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« Cordisco, McCord Clash in Treasurer Race | Main | McCain Rhymes With Same »

April 11, 2008


John Morgan

By the way I met Mayhill Fowler, the author of The Huffington Post article at two Obama events. A very nice woman and good conversationalist she was always good to talk with. The first time we met, at the Obama event in Harrisburg I had one of my terrible headaches and was working through it. She referred to me as the "grumbling blogger" or something.

I think it's great she got this story and got it right. I'm not surprised she had the gumption to publish it. She also got a very good sense of Pennsylvania.


Except that she starts her article by saying she knows nothing about PA.

John Morgan

Finish reading the article and you'll find she learned well and quickly. I think she grasped us well. Having spoken with her several times this doesn't surprise me.

Dave M.

Obama keeps talking like this, and with Hillary's constant lies and it'll be a McCain landslide in November! Yay!! Socialism will be postponed for 4 more years, at least. Thank You.

Declarations of Pride

Out of context or not...With or without further explanation...Obama said it, and as the master of rhetoric that he is, I can't help but believe he meant what he said, and he said what he meant...A Pennsylvania voter...Bitter one hundred percent.

He lost me on the gay issues, and this gaff, accidental or otherwise, just pushes me more securely into the Hillary camp.


John, it's a shame that you're psychologizing this. I think you just went with the crowd. I have to say, even a high school dropout rightly understood what Obama meant.

I'm bitter, lots of folks I know are bitter, I know thousands of people who turned to God because they lost jobs, a loved one, etc, I know many people who turned to guns because they lost everything. This is the sort of pro-Clinton stuff you expect from the Pennsylvania Progressive. Why am I suprised?

Pennsylvanian, white and for Obama

To say Obama lost you on the gay issues, is the mother of all dishonesty. Hillary-the-centrist hasn't NEARLY spoken about gay issues in the way Obama has and as often as he has. You would still be in Hillary's camp even if her platform and George Bush's were identical. Unless offcourse her rival for the nomination were white.


The CNN discussion panel of Jeffrey Toobin, Jack Cafferty and Gloria Borger (with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room) slammed Clinton and McCain for taking Obama's comments to the extreme. Below is the video, but the oft-brilliant and underrated Jack Cafferty summed it up best:

"They call it the Rust Belt for a reason. The great jobs and the economic prosperity left that part of the country two or three decades ago. The people are frustrated, the people have no economic opportunity. What happens to folks like that in the Middle East, you ask? Well, take a look, they go to places like Al Qaeda training camps. I mean, there's nothing new here, and what Barack Obama is suggesting is not that the people of Pennsylvania are to blame for any of it. It's that the jerks in Washington, DC, as represented by the tenures of the Bushes and the Clintons and the McCains, who have lied to and misled these people for all this time, while they ship the jobs overseas and sign phony trade deals like NAFTA, are to blame for the deteriorating economic conditions among America's middle class.

I mean, I'm a college dropout, and I can read the damn thing and figure it out."


. . . and hear is Obama's reply since it isn't on the front page:


Nevermind . . . thank you J.M.


John Morgan

I just posted the reply EJ. I'm down with a cold so I hit the sack early last night. The email came in from the Obama campaign late.

I know very few glbt leaders and activists in PA supporting Obama. This was one of the first things I noticed when I covered their leadership training in center city. I even mentioned it to one of the staffers. I think the Donnie McClurkin affair created great mistrust with the gay community.

I thought about this quite a bit before writing the article to gauge my feelings. I, as a Pennsylvanian, was deeply offended. I think it insulted our sensabilities, our resourcefulness, our devotion and our character.


Let me begin by saying, hell damn Yes! I am a bitter Pennsylvanian, because I have the likes of the belly-aching, petty, small-minded, sunk in denial, and full of themselves fools and fellow bitter Pennsylvanians to deal with and the lack of real care by any of our leaders in Harrisburg, our counties, or our smaller governmental units.

Government is broken! Not just in Pennsylvania, but all over. Stop trying to couch what Obama said in some kind of "insulting" light. Hell, it should insult us, we deserve to be insulted, we deserve all the crap we get and more, because we cannot get above our need to remain in relative ignorance and in soft comfort relative to what our addiction to hearing what we want, happy to bitch and yet we cannot completely come to confront our issues and deeper, uglier causes behind them.

I think Barack has some real honest guts to say what he said. I am glad someone is willing to shake the crap out of the electorate, or at least attempt to do so, even though most of us will just keep on being the bitter people we are, for various reasons.

I also need to take you to task, John, on your bringing the illegal immigration issue into this, because that is just the latest in a series of letdowns by our government officials of their duty to act and the trust that we've evidently wrongly placed in them to look out for us, the true citizens of these United States, but I don't expect you to understand that point, but I hope you do all the same.

