Here we go again with the classism

Monday, June 15th, 2009 · 86 Comments »

Revenge of the Ghetto Hockey Mom is how Henry Rollins describes the Palin-Letterman contretemps. Granted, Rollins is a particularly odious misogynist who is too dumb to understand that threats to hate-fuck conservative women are perhaps not the most persuasive way to spread the liberal message. Nevertheless, his argument — if you can call it that — is not atypical of current attitudes among so-called progressives.

Rollins’ essay is essentially a brain dump of things that frighten him: women, pregnant women, teenage girls, people from Alaska, small towns, Red Lobster. Buried in there is an incoherent reference to Palin’s “overwhelming hypocrisy” in having a pregnant daughter (with, as usual, no explanation whatsoever of how that constitutes hypocrisy), and reminders of the apparently scandalous fact that women in the Palin family have had sex without being married. Note that it’s Henry who’s scandalized by this, not the Palins. All of this adds up in Henry’s mind to a justification for sexist and misogynistic attacks on Sarah Palin and her daughters, which is not surprising given that Henry is himself a sexist and a misogynist. It’s basically the “she was wearing a short skirt” school of rape defense. If a woman has ever had sex, thought about having sex, or gone out in public wearing anything other than a giant Hefty bag, she’s fair game. Right, Henry?

But there’s another thread that’s yanking Henry’s chain, hence the title of this post. Sarah Palin and her daughters aren’t just females; they’re small-town, working-class females (or they were until Palin became a successful politician). “Small-town hickoids,” Rollins calls them. “How ghetto!” he says of the fact that Bristol Palin isn’t married. Does Henry really have an issue with unwed motherhood? Is he Dan Quayle’s evil twin? No; I’m sure if Bristol were a fictional newswoman in a TV show, Henry would have no problem. It’s the class thing. His brain-dump essay reeks of disdain for people who, unlike him, work for a living.

I had two major shocks last year. One of them was discovering the hypocrisy and rank misogyny of so many self-described feminists (a phenomenon I blame, by the way, on the cultural backlash that has weakened the movement and led to pod-like feminists who aren’t really very good at being feminists. Solution: more feminism!). The other was discovering the extent to which so many self-described liberals actually despise working people. Which they do, remarkably enough, while flattering themselves that they are still the party of workers. Exhibit A: Henry Rollins.

In an interview a few months ago, Rollins railed against right-wingers for their anti-worker policies:

They hate the New Deal – I like the New Deal…

Too bad that we don’t value the working person in America.

Yes, Henry likes the New Deal; he just doesn’t like the kind of people the New Deal was designed to benefit. He values “the working person,” just as long as that person remains a Platonic Form and not, say, an actual working person from Alaska who eats at Red Lobster.

This kind of classism spiked with misogyny was on full display last year in the Obama camp, both in the attacks on Clinton and in the anti-Palin frenzy. Remember how Hillary’s supporters in Kentucky and West Virginia were automatically dismissed as racist hicks? Remember the sneers from the self-anointed “creative class” that working folks weren’t needed in Obama’s new Jerusalem? Remember how Palin was ridiculed — by a feminist, of all people — as white trash?

I remember. I will never forget. My own family is firmly rooted in the working class: until my parents’ generation, they were all farmers and mill workers in the Carolina piedmont. My generation is college-educated, for the most part, and we have a good smattering of lawyers and engineers and academics in the mix, but our family tree is still full of people who work as nurses and waitresses and hairdressers, who eat at Red Lobster, who even live in trailers (hey, trailers are a good solution if you have some land but can’t afford a house). What is despicable about this? Working people are what makes the world go round. My own liberalism is grounded in a respect for the rights and dignity of all people, particularly the working folks that I thought were one of the core constituencies of the Democratic Party. I mean, aren’t the Republicans supposed to be the party of rich white oligarchs? Aren’t they supposed to be the fat cat capitalists?

Every time I hear one of these so-called “liberal” twits like Henry Rollins ridicule small-town working people, I think of my grandfather. He was a devoted Democrat who never forgot that the New Deal brought hope in those dark days of the Depression. He revered the memory of FDR and stayed faithful to the party throughout his life. His last vote before he died was for Al Gore in 2000.

My grandfather was also a welder, a part-time farmer, and a church-going Methodist who taught Sunday school class. He and my grandmother even lived in a trailer for awhile. And my grandmother! When she wasn’t working as a salesclerk in the department stores, she ran a little business as a hairdresser. Can you imagine? How shameful. How déclassé. How ghetto.

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86 Responses to “Here we go again with the classism”

  1. bluelyon says:

    Violet, you take my breath away!

  2. Keri says:

    I am a Kentuckian descended from many generations of Kentuckians. I have pioneer settlers of Kentucky on both sides of my family. On my mothers side I’m descended from an abolitionist politician and his equally abolitionist daughter from southern Kentucky, on my father’s side I’m descended from a sister of Abraham Lincoln’s father- who was also an abolitionist. My maternal great grandmother and paternal grandmother were stanch believers in a woman’s right to control their bodies. My maternal great grandmother had only one child by choice- my maternal grandmother. My paternal grandmother practiced family planning- her three children were spaced 6 years apart. My parent were liberal Democrats and my mother was one of the thousands (if not millions) of rank and file second wave feminists. She never marched, but she lived and raised us three kids in a feminist way. Thus my older brother loves to cook and is the best cook of the three of us. I grew up playing with both dolls and Tonka trucks and liked both equally. Toy choice wasn’t imposed on me, it was what I liked.

    Last year made me realize that the Democratic party is now dominated by people that want to keep the status quo, the few politicians that hold to the party ideals like Bill and Hillary are treated like dirt by the elites that control the party.

    The total take over of the party by the misogynist, classist, elitists like Obama and all his fawning backers reminds me of nothing but how the right wing extremists stole the leadership of the southern baptists from the moderates in the late 1970′s-early 1980′s. Some of the same tactics were used. Classism wasn’t used, but the level of misogyny is much the same- just much less crude words were used.

