The Party of the Rich Versus the Party of the Super Duper Rich

This interview does a pretty good a job of illustrating the fundamentally conservative nature of liberalism (as represented by the donkey party) in this country, while at the same time attempting to portray conservatives (as represented by the elephant party) as a bunch of out-of-touch rich guys.  Excuse me, did I say “rich”?  I meant “very rich.”  No, scratch that: “super rich.”  Ah, fuck it, what I really mean is “very, very rich.”

Here, at least, is a mildly refreshing bit of honesty:

I’ve heard from people who worked in the White House that he doesn’t like rich people. I don’t actually think it’s true. I think he has a kind of Harvard Law School sense of kinship with these guys. He’s a member of the same technocratic elite. He could have taken that path. He has an admiration for those skills. But what he doesn’t have at all is a belief that the pure fact of having made a lot of money makes your views more valuable, or makes you more interesting or smarter than anyone else.

So what we have here is an exercise in hairsplitting, in which a distinction is being made between two subsets of the “technocratic elite”: straight-up businessmen and those who come from essentially the same background but who choose, instead of merely making money, to pursue more selfless, civic-minded endeavors, such as running for the job where you get to have kill lists and a fleet of lethal remote control airplanes for your own personal amusement.

This notion that there’s some great antagonism between Obama and the big money people is yet another iteration of the classic fairy tale about how the Democrats are the party of the little guy and the Republicans the party of Wall Street.  Except it seems to be losing traction.  Even a hack like Ezra Klein doesn’t really seem to believe it, as demonstrated by all the effort to impress upon us that Romney’s backers were more wealthy than Obama’s.  Who gives a shit?  If Obama and the Democrats were really perceived as a threat to the bankers, they would have been out collecting ballot access signatures with the Constitution Party instead of cruising to a second term.


Rodeo Clowns

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton added her disapproval at a dinner in observance of Iftar, the breaking of the daily fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths,” Clinton said.

Of course, Clinton was not referring to the latest Predator drone attack gone awry in Af-Pak; no, instead she was referring to the Koran-burning publicity stunt dreamed up by a crackpot preacher in Florida.  Because what are a few lives snuffed out by an errant Hellfire missile or two compared to an egregious act of cultural insensitivity?

Elsewhere in the article, General Petraeus and White House Secretary of Misinformation, Robbie Gibbs, worry that “images of the burning” might “inflame public opinion and incite violence” and thus put “our [sic] troops in harm’s way.”  Though apparently neither is concerned about the possibility that the presence of a couple hundred thousand US troops in muslim lands and a policy that involves the killing of actual muslims might be inciting and inflaming and putting the troops in harm’s way.

Here we have yet another example of thoroughly corrupt public officials attempting to convince us that empty symbolic gestures are somehow more significant than concrete realities—or, maybe more to the point, attempting to distract us from those realities by making a big stink over largely inconsequential events.*

*In this light, the Clinton bit is particularly layered with irony.  Here we have the US Secretary of State condemning of an act of nonviolent symbolism during a symbolic appearance the ulterior purpose of which is to convince muslims that actual violence being committed by the US against muslims is not actually anti-muslim violence.