Class warfare–apparently, it is hard

7

August 7, 2012 by Julia

So, when your best* argument against a political opponent is that he is rich, it is in your best interest to appear, well, not rich.  If you’re going to set up “rich” as a byword (dog whistle?) for “out of touch,” it seriously does not help your cause if you show that you, too, are rich and therefore–by your own definition–out of touch.  This seems like elementary logic, and the man who runs the free world, allegedly an accomplished constitutional scholar in his own right, should have figured this out already . . . NOPE:

Beaten by Mitt Romney in fundraising for the third straight month, President Obama is turning again to one of the Democratic Party’s most lucrative and reliable sources of campaign cash — Hollywood.

But instead of flying all the way to Southern California, the president is making a shorter trip Monday evening to the $15 million beachfront Connecticut estate of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for a $35,800-per-person fundraiser that’s expected to include screenwriter and producer Aaron Sorkin and actor Anne Hathaway, star of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.” Mr. Obama also will hold a larger campaign event for about 500 people at a hotel in Stamford, Conn., where tickets start at $500 each.

The quick trip should raise about $2.5 million for the president’s reelection fund and for other Democratic Party campaign war chests.

Obama mines Hollywood — again — for campaign gold

Let me get this straight.  The Romneys own a horse, which means they are evil, rich, and out of touch.  Barack Obama is friends with various Hollywood celebrities, who are rich and give him tens of thousands of dollars, and is himself also rich, but he is somehow not evil and out of touch.  Of course.  Makes perfect sense.

Now, you could be thinking, it’s differences in their personalities or histories that make them in touch/out of touch, not their relative wealth.  That’s not an unreasonable position, and in fact makes sense.  That is not, however, what the Obama campaign wants us to believe.  Drawing nuanced distinctions is HARD.  Therefore, instead of finding actual examples of Romney being out of touch, they simply point the finger at him and yell, “He’s rich!  Get ‘im!” as if that is somehow all they need to make a legit point (in some circles, maybe it is).

Seriously, look at their examples of how “out of touch” Romney is.  First, his wife owns a therapy horse because she has MS.  There are people seriously arguing that owning a (therapy!) horse and taking care of it makes the Romneys out of touch, especially since they have the nerve to enjoy the (therapeutic!) hobby and participate in the Olympics. Now, leaving out the fact that some children of Obama donors are also avid riders, what in the heck does owning a horse have to do with being in or out of touch?  Whether it’s dressage, riding along a trail for fun, or herding cattle, lots of people own horses, and even more simply ride them occasionally.  Is the Dems’ argument that someone who rides a horse on his ranch for transportation is in touch, but someone who performs dressage is out of touch?  Are they both out of touch?  Does it depend how much you pay for your horse’s upkeep?  Absolutely mystifying.

Second, Romney is allegedly surprised by touch screens.  I grew up with Wawa, so when suddenly it was in the news, I was all like . . . o.O?  But, on point, in order to make the “out of touch” argument, MSNBC had to blatantly ignore everything else Mitt Romney said in that portion of his speech.  He was not shocked(!) that touch screen ordering existed, he was giving Wawa (well-deserved) props for being an awesome innovator in the free market.  This of course directly contrasts with President Obama, who seems to think that the government does all of entrepreneurs’ innovation for them.  Clearly, the road in front of the Wawa thought up the idea for the touch screens.  Obviously.

Now, my liberal friends reading this are probably screaming about how “You didn’t build that” was taken out of context as well.  Actually, no, it wasn’t–and when you add in the rest of his statist rambling, it’s even worse. So yeah, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by telling us to focus on the context, because you just look silly, and you’re getting us to read additional offensive comments instead of just one sentence.

My third and final example is jet skis.  Yes, jet skis.  Did you know that if you ride a jet ski, you are out of touch?  Because only rich people who hate poor people ever ride jet skis.  Obviously.  Oh, also, you’re a wimp.  Of course.  (yes, I know that the Right also went after Romney over the jet skiing thing.  It was stupid when they did it, too)

I really get the feeling that the Obama campaign is just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks.  They know that people are worried about the economy, and apparently have decided that the best way to capitalize on this worry (since they need to draw the blame away from the guy who’s been our president for the last 3.5 years) is to make the class warfare argument.  They’ll try anything that fits that narrative even a little bit, and if it doesn’t work, they’ll make up something else for next week.  It must be tiring to be a class warrior . . .

