Elitism: It Doesn’t Apply to Barack Obama

Yesterday’s OC Register editorial cartoon lampooned Hillary Clinton explaining to Barack Obama how to drink in a bar in PA; a shot, chase it with a beer and don’t hold up the pinky because that is elitist.  Couple that with a number of the right wing talking heads raising the issue that Obama is elistist (for a Hillary supporter, I spend a lot of time defending this guy).

Obama, a mixed race child born into the pre-1964 Civil Rights American timeframe, is anything but an elitist.  His mother lived on foodstamps for a time as she pursued her college degree.  To say he grew up in modest means is likely a stretch, but please do read the excellent piece in Time Magazine about Obama’s mother that ran about a week ago for lots more detail.

His wife Michelle comes from a lower middle class family on Chicago’s South side.  She went to an Ivy League school on full scholarship. 

So we have an African-American couple who come from modest means, worked hard, got a great education and made the most of their opportunities.  The epitome of the American Dream, right? 

Let’s compare this with President George W. Bush and GOP nominee Senator John McCain.

Bush’s greatest asset is his family name and his father’s reputation.  Molly Ivin’s excellent book , “Shrub,” goes into details about the business opportunities afforded the president because of his family ties to George H.W. Bush.  And while Crawford, Texas isn’t Kennebunkport, W’s track through Andover, Yale and Harvard on his dad’s legacy reeks of elitism.

Senator McCain found his fortune th eold fashioned way; by marrying into it.  He got into the Naval Academy courtesy of his father who led the Pacific Fleet Command during Vietnam.  McCain’s wife is worth between $100 to $150 million due to her beer distribution fortune.  Time and again, he has placed the interest of lobbyists and their clients ahead of the American people.

McCain and his wife own 8 home.  That’s 8 as in eight.  McCain has voted to abolish the minimum wage and consistently votes against increases to the minimum wage.  He votes with the President 89 percent of the time. 

In the past 8 years, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have become poorer and the middle class is squeezed to the breaking point.  And all the right wingers can do is call Obama an elitist.