Anti-Elitism isn’t just about Palin

Ace fisks the ever-fiskable Meghan McCain, who just learned the meaning of the word “blue blood.” Which, hilarious:

Welcome to the echo chamber! This week’s (or possibly month’s) latest rhetorical talking point is “blue bloods.” And guess what? In the way it has been used I am probably considered one and so is the entire Bush family, not to mention countless others.

Guess what? Most of us knew this already. Without having gone to Columbia and yet still needing to google the term.


This isn’t some obscure term like, I don’t know, petit bourgeoisie. (Which isn’t all that obscure, either.) I mean: Come on.

The rap on “blue bloods” is that they rule by happenstance of lucky birth with little objective, personal qualification or merit or accomplishment to recommend them.

Sort of like an entitled beer empire princess who presumes to be a professional writer and political analyst but still has to Google terms from a seventh-grade vocabulary list.

Oh, but she’s not done. She’s still complaining about this term which she never heard before in her entire life.

But, read all of Ace, and there is no need repeating what he said, especially the bit about sorting those who are rich from by their own success and hard work, from the rich who are merely riding on the coat tails of their parents. {cough}Meghan{cough} I do take issue with this:

By the way, for what it’s worth: I know playing the “elitist” card (and the “blue blood” variation) is like catnip to some people, and it explains everything (that is, politics is for some less about specific policy outcomes and more about a generalized assertion of primacy over the “elite”), but I’m really tired of it myself, and am especially tired of Sarah Palin’s use of it to explain practically everything, and explain away every knock on her.

That is, every knock on her is dismissed as “elitist” impulse, which frankly fails to address the real reasons often offered for doubting her capacity to serve as president. Which is the point. By constantly claiming that all (and I do mean all) criticism of her is essentially illegitimate as it is born of nothing but “elitist” disdain for the common man (or woman), she never actually has to rebut such criticisms.

I’m sorry you’re tired of it, but that doesn’t invalidate it’s argument. If the anti-elitist chant is merely some populist ruse, then – yes- I agree.

But this is about more than just Palin. The anti-elitist argument extends to the legion of “experts” (usually from Harvard) who seem to know how to run every aspect of our lives better than we do.

I’m really not digging what I find to be a crudely reductivist, single-dimensional model of politics that many have seized on (Palin most prominently), that politics currently consists of almost nothing at all but “elitists” vs. the common.

What about ideas? Why is every dispute being turned into a personal one, a dispute in which the power of ideas matter far less than the personal credentials of the person offering the idea?

I dunno, what about the idea that a common man can pick his own health care? Or that a common man can decide for himself what he wants to eat? Or which lights to use. These are the elitist ideas which people are revolting against.

The elitist argument goes beyond the last election and COD and Palin. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

As government experts with advanced degrees who know better than the rest of us attempt to nudge us this way and that (for our own good) the anti-elitist argument is aimed primarily at them and those elected officials who have gone ALONG WITH IT, either because they agree or they simply want to win elections.

The impulse of the federal government to take over every aspect of our lives is basically an elitist one. They know better.

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9 Comments on “Anti-Elitism isn’t just about Palin”

  1. ArmedGeek Says:

    Starting to get difficult to decide who gets put up against the wall first. Leftists, Elitists, Jouralists, or Lawyers. Decisions, decisions.

  2. Car in Says:

    As long as you have plenty of bullets, it doesn’t really matter.

  3. Montana Says:

    The half term governor is a “Dan Quayle” in heels. Since we already had an idiot “W” that caused our current economic debacle, America knows not to trust in fools who think they are brilliant. One of the reason for “W” failure was his drinking, Palin just has bad genes.

  4. Sean M. Says:

    America knows not to trust in fools who think they are brilliant.

    Well, a majority of the people happen to get the wool pulled over their eyes once in a while.

    You know, like what happened on November 4, 2008?

    When they voted for a guy who had written two autobiographies before he’d ever accomplished much of anything?

    When they voted for a man who claims to be deeply religious, but apparently didn’t hear any of the more, er, memorable sermons preached by the pastor who baptized his daughters (and contributed the title of his second autobiography) until others pointed out Rev. Wright’s remarks in the press?

    When they voted for a guy who had never had any executive experience in his entire life but claimed that running a good campaign in Iowa meant that he was qualified to be the leader of the free world?

    When they elected a guy who was praised up and down in the media as a genius but managed to confuse a steak sauce with the country he hoped to lead?

    52% of America, apparently, DOES occasionally trust in fools who think they are brilliant. Yeah.

  5. Sean M. Says:

    Oops! I missed the part where I was arguing with a geneticist. My bad!

    I defer to your obviously superior knowledge of Sarah Palin’s genetic profile–not to mention your clinical expertise regarding someone else’s recovery from addiction–Dr. Montana.

    Our host is truly blessed to have such eminent scientists commenting here.

  6. Car in Says:

    Of course, Montana missed the part of the post where I mentioned that this was about more than just Palin.

    But if you think “Bush” caused our current economic debacle, than your a tad too simplistic to be arguing with anyway.

  7. agiledog Says:

    The half term governor

    vs. the half term Senator we have now? LOL!

    The post wasn’t about Sarah Palin – it was about how clueless Megan is about her own status. For Megan to complain about using the term blue-blood when Megan doesn’t even realize she is one (or know what the term is) is priceless.

  8. Hotspur Says:

    ZOMG, Carin, you got a new troll. How the fuck do you do it? We can’t even get one to play with at H2.

  9. wiserbud Says:

    America knows not to trust in fools who think they are brilliant.


    Seems you would be wrong regarding approximately 52% of the population.

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