Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Andy Kroll of Mother Jones reads an AP article about Russ Feingold's struggle to win reelection this year and demonstrates that he doesn't understand how the heartland thinks:

What's most intriguing about Wisconsin's Senate race -- and what the AP fails to dig into -- is Johnson's background and wealth. Johnson made his fortune through his company making plastic packaging materials, and it's becoming clear he plans to use that wealth to defeat Feingold. The GOPer has already spent $1 million on ads, and could spend up to $15 million to beat Feingold. If he does, Johnson will join a veritable bloc of candidates in battleground states like Florida and California who've staked out a paradoxical, almost hypocritical position in the midterm elections: the super wealthy who claim to be political insurgents and who, in some cases, ally with the influential tea party masses. They're candidates who somehow think voters won't notice or care that they're spending millions this election season, cutting ads and jetting around their states, while claiming to relate to and connect with normal Americans at a time of record unemployment and economic hardship in the US.

You know why Johnson doesn't worry that he'll be viewed as a hypocrite? Because this is America, so he knows he won't be.

In America, we hate "elitists," but we love rich people. What's the difference? Elitists go to Ivy League schools and make six-figure salaries. We hate that. They think they're better than us. Rich people have seven-, eight-, and nine-figure annual incomes. We love that. If you make that much money, you must be a capitalist. You must be an entrepreneur. That makes you an American hero.

Ever since the Reagan era, we've loved really rich people for their can-do spirit and their non-nonsense approach. We assume really rich people went through the School of Hard Knocks. That makes them regular. "Elitists" are people who didn't go to the School of Hard Knocks. "Elitists" are people who went to Princeton. We hate them.

Teabaggers, especially, love really rich people and want them to make even more money. They read Ayn Rand. They cheered the Citizens United decision. They associate being really rich with freedom. There's nothing better than freedom. Elitists are people who don't understand that.

The only bad really rich people are really rich people who become liberals. They're awful. They're elitists. Their money should be held against them. But non-liberal rich people are great. They're the most normal people of all.

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