Since even the Post itself admits that Obama's corrective was only about the fineries of phrasing and not actual meaning, the headline ("Obama Concedes He Misspoke") is overstating the extent of things. Obama said what he meant, and reiterated as such. He did not "misspeak", nor did he "concede" anything, other than perhaps the obvious -- that both his opponents are craven hypocritical opportunists, and the people who are supposed to be professional enough to know better appear to be borderline retarded. (Then again, check out the commenters in Murray's column, many of whom appear to be actually retarded.)
Here's what Obama actually said in the first place:
If anything, Obama is being too kind, too conciliatory on this point. There are a lot of great things about small-town life, to be sure, but there's no getting around the fact that they can also be seething reservoirs of ignorance and futility, of people who will enthusiastically vote against their own self-interest time after time because of some idea they have in their head about how things are supposed to be.
For example, in the county I live in, there was a referendum last summer on whether to allow the local tribe to build a casino. Personally, I don't gamble, nor do I have a burning need to see the latest incarnation of Bad Company between a couple hands of blackjack. But that's me; the fact is that these places also have hotels and golf courses and restaurant buffets and other things to do. And in a sparsely populated county with chronically high unemployment, where a substantial number of people (including myself) have to commute into the neighboring county (80 minutes a day round trip for me) just to get a living wage, the 400-500 jobs created in the county would have been significant.
So what happened? Well, one of the local strains of god-botherers got together and weighed in against the pervasive immorality, and the initiative lost by a handful of votes. So people still go to the nearby casino, which is literally a couple hundred yards across the county line, thus enhancing their tax base. And amazingly, people still gamble and drink and do enough crank to choke a horse, because there's nothing else to do, and now that gas is four bucks a gallon it costs too much to go anywhere else. Result: frustrated, broke, bored goobers left to their own devices. Way to preserve those small-town values, fuckheads.
And this is California we're talking about here. Imagine what life is like in rural Kansas or Oklahoma if you happen not to come from a land-owning family, in a town dominated by little more than a looming Wal-Mart and a sense of resentment, alleviated only by the occasional parade or football game. So really, if anything I think Obama understated his case. The fact is that the god/guns/guts crowd is always going to hump the same leg, it's just that when times get tougher and the frustration builds, the urge to use their imaginary friend as a comfort mechanism becomes even more pronounced.
And then they turn around and vote for a drooling moron simply because he told them that everything they think -- even on issues they know nothing about -- is absolutely correct.
Now, compare and contrast with the tender caresses of Poor Ol' Straight Talk's ridiculous efforts to differentiate himself from the current boobocracy:
Wow. So he's going to be, like, totally different, except where he's not. That clears things up. Aside from voicing his principled opposition to torture (except, you know, when push actually comes to shove and he votes with the fuckers anyway), everything else is a wafer-thin parsing of current policy, both foreign and domestic.
And it's on economic issues where McCain seems most out of his depth (which, considering his indistinguishable foreign policy notions, is considerable). Bush also talked a good game about cutting spending when he was out on the stump, when it's easy. But then you get there, and you need the vote of a raging fucktard like, say, Don Young, and he wants a bridge. And there are 534 more Don Youngs, each with an endless list of bridges they'd like to build with your money. Everybody swears they'll cut spending until they get there and realize that it's all sops to their corporate sponsors or make-work boondoggles for aggrieved constituencies who had their old jobs outsourced to Bangalore and Shanghai, so some asshole's stock could go up half a point.
Fuck. Fuuuuuuuuck-argh. I don't know about you, but if I have to listen to another four years of mindless Chance the Gardener "in other words" locutions, my teeth will break from gritting them too much and too hard. There oughta be a law against this monkey-fuck of a rhetorical trope, simplistic and shallow and implicitly condescending. I have never once heard an "in other words" that added any value to the original point or explained it any further, and that is true a hundredfold of everything Bush has ever saddled with this lazy phrase.
And all the while, the grand designs and master plans of these clowns continue to disintegrate right out from under their bullshit. In other words, their own arguments are undermined by actual events with a rather disturbing consistency.
Fuck "in other words", assholes, just say what you came to say. Most of us can keep up, really, and the ones who can't were just festering in their ratholes anyway, waiting only for someone to stroke their prejudices just enough to motivate them to vote against themselves one more time. This is Obama's true failing, that he misplaces some of his trust in the sort of folks whose political decisions are permeated by Stockholm syndrome.