His team’s had time now to sand down the edges of the spin, so here’s the more polished version of last night’s Cliff’s Notes reading of “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” The nut graf via ABC:

There are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my home town in Illinois, who are bitter. They are angry… So I said, well ya know, when you’re bitter, you turn to what you can count on. So people, ya know they vote about guns or they take comfort from their faith, and their family, and their community, and they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country, or they get frustrated about how things are changing. That’s a natural response.

If his original statement boiled down to “religion is the opiate of the masses,” think of this as adding, “and what wonderful things opiates are.” He’s stuck with the insinuation about false consciousness: There’s no other way to read what he told the glitterati in San Francisco except as asserting that the working class’s interest in God, guns, and border enforcement is, to some greater or lesser extent, insincere. They might sincerely believe in gun rights but surely they wouldn’t vote those beliefs at the expense of their class interests unless they were being duped somehow by the bourgeoisie. The point of today’s spin is to make clear that, contra Uncle Karl, he thinks God, guns, and border enforcement are all peachy keen and perfectly legit, albeit surely not subjects that should influence the rational voter. Insofar as they do, all we’re seeing is the “natural response” when ownership exploits the worker. Ed did a bang-up job in this post, but the more I re-read what Obama said, the more I’m drawn to the very end of it as the “tell” — i.e. “a way to explain their frustrations.” That’s where the false-consciousness logic really flowers. The choice of verb speaks volumes.

All this really is, of course, is a variation on the left’s refrain about the “politics of fear,” in which any issue that might conceivably benefit a conservative opponent — immigration, “values,” and above all terrorism — is waved away as a stumbling block to progress contrived by The Man to keep the People down. Like I said yesterday, in Obamaworld, everything’s a distraction. Even, it seems, the things “you can count on.”

Update: If you see video of this anywhere, send me the link. Sounds like a humdinger.

Clinton told an audience of automotive workers here that she was “taken aback by the demeaning remarks Sen. Obama made about people in small town America.”

“Sen. Obama’s remarks are elitist and out of touch,” she said. “they are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans, certainly not the Americans I know, not the Americans I grew up with, not the Americans I lived with in Arkansas or represent in New York.”…

“Americans who believe in God believe it’s a matter of personal faith,” she said, to periodic applause. “People of faith I know don’t cling to religion because they are bitter. People embrace faith not because they are materially poor but because they are spiritually rich.”

On the issue of guns, Clinton said: “People of all walks of life hunt, and they enjoy doing do because its an important part of their life, not because they are bitter.”

“I don’t think it helps to divide our country into one America that is enlightened and one that is not,” Clinton continued…