THE PROGRESSIVE ELITIST
Because for so long we have concentrated our ire and our air on Bush/Cheney, it's been easy enough for Kos, Chris Bowers, and Whoever Kidnapped Josh Marshall to fool those of us who are more inclined to populism and traditional liberalism that they were of the same mind and heart. This primary season has certainly disabused us of that notion.
But I have to say that Chris Bowers has amazed me more than any of the Blogger Boyz with his faulty and sometimes downright flaky analysis. His lengthy post today on Obama and the "current" incarnation of the progressive movement is so target-rich I don't know where to start. Take just the following passage for example (emphasis mine):
Another objection that will be raised to this formulation is that I am characterizing both Obama and the netroots as elitists, which is exactly what Republicans will do. My first response is that well, we kind of are elites, when you look at our demographics. My second response is that 2008 is the first election year where the conservative backlash narrative against "liberal elites" and civil rights will find itself in a minority nationwide. In other words, the era of "liberal elites" as a negative is over in terms of its national political effectiveness. Consider, for example, how Obama has been hit harder with this characterization than even John Kerry or Michael Dukakis, and yet he continues to comfortably lead John McCain and cruise toward the nomination. The changing demographics of the electorate have rendered the "liberal elite" change functionally inert.
Is he serious? Obama has been hit harder with the "elite" meme than Dukakis or Kerry? They were dogged with the tag from day one and it never let up. Obama didn't receive such scrutiny from his adoring media fans until late in the primaries, with his infamous San Francisco comments just before the PA primary, and it didn't even begin to resonate until AFTER Pennsylvania. In addition, the MSM long ago decided that no person of color could possibly be deemed an elite, owing to their membership in an "oppressed minority," so Obama hasn't suffered nearly the mockery that Dukakis and Kerry experienced. In fact, the media didn't even inject an iota of mockery in their reports -- the remarks, it was made obvious, didn't bother THEM, rather they questioned whether the comments might hurt him among the peasantry.
And where on earth does he get his information that the "liberal elites" attack is no longer effective for Republicans? They haven't even STARTED on Obama, and it's a sure thing that they'll use it, and use it and use it, particularly since BO is having such a tough time selling himself to lower-income, less educated, and older non-AAs. They know it's a Barry vulnerability, and they'll use it to contrast him with good old salt-of-the-earth ex-POW John McCain, who knows how to barbecue and graduated near the bottom of his class. And dang, if I were a Republican I'd be quoting Bowers and every other Blogger Boy who proudly declares "we are the elites."
Here's a revealing excerpt that doesn't surprise me. The "new progressives" (so many of which are ex-Republicans) are ready to dispense with the Democratic Party and take the reins of power:
Further support for this thesis can be seen in the demographic breakdown of Obama's support, which is heavy both on non-partisan self-identifiers, on high-income voters, and on highly educated voters. This elite, anti-partisan message appeals to the growing progressive movement, which is largely de-moored from identification with dominant institutions like the Democratic Party, rather than changes the movement. It is a sort of creative class identity politics, which Obama appeals to both through his life story and his anti-partisan, pro-unity message.
I find it hysterically funny that Chris could talk so confidently about Obama's "elitist" message and then call it "pro-unity." What's the opposite of elite? Common? Does he really think progressives can triumph if they frame the argument as between elites and the common people? How do you unify the peasants with their "betters"?
Scary stuff, guys. More reason to support Hillary and avoid the trainwreck ahead.