Monday, April 14, 2008

Barack Obama: He Said, He Meant

I saw an ad in the Huffington Post where they were looking for a translator. What language? That was my first thought. English, it said. Here’s the text, in full:

Wanted. Translator for presidential primary contender, sleek and trendy, with unclear policy objectives. Applicant must be well-versed in political and legal double-speak, and capable of extracting meaning from unintelligible sounds. Morality is okay so long as it’s not excessive and may be subordinated to the exigencies of the moment. Interested candidates for this position must demonstrate verbal aptitude and excellent grasp of synonyms, euphemisms, homographs, homophone, and especially homonyms. Words that sound the same but have different meanings or shaded meaning must readily fall from the tongue. Contact Obama campaign headquarters for interview. Salary commensurate with ability. Top pay package, perks, and health benefits for the right spin-doctor.

I wonder if the ad had anything to do with Obama’s remarks at a highbrow fund-raiser in San Francisco. And I wonder if Obama thinks I have got some kind of “antipathy to people who aren’t like them (me)”…. As I sit here in a bucolic setting, amidst the trees and the farm animals, contemplating the spring turkey season, cocking and de-docking my gun, a bible clutched in my free hand, I wonder if Obama has any clue as to who we really are here in Pennsylvania.

Last time I checked, “antipathy” meant hatred or is at least its brother. I don’t have any hatred for anyone, and for Barack (the Blessed One) to accuse me of that goes to show you how far out in space and lost he is. Though I was born in Pennsylvania, I’ve lived in San Francisco, and I expect that Obama was trying to impress a select group of hip and moneyed San Franciscans by trading in class resentments. It was a tasteless thing to do, and his condescending whisperings behind what he thought were closed doors have now revealed what Obama’s handlers have worked so hard to disguise: a thin veneer of pseudo-sophistication covers a grasping bounder so full of himself that he cannot see beyond his nose. Oh, bitter me! My “anti-immigrant sentiment” for even my own mother, born in Italy, is only one small measure of my “frustrations” and lack of worldliness. The “antitrade sentiment” remark completely baffles me. Wasn’t Obama’s anti-NAFTA speech one of the clearest examples of that for which he criticized Pennsylvanians?

Well, the speech revisionists and damage controllers have launched into Defcon III alert with the media finally hearing the discordant false note in Obama’s so-called oratory. Obama himself is doing the three-step with which the media should be now very familiar. First, there is the self-pitying wounded bird Obama denial, delivered with well-rehearsed gravitas. Secondly, there is a mild self-criticism for the ‘poor choice of words.’ And finally there is the diversion of truth which takes the form of new oratorical flourishes.

So I said, well, you know when you’re bitter, you turn to what you can count on….So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community.”

Follow the bullshit here. Obama tells a new audience (with the media recording) what he said to his San Francisco audience, but it is a lie told in the second person, as if he were engaged with the San Francisco audience. He uses the words: “You know, when you’re bitter, you turn to what you can count on….” You agree with that, don’t you?

And in the next breath, he launches into more generalized sanitization of his offensive remarks.

“So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community,” he meanders on.

And there, Obama generalizes in the third person in this final stage of selective amnesia. But it’s an obfuscation. In the audio recording of Obama’s remarks, Obama tells the San Francisco audience what a bunch of hicks, hillbillies and haters we are in Pennsylvania. Why? Merely to curry favor with the privileged moneyed elite with whom he so strongly identifies. It was that lack of judgment and inexperience that clouded his associations with the indicted Antoin Rezko and with Reverend Wright in Chicago. It continues to this day.

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