As Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to snipe at each other over Obama's remarks about working-class voters who "get bitter" and "cling to guns or religion," E.J. Dionne has reached the only reasonable conclusion: both are "doing a splendid job helping John McCain get to the White House."
Obama's much-discussed remarks rightly recognized the anger that working people feel at being left behind by economic inequality. So far, so good.
But his comments on guns, bitterness and religion played right into the hands of Republicans who portray Democrats as liberal elitists. (While the GOP does all it can to make the richest Americans richer.)
I couldn't blame Clinton for seizing on this gaffe--until she started talking about how Al Gore and John Kerry as "very good men and men of faith" of whom "large segments of the electorate concluded that they did not really understand or relate to or, frankly, respect their ways of life."
It is the "frankly" as Dionne points out, that is the nastiest word in that remark: it is straight out of the Republican script for disparaging Democrats. It also ignores, Dionne notes, that Gore ran 360,000 votes ahead of Clinton in New York State when they were both on the ballot in 2000.
Obama shot himself in the foot. Clinton sang from a Republican script. He was foolish, but she was shameless.
I just hope the Democratic cause can survive this foolishness.