    You want to know how different things were in the southern baptists around the time I left (Christianity just wasn’t my path) the faith in the later 1970′s- at that time Billy Graham was considered far right wing for a southern Baptist, and Jimmy Carter was a conservative Southern Baptist. Moderate and Liberal Southern Baptists made up the majority of southern Baptists- my maternal grandmother was a very typical moderate southern Baptist, my mother a very typical liberal southern Baptist.

    Last year opened my eyes to seeing that the Democratic party holds the same contempt for the poor and middle class and women of any social class or race that Republicans do. The words used are slightly different but the same manipulation and contempt is there.

    I consider myself Green party now. That’s the only party that holds to my liberal ideals. And note, last year they chose liberal women for both their President and Vice Presidential candidates.

  3. SYD says:

    Fact is, facists and male supremacists can hide themselves just about any where.And there are plenty of them on the left side of the political spectrum right now.

    It seems that the once natural tendency of the Left to be open minded and accepting… has opened the floodgates for morons.

    It sucks.

  4. JeanLouise says:

    Stellar writing, Violet. Thank you.

  5. Kat says:

    My dear Violet,

    You nailed it.

    Sincerely,
    A reader who is a secretary

    (I often carry my lunch to work in a leftover plastic bag. Not a lunchbucket, but perhaps even worse. I think Rollins, Obama, and the entire Village loathe workers like we’re untouchables, no matter how happy and productive we may be. I think they secretly wish they could make workers an untouchable caste, shunned and pointed to occasionally as a hypocritical pretense at compassion. They like the New Deal my ass.)

  6. ea says:

    @ Keri:

    Good for you! Welcome to the Green Party. I hope you are able to help develop the party within your state. I would guess there is some activity around mining issues.

  7. Sis says:

    Here, in the ’60s and ’70s, we had an influx of these people, like the Obama supporters, progressive Dems. They were draft dodgers, most with masters degrees and phds bought by their parents. They ruled our universities with their elitism. They looked down on anything Canadian as so hick. They were in time tenured (because if a Canadian is anything, it’s sure we’re not as good, so here, take our country) until well into the ’90s. Looking down on us for how uncool we were, how wrong. Gum boots and plaid. Canadians with graduate degrees gave up and went into something else. They could not get past sessional. All through my degree in the humanities and the arts, fractured into five years because I had a family, I did not have one Canadian lecturer. They were just_like_these democrats who so look down on Sarah and the “hicks” in Alaska. It is a really puerile elitism.

    I don’t agree with much of right politics (if anything) but I can’t stand ponce. My lip curls and I didn’t even think it to.

  8. disgusted says:

    Wow, Henry Rollins is quite the writer! He must be patting himself on the back after concocting that lovely blend of misogyny and classism.

    To read someone’s description of their disdain of anything working class or blue collar is so fucking boorish and cliche. Ted Rall, Steven Weber and Maureen Dowd have done this. I find elitism so incredibly petty.

  9. yttik says:

    Great post, Violet. You really nailed it!

    One of the worst things for me during the last election was realizing that past Republican accusations of “elitist liberals” had a grain of truth to them. I had never realized how condescending and elitist Democrats can sometimes sound. All the accusations of “white trash” and “hillbilleries”, kind of made it undeniable. People who supported Hillary were supposedly low class, uneducated.

    I remember someone smugly writing that Obama was supported by latte liberals who go to Starbucks while Hillary had the Dunkin Donuts crowd. It was meant to be a classist slam, but apparently the guy didn’t know that “latte liberal” is actually an offensive label, it means someone who has no real liberal values beyond the catchy slogan they read off their coffee cup, right before tossing it out the window of their SUV.

  10. Violet says:

    All the accusations of “white trash” and “hillbilleries”, kind of made it undeniable. People who supported Hillary were supposedly low class, uneducated.

    But I never saw that before last year. That’s why my overwhelming initial reaction to the Obamabots was that they were really misplaced Freepers. On further observation, I decided they were mostly pampered kids with no true political understanding or commitment to anything but the Obama cult of personality. They’re not Democrats, certainly not socialists or anything else.

    The ironies of the situation multiply endlessly. The Obamabots were so proud of electing a “community organizer,” but they themselves loathe the kind of people who need community organizers. The wingnuts accuse Obamabots of being socialists, but they’re about as socialist as Goldman Sachs.

  11. angienc says:

    I’ll second bluelyon — Violet you take my breath away. You nail it (again). I’m still unsure though if the Obama “elitist/sexist” crowd took over the Dem. Party or if the Dem Party has been controlled by that crowd since LBJ (honestly, what has the Dem party every really done for women but make promises?) & they were forced to “come out” and show themselves when they were threatened by the idea of a woman President and/or Vice-President. Either way, I’m done with them.

  12. paper doll says:

    Indeed. Last year I realize the Dem big wigs, except the Clintons, actully hate the working class Dem base and have hated us for decades. And you know in the last 20 years I have only seen the Dem big wigs fight their own base. To the GOP, the wealthy and the lobbyists, they constantly bow and snarl at us to heel. They can’t even bother with meaningful hearings anymore. Bush’s appointments were waved in.

  13. Nina M. says:

    A digression on Henry Rollins.

    I saw him open for Einsturzende Neubaten in Budapest in ’91 – a time when he was ostensibly at top form. He was unbearably boring. A typical hocked-up-on-steroids rageaholic, pacing relentlessly back and force, shouting in a monotone about his personal issues. A long, high-decibel temper tantrum by a man-child masculinist whose swollen ego was cutting off the blood supply to his brain. Waiting for him to finish himself off so a real band could take the stage was pure torture.

    Rollins’ post-hardcore career is little more than a gimmick. I’m loud and muscly, but I wear glasses and can write complete sentences! I can read a book, and kick your ass! Behold the dancing bear!

    Thank you, but I’d rather not. Screeching, whiney muscle-heads are a dime a dozen (cf. Danzig).

    The man spends so much time with his dick in his hand that I’m surprised he can find the time to type. I’m still waiting for somebody to yank him off the stage.

    [But Neubaten was amazing.]

  14. datechguy says:

    Listening to the story of your Grandparents it explains why a Conservative Republican
    like me enjoys reading you so much.

