Obama and PA


Friend of the site Steve B., whose New York Islanders failed to make the playoffs and thus are not up three games to none like my Pittsburgh Penguins, writes:

what do you make of this Obama/Pennsylvania thing?

Well, Steve: in short, it was mad dumb and probably will get its damage on.

This is usually what happens when you play too hard to your audience, and playing to the audience is particularly frought with difficulty when your audience is a political group like San Francisco liberals that’s defined very specifically on a national level. Americans aren’t into the whole condescending thing, and thus will vote for someone who fronts like a regular guy even as he keeps them down over somebody who might genuinely care about average people but can’t hide a sense of hoity-toitiness well-enough. Obama already has problems with so many of his supporters being hip, urban types — the type of people who are resented by rural PA dudes. William Kristol really went off the deep end trying to say that this makes Obama into some closet Marxist, but this was still tone-deaf politically. So there’s that aspect of it that will hurt him with all the Pennsylvanians who like guns and religion, I think moreso than Jeremiah Wright — at least it was Wright saying that stuff, not Obama.

Plus, it doesn’t even make sense to say that people pursue cultural activities like hunting or religion because of their economic situation. Lots of people back home go hunting and go to church, and I can’t remember ever hearing someone walk out of Mass to shout, “Woo! Take that, all you outsourcing CEOs! Where’s your Chinese manufacturing now!?”

On a related note, liberal fans of cute furry things shouldn’t look down their noses at hunting. With all the deer in Pennsylvania that would otherwise end up starved to death or exploded by a tractor trailer, hunters are a vital population check, plus they tend to be very pro-environment. So there’s that.

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5 Responses to “Obama and PA”

  1. Ferraro coming down the left wing 2 on 1, he sees Volek, the feed, he scores!

    Posted by Steve B. | April 15th, 2008 at 11:22 am
  2. I do think its symptomatic of the Thomas Frank problem: people don’t agree with me – there must be a material cause, otherwise they would certainly see things my way because I am obviously correct!

    Mayday! Punctuation all screwed up.

  3. First of all, “exploded by” always makes me crack up when it is used. I almost did a spit-take reading it, and I’ve read it at least 83 million times in the universe.

    Second, hunting is, to an enormous extent, a rich person’s sport. Though the stereotype exists of poor guys in crappy trucks, there are just as many people flying off to spend a jillion dollars to shoot bears in Alaska. Trouble is, they just aren’t citified richies.

    Also, I go to church and am not a hillbilly or poor (well, I’m poor, but I’m not like no teeth poor. I’m reporter poor.). Take that, audacity.

    (Also also: Audacity of hope will be the name of the next James Bond movie. Write that down.)

  4. “Audacity of hope will be the name of the next James Bond movie. Write that down”

    Actually, it’s “Quantum of Solace”. Seriously.

    Posted by Rich | April 15th, 2008 at 7:31 pm
  5. I knew that about Quantum. I meant the one AFTER that. But yeah, worst name ever.

    Modicum of Solitude!

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