So after months of this blog basically being me talking to myself, I check in on things tonight and there’s a sudden crushing avalanche of traffic.
Yep, that’s TWP, somehow on the front page of Digg, sandwiched in between HuffPo and the Boston Globe. Crazy. But I guess one of the advantages of that is you get some pretty good discussion going in your comments section (not to mention the discussion going on at Digg, which is up over 350 comments). Here’s a few of the commenter highlights from yesterday’s post about the irony of two of the richest people in Washington attacking Barack Obama for being elitist and out of touch.
Alex goes on record as the first Pennsylvanian to officially take offense to Obama’s comment:
Obama may correctly identify the political stance of my area, but to imply that a few new manufacturing jobs would cause us to become athiests, turn in our guns, and turn a blind eye to law breaking (a.k.a. illegal) immigration is, in fact, outrageous.
Obama didn’t state AT ALL that new jobs would make people turn in their guns and become athiests. He just stated that the LOSSES made people cling EVEN MORE to it. It doesn’t mean they are just going to “un-cling” when things get better.
Can anyone translate this?
Not Bitter, But Very Concerned sums up what’s really at stake for small town Pennsylvanians in this latest dust up:
It’s these type of hot button, non-issues that are the distraction to the real problems. … Don’t be fooled into voting against yourselves yet again.
Chris clarifies Obama’s argument:
What is going on and no one seems to realize is that he said that people cling to those issues to determine who they will vote for. This has nothing to do with what they choose on a personal level but what issues they decide are important.
“Well we know that the candidate isn’t going to accomplish what they say about the economy so what does he believe about ‘religion, guns’ and abortion’. ” – Average Voter
This is what he was talking about.
Bob Berry gives us more insight from small town America:
I came from a small coal mining town its still small and the jobs are still not there. … you think they are bitter in PA. Well I’m bitter here in upstate NY and that is an understatement. Lets send a few more lobiest to Washington. That is the Clinton way.
And finally, Brad M from Ohio writes a long post well worth reading, but this part stands out:
I do believe that Senator Obama will however raise the real issues that have been destroying not just the middle class, but our very democracy for decades.
And by bring these issues front and center, he will force the nation to think critically about the real issues and deal with them.
The very exchange on this web page is proof of that. Imagine if this debate was happening on CNN or any of the major networks, instead of on an obscure political web site.
Democracy is not clean easy or free.
Barack Obama indeed has the impolitic tendency to speak to Americans like we’re grown-ups, capable of critical and complex thought– as we saw most notably in his speech on race in Philadelphia. This is the type of honest and sometimes uncomfortable national conversation the founding fathers had in mind when they envisioned our democracy, not the sanitized, focused-grouped, talking point driven “debates” we typically see these days.
As for this obscure political web site, thank you all for taking the time to comment, and I look forward to yesterday’s post falling off Digg’s radar soon so we can all go back to watching me talk to myself.
UPDATE: One of the funniest debates going on over at Digg is whether my use of the phrase “Two hundred-millionaires” is grammatically correct. Apparently, a lot of people are reading it as though 200 millionaires are attacking Obama, instead of 2 hundred-millionaires. The hyphen is the key.