    When you remember and respect where you came from you have an important base to grow and learn from.
    Mine own came from very humble beginning from the Sicily. I think the biggest mistake of the baby boom generation is their belief that they are smarter or better then those who followed them.

    Most teenagers think they are smarter than their parents, the baby boomers in my experience are the first generation that never lost that belief. That is where I think what you are describing come from.

  15. ea says:

    The baby boom generation is defined as those born from 1946-1964. That means we range in age from 44 to 63 years old, depending on birth month. It is not the baby boom generation per se, that should get the broad swath, datechguy.

  16. Mel says:

    Thank you! I was the first person on my mom’s side of the family to get a BA and the first on either side of my family to get an advanced degree. But I remember where I came from and the values I learned growing up amongst the poor and working class. I’m stunned at the sheer vitriol the Dems and their “educated idiots” (as my grandmother would say) have been spewing at women, the working class, LGBTs, Jews, people of faith, etc.

    I was so deeply offended by the Obamabots’ bigotry that I voted McCain/Palin, the first time I’ve ever voted Republican. (And I’m a Democratic Socialist!)

  17. betheweb says:

    First time at your site. Impressive content. I’ll be coming back. Thank you.

  18. angienc says:

    My only regret is that I already canceled my subscription to Vanity Fair during the primaries. Rollins is beyond despicable.

  19. Nina M. says:

    I posted a version of the comment I left above (#13) on my Facebook page, and I just have to share the response left by a friend:

    “[Rollins is] a bit like a male Camille Paglia – except that he’s not inviting us to shoot her.”

    lol.

  20. sharon says:

    You know, reading this, and a bunch of the comments on Siskind’s article over at HuffPo (I know, I should NEVER read that site, but once in a while I check in on the level of mass derrangement), I am thinking that what’s really happened is that we’ve woken up to a profound truth.
    No party gives a darn about women.
    I agree that suddenly some things Republicans have been saying about liberals is suddenly making sense, such as the elitism charge. But I think most of us are still in shell shock that the Dems have proven to be absolutely as misogynistic and sexist as any good-old-boy GOP male. If anything, I think the Republicans might be a little better, at least in terms of appointments and picking VP candidates. That would point to their dislike of affirmative action in that they won’t pick someone based on race or sex (as liberals are charged with), but instead on qualifications.
    At the end of the day, that’s what this particular empowered female wants.
    Understanding that no party represents us, the job at hand, it seems to me, is to start mobilizing as a formidable group and get more women into office of every stripe and ideology, and to vote more as a bloc, as many of us did in the ’08 election, for women and candidates that represent women’s issues.
    It’s time to stop standing around being Democrats-in-waiting, hoping that eventually they will throw us a bone if we give them our votes.
    We learned that gets us nowhere but five steps back.
    Let’s use that knowledge to our advantage.

  21. liberaldissent says:

    While I agree the liberal urban “elite” (which is an inane label) has a distorted and oftentimes condescending view of small-town America, that “elite” is also human, and some of their attitude is pushback against small-town Americans’ condescension towards THEM. You can only be accused of being anti-American, degenerate, cowardly, and treasonous for so long before pushing back. Palin herself had no problem publicly declaring that small town America was the “real America,” and the sneer you can hear in her voice and the voices of her followers over remarks like that is offensive.

    And let’s be honest here, thanks to the electoral college and makeup of the Senate, small-town Americans exercise a disproportionate amount of political power and have for years. It is only recently that that power has started to slip.

    Finally, as for Rollins’ article, he’s a punk rock musician, his JOB is to make people angry.

  22. Mel says:

    I like your idea, Sharon. I’d also like to see women, LGBT’s, the working class, etc. join together in a coalition instead of continuously allowing both parties to continue their oppression/bigotry by dividing us and pitting us against one another. We’ve all been harmed by the powerful upholding the status quo and we’ll all benefit from confronting the power structure together.

  23. Kat says:

    Out of curiosity, I went over and read Siskind’s article at Huffpo and waded into the comments. I guess I need a stronger stomach — I couldn’t make it far before recoiling! Mass derangement is right.

    It was like that feeling of bewildered, almost physical repulsion I had so many times in 2008: almost backing away from the computer screen slowly, thinking “I don’t stand with you, I don’t share beliefs with you, there’s nothing in you I want any part of, and if you’re on my side, I’m outta here and finding a different team.”

  24. Pat says:

    Violet, you have hit it out of the ballpark. Oops, I guess mentioning ballparks makes me a hick. I’d better be careful or I’ll be branded “ghetto” by the likes of Rollins. What a snob.

  25. deanbcurtis says:

    Nina M., your friend is awesome. :)

  26. sister of ye says:

    I think the biggest mistake of the baby boom generation is their belief that they are smarter or better then those who followed them.

    Geez, not this cr@p again. I was born mid-baby boom and had my share of adolescent angst. But by the time Mom died we were good friends. Dad less so, only because we were too much alike not to bump heads.

    P.S., it’s “than,” not “then.”

    I’m a city kid, and mostly knew my grandparents thru stories. They were immigrants who worked hard: one grandfather on an assembly line, my grandmother in a cigar factory, my other grandfather as a bricklayer. They and my parents valued education and culture – my folks were into dance and singing, and Mom even did Polish opera.

    I do have a college degree (though alas not professional pay). I took my cue from my parents and enjoy working with my hands, and attending the opera, and rooting on my hockey team.

    My big shopping excursions are checking out dollar stores. Red Lobster is an occasional splurge – more likely to find me at White Castle.

    I could see Hillary or Bill Clinton doing any of those (they might find the dollar store a kick). Other Dems? [*snort*] Not likely! Nor many “liberal-progressive” pundits or bloggers.

  27. Jamie says:

    liberaldissent, what you talk about is a chicken-and-egg problem: who dissed whom first? But consider who has the bigger microphone… and who is claiming to be “for” whom. Is rural/small-town America claiming that only they care about the problems of the bicoastal urbanite? That they know best how the bicoastal urbanite should order his or her life? That the bicoastal lifestyle should be “preserved” somehow, because bicoastal-dwellers won’t know how to handle a rural/small-town existence?

