Inside every candidate there are multiple personalities, each of whom run the show in turn, depending on who the audience is. Barack Obama is no different than any other. He’s touched on personal responsibility before and he does it well by not trying to pull any punches, as in Gary, Indiana today:
"You should have a curfew in your house so your children aren’t out in the streets all night. You should meet with the teacher and find out what the homework is and help that child with the homework. And if you don’t know how to do the homework, don’t be embarrassed, find someone to help you."
"Fathers, be fathers," he added. "Be a part of your child’s life. Be a part of your child’s life and try to make them proud.
"And the last thing is, if your child is misbehaving at school don’t curse out the teacher. You know who you are. It’s not the teacher’s fault that your child is misbehaving. That’s some home training."
The crowd reacted raucously and Obama laughed. "You know what I say is true, though. Don’t blame the teachers, and the government and the schools if you’re not doing your job."
This is a message that both needs to be articulated and cuts a swath of truth across all racial and socio-economic strata. Well done, Mr. Obama. Now, if only he would extend that idea of individual responsibility to its logical conclusion: fiscal and social conservatism.
Unfortunately, it was too good to be true. Here’s Obama speaking in front of the rich and shameless, the left-wing elite in San Francisco:
You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Where is this coming from? Hopefully it’s just the repressed super-ego that Obama only shows off at glitzy gatherings of the uber-rich in order to make them feel at home with him. Such is the power of condescension – it makes for fine and lasting friendships, so long as there’s someone to mock.
Will the real Barack Obama please stand up for himself?