Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Say it ain't so, Mo!

Maureen Dowd's column in today's New York Times starts off in full Peggy Noonan-esque cry: I was raised by decent, hard-working, churchgoing folks, and I'm no way bitter. Thus does she preface a departure from her usual occupation of Clinton-bashing (though she includes a remark about how "Hillary fights like a cornered raccoon") to take a roundhouse swing at Obama for his now notorious guns-religion-bitterness remark at a fund-raiser in San Francisco. She then attempts what amounts to a sort of Cliff's Notes encapsulation of Richard Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life:

The elitism that Americans dislike is not about family money or connections — J.F.K. and W. never would have been elected without them. ... What turns off voters is the detached egghead quality that they tend to equate with a wimpiness, wordiness and a lack of action — the same quality that got the professorial and superior Adlai Stevenson mocked by critics as Adelaide. The new attack line for Obama rivals is that he’s gone from J.F.K. to Dukakis. (Just as Dukakis chatted about Belgian endive, Obama chatted about Whole Foods arugula in Iowa.)
Well, sheesh, I guess I can give up any notions I ever had of running for office (now about as realistic, anyway, as trying to become a rock star).

What's really rich, though, is Dowd's claim that San Francisco is "elitism's epicenter." Any fool who's read Frank McCourt's Tis knows it's Brooklyn Heights.