Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Show Me the Snobs

David Brooks, the conservative New York Times columnist, says that Barack Obama "needs to attack the snobs who are savaging Sarah Palin's faith and family." Actually Obama has already attacked Palin's critics. When the story broke that Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant, as John Dickerson has noted, Obama said that any discussion of Palin's family was "out of bounds" and even reminded people that his own mother was a teenager when he was born. He got no thank-you from Palin.

But who, exactly, are these snobs that David Brooks is so upset about? In our hearts, of course, and in our secret covens on Sunday mornings when real Americans are in church so we hope they won't notice, we liberals despise religion and loathe families. We knew that conservatives like Rush Limbaugh had seen through us, but we thought we had the David Brooks types fooled. Despite this, my impression is that liberals and Democrats have been careful to a fault about saying anything that would reveal our secret snobbery in public.

In a nation of 300 million, you can always find someone who is willing to say anything. The only example Brooks supplies is Bill Maher, the TV comedian, whose living depends on saying outragreous things, and all he said, apparently, was that Palin is a "stewardess." Sexist, to be sure. And if it's a joke, I don't get it. But even this is not criticism of her faith or her family.

The Times's other conservative columnist, William Kristol, was similarly outraged a few days earlier by the non-existent tsunami of liberal criticism that has washed over Palin because she has the effrontery to believe in God and love her family. Kristol's example was some passages in a blog by Marty Peretz, the editor-in-chief of The New Republic. Now, I worked at The New Republic for two decades. I respect Marty Peretz and am very fond of him. But Marty's views on any subject are not representative of the views of any group of people larger than one -- certainly not all Democrats or liberals -- and that's the way he likes it. What's more, Bill Kristol knows the ideological lay of the land quite well and must have known how disingenuous he was being in choosing Marty Peretz as a spokesman for all liberals and/or Democrats.

But beggars can't be choosers. If you're looking for snobbish comments about Sarah Palin, you must take what you can get. The truth is that she's got the opposition spooked. Democrats are petrified about criticizing her for fear of seeming sexist. Or if not that, then they are afraid of seeming anti-religion or anti-family. Or they are concerned about being labeled as snobs. One way or another, they are boxed in. The Republicans obviously hope to keep this going until the vice presidential debate and beyond.

These are legitimate concerns. In previous presidential elections, the Republicans have made a fine meal out of less. But it beats me why any comment about Palin's religion or her family should be out of bounds. In fact, these topics are not out of bounds for Palin herself or her supporters. They go on endlessly about both.

I always find it useful in situations like this to ask myself one simple question: What would Karl Rove do? Would he advise, "Well, Mike, you should be a snob and attack your opponent's faith and family"? Probably not. But would he advise leaving issues on the table, for fear of giving offense? Unlikely. Would he say, "Let others make an issue of these things. Don't endorse them, but for goodness sake don't be a hero and try to stop them"? Something like that, I suspect.

By Michael Kinsley  | September 10, 2008; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Kinsley  | Tags:  Michael Kinsley  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A Maverick Act With Limits
Next: Does the Truth Matter Anymore?


Common now Mr Kinsley, lets reduce the hypocrisy. Whenever people of your ilk want to criticize conservatives for something that was said about Sen Obama, you have cited fringe elements like Rush Limbaugh. I'm sure he probably doesnt represent the majority of conservatives, but you have had no problem citing him over the past 2 yrs in that context. What is good for the....

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

And the real name of this story should be

527, and how it can work for you

Posted by: Bill | September 10, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Sally Quinn? Katty Kay?

Gee, Michael, it's so easy to find them that I guess you were once more just being disingenuous.

I mean, if you've said Sally Quinn, you've said, snob.

Posted by: Observer | September 10, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

The copy-cat McCain campaign.

1. Attacks Obama for being a "celebrity."
2. Manufactures his own celebrity in Sarah Palin.

3. Attacks Obama for being inexperienced.
4. Passes over many experienced moderate Republican women to nominate for VP the most inexperienced Republican woman available.

5. Calls Obama's message of change "empty."
6. Adopts the message of change at his own convention with no specifics.


Posted by: Martimr1 | September 10, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

My apologies to Claire Shipman.

Claire, you richly deserve to be included in the snob list with Sally and Katty.

Mike, how many do you want?

Posted by: Observer | September 10, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Kinsley is correct. Another thing that bothers me is that McCain/Palin always criticize Obama because he doesn't "stand up against his party." Why should he? The Democrats support universal health care, raising the minimum wage, rebuilding our infrastructure, bigger tax breaks for middle and lower income citizens, alternate energy tax credits, equal pay for equal work. All things Obama supports. Palin & McCain belong to the Republican Party, which no longer knows how to govern. Everybody needs to stand up to them. And really, McCain and Palin should be ashamed they only stood up to their party once or twice. The Republicans have blocked all the programs mentioned above.

