On Bitterness, Pennsylvania Style


Ah, my dear angry Lord,
Since thou dost love, yet strike;
Cast down, yet help afford;
Sure I will do the like.

I will complain, yet praise;
I will bewail, approve;
And all my sour-sweet days
I will lament and love.

George Herbert (1593-1633)

In one fell swoop last week, Mayhill Fowler burst through the velvet rope line which protects the rarefied world inhabited by Senator Barack Obama. In other venues, Obama has said:

"Words matter. What our leaders say matters, because the American people need to know we're saying what we mean and we mean what we say."

After citing lines from historic speeches, such as those by Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, Obama -- with a raised eyebow to each -- asked: "Just words?"

"Words matter."

By the Senator's own admission, nay, at his continuous nagging admonition I submit: yes, "words" do "matter." Yet by merely deploying a single word- "bitter," Fowler, an active Obama campaign supporter, pulled down the curtain to reveal the inner workings of a rather smallish seeming man inside a rather curious establishment machine tucked inside the control room of the wonderful, wonderful world of Ozbama.

Who cares, right- bitter. So what. We're all bitter about something. After seven years of Bushworld, who hasn't got an extra dozen somethings to be bitter about? As a Pennsylvania resident & small business owner, I'd like to state for the record that I am especially bitter, on an ongoing basis, that we didn't get universal health care in the 90s as the first Clinton administration tried to expand the New Deal.

Rarely given credit for anything at all, let alone being a "visionary", let me say outright this little Clintonista would LOVE to be 10-15 years down the road towards having established sane national health care medical coverage for all Americans based on citizenship, not employment status than where we are today. Today, we've not only not made progress, we've fallen even further behind in healthcare rankings, quality of life & experienced a tremendous increase in net stress as America has fallen & can't seem to get up in ways too numerous to count.

Heath care premiums monthly for myself & one other family member cost a prohibitive, stinging, heartwrenching & budget busting, business growth killing & savings killing $825 a month. I know more horror stories, we all do- friends in California pay over $1k a month for one healthy person each. My mom has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of Rheumatoid Arthritis, so fierce she had to take an early & un-pensioned retirement & her Cobra coverage must be maintained at all costs.

Those who have the money to pay are perhaps "lucky" in some sense, but if one is living in the red, then they, in fact, don't have the money to pay for it. That'd be me, at least at the moment. And don't even talk to me about student loans. Don't even go there. Don't talk to me about my mom & predatory mortgage refinance lenders. Don't. Don't do it. Not today.

For the sake of freshness, here is Obama's $1000 a head private fundraising remark:

"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," Obama said. "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."

Um. Okay. Antipathy? Haaaaaaa ahaaaa. Nobody ever actually says "antipathy." Should one be avoid, or be afraid to use beautiful, precise language- those two- or ten-dollar words? Speaking as a one time English major & teacher of poetry at a magnet school, let me say, "Hell no." But still- antipathy? hahahaaaaaa

I like arugula. I really do. But this guy comes across as being from another planet, not another zip code. We grew up in neighborhoods- little clusters known as communities. This is the patchwork of America, this is how America really is - the territory, not the map.

"Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?" the senator said. "I mean, they're charging a lot of money for this stuff."

Rising food prices to push 100 million into deep poverty
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Econ omy/Rising_prices_to_make_100_mn_poor/ar ticleshow/2951426.cms

Food costs are highest in 17 years
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080414/inflation _squeeze.html?.v=4

But the utter tone deafness of the Obama bubble truly stuns as it blows up bigger, and bigger & bigger & bigger & bigger.

And whatever I say, please, realize that you have to take it with a grain of salt & remember that I am speaking as a "typical white person" from Scranton. I really did have an Archie Bunker type of grandfather. Some of his reasoning was a byproduct of his times, some of it was & remains legitimate. That's IF I'm allowed to register the changes I've seen in the neighborhood I grew up in, which was just a few blocks away from where Hillary Clinton spent time as a kid. And I may have had a college education- but apparently, that isn't good enough.

