Hillary, it IS bitter out here

...and if you'd emerge from your multimillion dollar lifestyle, and your "experience"-filled, corporation-shielding, lobbyist-choked DC bubble once in awhile, you'd feel the chill.

First, Hillary, to suggest that voters feel condescended to because Obama acknowledged worker desperation and rage is itself awfully condescending. Do you really think we're all just whistling while we work, always looking on the bright side of life? Let me share with you why that can be tough some days.

Just in the last month, several of my close friends were laid off their education jobs. Another just lost her restaurant business. Another got fired from a management job--"downsizing," you know. Friday another close friend got laid off from a distribution company. They are all terrified over their mortgages, their insurance, their kids.

I work freelance right now, so at least I can't get fired. There are just those really dry spells. But yeah, as a matter of fact, I do have a lot of college education. Too bad that anymore, that tends to come with a crippling debt, because tuition is so high. And because there is a degree-glut in many once-prosperous fields that are increasingly outsourced nowadays, salaries are often weak or sporatic. For myself, I've made more money in blue-collar jobs. Unfortunately, also thanks to your NAFTA, those too now are at a premium. Ever had to fudge "downwards" on your resume, so a boss would consider you and not dismiss you as "overqualified"?

I haven't been to the doctor for years, because I have a pre-existing condition and even when I can get insurance, it's nearly impossible to get payment from them. I've stopped taking medication I've been ordered by a doctor to take, because it's too expensive. I haven't visited the dentist for well over a decade, because I can't afford it, even though three of my fillings have fallen out and I can only chew on one side. My many degrees don't really help when several dozen to several hundred apply for every job I actually am trained and qualified for. We'd move, but my partner at least has a part-time job, and we can't risk that until we sell our house. Unfortunately, its value has dropped to the amount of the mortgage, and in two years we haven't had a bid near that high regardless.

Also, I'm caring for a loved one for whom moving is difficult, and who--you guessed it--has no insurance either.

Every decent piece of clothing we own, we got at Goodwill. We love "lattes" of course, but food for our dog needs to come first. Our 15 year-old "Volvo" has been a gem, but every morning we have to pray it will start. It's kind of laughable when my partner and I remember how badly we've wanted a kid, because that prospect is so financially ludicrous at this point.

Yes, we have a lot of undocumented workers in our town. Many of them bring their fairly large families to what are basically segregated grocery stores and restaurants, because the resentment against them is so intense here. The racial tension is heightened with gang activity, and people from all ethnic backgrounds are arming themselves against each other, and are fearful of anyone taking away their guns.

And yeah, we have a lot of right-wing religion here among struggling farmers and out-of-work laborers and recent veterans. Much of that religious rhetoric is obsessed with gays and abortion and Muslims and "illegal aliens" and environmentalists how "liberal elites" hate America and are destroying it from within. (Thanks for your help with that particular witch hunt, by the way.)

Yeah, Hillary. There's a lot of bitterness and fear in my town, where many people can't make it anymore. And yes, people are "rolling up their sleeves," people are finding ways to make it.

But you know what? Much of the "optimism" I'm seeing is revolving around a positive candidate who shunned cushy DC jobs out of college to go work in the inner city, and who shunned lobbyist money and asked instead for support from the people. Even though his insurance plan is vastly inferior to Kucinich's (as is yours), we think he's our best shot at change. Somehow, when this guy not only acknowledges our struggle and economic bitterness, but blames it on something other than ourselves, or brown people, or "liberal elites" who hate America, we feel a spark of hope in spite of it all.

Sometimes that's all we've got to go on.

Tags: Bitter, BITTERGATE, guns, Hillary, obama, religion (all tags)

Comments

15 Comments

It's raining on everyone

..out here.

by rhetoricus 2008-04-12 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary, it IS bitter out here

I think this is really going to end up hurting Clinton and McCain more in the long run. All Obama has to do is refine his message down to exactly what he meant to say the first time, and run with it. There's so many people bitter, cynical, and disaffected with the political process who'll understand this and see the McCain/Clinton campaign trying to sweep their concerns under the rug- again.

It will certainly be interesting.

by ragekage 2008-04-12 03:05PM | 0 recs
She's proposing practical solutions

Some people are bitter; some, like her, spend their time doing practical things. Maybe she's willing to write off the people who are so busy being bitter and antipathic that they don't attend to her practical solutions. Maybe she'd rather bring out those who can at least try.

by 1950democrat 2008-04-12 03:12PM | 0 recs
Clinton "solutions"

..got us into the trade and outsourcing mess. No thanks.

by rhetoricus 2008-04-12 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary, it IS bitter out here

"So, bitterness is why people hunt and own guns, and why they attend church?"

