Tuesday, February 03, 2015


I was amused by this, from Politico:
How Rand Paul bombed at Koch brothers gathering

Some of the most influential players in big-money conservative politics gathered late last month to discuss government’s role in society, but their focus kept shifting to a less weighty topic: Rand Paul’s outfit.

The Kentucky senator and prospective GOP presidential candidate ... appeared at the annual winter meeting of the Koch donor network wearing a boxy blue blazer, faded jeans and cowboy boots.

Some attendees commented that Paul’s appearance was “cavalier,” said Frayda Levin, a Paul supporter and major donor who attended the conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage, California.... “This is an older crowd and much more establishment crowd. They are used to a Romney. They are used to a Jeb Bush,” Levin said.

“Jeans might work for a younger audience,” said another attendee, “but these are old bulls who put on a tie every day to go to the office.”
The libertarian myth tells us that capitalists are idealistic visionaries devoted to the pursuit of profit as an almost spiritual exercise. To a large extent, Rand Paul probably believes this myth. He probably thinks that capitalists are, to a large extent, mystics. Unfortunately, at the Koch confab he found himself among actually existing capitalists, and he didn't understand what really makes them tick: They want to be deferred to. They want their rings kissed. They want those who approach them to grovel.

Anyone who's paid attention to the billionaires bemoaning their fate in the Obama years and comparing the alleged disrespect they've experienced to the suffering of Hitler's victims would have understood this going in. Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush also get it, because they've had more years of experience trying to do deals with billionaires, both in politics and in business (and, of course, it's their world too, by birthright). But getting all your knowledge of capitalism from Ayn Rand novels and "philosophers" of laissez-faire is a bit like getting all your knowledge of sex from Internet porn: Um, real people don't act like that. As Senator Paul has now learned.


Anonymous said...

Ted Cruz was on the same panel wearing cowboy boots too, no tie in sight. But he's not being bashed here. I feel like that's significant, because if it were a criticism based entirely on dress, it would rope in Cruz as well. It's just a gratuitous swipe at one snotty doucheweasel, probably in the service of some other snotty doucheweasel like Rubio or Walker.

Victor said...

Jeans are for the working plebe's, fool!

If you want to play with the big-boy's, ya gotta get tailored shit in order to kiss their asses!!!

aimai said...

Also: display your wealth. Wear a bespoke suit. Jeans and boots are cosplay for the rubes.

BKT said...

What aimai said. As an Iowan, I almost don't recognize national-level politicians who come here unless they're wearing jeans and plaid flannel shirts.

But for big money donors, you have to dress like you're at a job interview. Because you are.

Never Ben Better said...

But, flipyrwhig, Cruz is Texan, and Texans wear cowboy boots with their suits, because TEXAS! So he gets a pass.

Unknown said...

There's always one guy in the office who thinks the bosses mean it when they say they want to be challenged ...

Philo Vaihinger said...

They just wanted him to wear a suit. That's what strikes them as re-assuring, that he's "one of us."

Contrariwise, the guys of Syriza not wearing ties is re-assuring to people like us who are not plutes and despise the bloody bastards.