Commentary Magazine


Why Not Just Call Them Rubes?

How did Barack Obama describe the good people of rural Pennsylvania and other similar spots? This is what he had to say:

“And it’s not surprising then 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 raises several questions. First, is the Clinton campaign minimally competent so as to be able to make this into the quote for the next 10 days in Pennsylvania and convince voters there and elsewhere Obama is a sneering snob? Second, if that is these people’s reason for adopting an uninformed view on trade what is his explanation for embracing protectionism? Third, just how many religious voters and NRA members could there be in Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky and West Virginia?

John McCain’s camp did not miss a beat. Communications Director Steve Schmidt declared it a “remarkable statement and extremely revealing.” He continued:

“It shows an elitism and condescension towards hardworking Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking.It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans.”

And sure enough the Clinton camp stirs, decrying the Man of Hope not finding hope in Pennsylvania. Rising from her political grave she declares: “Pennsylvanians don’t need a president who looks down on them, they need a president who stands up for them, who fights for them, who works hard for your futures, your jobs, your families.”

The Great Leader of the people, I think, doesn’t think much of the people.