When politicians start playing the "out-of-touch" card, I tend to tune out as a defensive measure. My tolerance for humbug isn't what it used to be:
Obama was questioned at the start of his session about his reference to religion in his small-town remarks -- perhaps the most controversial word he uttered. Describing the Pennsylvania political landscape at a private fundraiser last Sunday in San Francisco, Obama told of how people "cling" to such issues as religion and guns when they become disillusioned by hard economic times and by politicians who promise much but deliver little.
Hillary Clinton and others have been pounding Obama's remarks as condesceding, out of touch and elitist.
1. Absolutely, they were condescending, but only in the way Democratic presidential candidates usually are toward people when it comes to values. Few of them seem to believe (based on their remarks anyway) that people can actually have heartfelt religious beliefs or well-thought-out gun-rights positions or reasonable doubts about immigration policy. They just head there because those are safe havens in uncertain times. People are "bitter" Why? Because government isn't doing all it is supposed to for them. So they "cling to" religion. It's simply inconceivable that religion might lift them up, even in good times. And it is possible, I believe, to be bitter and a gun-control zealot. I even know a couple of them.
2. Out of touch -- you bet. But all three of the candidates are out of touch with the experiences of ordinary Americans, Clinton's attempts to come off as a gun-totin', shot-and-a-beer, good ole gal notwithstanding. They're U.S. senators, for goodness sake, among the most coddled, pampered, deferred to people on the planet. And you can become out of touch even though of humble origins. I was a high school student once, but I can't pretend to know what high school culture is today. Things have changed there, and I've moved on. It's the human condition.
3. If someone gets defensive about being called an elitist, that's a pretty good sign he's a Democrat. I am an elitist and proud of it. Some people are smarter or more skilled or talented than others. Some ideas are better than others. Some values are more enduring than others. When I have a house built or my body operated on or my car fixed, I want the smartest builder I can find and the most skilled surgeon and the most talented auto mechanic. Call me crazy.
And I want the most sensible president I can get, the one most likely to uphold the Constitution and the least likely to go off the deep end while in office. He or she doesn't have to do a shot and a beer with me or know what I pay for groceries. I don't want one of the common masses.