Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Elitists, Snobs, and the Great Unwashed Masses

If the polls, both in Pennsylvania and nationally, are to be believed, Barack Obama has not been damaged among Democratic voters by his ill-advised remarks regarding the alleged psychological condition of those who value God and gun ownership in small towns. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen would seem to have the right explanation for that. Hillary Clinton, who Mr. Cohen describes as "the personification of artifice," simply has no credibility in contrasting herself as one who comes from the great unwashed masses:

The current fuss is an example. She turned Obama's statement into an affront to gun lovers everywhere, which it just might be. But since when is Hillary Clinton a gun lover, a hunter or even a weekend skeet shooter? She is apparently none of the above -- at least she will not say when she last fired a gun. The truth, if a guess is allowed, is that she does not give a damn about guns and hunting, and when she brings up her "churchgoing family" and "Our Town" values, they are expressions of treacly nostalgia and not the life of incredible affluence and situational morality she now enjoys. To paraphrase Dorothy, Clinton left Kansas a long time ago.

She may be the wife of one frequently referred to as "Bubba," but that really doesn't mean that she can be seen as the counterpart of Joe Sixpack.

Besides, has anyone paid attention to the language Sen. Clinton used in criticizing Mr. Obama? She said that his rhetoric was "elitist" and "patronizing." Of course, this is the sort of language used primarily by people who are themselves elites. That perhaps explains why Sen. Clinton's accusations might seem damning among the media, while eliciting yawns among most of the rest of us.

Most people don't accuse certain others of being "elitists." They are "snobs."

Of course, people such as Sen. Clinton would never say "snobs." It's too low class.

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