The dirty little secret about Barack Obama's indictment of flyover country is that he said what liberals, including Hillary Clinton, believe. Sufficient proof of this can be found in the liberal outrage at Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate, where Obama was pressed both by the moderators and Clinton to explain Bitter-gate, Wright-gate, Ayers-gate and Flag pin-gate.
Consider the uncannily similar reactions of columnists Tom Shales and Stephen Silver.
Shales expressed indignation that ABC News moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos would dare ask Obama to justify his insulting remarks about small-town Americans and his relationships with certain anti-American people.
Shale's fumed, "For the first 52 minutes … Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with."
Shales was particularly perturbed that Stephanopoulos "came up with such tired tripe as a charge that Obama once associated with a nutty bomb-throwing anarchist."
He was equally peeved at Gibson for bringing up, "yet again, the controversial ravings of the pastor at a church attended by Obama."
Columnist Silver is annoyed that Gibson and Stephanopoulos "asked shamefully superficial and gotcha-oriented questions" and for the first half of the debate dwelt only on "rehashes of the nonsense non-stories of the past month -- it was all-Wright, all-'bitter,' all-Bosnia sniper fire, all flag pin all the time." These were all, wrote Silver, "questions about nothing."
Silver characterized the recent stories about Obama's association with unrepentant terrorist William Ayers as "the sort of stuff that only right-wing bloggers and e-mail forwarders care about."
Excuse the quotes, but nothing captures the sneering condescension of media liberals better than their own words.
What do the assessments of these two fairly typical liberal columnists have in common? Well, quite simply their agreement that reports about Obama's pastor, his terrorist friend and his obvious contempt for small-town Americans are superficial distractions that are irrelevant to Obama's suitability for the highest office in the land.
The mainstream media's trivialization of this string of damning stories on Obama brings into sharp relief the ever-widening worldview chasm that separates liberals from conservatives. For them to let Obama get away with brushing off his elitist, contemptuous remarks about small-town Americans as a mistake or as a mere "mangling of words" proves they not only don't understand the gravity of the insult but also probably agree with it.
It is impossible to spin Obama's statement as misspeak. As witnessed by his "typical white person" remark, Obama liberally engages in the type of stereotypical thinking he so readily condemns in others. If a conservative had offered such stereotyping, it would be off with his small-town head.
The Obama stories are anything but superficial and couldn't be more relevant. Obama has revealed more about himself by advertising his obvious misapprehension of what makes small-town Americans tick and his voluntary associations with a racist, anti-American, obscenity-spewing pastor and an unrepentant terrorist than we could ever learn through rote repetition of his policy preferences.
It's astonishing that a man who is nearly deified by his admirers and personality-cultist groupies as a "post-racial" unifier displays such disrespect for his fellow Americans. How could so-called small-town Americans warm to the candidacy of a man who presumes they attend church, own guns and oppose illegal immigration because of bitterness and bigotry? What indescribable arrogance and elitism.
When someone is so fundamentally wrong about such fundamental things, he clearly does not have the requisite judgment to be president of the United States. For the mainstream media to be wholly oblivious to the hyper-relevance of these stories demonstrates they are on the left side of that chasm that separates Americans according to their worldviews. They are so eaten up with their own self-assurance, superiority and elitism that they are blinded to their own bias.
If Hillary weren't so widely disliked, the Obama stories might be devastating to his candidacy. But the media don't get this either, thinking that Obama's failure to plummet in the polls is because Americans don't care about these stories. There's nothing there; let's move on.
If they're right -- that Americans don't care that this presidential candidate looks down on them based on categorical assumptions by which he has sized them up, thinks he knows better than they do about what motivates them, what's in their best interests and that government largesse is their only salvation -- we're in worse shape than I thought.
If I'm right, these are big stories that won't -- and by all means shouldn't -- be ignored.
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