Conservatives and Republicans gasping in mock horror over “liberal elites” is about as Orwellian as it gets!
Great piece by Alterman on the rise of the conservative “liberal elite” smear and how fallacious it really is. Of course, like most things conservative, the “liberal elite” theme traces it’s roots back to good old Dutch:
The contemporary conservative obsession with the “liberal elite” has its origin in the campaign of 1964, when Ronald Reagan crisscrossed the country in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential aspirations, accusing liberals of believing that “an intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”
It is, of course, all complete bullshit:
Remember: it’s not about where you live, how much money you have, how many security guards you regularly employ, where you summer, what you drive, what you drive when you’re driving whatever else you drive when you’re not driving that, where you went to school or where you think people should have gone to school. Conservatives are as one with the people they so disdain on all of those scores. Rather, “elitism” has simply become a contentless cudgel with which to beat back one’s opponents without the trouble of engaging their arguments.
So now we have the standard bearer for the family values set, who abandoned his first wife who raised three children while he was in a Hanoi Hilton for a rich beer heiress, preaching to Obama about elitism. It really IS rich. Obama launched a political career from a leveraged law degree and community organizing, while McCain launched his by sucking on the teet of a rich Budweiser distributor via an arm candy marriage. AFTER he abandoned the person who stood by and raised three kids while he was freedom fightin in ‘nam. VALUES! VALUES!
So when asked if Obama is an elitist, he says he thinks the statement was – after a bit of stuttering. When asked if he saw any evidence of Obama’s elitism while serving with him in the Senate, the stuttering worsens and his answer is classic dodgeball: