We Be Bitter

Mary Mancini is a bitter, bitter, and hopelessly bitter person. The Bitterness burns. She’s bound-up in bitterness, she is, in fact, bitter-fied. I think it rather self-less of her to take the burden of Bitter from small town America, and hoist atop her own shoulders.

She obviously fell through the cracks of the Bush Admin, left behind to cling to her notions of Constitutional protections, while the rest of us invested in oil futures and For Profit prisons. She stubbornly votes for and promotes leaders that expect more from America and Americans, rather than exalt in our mediocrity. She obviously isn’t us, right, Rural America?

I’m cruising around the tubes this morning, after enduring a Sunday morning listening to one clueless pundit after another interpret Obama’s true meaning. As is the truth is not self-explanatory. The Right Wing bloggers are just convinced this is “a game changer”, that they have finally been handed the ammo they need to bring down this uppity elitist. They are clamoring to portray him as another John Kerry, who they often conveniently forget came within a few Ohio counties of becoming POTUS.

I happen to know a little about Rural America, though I’ll admit to being born near Los Angeles. But, i have lived in the rural South for almost 15 years. Both politicians and The Press like to use the term “Hard-working Americans” when describing rural America. Its as if city dwellers and suburbanites don’t know anything about hard work. Yes, there was a time when rural America fed this great Nation. Farming is indeed hard work. Hardly anyone farms anymore. Working in a Steel Mill is hard work, but those jobs have been gone for quite some time. Chances are, in all but the most remote rural areas of any state, work looks pretty much the same from Coast to Coast. I live in a farming community, and the young working families here do mostly service related jobs. Even work that has traditionally been back-breaking labor has been made much easier by improvements in machinery. For instance, I can mow 70 acres in a single afternoon. I can attach implements of every kind to my tractor and do in one day what took weeks for the generation before me.

So, this idea that rural America is somehow real America is mostly clung to by those who wish to exploit it. The belief that rural “values” are better than metropolitan values is widespread, but I’m keen to understand why. I kinda think promoting that belief belies a fundamental ignorance of rural America. If you had lived the experience, you wouldn’t find it all that promotable. The young people that can leave do so. Those that cannot, can and do become bitter.

Not all them, of course. Obama did not say that the entirety that is rural America, or, if you prefer, small town America is hopelessly clinging to God, guns, or antipathy. Just the part of it that doesn’t see the threats that skirting the Constitution, or waging an oppressive occupation abroad actually present.

I still think Ms. Mancini is awful bitter.



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21 responses to “We Be Bitter

  1. “bring down this uppity elitist”

    This phrase is so brilliant I just had to see it again. It really gets at the heart of what it is that irritates them about him, doesn’t it?

  2. We’re all bitter. Pissed of an bitter.

    Anyone else remember when Harold Ford Jr. spoke to MRD and told us not to be “angry”? That we were too angry and needed to put our anger into action? And someone–forgot who–took the mic during the Q&A and said you know what? I AM ANGRY. And the entire auditorium errupted in cheers.

    WE are angry. Others are bitter. Getting screwed by an elephant for 20 years will do that to a person.

  3. heartbreaktown

    I apologize in advance for this ramble…

    I must confess to being a Clinton supporter. I just think she’d be a better President than Obama – nothing more. And I’ve been pained to see some bad campaign strategies on her behalf. Add to that, there really IS an Obama bias in the mainstream media AND the liberal media at this time. (No need to be defensive about it, Obamanians, it’s not a criticism of your guy, it’s just my observation.) These things have caused me to make my choice by voting and then happily stick my head in the sand until the end of the primaries. At that point, someone will kick me in the rear and I’ll RAH RAH RAH my head off for whomever the nominee is.

    What I’m trying to say is…I’m not sure what Sen. Obama said nor have I heard much debate or interpretation about it. So after reading Mary Mancini’s article, I can’t really find fault with it too much. I’m as troubled with the items she lists as anyone.

    But I love your post Mack – and I don’t really see a contradition between your’s and Ms. Mancini’s. (Am I missing something hugely glaring?) I love that you point out that hard working American’s is a coast to coast phenomenon. Cubicle dwellers who work 40-60 hours a week may not sweat on the job (mercifully), but they certainly work hard enough to suffer many ailments from their jobs like hypertension, heart attacks, depression and alienation from their families to name a few.

    And I was just thinking this morning how the opinions of a SanFranciscan or a New Yorker are completely discounted as if they’re not “real Americans” like Omaha-type-people (what are they called?) or Texans. My geography is pretty sketchy indeed, but I’m pretty sure that New Yorkers and Californians are Americans too. And I think you alluded to that in your post as well. So thank you!

    I suppose the big picture point of it all is that we each have our frustrations that feel unique and there are some differences, but we’re all frustrated and we’re trying to get through our days as best we can. I guess it’s natural for mankind to always create an us vs them approach – it probably keeps us on our toes in some primal way – but when I really think about it, it’s more like us vs us.

