Pocochina’s Weblog

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what’s the matter with classism?

Posted by pocochina on April 12, 2008

So we all know about this bullshit, right?  We all up to speed?  Good.

I went looking for context.  I was hoping there was a shitty question involved.  As always, though, the candidate of Hope (TM) let me down.  Listen up, so-called liberals, I was reading Thomas Frank when you were all creaming your boy-panties over the Power of the Netrootz and Democracy for America. This was not the “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” argument.  What’s the Matter with Kansas was asking why people vote against their own economic interests, leading working-class rural people to vote Republican even when it means big business gets a break and the rural poor get screwed.  Barack Obama was talking about the Pennsylvania primary.  You know, the one with all Democrats.  (Well, supposedly.)   He summarily discounted the possibility that the Pennsylvania Democrats could, in choosing the other Democrat, be voting vehemently in their own rational best-interest, and assumed that a vote for someone other than him was due to misplaced “bitterness,” to religiosity and xenophobia.  A vote for Clinton may very well be in the best interests of the working-class voter.  Poor people are not stupid.  Assuming they are xenophobic, that they are religious at all or that their faith is stupid or intolerant, is bullshit.  In this statement, he not only handed the Republican party a fucking gold mine (so that the phenomenon Frank was actually talking about can continue, conservatism without end, amen) but he:

(a) ignored that the Clinton campaign actually exists
(b) insinuated that those of us who have voted for her are not Democrats
(c) flat-out stated that a vote for anyone but him is irrational
(d) refused to grant the existence of Clinton’s many policies which are more beneficial than McCain’s, or his own, to the working class
(e) either exempted his own religious convictions from the bitterness and irrationality of the rural poor (because religious exceptionalism is so hot right now) or presented himself as a cynical nonbeliever who plays a Christian on TV to get votes.

This is insulting.  It is classist and it is short-sighted.  It was not manufactured by that machiavellian bitch Hillary Clinton – in fact, by addressing it, she performed a vital service to the party, pointing out that this shallow and classist group of assumptions are not the liberal or progressive platform.   It was not manufactured by John McCain, but I think we all know that the RNC is producing some ads right now and I think we all know what they say.  Conflating the villification of half the Democratic party with Frank’s complex sociological argument is irresponsible, and it is flat-out wrong.  This will not go away, and moreover, it should not go away, and everyone excusing political stupidity and blatant classism should be seriously reassessing their priorities.

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