*I assume this is the DNC/Obama campaign’s best argument, because it’s the one they repeat the most, and it is the one from which all of the others derive.  Personally, I think it’s a pretty terrible argument, but hey, David Axelrod wouldn’t lie to us, right?

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7 thoughts on “Class warfare–apparently, it is hard

  1. Ish says:

    Wait… Stamford, Connecticut is a real place? That adds a whole new layer to my Civil War post.

  2. Panamared says:

    As a wee kid growing up way back when, most of the people I knew just wanted the Government to get out of the way so they could work at trying to get rich. The idea that the Government gets to choose who is going to be rich, or tell people how much money is too much is making me wonder when I took the Rip Van Winkle nap.

    • Or possibly time-traveled back to China in the 1950s.

      There is a distinct lack of interest in working to get rich these days. Why work hard when the government will just take someone else’s money and give it to you? Especially when the government does everything possible to make it difficult to put your hard work to good use? It’s really quite sad.

  3. Matt says:

    Kinda ballsy for a guy who spends as much time vacationing on the golf course as Barack Obama does, to play the “he’s rich and out of touch with ordinary Americans” card. I mean seriously…can he _actually_ not see the counterpunch coming? He’s approaching the level of stupid where there’s some risk I’ll actually feel sorry for him.

    • I was thinking about that as I was writing this point. How can someone that allegedly intelligent NOT see the hypocrisy?

      I suspect he honestly does believe that he is “in touch,” because he believes he honestly cares about regular people. He may in fact truly care and simply have bad ideas, I don’t know, but I feel like there is a lot of self-congratulation going on there: “Oh, I can’t possibly be out of touch, because I’m trying to help them! Look at my compassion, everyone! Wow, I care so much that I am JUST LIKE a regular person!” He’s completely blind to the hypocrisy, because he believes (I suspect) that his good intentions absolve him of things that are crimes when committed by the evil Mitt Romney. (please note that I do not think they are crimes at all. Spend your own money that you earned on whatever you want, I don’t care)

      Unfortunately, the President appears to think the only way to show how much you care about people is to throw money at them. I guess it never occurred to him that “the real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.”

      • Ish says:

        In his book “A Conflict of Visions,” Thomas Sowell — an incredibly brilliant writer, and I cannot recommend this book highly enough — explains this whole thing in much better detail than I could ever hope to reproduce in a mere comment box (although I had an idea for relating it to Star Wars, and thus, this blog). Sowell breaks down most modern politics into two conflicted visions.

        Liberalism — at least in the American sense of the word — rests on the belief that human nature is essentially good or perfectible. Those with this sense of the word distrust decentralized processes, are impatient with large institutions, and oppossed to systemic processes that constrain human action. They believe there is an ideal solution to every problem, if only the right people were in charge, people able to put aside self-interest and make decisions for the benefit and good of all. Sowell dubs these “right people” as the Annointed.

        A central element to conservatism — at least, the praticular branch of it that I subscribe to — is belief that man is inherently and iredeemably selfish, regardless of his best intentions. Lord Acton’s famous quote about “power corrupts” (made most famous to geeks like us from the Dark Phoenix Saga) is seen as something of a universal truth. So, if power corrupts even the best of us, then it is best to rely on a the rule of law, solid empirical evidence, and time-tested structures. So we tend to be slow to change (“reactionary”), prefer to see that the state has little or limited power (“anti-government”), and we are very accepting of robust competition in the market place (“cut-throat, greedy, laize-faire fat cats”).

        I can’t make up my mind whether or not Obama really sees himself the Annointed One, but certainly, a sizable minority of his supporters think he is the Kwisatz Haderach.

  4. Of course human nature is perfectible. I mean, re-education camps have worked SO WELL in the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea, right? Right? *eye roll*

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