We don't like being pushed outside of our comfort zones. You know it right here on this campus. You know people sitting at different tables- you all living in different dorms. I was there. You're not talking to each other, taking advantage that you're in this diverse community. Because sometimes it's easier to hold on to your own stereotypes and misconceptions. It makes you feel justified in your own ignorance. That's America. So the challenge for us is are we ready for change?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtIHTFuMn WI&eurl=http://hotair.com/archives/2 008/03/26/michelle-obama-america-the-ign orant/

Change what, Michelle? Be gone, bodysnatchers! Since when did the presidency become some giant nationwide Dr. Phil/Oprah therapy session where people are tasked with working on their comfort zones? Would you mind taking a step back, your ego is suffocating the rest of us who don't particularly feel obligated to spend the next four years holding hands & sitting in a circle. You know, "working on things."

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.--Abraham Maslow

Honestly, I admit I'm not the person trained in the community organizing methods of Saul Alinsky. I just DON'T blame the government for all or even most of my problems. Generally I don't rely on guns or god or advisors to put the puzzle together for me. I do not know any Pennsylvania person who fits Barac's descripton- but then, I'm a latte Indie-dem liberal who is an arugula fan.

As a kid from a one parent, pretty poor family on the wrong side of the tracks who likes arugula & lived in New Orleans, I should be in your corner. As a person who was against the IWR I should be in your corner. But then I don't buy the fiction that HRC was FOR THE WAR. I suppose in college I was a bit of a feminist in that I read a lot of anti-war poetry, particularly, Adrienne Rich & Denise Levertov. I took a Black studies course where I was the only caucasian & was told emphatically that my great-grandparents enslaved the great-grandparents of the others in the class. As a metaphor, I understand. But in practice this was not at all true as my literal forebears actually faced a wicked combination of famine & political purges in Russia & Poland at the time, so - not so much.

But I'm not in your corner. I'm told I'm just ignorant. Typical white person. Even the lefty blogs tell me so, as they spew Clinton hate night & day with a distinct whiff of there has always been a person with male genitals sitting in the Oval Office & there will always be male genitalia sitting in that desk calling the shots about it, just under the surface.

John Kerry kind of reeked of elitism. If not metrosexuality, in a Bob Casey kind of way. That's why the swiftboaters nailed him with the windsurfing thing, tied to the more powerful charge of flip flopping.

Here's the problem, all right? There are no typical black people. Just as there are no typical white people. No typical democrats, no typical republicans.

I have lived in many many places in Pennsylvania. A lot: Scranton, Pittsburgh, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Erie, a summer in the Poconos, another in Lewisburg, lived in Media, Kutztown & am shortly off to the dreaded Northcentral red state-esque area of Clinton County.

Who do you represent, Barack? Your ads here have been schizophrenic, microtargeted & frankly all over the place. Overt dogwhistling to Republicans, ads prominently featuring your grandparents, ad featuring you discussing your mother's cancer, Ethics point man so on & so forth. Will the real Barack Obama please step forward? Is there one?

Can I just tell you something about Pennsylvania? People who breeze through in a campaign bus with a bunch of advisors evaluating the state (that's why you guys ran that skin-crawling ad with Barack detailing his mother's cancer, right, because we have one of the highest cancer rates in the US? By the way some may think that brave or groundbreaking, but I thought it was incredibly cynical to throw that into the mix), telling you what messages to stress.

We have everything here from a teeny beach in Erie to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. We have gorgeous farmland & areas still trying to recover from strip-mining & deforestation. We have vast natural resources & a massive rustbelt & massive resources & massive natural talent. We have wonderful schools & colleges & we have schools that should be razed & started anew. We have urban blight & hawk sanctuaries. We have hate crimes, predatory lending, a health care crisis, jobs (that were never promised to return)

Peoplewise we are everything from soldiers to metrosexuals, baseball addicts, Amish, Mennonite, Catholics, a disproportionately greying state due to brain drain (not the Clintons), drag queens, many immigrants, suburbanties- we are America. We are not anything other than what America is. We are urban, rural, suburban, male, female, old, young, native, immigrant, insider, outsider, poor, rich, somewhere inbetween- so please, please, please, just STOP pigeonholing & test marketing us with god & guns, campaign claptrap, for god's sake. And knock it off with your damn arugula. Pennsylvania is just like the rest of the United States we didn't discover there was lettuce other than iceberg lettuce until there were yuppies & even more so when the 90s brought gourmet & worldwide goods to the larger grocery stores.

Yes, we'd all love more whole foods. If you wish to do something useful, check your giant ego, & tell me how your going to green Pennsylvania get rid of urban blight & make all these little houses more energy efficient.

