…right here. The salon on Barack Obama and small town American vileness can continue there. Why didn't I have anything to say on the story on Friday? I was speeding through rural Pennsylvania, catching Ron Paul's final campaign appearances before the Pennsylvania primary for a story that will appear on Monday. That's me standing to the far right of the stage, craning my neck, in this photo.
Do I have anything to add to what Michael wrote? Agreement, and some additions.
– One conservative take on the story is that Obama is finally revealing his character, and that you can draw a line straight from his father to Jeremiah Wright to attacking small town white America. Let's assume that's true. We only found this out because someone taped a closed-door fundraiser. So why do we cover anything but closed-door fundraisers? The rest—speeches, debates, long sit-down interviews—obviously isn't that illuminating.
– If this is how Obama views the effects of lost manufacturing jobs, his anti-free trade campaigning in the rust belt is unforgiveable. And I'm usually inclined to forgive him for stuff like this.
– I have to go and agree with Joe Klein:
This Obama controversy… is the sort of thing we journalists blow up into massive gas, mostly because we really don't want to get down in the weeds about the things we need to get down in the weeds about…like whether trade deals really are so bad, especially with the weak dollar (I don't think so) and whether we need a pause in the withdrawal schedule in Iraq (I don't think so).
But you can't blame the media for this. Obama could have been honest to Ohioans about whether he'd personally dismantle factories in Honduras and ship them back to Youngstown for reassembling. Hillary Clinton could stop pretending she doesn't agree with Obama on this Thomas Frankian idea that getting-by small town voters are being snookered into voting Republican over Gods, Guns and Gays. Every Democratic power broker thinks this. Clinton looks sillier in populist garb than Dukakis looked in the tank.
Robert Fripp's combo gets the Politics 'n' Prog trophy this week.