I’m sorry, I’m not looking to cause any trouble here — you know I’m a peaceful girl at heart — but am I missing something in the class-war-income-inequality narratives?
Which, as Glenn Reynolds points out, was not the case when John Kerry and John Edwards (not to mention Al Gore) were Democrat candidates.
The refrain to that song, of course, is about income inequality but not everyone wants to sing it.
What seems to be lost in this endlessly playing sing-along is the fact that President Obama and his wife are millionaires who have no problem enjoying $81 dollar American Wagyu steaks during an evening out.
Hey, I don’t begrudge them the steak; I would never spend $81 bucks on a steak, but that’s me — I’m a very middle class sort. I wound’t even spend $40 on a steak. I might spend it on a lobster, if there was a Ceasar salad to start.
But my point is this: at what point can we reasonably expect the press — and the Democrats, themselves, but I am redundant — open their eyes to the staggering cognitive dissonance that exists between the rhetoric that pours from them, and the way they actually live their lives?
It’s kind of like what (confirmed liberal) Dick Meyer said back in 2009:
It is precisely the same cognitive dissonance that allowed the Democratic Party to nominate John Kerry and John Edwards – combined net worth, about $1 billion – to bash the rich, bemoan the split of the “two Americas” and beat up on George and Dick for being pals of the rich. When the rich, or those profiting from the rich, condemn other, less enlightened rich people, skin crawls. And many Americans – to the chagrin of Democrats, Marxists and Europeans – tend not to begrudge the rich and hyper-rich their riches. [. . .] It is a kind of limousine liberalism that I believe also afflicts the Democratic Party too often, a conceit that “we are the enlightened rich.”
Bill Clinton didn’t bash the rich a lot, but he could have; Johns Kerry and Edwards did bash the rich a lot, and it flopped. It flopped partly because Americans who are not rich simply do not have a European-style, class base resentment. Americans aspire to being rich. That’s the American way. But the ’04 Democratic rhetoric also flopped because the guys spewing looked like such phonies; they weren’t just rich, they were richer than the Republicans: they were hyper-rich.
Yeah. I suppose what we’re looking at in the Obama class-war rhetoric so faithfully echoed in the press is the building of an incomplete (“cherry-picked” if you like) narrative intended to get people so worked up, resentful and emotion-driven by November ’12, they’ll fail to notice that that the encouragements and praises they hear for “keeping it real” in the OWS camps and on the welfare lines are all being called out to them from the swiftly-passing limousines of the endlessly privileged — the people who want us to believe that handing out unemployment benefits creates more jobs than actual, historic job-creators do, and whose lives will remain largely untouched by the effects of their ruinous policies.
Why pretend to bash the rich when you are the rich, when your party is top-heavy with the so-called “filthy rich” like Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Jon Corzine, and the denizens of Hollywood and High-Finance and oh, yes, Publishing, and New Media and the Endowed-unto-Illness Ivies? Why pretend there is an inherent evil in some people having more than others, or suggest that only government can be counted on to “help” people, when um, the people who “helped” you pull together nearly a billion dollars for your presidential campaign were, you know…rich?
Understand, I don’t want the Obama’s $81 steaks. I don’t even want their access to a tony restaurant or a private dining area. I’d rather not have to get dressed up. But it seems to me that a president should not want to eat an $81 steak if he is disdainful of others who do so.
And if he is not disdainful, if he really believes that everyone should have the opportunity to land an $81 steak, does he really think that unemployment benefits, rather than jobs will deliver that steak to the masses?
Or perhaps that’s what the whole “eat the rich” thing is about? They eat American Wagyu steak and the rest of us get to suck it from their marrow?
Somehow I don’t think the Wagyu will come through. No matter how well wagged we are.
UPDATE: Who are the 1%?
I did not include any praise for Republicans in this piece, my point was about the cognitive dissonance being demonstrated in the demonizing the rich — or certain portions of “the rich” — while behaving just like the caricatures of thoughtless, greedy capitalists we’re supposed to disdain. This, unfortunately, is pretty much what the Dems and their helpers in the press, are doing. I cannot help the fact that (right now, at least) it is the Democrats, not the Republicans who are lecturing everyone about income inequality while going on pricey vacations, making killings in the markets, and eating luxuriously, or that the same folks are lecturing us about our lightbulbs and how much toilet paper we are using, while they plan stadium concerts and political rallies under the bright lights. If the President had an R after his name and the circumstances were precisely the same, my complaint would be the same, although I doubt the press would be playing along…I’m pretty sure they’d be as bothered as I am under that circumstance. Given that I have not written a single word of praise for the Republicans in this piece, I didn’t think I had to make a point of saying they’re no better. But apparently, I must say that. They’re no better. I have little regard and almost no respect for any politician in this country, right now, and hold no allegiance to any party. I quite concur with Mark Shea who says “it is no longer about conservative vs liberal; it’s about the elites vs the rest of us. A pox on both their houses, say I!
Nevertheless, the cognitive dissonance is real, it’s easy to spot, unless you’re deliberately wearing blinders. Wagging the non-stop partisan fingers in the comboxes is diversionary, I suppose, and perhaps it makes some people feel better — I find it merely tiresome at this point — but make no mistake, when those limousines drive by, cheering us all on for “keeping it real” the occupants being driven to their next soiree will be both Democrats and Republicans. Can I be any clearer? Orwell said it best. We are in the Animal Farm, where all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.
James Taranto: The Passive-Aggressive Presidency