So there's been much ado about Obama's comments stating that people are bitter about watching jobs go away for 25 years and never come back. The best insight I've read on the incident is that this was the kind of comment a social scientist makes, not a presidential candidate. In my mind, that's the obvious failing on Obama's part, he wasn't a good enough politician.

However, I'd like to rail a bit against Hillary and McCain, not because they're wrong to rail on Obama for this (indeed, it's an excellent opportunity to score some political points), but because they're wrong about bitter people.

Here's a picture caption I've lifted from the BBC's article.

"Mrs Clinton said the remarks did not reflect the values and beliefs of voters."

I'm going to cynically note that this statement is absolutely correct. Bitter people don't vote (most of the time). So, obviously this doesn't reflect the beliefs of voters, who are the people Clinton is really concerned about.

It's wrong for me to make that italicized generalization as there are a number of the bitter that do vote. However, I'm willing to wager that the "bitter" vote is not a motivated one, and doesn't show substantially at the polls.

My argument here is that Clinton's statement may reveal the truth behind her, and other politicians, motivations. They're concerned with the people who vote, and not with "getting out the vote". Anyone who isn't voting isn't on their radar.

So in effect, Obama's practicing Nintendo's philosophy: When you're being beaten in the current field, find a new one. He's turned to the bitter.

As a fringe bitter person, I've actually found some of Clinton's remarks offensive. Take the following as an example.

"Senator Obama's remarks are elitist and are out of touch. They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans, certainly not the Americans that I know."

She has made a series of similar statements, calling "Americans" such adjectives as resilient and hopeful. From my perspective these are flat out insults to people such as I.

Firstly, I'm going to latch onto the "certainly not the Americans that I know" bit. I'm going to assert that Clinton obviously doesn't know any bitter people. Given my experience that there are plenty of bitter people, at least respective to government, I'll further assert that this statement is downright insulting to bitter people. It implies that not only are bitter people not "Americans", but also that they aren't important enough to know someone like Hillary Clinton.

Secondly, the insults continue (backwards) as bitterness doesn't fit into "American" values and beliefs. Bitterness was what spawned this nation, bitterness at unfair government. If anything, the bitter are the most American people here.

Lastly, bitter people are, contrary to what's implied by Clinton, resilient. You don't survive being bitter because you're brittle, you survive because you toughen up and deal with the harsh reality.

So in short, I think Clinton's trying to score brownie points with the voters.

McCain's comments are far less insulting, although they're equally oblivious to the reality that, in fact, a number of people lean more heavily on the items that Obama mentioned when bitterness and hardship come their way. I'm sure he understands, what with his Vietnam experience, but he may simply have a more positive outlook.

In any case, the whole thing has been blown out of proportion, but it's given Hillary yet another chance to put her foot in her mouth (at least for me).

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