Bitterness, Barack, is one of the six necessary tastes in the Ayurvedic (India) traditions. It is also the human condition. It is not unique to Pennsylvania, nor is it the Clinton's, or any other government's fault. Our private woes & personal griefs are frankly none of your business.

My Archie Bunker grandfather gave me one excellent piece of advice in life. I've always felt it would serve as an ideal political platform. It's a very simple piece of advice.


Meanwhile, I'll be at the bar doing shots with Hillary Clinton first chance I get.

P.S. Another thing or two, Barack.

I really do appreciate the fact that Hillary Clinton does not wear her faith on her sleeve. And I know that I feel smarter about politics just having watched the West Wing, let alone have lived it firsthand for eight peaceful & prosperous years.

I think she knows something you don't about the Presidency- actually, I think she knows a lengthy & important list list of things that transcends theory which you don't about the proper scope of it. I don't blame you for that, but she has a massive headstart on you & the fact that she can snap in instantly is very appealing at this moment right before we hit the real economic wall. A lot of people, particularly on the left have been angry with Hillary Clinton for not giving what they feel would be an adequate apology for her yes IWR vote.

I believe that it is not fitting or proper for the President or the last nominees standing from either party or the President-elect to say the war was a mistake with troops still in the field. You may think it, you may feel it, you may believe it- but you must not say it that way.

And you don't understand that either.

Tags: Barack Obama, Bitter, Election 08, Hillary Clinton, keystone state, mayhill fowler, Pennsylvania (all tags)



Re: On Bitterness, Pennsylvania Style

things you will need for Cindy McCain's family recipe:

1/2 cup of Demerol
1 tablespoon of Xanax
2 teaspoons of Klonopin
1 bottle of white wine

Take the 1/2 cup of Demerol, 1 tablespoon of Xanax, 2 teaspoons of Klonopin put them in your mouth and wash down with bottle of white wine

by Cristalgirl 2008-04-15 12:17PM | 0 recs

by Rome890 2008-04-15 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: On Bitterness, Pennsylvania Style

Another day, another hit piece.

by freedom78 2008-04-15 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: On Bitterness, Pennsylvania Style

This diary and the biographical information in it reads a lot like one I read by an author using a different name...hmmm...

by minnesotaryan 2008-04-15 12:22PM | 0 recs
Re: why r u obamaites

Nice one, Grendel!  You're so witty!  And what an elucidating comment you made by stringing six words together, four of which you were able to spell out!  I especially like how you were able to connect the insult from subject to body to save me the time of having to read the same information twice.  Really nice work advancing this discourse!

by minnesotaryan 2008-04-15 12:42PM | 0 recs
So did Obama's words change your vote?

Doesn't seem like it. You supported Clinton before Obama's words and you continue to support Clinton. The funny thing is that polls show that despite the amped up rhetoric of Hillary, her surrgoates and her supporters, voters don;t seem to mind.

The only ones taking umbrage are those who were backing Hillary anyway.

By the way, Harry Reid seems to have deliberately popped Hillary's outraged "bitter balloon" today:

Reid's reaction

Senator Majority leader Harry Reid was asked just now about whether the ongoing nomination fight is hurting the party.

"It makes me bitter," he said.

Hilarious. And telling. The faux outrage ginned up by Hillary and her supporters is coming back at her at full speed like a boomerang.

by Bob Johnson 2008-04-15 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: On Bitterness, Pennsylvania Style

Hillary fell for it. Now she's provoked Obama to explain himself fully, which is his strength. The mountain out of a molehill ultimately will benefit him because it brings up the subject of economic disparity which needs to be discussed and his rhetoric will win out.

It will be interesting to see they both handle it in the Debate. Obama should talk about the issue, but refrain from mentioning Hillary, thus taking the high ground. It worked before...

by Cristalgirl 2008-04-15 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: On Bitterness, Pennsylvania Style

For the sake of freshness, here is Obama's $1000 a head private fundraising remark:

Your idea of freshness smells awful used up to me (see: every anti-obama diary posted on myDD for the past few days).  I also enjoy that you criticize Obama for using the word 'antipathy'.  

Lastly, your little interjection of both race and homophobia in the form of the needless mention of the black studies class you took in college and your veiled assertion that somehow Kerry's "metrosexuality" (code word for homosexuality in this case) resulted in his inelectability is hilarious. The mention of the black studies class and the non-sequitor anecdote about the "injustice" you experienced only makes you appear to somehow hold a grudge against black people because some people in your class made reference to the heritage of slavery in America.  You mentioning that John Kerry appeared to be "metrosexual" is trying to arouse homophobia, and somehow linking that to Obama.

