Well what explanation could the Obamaphile punditocracy come up with for the Great One’s gaffe? There really is none.
One gamely offers the contrite approach, as if acknowledging that Eliot Spitzer could use “a tad more self-control”:
Despite his working class upbringing, Obama’s hyperconfidence sometimes translates as holier-than-thou, elitist, aristocratic, Dukakis-esque. Republicans know that these attributes aren’t popular in middle America, so they will use every opportunity to remind independents and moderates about them.
Notice the vain attempt to insist that Obama really did have a working class upbringing like all the folk he slandered. (Generally it helps to live on the same continent with your countrymen and not rely on Harvard sociology professors to brief you later in life on the habits of your fellow citizens.) And, you see, those nasty Republicans will “use” this outburst because ordinary Americans can’t tell for themselves when they have been insulted.
Others are more honest:
Not only is this pretty darn condescending on its face, but the trade comment adds another whole layer of insult. He’s almost admitting that he does not believe his previous trade talk!
(Somewhere Austan Goolsbee is smiling.)
And Obama wasn’t getting many takers for his convuluted explanation that this was a mini-exegesis on What’s the Matter With Kansas?:
And even if it was what he meant, it isn’t what he said. What he did suggest, most problematically, is that there’s something wrong, or symptomatic, about clinging to your faith, or to your gun. It’s a suggestion that probably plays better in San Francisco (politically, the worst possible place to say it) than in the middle of the country.
Well don’t expect Andrew Sullivan to admit Obama’s comments were meant “pejoratively” (because “cling to guns” was meant with the deepest reverence for the right to bear arms?). But if this is the reaction on the Left blogosphere imagine how this will go down in Altoona.