Monday, April 14, 2008

Now I'm Bitter

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., eyes her shot of Crown Royal with Bronko's owner Nick Tarailo, right, as she stops at the bar during a campaign stop at Bronko's restaurant in Crown Point, Ind., on Saturday, April 12, 2008.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

I'd like to write an omnibus post about the total ridiculousness of the other candidates reaction to, and the media's running gleefully with, Obama's "bitter" comment, but I'm too busy. (Work going into the electric kiln tomorrow! Whoo-hoo!) So here's an unresearched, unlinked post. Just my opinion.

The triviality of it all, the very same week that we learn that Smirky McConstitutionFucker PERSONALLY ENDORSED TORTURE, the press spends the entire weekend calling Barack Obama an out-of-touch elitist. Barack Obama, child of a single mother. Obama, who went to Harvard -- because he earned a scholarship. And then spurned hundreds of offers to work for corporate law firms, to work as a community organizer. Real elitist.

Multi-millionaire John McCain, owner of eight houses, son of an admiral, dumped his first wife to marry a multi-millionaire heiress twenty-five years his junior, he calls Obama an out-of-touch elitist. Multi-millionaire Hillary Clinton, who together with her husband earned $109 million in their seven short years out of the White House, graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School, has lived either in the White House or a tony suburb of New York City since 1992, she calls Barack Obama an elitist.

It's all bullshit! He wasn't insulting anyone, and they know it, and the media knows it. And Hillary Clinton, who is supposed to be a Democrat, attacks Obama like he's just admitted he authorized the United States military to start torturing prisoners. Oh, that's wrong. She attacks Obama like he's her real opponent, not John McSame, the Republicans and George W. Clusterfuck. Hillary, keep your eyes on the prize. It's not about defeating Obama. It's about beating McCain and taking back the White House in November. Shooting the other Democrat in the race is not helping.

Annie Oakley Clinton then claimed that her father taught her to shoot when she was a little girl (my mother said, my father showed me how to shoot when I was a little girl, but he didn't give me the gun. It was too big. It would have knocked me over.) And she'd gone duck hunting. Funny, I don't remember her ever mentioning that before. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure she was a big opponent of guns when she ran for Senate in 2000.

I looked her father up on wikipedia. The house where he supposedly taught her to shoot? It was a vacation house they owned on a lake in Pennsylvania, and Hillary spent her summers at the summer house. Real working class, summers at the second house.

Then she got photographed in a bar in Indiana throwing back a shot and a beer on Saturday night. What next? A campaign appearance with Clint Eastwood where they both drawl "Go ahead, make my day" and she shoots a paper cutout of Obama? Then goes out for a beer and a shot with McCain where they both laugh about having passed the commander-in-chief threshold? You may have guessed that I'm pretty sick of Hillary Clinton's shtick. Drop out now, Hillary, I would write in the sky over her events. If you can't say anything nice about the Democrat, don't say anything.

So, I said I wouldn't link, but this addendum to a Glenn "Glenzilla" Greenwald post pretty well summed up my opinion of the media's role in the whole debacle. (Go buy his new book, Great American Hypocrites.)

[On weekend television] there was virtually no discussion, at least on any of the news shows to which I was exposed, of the obviously consequential revelations of the President's direct involvement in the creation of America's torture regime. Instead, the vast bulk of attention was paid to depicting Barack Obama as an effete, elitist, deceptive enemy of the Regular Guy -- exactly the way that every national Democratic politician in recent memory has inevitably been depicted (including Hillary Clinton, particularly when the media and the Right thought last year that she would be the nominee).

Our elections are dominated by the same tired personality script, trotted out over and over and over. Democrats and liberals -- no matter how poor their upbringing, no matter how self-made they are, no matter how egalitarian their policies -- are the freakish, out-of-touch elitists who despise the values of the Regular Americans. Right-wing leaders -- no matter how extravagantly rich they are by virtue of other people's money, no matter how insulated their lives are, no matter how indifferent their policies are to the vast rich/poor gap -- are the normal, salt-of-the-earth Regular Folk. These petty, cliched storylines drown out every meaningful consideration and dictate our election outcomes, and they are deployed automatically.

It doesn't matter what the candidates actually say or do. The establishment press just waits for the right episode and then reflexively and eagerly fills in the gaps in the shallow script -- the script with which they are intimately familiar and which serves as their only framework for talking about and understanding political disputes.

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