April 14, 2008

Notes from a Bitter Pennsylvanian

Okay, so I don't fit the profile for Senator Obama's "bitter" Pennsylvanian. I have not turned to religion for solace. True, I am a gun owner, but that doesn't provide me with a lot of satisfaction either. I don't sit around polishing it or anything like that. I don't practice quick-drawing in the mirror. I shot a squirrel with it once. Correction: I shot at a squirrel. Does that make me hostile? Well, I got a right to be hostile.

Probably the real solace and satisfaction of religion and guns comes from using them on others, which I've never been particularly eager to do.

So yeah, I'm not particularly bitter. Maybe it's because I have a job. And even though I'd much rather have stayed in TV Land this morning, I sure don't mind bringing home a regular paycheck.

But I do live in that vast, beautiful expanse between greater Ohio and greater New Jersey, where the downturns have hit hard and lasted long, and the upturns haven't quite made it. And even when they come, they don't help the people the downturns hurt, unless it's to help them sell their houses to gentrifying DIY-ning yuppies or their farms to mcMansioneers.

From where I'm sitting here in the middle of Commonwealth of Spleen, the message of "damn right they're bitter, and here's why" sounds better than "don't be mean to the small, bible-thumping, gun-toting woodland creatures."

Okay, I paraphrase ... but Senator Obama's comments seem both more complicated and more honest than Senator Clinton's criticism of them. And less patronizing to us bitter Pennsylvanians.

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