Yeah.. that's just exactly what Obama said.

"Bitterness is why people who have lost their jobs are anti-trade deals...like the Columbian agreement and NAFTA? People are pro-immigration reform because they are bitter?"

No, most thinking people were anti-NAFTA to begin with, and were never okay with unregulated immigration.

But bitterness can lead folks to focus especially hard on these issues, if my town is typical.

by rhetoricus 2008-04-12 03:19PM | 0 recs
This primary run has done one good thing

for the party.  It has flushed out the  "conservative" dems, these Bush enablers, these hawks, these NAFTA boosters, these "muscular" foreign policy wankers, these hobnobbers with Scaife and Murdoch, these fucking DLCers; what we used to call in saner days "republicans."

At least we know where we stand.

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-04-12 06:35PM | 0 recs
BitterGate, the Clintons country manor
Did you even bother to read what he really said, or are you just being obtuse?
by lion king 2008-04-12 03:19PM | 0 recs
are you talking to me?

I heard the whole context of Obama's statement, which was the following:

   And for 25, 30 years Democrats and Republicans have come before them and said we're going to make your community better.  We're going to make it right and nothing ever happens.  And of course they're bitter.  Of course they're frustrated.  You would be too. In fact many of you are.  Because the same thing has happened here in Indiana. The same thing happened across the border in Decatur.  The same thing has happened all across the country.  Nobody is looking out for you.  Nobody is thinking about you.  And so people end up- they don't vote on economic issues because they don't expect anybody's going to help them. So people end up, you know, voting on issues like guns, and are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. And they take refuge in their faith and their community and their families and things they can count on. But they don't believe they can count on Washington. So I made this statement-- so, here's what rich.  Senator Clinton says `No, I don't think that people are bitter in Pennsylvania.  You know, I think Barack's being condescending.'  John McCain says, `Oh, how could he say that?  How could he say people are bitter? You know, he's obviously out of touch with people.'  

   "Out of touch?  Out of touch?  I mean, John McCain--it took him three tries to finally figure out that the home foreclosure crisis was a problem and to come up with a plan for it, and he's saying I'm out of touch?  Senator Clinton voted for a credit card-sponsored bankruptcy bill that made it harder for people to get out of debt after taking money from the financial services companies, and she says I'm out of touch?  No, I'm in touch.  I know exactly what's going on. I know what's going on in Pennsylvania. I know what's going on in Indiana. I know what's going on in Illinois. People are fed-up. They're angry and they're frustrated and they're bitter. And they want to see a change in Washington and that's why I'm running for President of the United States of America."

by rhetoricus 2008-04-12 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: are you talking to me?
I was talking to M Pres.
by lion king 2008-04-12 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Barbra - -

It is buttah out here.

by johnnygunn 2008-04-12 04:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Barbra - -

I am verklempt that I can only give this 2 mojo points.

by rhetoricus 2008-04-12 08:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary, it IS bitter out here

I'm very sorry your or your friends are bitter - does that cause you to cling to your guns?  Religion?  Or just not like anybody different than you?  

And I'm glad you appreciate a candidate who right out of college worked in the inner city helping people - I'm sure the people of Fall River, MA  appreciated Hillary Clinton's work on their behalf. Oh, you probably meant Obama.  Yes, he did great community service, also.

by AnnC 2008-04-12 05:42PM | 0 recs
What you cling to depends on your beliefs

For me, its my family, and to a lesser extent my religious beliefs. Most things after that are negotiable.

Of course, I also tend to follow my favorite baseball team more closely when I need a good distraction from my troubles. I guess you could say I cling to them too.

by professor 2008-04-12 06:53PM | 0 recs
I think you are right on. Maybe his choice of wor

ds could have been better but Obama calls things as he sees them...and he is quite accurate in his assessments.

by Jenai 2008-04-12 08:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary, it IS bitter out here

It's not so much that it "causes" anything, but people cease to vote the economy because they don't trust anything will be done. So yeah, they vote to protect their guns, or they vote based on faith.

And yes, unfortunately, where I live there is a lot of anti-immigrant resentment, because immigrants are brought in so that large outfits can pay them less or circumvent labor law. It's not the migrants' fault, but they do get the brunt of the tension here.

by rhetoricus 2008-04-12 08:50PM | 0 recs

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