Adventures in Faux Populism

During the primaries, TalkLeft was a home for Hillary Clinton supporters and the Clinton message, which is all fine and good. Unfortunately, this support often manifested itself as class warfare, with posters commonly using the term “creative class” as a pejorative and trumpeting how Clinton’s support from Latinos and the white working class was somehow morally superior to Barack Obama’s support from educated whites and African-Americans. This was maddening, chiefly because all of TalkLeft’s writers are attorneys and thus far from being any sort of working class stiffs, secondly because it bought into right-wing framing of Democrats as elitists and middle-American uneducated people as the only “real” Americans. The shift to working class triumphalism at TalkLeft seemed driven by political circumstance rather than conviction. In short, it reeked of phoniness.

Thus, it was interesting to see Jeralyn note with dismay that Obama was reaching in out to young Catholics and Evangelicals.

Why would evangelicals and Catholics support a pro-choice candidate? Is he planning on modifying his position? Are his campaign speeches going to incorporate religion even more than they have in the past?

Where is this headed?

It’s fine for Obama to be religious and spiritual in his personal life. I don’t think either belongs in Government.

Let’s forget for a second that “asking religious people for their votes” and “instituting Christian theocracy” are completely different things, or that the article she links to states that Obama won’t be changing any of his positions:

Yes, the Obama campaign understands that the issue of abortion is a problem for some voters of faith. They respect that and understand if some just simply can’t come on board because of that. However, they look at this project as a way of broadening the values discussion. Poverty, Darfur, Climate Change and yes, even the war are issues younger Evangelicals may be able to see eye to eye on with the Obama campaign.

No, what’s hilarious in all this is that working class whites and Latinos are very religious, and the “creative class” TalkLeft loves to hate are by far the more secular type. Jeralyn is upset that Obama is courting the very voters her site proclaims to champion! Oy vey!

Our next example of faux populist hypocrisy comes from the PUMA brigade over at Corrente, specifically chief angry mofo Lambert.

On Tuesday, Lambert posted a snarky piece of goodness, implying that the $300 tax rebate he’s about to receive is nearly worthless to him, a poor use of taxpayer dollars, and shameless political pandering. And of course, Lambert is completely correct in such a diagnosis.

Back in the primaries, though, Lambert was singing a different tune. While recognizing that Clinton and John McCain’s gas tax holiday would only save the average person $30, he nonetheless self-righteously preened:

As alert reader gqmartinez points out, $30 is a month’s worth of food, if you need to live on ramen noodles. And as alert reader BDBlue points out, it’s 15 weeks worth of school lunches for one of your kids.

Now, to Stoller, $30 is what? Seven vente lattes and a croissant? I’d say. Though maybe he goes for the pumps of vanilla syrup instead of the croissant. I really wouldn’t know.

Because, let’s remember, as Stoller forgets —- or seemingly forgets — that $30 could be a month’s worth of food to somebody on the edge. Not that Stoller cares, or even understands.

Lambert, don’t you realize that you can buy 10 months of ramen with your tax rebate? Why would you deny a poor family nearly a year of salty noodle sustinance? Is your heart so black that you would sarcastically mock any alleviation of these families’ suffering? In short, Lambert, why do you hate poor people?

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1 comment so far

  1. […] friend John Cain has an excellent wrap-up of pro-Clinton bloggers use of this inane and counterproductive […]


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