MORNING READ

Seemingly every political blog still has something to say about Barack Obama's "bitter" remark.

Obama critics Mickey Kaus and Ed Morrissey argue that the problem with the comment isn't that Obama called voters "bitter" as much as his statement that they "cling" to guns, religion and anti-trade and anti-immigration sentiment. Kaus says Obama' remark contradicted his positions on trade and guns, accused Pennsylvanians of being racists, and shows that he lumps together good things (including religion) with bad things (such as racism and protectionism). Morrissey writes that Obama's allies are trying to shift the debate to Obama's calling voters "bitter," which is less offensive.

Two liberal blogs note that Obama isn't the first Democrat to decry tactics that link working-class frustration to the economy. Nico Pitney notes that Bill Clinton, as a candidate for president in 1991, said that then-President George H.W. Bush benefited from "all these economically insecure white people... are scared to death." Daily Kos's DHinMI wants to know if the Clintons will attack Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) for once writing that Karl Rove-era politics were "designed to distract" working Americans with emotional issues such as "God, guns, gays, abortion and the flag."

Both Chris Cillizza at The Fix and Andrew Sullivan step back and look at how the controversy will affect Obama's candidacy in the long run. Cillizza argues that it can help prepare Obama for a general election fight with Republicans, but he notes that it's not a good thing that he's taking hits from both Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Sullivan, one of Obama's biggest supporters in the blogosphere, acknowledges that the case against Obama is that he won't be able to endure the "swift-boat" attacks as well as Clinton. Sullivan doesn't buy that argument, writing that assumes little has changed since 2004.

A couple of bloggers step away from "bitter-gate" and blog about a competitive congressional race and fighting in Iraq. Todd Beeton at MyDD goes to an event with Rep. Chris Shays (Conn.), the lone New England House Republican, and finds that he's doing all he can to seem more liberal than he is. Bill Roggio at the Weekly Standard links to a report of about 1,000 Iraqi government forces failing to fight in Basra. Roggio finds that those numbers pale in comparison to the amount of Iraqi troops who did carry out orders to attack Shiite militias.

FROM THE BLOGS:
Four Major Problems With Obama Gaffe -- Mickey Kaus, kausfiles
Obama and Allies Dodging the Point -- Ed Morrissey, Hot Air
Some Thoughts on Authenticity -- John Hinderaker, Power Line
Obama's Trade Dodge -- Barron YoungSmith, The Plank
Clinton '91: 'Economically Insecure White People' -- N. Pitney, HuffPo
Will Obama Earn Endorsement of 'Elitist' Webb? -- DHinMI, Daily Kos
The Case Against Obama -- Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish
'Obama and Elitism' in CostanzaLand -- P. Rosenberg, Open Left
Scoring 'Bitter-gate' (So Far) -- Chris Cillizza, The Fix
Obama To 'Turn The Table' on Who Is Out of Touch -- The Page
Chris Shays's Liberal Makeover -- Todd Beeton, MyDD
Iraqis in Basra: Not the Fighting 52nd -- Bill Roggio, Weekly Standard

OTHER NEWS SOURCES:
'Bitter' Remarks Cloud Faith, Values Forum -- Los Angeles Times
Iraq Dismisses 1,300 After Basra Offensive -- New York Times
Iraq To Seek Approval For Long-Term U.S. Pact -- Reuters
Obama Lashes Out at Clinton
-- Associated Press