    Same for the working class-versus-academia/”intelligentsia”/professional divide: Assuming based on available evidence that (speaking in gross generalities, which I, as an individualist, don’t especially like to do) each side finds the other unsavory and wouldn’t want to socialize with members of the other, who claims to be “for” whom?
    In other words, tu quoque doesn’t work for this argument, in my opinion.

    This is a VERY interesting site. So glad to find it.

  28. Sis says:

    Me too working class/hunting culture. I’m retired, but I can’t afford an RV, so I spend my spare time harassing anti-sealing demonstraters. Wearing my sealskin kamiks. I (partly) live on money made flying American dentists into polar bear hunting.

    .|..

  29. liberaldissent says:

    Jamie,

    I wasn’t trying to say who started it (this tension has been around for thousands of years), just that in analyzing why the “urban elites” are doing this, you have to take into account the fact that at least part of it is due to a justifiable anger at insults coming the other way.

    And as for bicoastal liberals claiming only “they” know what’s best for the rural working class, who exactly has claimed this? This is the problem, both sides infer all sorts of authoritarian impulses on the other side.

  30. Violet says:

    Palin herself had no problem publicly declaring that small town America was the “real America,” and the sneer you can hear in her voice and the voices of her followers over remarks like that is offensive.

    Maybe you heard a sneer in her voice, but I didn’t. People seem to hear all kinds of things in Palin’s voice.

    When Palin came on the scene, the first thing Obama did was ridicule her background as the mayor of a small-town. First thing. This was coming after his history of ridiculing small-town people who cling to guns and religion, and ridiculing Hillary Clinton as Annie Oakley, and so forth. He set the tone.

    As for Palin’s “real America” remark at a rally, if memory serves, politicians have been flattering small-town and midwestern Americans with that kind of talk forever. I didn’t hear a sneer.

    I’m a lifelong Democrat, never voted Republican in my life, and Obama’s campaign was a trainwreck of nastiness.

  31. liberaldissent says:

    Maybe you heard a sneer in her voice, but I didn’t. People seem to hear all kinds of things in Palin’s voice.

    Well I guess we will just disagree, because referring to small towns as “pro America” is implying that the cities are not. I do hear a lot of nastiness in Palin’s words, but they’re reflected in the actual words she chooses to use.

    I’m a lifelong Democrat, never voted Republican in my life, and Obama’s campaign was a trainwreck of nastiness.

    What was your opinion of the McCain/Palin’s level of nastiness?

  32. ks says:

    I agree with you liberaldissent that all the “Heartland” talk is the other side of coin, but in this particalu instance, Violet is right.

    The Obama camp attacked Palin “hickness” from day one and he even pointedly refused to refer to her as Gov Palin in the beginning and when you include the previous, for lack of better words, “Hillary related” stuff, it’s clear who set the tone.

  33. ks says:

    “(That one event, which actually reflects well on McCain, has been magnified by Obamabots into hordes of McCain supporters at rallies chanting for Obama’s death led by Sarah Palin in brownshirt.)”

    Don’t forget about the the famous “Kill Him!” cry that was supposedly uttered at a Palin rally. Even after the Secret Service investigated and debunked the claim, the Obots kept after it.

  34. Sis says:

    If I remember correctly, an American politician, who just happened to be a Democrat, and a president, used that rallying tactic even in another country. To astoundingly supportive backing from liberals, JFK said:

    Ich bin ein Berliner

    It’s particularly American. We don’t do that in Canada. We apologize for being Canadian.

  35. Nina M. says:

    @ liberaldissent –

    “finally, as for Rollins’ article, he’s a punk rock musician, his JOB is to make people angry.”

    Double fail:

    (1) Rollins doesn’t make people angry (except inadvertently); he vents his anger on people. Certain tightly wound people like Rollins because he is their anger avatar.

    (2) If “making people angry” is your job, you’re not punk – you’re a professional asshole.

  36. Violet says:

    What was your opinion of the McCain/Palin’s level of nastiness?

    That it was less. Flattering supporters at a rally that they represent the “real America”? Not terribly nasty. At one McCain-Palin rally somewhere, someone called out that Obama was a terrorist or something, and McCain firmly squashed it. (That one event, which actually reflects well on McCain, has been magnified by Obamabots into hordes of McCain supporters at rallies chanting for Obama’s death led by Sarah Palin in brownshirt.) Sarah Palin also brought up Obama’s connection with William Ayers, which at least is true.

    On the other hand, the Obama campaign was the single nastiest, most corrupt Democratic campaign I’ve ever seen in 30+ years of watching national politics. From the RFK smear against Hillary, the race-baiting, the calls for Hillary’s death among Obama supporters — it was the sheer venom of Obama supporters to fellow Democrats that caused the huge split in the blogosphere. Then with Palin it was even worse. “Cunt” t-shirts? The unforgiveable rape kit smear — a smear which was orchestrated by the Obama campaign, with conference calls to reporters, etc. The lies about Palin’s beliefs on contraception and sex ed, also spread by the Obama campaign? Shit, the Obama campaign actually used Planned Parenthood’s mailing list to for a massive email campaign full of lies about Sarah Palin. Outright lies.

    Obama’s shtick is to act nice and run a dirty-pool machine operation in the background. If you haven’t figured that out yet, you have a shock coming.

  37. Toonces says:

    Being a working class liberal is weird. I don’t particularly want “in” with the urban-elite-liberals and I can completely understand why many right-leaning working class people find the culture to be a turn-off. I don’t know how many major liberal blogs/outlets are actually changing minds or reaching beyond their little bubbles (which is probably also true of conservative blogs/outlets). I don’t fit in with conservative culture (at all), either, so… *shrug*.

    I know decent people on both sides. A pro-life friend of mine went with her good (bisexual) friend to get an abortion — which goes back to Violet’s point about what it pro-choice/pro-life means in theory and reality.

    I think that’s a big problem. There’s culture and then there’s politics. We’ve mixed the two up too much. Poll after poll says the majority of Americans actually agree on the majority of issues. This side thinks that side is a bunch of assholes and people vote their preference as far as the “type” of person they relate to and against the culture they don’t want to be a part of. And all the politicians want to keep us divided and misinformed so we’ll vote against our own self-interests. Well….that’s not getting us very far, IMO.