You want to polarize what Barack said back to Barletta and such, fine, but that is not only a stretch, it is smoke and mirrors.

Also, this message goes right along with the message of hope, in that hope needs to come about when people can get beyond their bitterness and pettiness, and quite right frankly John, and others, we have generally not only not gotten beyond the bitterness, but in some ways I think we've gotten more embittered, with some of being validly rooted in causes that would make a strong case for feeling bitter.

Yet, in the message of hope, it is hoped that bitter people can find some reason to come out of it. I think Barack is calling Pennsylvania out and I think it is about time that some politician did that. We're too couched and too stuck and obstinate, many of us, in many different ways and that has to change and we have to want to change it, for hope to have a prayer of a chance of come to full expression in a new future for us all.

We need to be brutally frank and honest and I think Barack has begun that with this volley and I hope he does not let up. Hillary make sqwuak about change and related themes, but I don't see the hope in her that I do in him. When she's spoken up and come out with similar efforts to Obama's bitter comments about Pennsylvania in other places and about other things, it has largely back-fired. I believe this is because she does have a really tight handle on the deeper pulse and place where a lot of Americans, not just Pennyslvanians are in the mentalities about government, life, and their future; given what we see in the news all too frequently, lately.

One thing I want to take Obama and his people to task on, is that they got it partially wrong, in that it is not so much frustration for some Pennsylvanians, but actual feelings, whether right or wrong does not matter to them. We are still, sadly, the hate-group organization capital of the U.S. I think. We still are home to many homophobic religious sects and outspoken "family" groups, which help to add to the bitter feelings. Also, the guns thing is more about the history of this state from colonial times to the present about hunting and guns, than about clinging to guns or hunting as a means to alleviate bitter feelings about government or other things. However, Barack hit the jobs nail on the head and I can't stress enough that, if elected he needs to put that close to the top of the list of things to address and in a big way.

Now, I've taken to doing my own thing, operating in the way I want, apart from the lunacy that I see around me, and trying to forge my path to my True Will. I wish all Pennsylvanians could do that, but as long as they stay comfortable with their bitterness, that won't change, and as long as we have fools and exploitation-happy people in control it won't change enough.


Huh? "The question of Obama's commitment to the state caused something of an uproar this past week on Pennsylvania Progressive, a popular liberal blog operated by John Morgan, who has worked as a paid consultant for the Berks County committee supporting Clinton. "

John Morgan

If you are bitter DC then the proper course of action is to get out and do something about it. Obama says we Pennsylvanians just took our bad medicine and got bitter. Look all around the state at those who became activists against politicians who were corrupt, against Republicans who played the fear card to confuse the voters and get them to vote for unregulating business and making job destroying free trade deals.

Was it bitterness that made voters go against their own financial interests because the right wing told them they had more to fear from two women getting married than the havoc Wall Street could make in their lives. No, that was fear, not bitterness.

If you want to be bitter then turn that attitude into working for real reform, don't turn to your guns or bash immigrants. I'm exasperated, not bitter. My exasperation, though, is towards those people who elected to vote against their own financial interests because they thought I should be a second class citizen.

John Morgan

luka, which I disclosed an dis still disclosed in my bio here on the blog. According to one Obama supporter I didn't disclose that which was a malicious smear because she wrote that (Cats R Flyfishn) knowing full well, if she'd read the blog, that I had. She has then embarked ona smear campaign telling people I was a paid consultant directly to the Hillary Clinton campaign. That is a lie, told, repeatedly, with malice aforethought. I consulted locally for the Chair of Hillary's campaign and I told him, upfront, that I was neutral in the campaign. Unfortunately the Obama people weren't and slashed my tires.

My work for Tom Caltagirone, paid personally by him, centered on FEC regulations and negotiating a lease for an office. Big deal. If I am supporting Hillary, and I remain undecided, it's because of the lunatics on the Obama campaign and the paid staffer who lied to my face. I no longer cover that campaign because I don't want any more tires slashed since that was done while I was on the road reporting his campaign events. Why should I penalize the Clinton campaign for something the Obama supporters did?


Why should you penalize Obama for something a crazed Obama supporter did ?

John Morgan

As luka notes in her link to a Politico interview, I have freely and openly disclosed my consulting. This proves the smears spread about this by Obama supporters are false.

I, like all of you, are free to choose your own jobs, your own work. It amazes me that people I thought were friends can assume they can tell me what I can and cannot do for a living. It is the height of arrogance.


I did some activist against politicians, and nothing came of it, even now that we have new blood in our state legislature. I see nothing of real hard change. I see overtures. I see dog and pony shows. I see that the activism helped to get them in there, so that they could apparently become the next round of do-nothing leaders.

