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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Circular firing squad

Sadly, it appears that if you give Democrats enough time they revert to form and create a circular firing squad.

Let's start with the fact that Barack Obama really messed up when he labeled small-town Americans as "bitter" people who cling to guns and religion and anti-immigrant sentiment because of the economic woes that are ruling their lives.

There's a lot of truth to the description of people that people are embittered by the fact that the American Dream is fading as their jobs and the ways of life head overseas. Using the term however, in a San Francisco fund-raiser no less, was incredibly dumb. Obama has been struggling to put a real issue into better words.

(And don't you think the Obama folks will do a better job vetting the guest lists at future fund-raisers?)

But Hillary to the rescue of the unfairly labeled? The daughter of middle-class parents who went to Wellesley and Yale Law School calling the son of divorced parents (who went to Columbia and Harvard Law School) elitist? Clinton calling Obama an elitist falls into the category of it takes one to know one.

And Clinton surely was happy for something to take the public's mind off her daring escape from the sniper fire at Tuzla airport.

Truth be told both Democrats come from backgrounds alien to working class people who have been left behind by the American economy and globalization. So does our Yale legacy, Harvard MBA president. John McCain comes closer, but a multi-generational naval family is different still from a multi-generational family that works with its hands.

Class warfare has really always been at the root of America's divide. Race and gender have been substituted for the fact that the haves are getting richer while the have-nots struggle. That divide has only gotten larger during the Bush years.

And it's clear that class warfare, while decried by Republicans as what the Democrats engage in with tax policy, is the ultimate GOP wedge issue. Sometimes it is as bold as pictures of John Kerry windsurfing. Other times it's as raw as Richard Nixon's "law and order" theme (a double-edged racial and class weapon).

Clinton is pushing the "bitter" issue mightily as the rubber meets the road in Pennsylvania, but here's where the firing squad is circling up.

Her attacks not only weaken Obama, they weaken her, reminding voters of all the things that were wrong with the Clinton era.

Ready. Aim.....

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