    But yes, the classism from the left is there and it’s cruel and hugely hypocritical. At least the Republican elite is honest about its classism.

  38. Femmostroppo Reader - June 17, 2009 — Hoyden About Town says:

    [...] Here we go again with the classism [...]

  39. Mel says:

    The liberal elite started it, sorry. And it’s not solely an American thing. When I was in school, I had to do a paper on Orwell’s “Road to Wigan Pier” and whether the American socialists were as classist as the English socialists he described. I was young and naive then. I argued no. I’d be writing a whole different paper these days.

    Also, the liberal “elite” don’t just look down on the rural working class. They look down on urban working class and poor people as well. The term “ghetto” doesn’t exactly describe small-town America.

    As for the hunting thing, I’m for it if you’re doing it for food. Though I’m not allowed to go hunting. Just because I gave the deer a warning shot when I was nine. Jeez!

  40. Sis says:

    So you’re not American, and your writing assignment wasn’t given to you in an American classroom?

    Who knows what you mean by your flip off of hunting cultures. Who do it for practise, food, clothing, tools and to keep the food stock high. From sleds, canoes, boats with motors, ski-doos, airplanes and helicopters. All in a days work.

  41. angienc says:

    liberaldissent — if after everything that was done to Hillary Clinton & Sarah Palin by the Obama campaign & the media you can actually wonder “who started it” & complain about some pol “small town are the backbone of this country” boilerplate, then you were not paying the least bit of attention.

  42. Violet says:

    True class prejudice, to my mind — true bigotry — is when a person’s actual accomplishments mean nothing compared to their accent or where they come from.

    The Clintons are the archetype for me of the kind of people who come from small-town roots, become educated, and rise because of their brilliance. In my family, that kind of thing was and is the ideal. My family has always prized education and always been proud of high-achieving family members. For most of my life I considered “liberal elite” a positive appellation, because it signified educated, brilliant leaders with enlightened ideas.

    Of course I’ve always known that the blue bloods of both parties look down on working folks, the same way the Village always despised the Clintons. The shock was discovering how widespread this bigotry is in the rank and file Democrats — again, the party that claims to be the party of the workers. I was unprepared for the ease with which entire states, huge swaths of the American population, were dismissed as trailer trash.

    It’s doubly offensive because, first of all, there’s not a damn thing wrong with being a worker who lives in a trailer. I mean for chrissake, do we need to have the French Revolution all over again? Are people actually proud of being economic parasites who live off the sweat of others? And second of all, what kind of bigotry is it that can’t get past a southern accent to appreciate someone’s character and intellect and actual accomplishments? Weren’t we supposed to be past all that superficial crap?

  43. Violet says:

    (2) If “making people angry” is your job, you’re not punk – you’re a professional asshole.

    Nina, between this and the Camille Paglia, you’re cracking me up here.

  44. Violet says:

    So you’re not American, and your writing assignment wasn’t given to you in an American classroom?

    Who knows what you mean by your flip off of hunting cultures.

    Sis, I think you misunderstood Mel’s comment on two counts. First all, she referred to an assignment on “Road to Wigan’s Pier” and the classism of English socialists as compared to Americans — so, obviously, not just American socialists are classists.

    And rather than flipping off hunter culture, she said the opposite, that hunting for need is cool.

    For the record, I agree. Actually I wish the whole world was vegetarian, but if you’re hunting wild animals and that’s your culture, okay. What I do not empathize with is hunting for sport. If you’re hunting for sport, you’re hunting because you enjoy killing animals.

  45. Sis says:

    I apologize Mel. I misunderstood. Misunderstand.

    Yes, Vi. A hunter enjoys killing animals. She enjoys the hunt, the skill, the promise of what she will have for her family to eat, to wear, or to sell. She enjoys being on the land, and the prospect of the next hunt, and relishes how well she did, noting what was different about that hunt, to add to her body of knowledge for the next. To pass to generations. A hunter returns exilerated, bragging, proud. It was all around, and enjoyable event. She enjoys selling it if she doesn’t need it to eat. To buy computers for her kids school, or a new rifle, or her daughter’s tuition in Montreal. She would fall into deep depression and a life existing on alcohol and drugs if she couldn’t hunt. And that’s no lie, because that’s exactly why that happens. No one outside has the right to a say on how we should hunt, or not, or what we should hunt, where or when, or what we should do with our hunting rights. Sometimes, we kill for sport. It’s a fine thing to be a good hunter.

  46. Sweet Sue says:

    Great essay, violet. This really rings a bell because I was watching Kathy Griffin on Larry King tonight, and she was being so horrible about not just Sarah but the whole Palin family. Todd Palin is a “useless tool” and all the kids are stupid morons and should be ridiculed. Levi, the young man who fathered Bristol’s baby, is named after jeans and will end up living on welfare in an igloo.
    The riff was breathtakingly ugly.
    I don’t agree with Palin’s politics and I wouldn’t vote for her, but what did she ever do to deserve such venom from supposedly enlightened people?
    Why doesn’t Griffin go after Haley Barbour or Sonny Purdue, to name a couple of easy target Republican governors?

  47. donna darko says:

    On the other hand, the Obama campaign was the single nastiest, most corrupt campaign I’ve ever seen in 30+ years of watching national politics. From the RFK smear against Hillary, the race-baiting, the calls for Hillary’s death among Obama supporters — it was the sheer venom of Obama supporters to fellow Democrats that caused the huge split in the blogosphere.

    Obama’s shtick is to act nice and run a dirty-pool machine operation in the background. If you haven’t figured that out yet, you have a shock coming.

    Exactly.

    Palin is very genuine and never sneers.

  48. donna darko says:

    The Obama campaign was the most negative, hateful, character-assassinating campaign I ever encountered.

  49. Northwest rain says:

    This security code thing is making me NUTS. I have lost track of the times that I get the error message — that I didn’t type the damned numbers — well I DID type the numbers — DAMN it.

    This time I copied my own rant — so here it is again.

