Barack Obama, Bitter Clinger

Barack Obama, Bitter Clinger

Charles Krauthammer pointed out yesterday on Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier that President Barack Obama is running on “fear of the other”–an ironic tactic, he said, given Obama’s infamous “bitter clinger” statement about rural Americans at an elite fundraiser in San Francisco in 2008:

You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. 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.

People remember that Obama referred to guns and religion, but few recall that he also talked about “antipathy to people who aren’t like them,” Krauthammer explained. And Obama’s attack on outsourcing, with its implicit hostility to foreigners, makes full use of that antipathy in an attempt to push the electorate in his direction.

To that, Krauthammer could have added that Obama’s entire campaign is based on such fear-mongering–not just between Americans and foreigners, but primarily between rich and poor, black and white, gay and straight–the very divisions Obama promised to transcend when he burst onto the national political scene in 2004.

In fact, Obama has become something of a bitter clinger himself. He refuses to understand that his presidency is in danger because of his policies, and instead blames his failure to communicate his ideas to the American people–who, in their ignorance, still refuse to submit to him. The “antipathy to people who aren’t like them” has become, for Obama, a way to explain his political frustrations–and a tool, he believes, to overcome them.


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