Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet world's taste

It is now day N of N-1 too many days spent with the talking heads on the news channels fretting and wringing their hands about whether Obama is elitist or not for making his now-infamous "bitter" remark. I've had it with the pundits.

I grew up in the Monongahela Valley (I can even spell Youghiogheny without looking it up), and yeah, these towns have gone decades since anybody from more than 50 miles away cared enough about them to try to make things better. They've been pretty much left to their own devices. When you drive past the rusting hulks of the industrial revolution every day and see the hundred-year-old houses built when the skies were smoky now sitting empty with their broken windows and caved-in roofs, you can see why bitterness would tend to accumulate in such places.

But what we get on the TV is well-dressed white folks talking about how they're righteously indignant at Obama's elitism. Let's see CNN send Anderson Cooper to Donora or Monesson or Glassport, and ask those folks if they feel left behind by national politics.

He may not have phrased it all that well, but Obama's insight into the minds of many Pennsylvanians is deeper than he's being given credit for.

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