    Donna is correct — and we can never ever forget how nasty mean 0bambam was and his 0bots continue to be. Some 0bots want to make nice and join hands and whatever. THEY cannot be trusted ever.

    I’m a rural person — I hate big cities. I will drive a half a day or more to avoid big cities. For the majority of us our roots go back to our Agricultural employed ancestors. This Urban stuff is modern — most of my class mates had farmer grandparents — and now this younger generation has mostly grandparents who live in Suburbia (or Cities).

    Also if you study genealogy — there is a cycle of very rich for a generation or two then the downhill slide to poverty. Most of us have rich aristocracy lines in our family tree — it is a matter of mathematics — way way back we are all somehow related. Gee, way back I share a common Ancestor with Princess Di — and so do millions of others in the US.

    0bambam is of the spoiled brat generation — the tail end of the boomers (although he won’t admit it). He was raised RICH — in Hawaii if you go to the High School (private RICH school) that he went to you run in completely different circles that 99.9% of the population in Hawaii. 0bambam is a upper class snob with no concept of how most Americans live (or die). As others have said — in his class there is no skin color — only the color of his money.

    I was neutral on 0bambam early on — pre Primary season until I read his class snob remarks and knew he was going to be bad news for America. He is watching out for the interest of “HIS kind” — the same class boobs that GWB felt was his true constituency.

    Some of us could see this in 0bambam right away and others are just now seeing him for what he is — a SNOB. A very dangerous snob.

    Now saying that 0bambam was raised rich doesn’t mean that all who are rich can not have empathy for other human beings. Elenore Roosevelt was from the upper class — but she could talk to anyone of any class. My mother comes from Kansas farm stock — Republicans — and my mother’s family loved Elenore. She made life easier for the dirt poor farmers — little things that made a big difference in their lives during the depression. That’s why Hillary is also loved by the “common” folk — the back bone of America.

    0bambam is NOT part of the backbone of America — he is one of what I call the parasite class.

    So I’m adding my rant to Violet’s most excellent rant!!!

  50. liberaldissent says:

    I am guessing most of you were very strong Clinton supporters who are still bitter over her loss. I went into the primaries favoring Clinton over Obama, but the nastiness in her campaign drove me over to Obama. I am seeing a lot of projecting here.

    As for Palin, I find her the least genuine politician out there. Look at the incredible shifting accent: http://www.wired.com/listening_post/2008/10/accent-test-is/

    She’s aiming for the same manipulative, phony folksy populism that George W. Bush did.

  51. DancingOpossum says:

    Oh boy! Here we go again with the “bitter” trope, gee, we haven’t heard that one in months!

    And the old “former Hillary supporter” chestnut, we just loooove that one. But shouldn’t you be working up some new material at this point?

    Give me a rolling, fucking, break. The nastiness in this campaign was ALL on your side, and no amount of historical revisionism can change that. I defy you to show ONE example of the Clinton team’s “nastiness” that in any way compares to the rank, open, sexism, classism and wholly fabricated bullshit that the Obama campaign indulged in on a daily basis.

    Are you wearing your “Sarah Palin is a Cunt” tee-shirt today?

    We’re “projecting,” that’s funny. I’ve never encountered such bitter losers as the Obamabots. What I’m sensing here is that you’re a tad disillusioned with your illustrious Dear Leader, but Obama Forbid you should criticize The One– so once again you lash out at the easiest target: Hillary and her bitter hag supporters!

    Why don’t you face up to the fact that your Messiah has feet of very dirty clay and your Hopey-Changey dreams have been blasted off the top of a West Virginia mountaintop, and you just don’t know where to turn now? Poor baby.

  52. ks says:

    Sorry liberaldissent you went too far and now you’ve been busted. You are now using rather transparent tactics, tired bs tropes and dubious asides (her shifting accent?) as part of your attempt to shift the focus from the crazed sexist attacks on Palin to Palin herself. You failed.

  53. Gayle says:

    “I went into the primaries favoring Clinton over Obama, but the nastiness in her campaign drove me over to Obama”

    The nastiness of her campaign? Really?

    Signed,

    The Dried up Pussy Club.

  54. Toonces says:

    Looks like liberaldissent needs to call into headquarters because the “bitter Hillary supporter” who’s jus jelluss!! is from the ’08 script.

    I think the new thing now is, “When Bush spied on me, I felt bad, but when Obama does it, it feels like unicorn kisses!” Or maybe, “Real liberals have enough money not to care about universal healthcare!” ? Or how about, “Going out of his way to strengthen the DOMA is really just a clever ploy to get gay marriage legalized!”

  55. Level Best says:

    Violet and others commenting here, thank you for including working class people, blue- and pink-collar, from fly-over states in your feminist vision. From the bottom of my heart, I mean it.

  56. Nina M. says:

    Nina, between this and the Camille Paglia, you’re cracking me up here.

    Really? Because I got a lot more where this came from.

    People should not get me started on Henry Rollins.

  57. Sis says:

    Level Best, I love to see your addy.

  58. Sis says:

    OT: P.S. Level Best what do you think of the proposal that the NDP change their name and call themselves the Democrat party? I am agsinst it, because of the way the U.S. Democrats behave toward women. I don’t want any confusion, or to be associated with them in anyone’s mind. We are the NEW Democrat Party, the one Tommy Douglas created from the CCF.

  59. Carmonn says:

    liberaldissent, if Clinton’s campaign was so nasty, then I’m sure you can share actual examples. Why don’t you do that? What examples of nastiness made you change to the pure heart and soul of Obama?

    Meanwhile, you might want to check out the blogs of African American Clinton supporters for examples of how Obama’s accent and vocabulary changed when speaking to primarily black audiences compred to primarily white audiences. That’s called politics, and it’s amazing how what’s great for the goose is evil and manipulative when applied to the gander. It puts me in mind of how Obama took a break from a long day of doing stupid photo ops to publicly sneer at Annie Oakley’s stupid photo ops. Not common among fellow Democrats, that, rather in the manner of Karl Rove with Dukakis in the tannk and Kerry in the duck blind, but thank god it was he instead of she, the magic penis saves it from nastiness and protects him from the outrage she would have received over that.

