Now THIS Is Elitism…..

……and sexism……and racism……

At the recent Northern Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District Lincoln Day Dinner, Senator Mitch McConnell (Republican leader in the Senate)

said of Hillary Clinton:[1]

“[She] seems to be ‘teetering on the brink.’

‘I hear she hasn’t been this worried since a new Hooters opened near her home with former President Bill Clinton,’ McConnell said, prompting laughs from the 400 Northern Kentucky Republicans.”

Blatant sexism was common in 1950’s America, but has no place in our 21st century world. This, incidentally, is the very same Senator Mitch McConnell of whom Bill Moyers recently said:[2]

“….and the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky —I’m not making this up – has slipped into the [Farm] Bill a tax break for owners of race horses.”

Not to be outdone, at the same event Republican Geoffrey Davies

spoke out about Barack Obama, comparing him to a snake oil salesman:

“I’m going to tell you something: That boy’s finger does not need to be on the button,” Davis said.

This is a blatantly racist comment, more so when one considers Davies is only three years older than Obama.

Are these elitist goons truly the elected representatives of the American people? If so, it’s time the populace of this nation took a long hard look at its values and priorities.

Frankly, they are not worthy to sweep up the streets or clean toilets when they debase official functions in so vile a manner.

[1] Pol Watchers – Covering Kentucky Politics, April 13th, 2008

[2] Bill Moyer’s Journal, April 11th, 2008

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8 Replies to “Now THIS Is Elitism…..”

  1. Yes, RJA, it is all getting so tiresome and infantile. The blatant racism, misogyny and elitism. We need serious discussion of the very real and pressing issues. And not tax breaks for race horse owners.
    I, for one, feel like screaming: “Grow up!”

  2. Due to a technical problem with WordPress, a comment from “Twilight” was deleted. I reproduce it here:

    From “Twilight”:

    These people are not what I call elistists, RJ they are what I call ignorant, and crude.

    What I see as elitist are those who look down on the “great unwashed” from a great height, from their ivory towers and hallowed university halls. Those who talk down to an audience.
    They are not crude or ignorant, they are delicate and oh so patronising.

  3. WWW – my sentiments exactly. These people are so immature in their mindset. Frankly, I’d be embarrassed to spend a night in their company.

    Flimsy – a bit too drastic a solution for me.

    Twilight – do you refer to the academic elite when you speak of university halls? Some academics may be elitist in their attitudes, but they are surely not relevant when discussing political elitists? Admittedly, many politicians may learn their elitism at Harvard or Yale or wherever, but the real American elite, unlike the British, are the wealthy. In Britain it is the ‘aristocracy’ who consider themselves superior. While many are still wealthy, it’s not the money but the bloodline that is all important. In the US, there are no aristocratic bloodlines, so elitism comes with wealth. I don’t think it’s necessary for us to recognize the likes of McConnell or Davies as elitist. They do that for themselves. They view themselves as superior to the rest of us because of their fortunate status and wealth, and the power that bestows on them.

    Jon Stewart last night made an interesting (though comedic) comment. He said, “Doesn’t ‘elite’ mean ‘good’?” Don’t we want someone elite to be president of the United States?”

    Technically, of course, he’s correct.

  4. Hmmmm – It’s a moot point isn’t it RJ – what elitism really is.

    It depends on how each person defines it. I don’t see it as connected to either wealth or class (aristocracy in Britain), I see it as connected to attitude.

    A person can be a billionaire and not be elitist.
    A person can be a Duke, Lord, Lady, or President of a nation and not be elitist.
    A person can be an academic egghead and not be an elitist.
    It’s all down to attutude, whatever one’s calling or status.

    That’s my definition.

    There was a really good article by the wonderful Bob Somerby at Daily Howler yesterday (15 April) covering elitism in politics.
    Bob Somerby is one of the best and most reliable of bloggers (for me). I can seldom fault his findings on the idiocies of the media.

  5. Twilight -oh dear, I’m afraid I always come away from Bob Somerby’s blog with a headache. It’s not that I necessarily disagree with his views, but I find his style somewhat……boggy? Like trying to cross a field of deep, clinging mud knowing there’s something worthwhile on the other side, if only it can be reached. I’ve always viewed it as that “English-American” thing, so I’m gutted you find him so wonderful… 😉

    I guess most of us harbor some degree of elitism. The US Marines are considered an elite fighting force, so look down on the ordinary soldier; top doctors frequently sneer at herbalists, the list could be almost endless. It may not be a positive characteristic, but it’s certainly a very human one.

    How it relates to Obama’s much publicized words on small town America, I admit puzzles me. I believe he spoke the truth, or at least half of it. Bitterness is rife, but so is fear. It’s fear that drives small town Americans to cling passionately to their guns and their churches, and from that fear arises bitterness.

  6. I live in a small rural town, RJ. Churches on every corner. People hunt, have guns. They may be misguided in their choice of political party, can’t understand why they like the Republicans, but as far as I can see they aren’t bitter or afraid. They are very similar to small town people in Britain in the town where I grew up. There they didn’t have so many churches, but people went shooting pheasant and grouse, and owned guns (but under licence, of course).

    I realise the point Obama was making and why he was making it to that particular group of the filthy rich, to encourage them to donate to his already filthy rich campaign, but to me it was another example of his foot-in-mouth tendency. He never expec ted it to come into the public spotlight. He should have known better, but arrogance got the better of him. Maybe arrogance is a better word than elitism in his case.

  7. Twilight – I think we’ve arrived in the realm of personal opinion, and we’ve already agreed to differ in our views. I’m happy for you to have the last word – for now! 🙂

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