  4. Oh, and meanwhile on Friday President Bush admitted to breaking the law by approving of the use of torture.

    While the media and right-wing bloggers go apeshit over the “bitters” no one is paying attention to the fact that the criminal in chief is a torturer.

    I wonder if this is coincidence?

  5. Heartbreak- being a bit of a hack writer, I was aiming for sympathetic sarcasm, and probably missed terribly. Mary is a friend, and i admire her personally, and her politics mirror my own. Even if i wanted to call her out for something, (which i don’t) I’d never do it…she has a big microphone at her disposal.

    I’d make fun of Beale instead.

  6. I’d make fun of Beale instead.



  7. heartbreaktown

    I KNEW I was missing something!!! It’s not “hack” writing – it was my “hack” reading!

    Love – HBT

    ps – found the Mack property on google earth and showed all my friends! πŸ™‚

  8. ps – found the Mack property on google earth and showed all my friends!

    I’m suing somebody.

  9. I’ve gotta tell ya, Mack, I’m laughing that you think that where you live is “rural America”…I see it as a suburb of Nashville. You may not believe it, but there is a major difference in mentality between where we live here, and say, out in Kansas where one has to travel 40 miles to go to school or the nearest store.

    However, that said, I don’t see where the big deal is in what Obama said. Yeah, there are folks bitter about the lot they’ve been given in life…I think a better choice of words for him to have used would have be “disillusioned” or “discouraged” (so he used the wrong word…big effing deal).

    My point is that a majority of Republicans (and Hillary-for God’s sake) who are jumping on the bandwagon of dogging Obama for the remarks are showing just how willfully ignorant they are to what the middle class is going through these days.

    Yeah, I’m discouraged and disillusioned…I, nor my country, are nowhere near where I dreamed we’d be in 2008. We are struggling.

    I think what he said was on target…he just used one wrong word…”bitter”.

  10. Well, I see your point about Obama’s choice of words, but you’re nuts if you don’t think this area is classified as rural. Plus, this is a mill town, just like the one I came from in georgia. The mills have all but closed, so the situation in these towns is not unlike those communities of which Obama spoke.

  11. democommie


    Excellent post. I think if I wasn’t the gnarly old bastard that I am I would form a serious crush on Ms. Mancini.

    I am at least as “bitter” as any of the parties mentioned by Obama. My governments been running without anyone at the helm for seven years. The pretendsident is a dunce and his handlers know that the entrenched bureaucracies and special interests will continue to extract whatever they can out of our economy before leaving it–and blaming it’s condition on the next administration.


    “Omahans” is what we are called. I grew up there and still go back from time to time. Omaha is a fair sized, very modern–for the most part–city. It’s inhabitants are very much like those in Nashville, New York or Dallas (or anywhere else)–they’re average. Obama spoke the truth, and then had to apologize for it–that pisses ME off. I don’t have a problem with guns, religion or implementation of some sort of sane plan to control immigration. I do have a problem with having people see any of those issues as being the most important ones facing this nation. Of course I could always go to Cuba.

  12. All I got to say is Word up, Mr. Mack.

  13. On another blog (Former Sec. Labor Robert Reigh’s blog at robertreich.blogspot.com), someone commented about other reasons why we deserve to be bitter because we have lost:

    4 airplanes
    2 towers
    3000 American citizens
    4000 American soldiers
    2 million Iraqis
    Bin Laden
    Al Zawahiri
    An historic Southern city
    An 85 year old investment brokerage
    A third of the value of a dollar
    Gas at $1.47/gallon
    Crude at $24.95
    The homes of half a million American families
    3.2 million jobs
    Integrity, competence and personal accountability among our public servants
    And, oh yeah, the economy of the richest nation in history

  14. nm

    Yes, the constant litany of most Republicans and many Democrats about “the real America” not being on the coasts is what infuriated New Yorkers when Bush showed up there in the wake of September 11. Dude, you ran against us. You claimed (with a nudge and a wink, and a couple of code words) as how we were emblematic of everything about America that needed fixing, and that you were going to fix. Bitter? Yeah, I’d say so.

  15. …but you’re nuts…

    Well, ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black?


  16. democommie


    Didn’t you say something recently about how you were not being very good at this blog writing stuff?

  17. This would make for a nice Nashphere Twitter conversation.

    Just saying. πŸ™‚

  18. Twittering is for commoners.

  19. Pingback: When Will Hobbs Finally Just Come Out and Say It? « Tiny Cat Pants

  20. Mack, you mentioned the right wingers, but the biggest attacks on this are coming from the Clinton campaign, especially the candidate herself. I don’t think his comments were that big of a deal really. I think he was wrong on some things, but then again he is wrong on a lot of things. The fact is, he said something, and in this primary race where both candidates are close on the issues, the gotcha theme is all there is. It’s just politics.

  21. It’s TWEETING, not TWITTERING. Gah.

    You’re just jealous, admit it.

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