    As to the nonsense of, “some of their attitude is pushback against small-town Americans’ condescension towards THEM,” please listen to Violet. Amazingly, just because someone lives in a small town doesn’t mean he or she is a racist, moron, xenophobe, or hater. In fact an awful lot of small town residents are Democrats, who will not be running after you calling you a cowardly anti-American degenerate traitor, despite driving pickups, having unsightly accents and listening to country music. And even the vas, vast majority of the Republicans will not be doing that, despite wishing that the constant sneering and constantly being forced to prove don’t resemble Deliverance stereotypes would dry up.

  60. angienc says:

    Toonces — you perfectly sum up the current Obot talking points:

    I think the new thing now is, “When Bush spied on me, I felt bad, but when Obama does it, it feels like unicorn kisses!” Or maybe, “Real liberals have enough money not to care about universal healthcare!” ? Or how about, “Going out of his way to strengthen the DOMA is really just a clever ploy to get gay marriage legalized!”

    I’m stealing it. Hope you don’t mind! :-)

  61. liberaldissent says:

    DancingOppossum:
    Riiiight, I must be lying about initially supporting Clinton because…umm…you said so. Someone else If you honestly believe that it was “all on one side” then you are living in a state of delusion.

    Hillary publicly stated that she should be the Democratic candidate because white voters supported her and didn’t support Obama. Though I am guessing most of you don’t see anything wrong with that.

    And you’ve never seen such “bitter losers” as Obamanots? You are so close-minded that you assume that just like you forgive and forget any of Clinton’s sins, I must be the same way in regards to Obama. I have no problem attacking Obama on the defense of DOMA, continuing wiretapping, or any number of actions he’s taken. Unlike you I’m not a zealot.

    ks:
    “Crazed sexist attacks”? Did you watch the video I linked to? Any politician who changes her entire mode of speaking to pander to her base should be legitimately reviled for it. Or is it you think ANY criticism of any female politician is sexist? If so, we’re just going to have to disagree, I’m a feminist, so I reject the Victorian notions of female fragility that you seem to embrace.

  62. Mel says:

    Sis, you did read the first part wrong and I completely understand. Reading through comments while working, I’ve misunderstood a few myself.

    I am American and was doing the assignment for a class in the U.S.

    As for hunting, I should have said necessity because admittedly, necessity can cover a lot of things. I have a problem with people who kill for sport things that can’t be eaten and won’t be used for other necessary items, like clothing, tools, shelter, etc. I don’t support laws against sport hunting. I just don’t personally agree with it and would never do it.

  63. Toonces says:

    Yes, yes, we’re all zealots who can’t listen to reason (what were we talking about again? And you say it’s the Clinton supporters who can’t let go of the past).

    You’ve changed many minds today, I’m sure. I can’t tell you how happy I am to have people like you “helping” my side, liberaldissent.

    angienc: Feel free!

  64. Toonces says:

    And one more thing: Obama didn’t just “defend” DOMA, he went out of his way to strengthen it, and used the most offensive anti-gay rhetoric possible to do so.

  65. myiq2xu says:

    Hillary publicly stated that she should be the Democratic candidate because white voters supported her and didn’t support Obama. Though I am guessing most of you don’t see anything wrong with that.

    That is a gross distortion of what she said.

  66. Violet says:

    liberaldissent my ass. You’re an Opossum troll and you’re outta here.

  67. Sis says:

    She didn’t say “white voters” at all. She said working class or equivalent. You’re insane, you know that?

  68. Sis says:

    Liberaldissent, perhaps you don’t play an instrument? I do. It’s my use of language.

    I can do lots of different dialects, write dialogue using diverse regionsal vernacular. Or used to. It’s something journalists can do. All I know. Did you forget she was a journalist? She’s a gifted speaker and I’d bet, writer too.

    Thanks Mel. I do make a lot of mistakes in reading now, for the reason I said. Very poor vision. I’m waiting for the dissenter to answer my question. Or maybe I have missed it?

  69. octogalore says:

    Total distortion, per myiq2xu. HRC was talking about what groups she polled well with, and added the qualification “white” because she wasn’t getting the bulk of the black working class vote. If she’d claimed a constituency she wasn’t getting, that would have been inaccurate and wrong, that’s why the qualification. I see no issues with that. Of course, people who are looking to find something typically do.

  70. Carmonn says:

    “added the qualification “white” because she wasn’t getting the bulk of the black working class vote. If she’d claimed a constituency she wasn’t getting, that would have been inaccurate and wrong, that’s why the qualification.”

    Not only that, but if she hadn’t clarified she absolutely 100% would have been accused of racism for acting as if “working class” and “white” were synonymous and ignoring or defining the black working class out of existance. I can guarantee that. People would have said what the hell do you mean you do well among working class voters? Not black working class voters. Don’t they count for anything? Are you saying “real” working class people are white, or something?

    But, to be fair, if all the lies and smears and distortions promulgated by the Obama campaign and the media against Clinton and Palin really were true, they really would be quite nasty women. *sighs*

  71. TeresaInPA says:

    Hillary publicly stated that she should be the Democratic candidate because white voters supported her and didn’t support Obama. (ummm not she didn’t. Why the lie?)
    And you’ve never seen such “bitter losers” as Obamanots? You are so close-minded that you assume that just like you forgive and forget any of Clinton’s sins, (what sins are those?)I must be the same way in regards to Obama. I have no problem attacking Obama on the defense of DOMA, continuing wiretapping, or any number of actions he’s taken. Unlike you I’m not a zealot. (why are you imagining what we think?)

    ks:
    “Crazed sexist attacks”? Did you watch the video I linked to? Any politician who changes her entire mode of speaking to pander to her base should be legitimately reviled for it. Or is it you think ANY criticism of any female politician is sexist? (no dear, sexist criticism of any female candidate is sexist. Non sexist criticism is just criticism and may or may not be valid. However I think you meant this attack of yours to be against Obama. His campaign supporters labled everything critical of him as racism. Even I with my AA boyfriend, was racist for not supporting him.) If so, we’re just going to have to disagree, I’m a feminist, so I reject the Victorian notions of female fragility that you seem to embrace. (oh my dear, you are most certainly NOT a feminist, sorry. Hey, did you ever hear Obama get all southern preacher and start dropping his g’s? I have, I don’t revile him for it, but I do know he has never been near a southern church in his life.)

