Thursday, September 04, 2008

Republican Snobbery. Or Pots and Kettles

One of the accusations the right tend to throw at their opponents in Western countries is that they are out of touch with "real people". In the US that means that Democrats are portrayed as Middle Class snobs who spend more time discussing policy over mineral water and lattes in plush New York cafes, instead of downing beer with the Good Ol' Boys and empathising and identifying with Blue Collar workers over their problems. As well as showing a total failure to understand what your average Blue Collar worker thinks.
Well yesterday Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, showed distain for policy support for the more economically vulnerable in our society, when she sneered at Senator Obama's experience as a community organiser
Being a community organiser is not just about whether one is an elected official or not. It is about being in a position to help those who are on the margins of society achieve something better for their lives. So Governor Palin was not just insulting Barack Obama, she was insulting the people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed in Chicago in the 1980s. People who Obama helped as a Community Organiser.
One wonders just who is out of touch here!


Tom Paine said...

You have half baked a fairish point and then spoiled it with synthetic indignation. You have certainly inferred rather a lot from a neat but fairly trivial piece of political sniping.

In all conscience you must admit she nailed him in every other respect. You must surely concede it was a fine piece of political craftsmanship?

Louise said...

Or was she responding to the fact that she has been consistently sneered at for being a "small-town" Mayor and pointing out that her background has more experience than Obama?

Paul Burgin said...

Tom I do think in some ways she is a capable politician and not someone to mess with, and as a person I rather like her. Whether she is the right person to be Vice President is another matter.
Louise she could have simply deflected criticism by listing her experiences, but by attacking Obama's community experience she showed a singular lack of judgement

Man in a Shed said...

I think the problem is, for the democrats, that Sarah Palin, is very much blue collar herself.

Its one of those things like country music that doesn't translate over here but is very real in the US.

I'm afraid her critic of Obama's record was devastating. Even if I had been a "community organiser" I would have kept in quiet as its sounds self important and self appointed. She's right - he's run nothing, reformed nothing. He just gives speeches that sway people. The hidden message is she is more qualified to be president than he is ! Every time an attack is made on Palin's background and experience, it really make Obama looks worse - a sort of Latimer's fork.

The US has a strong streak of self reliance ( and associated self respect ). Socialism has robbed many disadvantaged people in the UK of that, but in the US they still have it and Sarah Palin ties straight into that.

Its going to make the rest of the campaign very interesting.

I think the insult Obama therefore all the ex-Steelworkers idea doesn't really stand up. Can't think the ex-Steelworkers see someone with the privileged and upper middle class background that Obama had as being one of them.

You will take a different view I'm sure.