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Barack, Hillary and the Deer Hunter

All of this political talk about Obama’s description of Pennsylvanians as turning to religion and guns because they are bitter about how life has treated them sounds like it’s straight out of the movie “The Deer Hunter.” I find it strange that none of the talking heads I have heard have mentioned the movie. It’s probably because it’s about the Vietnam war and nobody except John McCain was involved in it. McCain’s experience was hardly typical; he had little in common with the characters in the movie although they also were POWs. McCain came from a patrician family; his father and grandfather were admirals. Like John Kerry (not one of my favorites) he became a Congressional military aide when he came back from Vietnam. He didn’t go back to a working class family in a steel mill town. As a returning hero, he didn’t have any moral qualms to deal with when he came back, unlike the average grunt who was fighting in the jungles of Vietnam one day and back on his hometown streets two or three days later amongst cohorts who had avoided service in Vietnam. I don’t think there are many ordinary Vietnam vets among the talking heads on TV. One is Sen. Chuck Hagel, but he’s the exception who proves the rule, and I don’t think he was on today. I think it is significant that he has not endorsed McCain, a fellow Republican and Vietnam vet.

If Hillary knew about the movie, she would probably see herself as the Meryl Streep character, but she is more like the wealthy Meryl Streep character in “The Big Chill,” who owns the ante-bellum plantation house in South Carolina where the movie takes place.

Anyway the Deer Hunter is certainly about Pennsylvania and guns, and to a lesser extent about religion. Ironically, Obama doesn’t seem to know about it either. He could simply reply to Hillary that if she doesn’t understand what he is talking about, she should watch the Deer Hunter.

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