  72. TeresaInPA says:

    Not only that, but if she hadn’t clarified she absolutely 100% would have been accused of racism for acting as if “working class” and “white” were synonymous and ignoring or defining the black working class out of existance. I can guarantee that. People would have said what the hell do you mean you do well among working class voters? Not black working class voters. Don’t they count for anything? Are you saying “real” working class people are white, or something?

    you are right about why she clarified…unfortunately all that got said about her anyway.

  73. Toonces says:

    Remember when Clinton tried to kill Obama? Or, I mean, put a hit out on him, because she mentioned RFK’s assassination, on the anniversary, when answering a relevant question about what formed her as a politician (maybe she was feeling down because she’s not all that likeable, and had to get her claws out, like she does periodically).

    If you think her campaign was the nasty one, you’re in a complete information bubble. I would love to have the time/expertise to dredge through all the muck of 2008 and write a book, detailing everything from both sides. Obama won by a landslide. In fact, I often wondered if they weren’t farming out the trolling to prisons, like they sometimes do with telemarketing, because I have dealt with trolls before, but nothing like what came from Obama’s admitted online team.

  74. Gayle says:

    For the record: all politicians change their speech patterns depending on the audience. Obama, too. Ever see him in front of an all black audience vs. an all white audience on the campaign trail? Take a look at some of his South Carolina speeches and you’ll see what I mean.

  75. ks says:

    “Did you watch the video I linked to? Any politician who changes her entire mode of speaking to pander to her base should be legitimately reviled for it. Or is it you think ANY criticism of any female politician is sexist? If so, we’re just going to have to disagree, I’m a feminist, so I reject the Victorian notions of female fragility that you seem to embrace.”

    Oh please. As you well know, I didn’t say your attack was sexist though your “accent” argument is a bit crazy and a rather half-assed anti-Palin criticism. Nice try at trying to defelect away from the issue at hand.

  76. Nina M. says:

    @ liberadissent – you’ve really stepped in it now.

    Any politician who changes her entire mode of speaking to pander to her base should be legitimately reviled for it.

    I invite you to consider the Obama quotes in this article: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/44/2008/01/25/the_tragedy_of_south_carolina_1.html

    In Dillon Wednesday night, he smiled when an audience member cried out “That ain’t right” in response to a disingenuous claim he said Hillary Clinton had made, and then he ran with it, telling the speaker that she had nailed it.

    “That is not just ‘isn’t right.’ That ‘ain’t right,’” he said with a grin. “There are some things that ‘isn’t right’ but then there are some that ‘ain’t right.’” The crowd roared. “You know what I’m talking about,” he added. Mocking a Clinton answer that, he said, smacked of Beltway-speak a moment later, he said, “In Washington, that’s how they do.” That got a big laugh, and he said it again with a grin. “That’s how they do!” In Kingstree, he urged his audience to help with voter turnout Saturday by saying, with a smile, “I not only need you to vote, I need Cousin Pookie to vote. I need Ray-Ray. We need to get some folks to show up that haven’t been voting.”

    Now, do you think Obama *ever* said “that’s how they do” to a majority white audience? Do you think he mentioned Cousin Pookie and Ray-Ray at major donor fundraisers in Boston and San Francisco?

    Of course not.

    I invite you to commence your “legitimate reviling” of Obama.

  77. Sis says:

    He also used the inflection, cadence, repetition and paced punch line-invitations known as “call and response” used by southern Baptist ministers and gospel singers. He paced back and forth, like the ministers do, when he spoke that way. He was very deliberately doing that, working it. Knowing what the reaction would be. It was calculated, not spontaneous like Palin’s 30 sec bits were. This is a man who is playing people.

  78. Carmonn says:

    And does anyone remember him going before the nation, say with another world leader, and flipping anyone off or brushing anyone off his shoulder? He seems to mostly confine that type of behavior to more specialized venues where his college base can have orgasms over his immaturity and boorishness. I believe we call that “changing his entire mode of speaking and behaving to pander to his base.” Only with much more nicely shaped genetalia, apparently.

  79. Violet says:

    Carmonn, I imagine “genetalia” was a typo, but it delights me. I like it better. I mean, it’s so descriptive. Sharing our genes via our, um, tails.

  80. Level Best says:

    Thank you, Sis. I agree with you completely on not changing the name of the party!

  81. DancingOpossum says:

    The Obotti are so addlepated they don’t even realize that we’ve heard every one of their lies, distortions, and talking points a thousand times and can debunk them with one hand tied behind our backs, blindfolded, and standing on our heads.

    They embody “Epic Fail.”

    Level Best wrote, “thank you for including working class people, blue- and pink-collar, from fly-over states in your feminist vision”

    From my trailer park in a small town, I heartily agree!!

  82. Carmonn says:

    I’m glad you were delighted, Violet, but yes, just the result of never proofreading my vast array of typos until I’ve already hit send and it’s too late. :)

  83. Kali says:

    Oh please. As you well know, I didn’t say your attack was sexist though your “accent” argument is a bit crazy and a rather half-assed anti-Palin criticism.

    I would say it *is* sexist when a woman is reviled and a man is not for doing the exact same thing. It is a very sexist double standard.

  84. monchichipox says:

    “hopey changey” “unicorn kisses” and the mention of a gander here and there. Glad to see the spirit of Sophie Tucker isn’t dead.

    How could I have missed this blog during the election? It really would have saved me from pilfering my sisters Xanax.

    I wish I had discovered this Blog long ago. Not only will I shoot my next deer in honor of it’s owner I will eat the next breaded and deep fried piece of venison in honor of the posters. I have never seen such intellect mixed with homespun humor by commenters before. I wish I had something more articulate to add but you speak for me much better than I could.

    I’m more of a “fuck ‘em they don’t feed you. you don’t need ‘em” type of person.

    thank you.

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