POLLIWOG (Tadpole): the early stage of an animal that will eventually become a frog, hoping to be kissed by a princess, turning into a prince! POLIBLOG (Political Blog): the early stage of a center-right political blog that may eventually become a full blown blog of the center-right. Join in if you find any merit in the comments. If you are on the left and disagree, feel free to straighten me out! Who knows, with effort from all of us this blog may turn into a prince!

Location: San Diego, California, United States

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Populism of the Privileged"

James Taranto critiques the silliness of the left - and particularly E.J. Dionne, one of their popular spokesmen - in their effort to discredit and smear the tea parties.

"It's a good thing we have two hands, or we'd be running out of fingers as we count the efforts to discredit and smear the tea-party movement. First it was "AstroTurf" (i.e., fake grass-roots). Then it was extremist, with Nancy Pelosi seeing swastikas. Then it was racist, with still-unsubstantiated claims of invidious slurs. And it was about to turn violent, with Bill Clinton reliving his Oklahoma City glory days.

The Washington's Post's E.J. Dionne is trying yet another new tack. He opens his latest column by saying this movement is really a big nothing:

'The Tea Party is nothing new. It represents a relatively small minority of Americans on the right end of politics, and it will not determine the outcome of the 2010 elections.'

Don't bother voting, guys. E.J. and his friends have that taken care of--and if you don't believe it, just ask Gov. Jon Corzine and Sen. Martha Coakley. But here's the new anti-tea-party theme:

'Their findings suggest that the Tea Party is essentially the reappearance of an old anti-government far right that has always been with us and accounts for about one-fifth of the country. The Times reported that Tea Party supporters "tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45." They are also more affluent and better educated than Americans as a whole. This is the populism of the privileged.'

What exactly does Dionne mean by "privileged"? It seems unlikely that the group he describes includes many who have inherited wealth or special legal advantages. Rather, they are, by and large, people who have worked hard to get ahead. Dionne resents them as "privileged" because they are successful.

Further, if we shouldn't take the tea-party movement seriously because it consists of "the privileged," how seriously should we take E.J. Dionne? We don't know how much the Washington Post pays him, but our educated guess is that it's considerably more than the median tea partygoer makes.

Even more to the point, think of what the tea-party people have done to draw Dionne's disdain: exercise their right to free speech. Think about the enormous privilege Dionne enjoys in that regard. His position at the Washington Post gives him an enormous megaphone, a far greater degree of political influence than most individuals, including tea-party activists, can ever hope to enjoy. For Dionne to sneer at them for being "privileged" shows an enormous lack of self-awareness and class."

And I say again - SILLINESS - that only an ideologue could appreciate!



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