Tuesday, April 22, 2014

ANOTHER MEDIA ELITIST SWOONS OVER THE ALLEGED ROUGH-HEWNNESS OF REPUBLICANS

Here's Alex Roarty, writing at The Atlantic:
It took David Perdue about 20 seconds of speechifying to expose a tension roiling the Republican Party. Speaking in January, the former business executive turned Georgia candidate for U.S. Senate asked a group of local Republicans to parse the resumes of his primary foes.

"There's a high-school graduate in this race, okay?" said Perdue, referring to his opponent, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel. "I'm sorry, these issues are so much broader, so complex. There's only one candidate in this race who's ever lived outside the United States. How can you bring value to a debate about the economy unless you have any understanding about the free-enterprise system and what it takes to compete in the global economy?"

The two-pronged swipe elicited cries of condescension and elitism that eventually forced Perdue to apologize. And it revealed a vital reality about the state of the Republican Party as its members prepare to select a standard-bearer for the 2016 presidential primary: The GOP has long ago shed its stereotype of being the party catering to the wealthy.
Yes, Roarty actually wrote that: The GOP has long ago shed its stereotype of being the party catering to the wealthy.

Maybe it's shed its stereotype of being the only party catering to the wealthy -- Democrats do a pretty good job of that too, though they still have a lot of catching up to do -- but on my planet, Republicans still do a damn fine job of constituent service for the 1% (and the 0.1%, and the 0.01%).

More from Roarty:
These days, the GOP tone and agenda are set by a voting bloc of mostly white, blue-collar workers whose sensibilities skew more toward NASCAR than golf.... In 2008, according to a tabulation of exit-poll data acquired by the National Journal, blue-collar workers made up 51 percent of all GOP primary voters.
Actually, the poll he's quoting doesn't say "blue-collar workers" made up 51% of the GOP primary electorate -- it says that "voters without a four-year college degree made up a 51 percent majority of the total vote." Not the same thing. And lacking a sheepskin doesn't automatically mean identifying with the have-nots: quite a few of these voters could have quite comfortable middle-class lives (they could have been successful farmers, ranchers, career military, or even, in the North, unionized workers, especially the many retirees among them; some might even have been white-collar workers from the days when college degrees weren't required). Roarty's jumping to a conclusion if he assumes that they consider themselves class warriors. (Why do they enjoy watching Donald Trump so much on Fox News? For that matter, why did a 2010 New York Times CBS poll find that tea party members were wealthier and more educated than the general public?)

Roarty continues:
It's why Perdue's remark was so costly. He wasn't just mocking Handel; he was mocking many of the very voters whose support he wants during the May primary. Sarah Palin, whose anti-elitist message best personifies the party's working-class turn, summed up the feelings of many Republican voters when she campaigned for Handel last month: "There are a lot of good, hard-working Americans who have more common sense in their pinky finger than a lot of those Ivy League pieces of paper up on a wall."
Yeah -- Perdue's remark was so costly that he's moved into the lead in that race ever since he made that remark, while the candidate he insulted -- Palin's preferred candidate -- is mired in fifth place:





What's happening in the GOP now is that fat-cat donors are choosing their candidates more carefully, while the establishment/elitist candidates those fat cats are backing are moving far enough to the right not to alienate the crazies. Result: conflict averted.

Roarty writes:
The two political parties have essentially traded places over the last few decades. Democrats, who once depended heavily on blue-collar workers, have become increasingly the party of white-collar workers, at least among whites. And as downscale whites leave the Democratic Party, they've joined the GOP, whose cultural values often align with their own.
Yeah, maybe -- but one of those "cultural values" is a worship of capitalism and its heroic "makers." There's class anger, but it's against the cultural elites on the coasts, who are presumed to be simpering metrosexual Democrats (Trump and various Wall Street wolves excepted).

There is no culture war in the GOP, Alex -- that's so last election cycle.

8 comments:

Julia said...

See also Republicans as the true defenders of African-Americans, Hispanics and women.

I'm sure that in a decade or so Roooaaaarty or someone of that kidney will write long fappy articles claiming Republicans are the real pro-lgbt party, because let's be honest. These articles aren't meant to reflect reality. They're meant to assure the people who have enough money to buy a member of Congress that everything is just fine and the unwashed masses are yumming up the shit sandwiches.

In addition to the belief that no college degree = blue collar, here's another big tell:

These days, the GOP tone and agenda are set by a voting bloc of mostly white, blue-collar workers whose sensibilities skew more toward NASCAR than golf

Gosh, that's not too condescending or anything.

Geese Howard said...

Both parties cater to the economic interests of the 1%. However the Democrats cater to the social/cultural/cosmopolitan/libertine values of the 1% and upper class white collar professionals. The GOP caters to the cultural values of working class whites.

So if you're a working class white who does not live in a major city, you're fucking stupid to vote for either party. But at least the GOP won't insult you on cultural issues and tosses a kind word your way.

The GOP is the economic values of Wall Street, the Democrats are the economic and social values of Wall Street.

At least voting GOP you're doing something to piss off the rich, Democrats give them everything and crow about how progressive they are.

Victor said...

Look, this isn't a recent phenomenon.

Ever since the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts got signed, Republicans have been very effective at using and reusing bigoted wedge issues. And they use those wedge issues to the benefit of the wealthy, and to the detriment of middle class and blue collar workers.

Nixon started it, courting blue collar workers into his "Silent Majority" and used them in his "Southern Strategy."

Reagan's people were masters of stripping middle class and white blue collar workers against the Democratic Party.

To think any of this is new is, frankly, ignorant, and shows how out of contact the writer is.

"What's the matter with Kansas?"
To the benefit of the rich and powerful, too many non-wealthy white people buy the bigoted wedge issues, which hurt them as much, if not more, than the minorities who they're told are about to take, are taking, or have taken, over.

Steve M. said...

So if you're a working class white who does not live in a major city, you're fucking stupid to vote for either party.

Unless, say, you're in a union and your state is currently not right-to-work. (See: much of the Midwest since 2010.)

Steve M. said...

At least voting GOP you're doing something to piss off the rich

That's as delusional as Roarty's post, and the rest of your comment could just be summed up as "Vote Nader 2000.":

Julia said...

START THE REVOLUTION, PAUL/PAUL!

Victor said...

"At least voting GOP you're doing something to piss off the rich..."

ROTFLMAO!!!!

Geese, thanks for the laugh!
That's the funniest thing I've read in a long, long time!!!!!

What?
You were serious?
ROTFLMAO X 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Erik C. said...

Geese, the payola you're getting for your pro-plutocracy posts should be refunded.