“[I]t’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.”
This quote is the equivalent of Howard Dean’s scream in Iowa, of the perception that Muskie cried in New Hampshire, it is catastrophic. It single handedly shatters the emotional trust that so many people have in Obama.
– He says people “cling” to “religion.” That sounds like Dawkins or Hitchens or Sam Harris. It is the talk of an atheist in the academy, not a church organizer who has given his life to Jesus.
– His talk isn’t of “us” but of “them” – it is a betrayal of the very idea that he is a unifier, someone who can bring a hurting nation together because he, uniquely, understands the pain and frustration felt by so many.
– It sounds insecure. It isn’t so much that it sounds elitist or snobby, it sounds insecure. He sounds like someone trying to impress an elitist San Francisco liberal crowd, someone needing their approval. That is a scary idea.
– And I haven’t even started talking about the guns part or the patriotism implications. Egads. (And no one says egads anymore).
Can he recover? Maybe. But this is bigger than Jeremiah Wright because unlike the Wright situation, this IS about Obama and what he thinks and believes and says.
And no matter what happens, it will live with him.
In February 1993, noted Washington Post journalist Michael Weisskopf gave Christian conservatives the sound bite read round the world. In a front page story on those who followed Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell he wrote, they are “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”
Those seven words raised countless millions in direct mail and are still repeated today among social conservatives, a reminder of what the mainstream media “really thinks” about them. And Weisskopf was a reporter.