Friday, August 24, 2007

A slip of the tongue

Karl Rove recently told Rush Limbaugh's radio audience that critics of President Bush are "elite, effete snobs".

So, dear readers, is the erstwhile savior of conservatism paying the anti-Bush cohort a compliment? Are we the cream of the effete snob crop? Or are we just elite, in addition to being effete snobs?

Rove and many Republicans seem to have the impression--or are trying to make the impression salient--that the only opposition to the President's agenda comes from the nation's Ivory Towers and the pretentious braggarts those bastions of liberal elitism produce, and that that opposition is somehow rooted in the inability of the President to properly pronounce "nuclear".

That might make sense if the President's latest approval rating were, say, not 33%, as reported in a FOX/Opinion Dynamics poll. I'll grant Rove that there are probably a reasonable share of elitist academics in the 56% who disapprove. But I'm pretty sure that some of that 56% are
people who have lost loved ones in Iraq, laid-off workers, Pell Grant recipients, people of faith, average Joe Americans. Heck, last Saturday, my 88-year-old grandma, who spends most of her time making hotdishes for events at her church, told me she was sickened by the President.

So, am I being elitist by noting that Karl Rove probably meant "elitist"? Maybe. (Yes.) And I will admit that I'm not above a good The-President-Is-An-Airhead joke. But to suggest that the only criticism I have of the President is that he's not smart enough is utterly ludicrous. I go to an elite (!) liberal arts college; I know that smart people can be wrong.

I also know that you don't need to be an expert on the political history of Iraq to see that the war is going badly. You don't need a Ph.D. in Economics to see that the economy's in rough shape. People in America live these failures.

Apparently, by Rove's criteria, pointing that out makes me a snob. An elite one. It's not hard to be good when the work's so easy.

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