I know about the whole issue of fear, but people had to be bitter at first in their selves to let that fear take root. If you take people who are of a optimistic disposition and feed them a lot of junk about fear, and they check into it and realize with relative simplicity that the fear is hollow, then they'll just let it wash over them pretty much.

However, if you have people who were already bitter and full of petty scorn about some things and now you add more reason to feel that way through fear, then what do you think is going to happen. I'll tell you, exactly what has happened, which just ratcheted up the bitterness. Yes, those who brought the fear have responsibility to take for that, but so do people who were already bitter and who let themselves be taken into more of it by those tactics.

I'm exasperated too, with people who can't seem to see more of the whole perspective on things and understand that living is not some accident or some cause to simply blame people for their misfortunes or good fortune, but that it is all interconnected in some way.

We are not addressing deeper causes and roots of our general dismay and inability of people to truly find some happiness in their pursuits (to paraphrase some U.S. Constitution there). I feel bitter about the notion that there are those who deeply, maybe sub-consciously don't want to work things out, regarding various issues they have in their lives or with others.

I believe firmly that a lot of what devils us, divides us, prevents us from being a bunch of really joyful people in our daily lives lies in reasons that are not completely outwardly viewable, but find their moments of concrete expression, in ways that cause us to fashion an understanding that is woefully incomplete and in turn brings about solutions that can't really provide a lasting answer for the problems we perceive.

This is what I wish to work towards changing.

John Morgan

Benjamin, it's called accountability. They knew these people were out of control and did nothing about them. Then, of course, there's the matter of being lied to. That was an Obama field director, not a volunteer.

DC, then you have to remain involved and find more concerned citizens to get involved. You have to attend public meetings and you cannot allow them to get with everything. That's part of what we do here on this blog. You're a part of that.


Mr. Morgan,

You are missing the point here. It's about voting against your interests. I said the same thing to my friends after the 2004 election when people listed "morals" as the number one issue. This was about the time that OHio had lost about 100K jobs and the Bush administration was screaming that gays were going to eat your children . He's right, people turn to wedge issues because they are bitter that their government is doing crap to help them as they lose their houses and jobs.

Wouldn't you be bitter if you lost your job? Wouldn't you be bitter paying $4/gallon for gas? I would be.

John Morgan

E, you obviously missed my point because that's one I made. Should these people who voted against their own interests be bitter? Why? They brought this on themselves by voting Republican. They should be frustrated at themselves for knowing the issues involved and what their votes really meant and how they would detrimentally affect their lives.

I'm not bitter about the state of the economy I am exasperated that we haven't been better able to get our message across. Bitterness and anger won't solve that problem. We need to be smarter and better at explaining to people that their votes count and that they need to vote for the right candidates.

We've witnessed here what happened when anger and bitterness towards undecided voters simply shoves them away from good candidates. Expressing your bitterness with vile and defamatory emails and comments doesn't help our candidates, it hurts. No wonder we cannot get these people to vote Democratic. That is why I cannot support Sen. Obama. He has failed to get his message across in most of the big states. I've seen why.


KUDOS on the POLITICO link to this piece!

I wish Ben wasn't on vacation when the Tammi letter was up!


Mr. Morgan,

You know why we can't get Democrats elected? Because we are always trying to find one group to pander to knowing damn well that they won't vote for us anyways. That is why Hillary cannot be elected. Bill did not win because he won working class white voters he won because of African-American voters like myself who are damn bitter that we have been taken advantage of. Obama is someone who is working for all of us and trying to make a change. I'm voting for Obama because of this line.
"I don't intend to be a President who tells you what you want to hear...but rather, a President who tells you what you need to hear in order to try and move this country forward. I'm going to try and tell you the truth."

I'm sorry that you cannot take the blinders off about Hillary Clinton because I have and it isn't pretty. It is because of the Clintons why Blacks are worse off then they are today and why many working class whites are worse off but people don't want to see that. They want to believe that some black man who was on food stamps is an elitist. Why? Because he is black. This whole controversy wouldn't be a controversy if Barack Obama was white.

My grandmother said to me that at "you will find that a black man will not be able to speak the substantive truths in this election without the media trying to incite white doubt." I cried when she first said that because I thought she was being cynical. I cry now because it is more than obvious.


This controversy, which is fueled by McCaina and Clinton, will hopefully pass so people can focus on the issues raised: economic harm done to Pennsylvanians by those who voted for NAFTA and for the $3 TRILLION adventure in Iraq. Obama remains the strongest opponent against McCain for these reasons among others:

John Morgan

I was deeply offended by his comments. My sarcasm illustrates that feeling. Barack Obama is melting down, his campaign is out of control and he is dangerously behind Clinton in the state. The latest KDKA poll has it 56-38% and that was before Obama insulted everyone in the state.

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