Pennsylvania community after another. He gets most of his campaign cash from the wealthiest corporate interests around. And he has the gall to call Barack Obama an “elitist”?

This is the same Barack Obama who spent years of his life organizing out-of-work steelworkers on the south side of Chicago — people just like those who live in Allentown or Erie or Pittsburgh or the Monongehela Valley in western Pennsylvania. He stood shoulder to shoulder with them, sat at their kitchen tables, spent hours in their church basements.

He didn’t do those things as a famous candidate, but as a community organizer being paid $8,000 a year by a coalition of churches. You don’t build a resume or a client list organizing unemployed steel workers. You do it because you respect the people and you care about justice.

In fact, the trademark of Barack Obama’s campaign for president is the honest, respectful way he talks to everyone — and stands up for everyday Americans.

If you want to talk about patronizing, or “elitism”, you need look no farther than the way Bush and McCain attempt to use fear and division to divert the attention of middle class people from the economic policies that pick their pockets, lower their wages, destroy their unions, and outsource their jobs. And all the while they use our money to bail out Wall Street, and give giant tax breaks to the real “elitists” — the economic elite.

It is Barack Obama who can lead a movement to change the way things are done in Washington. He can do it by empowering and inspiring the people who live in small-town Pennsylvania, and all of the other middle class Americans who have been left out by Bush-McCain policies that have benefited the “masters of the universe” on Wall Street and the Gucci-shoed lobbyist set on “K” Street.

As for Hillary Clinton, who joined in attacking Obama’s statement: she should know better. She knows that Obama is the furthest thing from an elitist, and she should know better than to join in the Republican narrative about the candidate who is the likely Democratic standard bearer in the fall.

Robert Creamer is a long-time political organizer and strategist and author of the recent book: “Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win,” available on

/ Huffington Post / April 12, 2008 / The Rag Blog

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