I've read some diaries that sound exactly like this by other authors, complete with the seemingly-innocent-aw-shucks anecdotes about how "those big bad black students made me feel bad for being white".  You do your candidate and your diary a disservice by including race-baiting and homophobic phrases.

by minnesotaryan 2008-04-15 12:39PM | 0 recs
Anti Obama Checklist:

Obama is sure a fancy talker: Check
Obama lives in a fantasy world: Check
Student loans and now-dead mother previously being denied coverage doesn't make you not elite: Check
Obama superdelegate (John Kerry) sucks: Check
Obama has a large and leet... vocabulary: Check
Obama totally microtargets constituencies with his broad-based appeal and non-differing message: Check
McCain had a good point: Check
Typical: Check
Loud religion makes me uncomfortable: Check
Clinton knows where the phone in the White House is: Check
We should all support the president's war to support the troops: Check (er, wait a minute...)

This entry loses Anti-Obama screed points for actually having a viable point about Clinton's original health plan not passing, but it gains points for endorsing 2003-level shut-up-and-do-what-the-President-says-i f-you-love-your-country talking points.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-15 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Anti Obama Checklist:

Don't forget those key democratic pillars of:

Obama superdelegate was too gay for America (and Obama might be too!)

-and the-

I-took-a-black-studies-class-and-all-I-g ot-was-this-stupid-sense-of-white-victim hood t-shirt anecdote.

by minnesotaryan 2008-04-15 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Anti Obama Checklist:

Obama superdelegate was too gay for America (and Obama might be too!)

I thought I covered that with the "John Kerry sucks" bit?

by Dracomicron 2008-04-15 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Anti Obama Checklist:

Oh I suppose you did.  I just felt like highlighting that little homophobic bit.

by minnesotaryan 2008-04-15 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Anti Obama Checklist:

PS.  I'm a big fan of the hyphenating-long-lines-of-text, but it sucks how the formatting splits up words and makes spaces were they should not be.

by minnesotaryan 2008-04-15 01:31PM | 0 recs

Coding on this site is sketchy.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-15 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Anti Obama Checklist:

If you were referring to me personally, I don't have a sense of white victimhood now or as a result of having taken a black studies course, whatever that means.

I ended up really loving some of the writing & poetry, which I probably wouldn't have encountered otherwise- Wole Soyinka in particular. That class stands out to me as a memory partially because of the conversation I related- which I thought was on the verge of tragic, since the profoundity of the gulf separating me & the person I was speaking with was so huge & that we were speaking past one another to such an extreme.

I'm sorry my educational experience doesn't live up to your lofty standards.

by bluemoon 2008-04-15 02:17PM | 0 recs
Re: On Bitterness, Pennsylvania Style


Paragraphs are your friend (and I can't even believe you brought up the arugula thing.. he was talking to farmers who grow the shit dumbass)

by CaptMorgan 2008-04-15 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: On Bitterness, Pennsylvania Style

I'm afraid you might get troll rated for all that swearing, but hilarious way to shoot down that particular "argument" that this author used. It's clear she knows Pennsylvania sooooo well.  What a republican!

by minnesotaryan 2008-04-15 12:53PM | 0 recs
I honestly doubt

that any of the candidates spends their free time at bars doing shots.  Maybe they did a long time ago but not now except as a PR gambit.  Otherwise you'd see them at the bars all the time.

by Student Guy 2008-04-15 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: I honestly doubt

Hillary does (well...cartoon Hillary):

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/horsey/vie wbydate.asp?id=1746

Of course, this is from that right wing claptrap known as the Post-Intelligencer representing those facists up in Seattle, so grain of salt.

by minnesotaryan 2008-04-15 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: On Bitterness, Pennsylvania Style

I love your righteous bitterness!

I hope you and your fellow Pennsylvanian's will show O, his fan club, the country and the world, that yes, words DO matter. A lot.

Obama now tries to say what he really meant, but the cat's out of the bag and no amount of backpeddling is going to put it back. His racist, elitist, arrogant attitude will lose him the nomination and I for one will be dancing in the streets when it happens!

by jen 2008-04-15 02:29PM | 0 recs


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