This is another "made-up" argument and the press should call them out on it.

Posted by: GMS | September 10, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse


According to the polls, it works oh-so-well.

Posted by: Observer | September 10, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

"only stood up to their party once or twice"

are you that woefully ignorant of the facts?

Posted by: Observer | September 10, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Here in Australia, Mr Murdoch's minions at The Australian are running a similar line on the hatred of 'the elites' for Palin. The chief evidence being Maureen Dowd's columns. We're not supposed to hear any of the NYT's legitimate concerns over the vetting process or the lies and intellectual limitations of the candidate. It's what they do in pieces on internal political matters, so it's no surprise.

Posted by: Indi | September 10, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Observer, I think MIke was asking an honest question. He really didn't know who the snobs were. Heck, look at the other stuff he doesn't know. He willfully resisted the knowledge WFB was trying to spoon feed him.

I can just see WFB now: hand on Mikey's shoulder, eyes sparkling ... "now, now, Kingsley, you'll just have to apply yourself, as you are not genetically predisposed to right thinking."

Posted by: Ron J | September 10, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

"intellectual limitations of the candidate."

C'mon guys, what is it:

"We don't know this woman" or,
"Oh, WE know THIS woman."


Hypocritical partisan jackasses.

Posted by: Observer | September 10, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

BTW, thanks, Indi ....

Maureen Dowd is most definitely on the list.

No more brandy for me tonight.

If I am scanning "snob" in my brain, and I do not get back the name "Maureen Dowd" in 1.5 seconds, I've consumed to much brandy.

Off to bed with me.

P. S. Maureen should be getting a good night's rest, too --- four consecutive columns on Palin? Methinks you are overheating, my dear.

Posted by: Observer | September 10, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Observer quipped:
According to the polls, it works oh-so-well.
Let me re-phrase that: WHY does this work?

Do we have the stupidest electorate on the planet?

Posted by: Martimr1 | September 10, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Palin is like my mom. I like her a lot but she's not ready to be president. And Sarah's not either. When you've been so concerned with your career that you let your teenage daughter get pregnant, you don't have any claims to family values. You're an absentee mom.

And why the heck are we talking about motherhood anyways? Aren't we electing a president/vice president? Leader of the free world? Motherhood is one thing, President is a whole different level. Moms should stay home and take care of the kids. Let the President lead our nation. Do I sound Rush Limbaugh enough?

Posted by: Proud mom | September 10, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Brooks and Kristol are propagandists. They are setting up straw men, complaining about rampant sexism and trying to provoke a backlash among women to try and get them to come over to McCain. These are the people against equal pay for women and reproductive freedom. They are telling the big lie.

Posted by: Mary | September 10, 2008 1:07 AM | Report abuse

When America rejected Gore and Kerry they watered down the brandy.
After that, anyone who can claim the title of Congressman, Governor, and/or Senator, is more than qualified to be President/Vice President.

But let's not forget the brandy was laready a cheap brand because this is a popularity contest and whether you like it or not, Palin is as popular as a Big Mac.

* aplogies for not being alliterate at the end there... the snib in me wanted to say Peach Cobbler; but it's not that popular is it?

Posted by: steupz | September 10, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

The Economist magazine is not liberal, or in any sense a tool or ally of the Democrats; it has no dog in this hunt. In fact, it is conservative, and is, if anything, Republican-leaning. The Economist calls Palin "the most inexperienced candidate for a mainstream party in modern history."
Further, it said, "Inexperienced and Bush-level incurious. She has no record of interest in foreign policy, let alone expertise." The snob complaint is a distraction, part of a rant designed to assure that the Republicans' nonexistent vetting process sets the standard, and keeps the bar really low, for this candidate.

Posted by: dsojourner2001 | September 10, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Obama had the wisdom to declare Palin's family problems out of bounds, but many of his supporters didn't listen to him. Now, their personal attacks have backfired, and it has, in large part, caused McCain/Palin's surge in the polls.

I am no Palin-supporter. I oppose her on ideological grounds and on her lack of experience. She should be asked tough questions about her policy positions and her record in office. On the question of religion, she should be asked, not about her personal beliefs, but about her extreme positions on abortion, creationism and the environment, which are or may be a result of those beliefs. For example, I would want to know if Palin's reasons for dismissing the environmental impact of human activity are like those of James Watt.

But accusations that Palin is bad mother for not giving up her career ambitions, or because of her teenage daughter's pregnancy, are over the line. They've angered many working mothers who are now rallying behind Palin, and they've given the Republicans, despite the party's dismal record on women's issues, the upper hand on the issue of sexism.

Posted by: Sam | September 10, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

When it is a report/editorial that is unfavorable to the Republican candidates, it is labeled snobbery. When negative press is heaped upon the Democrat candidates, it is hard hitting analysis. God forbid anyone suggest it is racist to question the experience of OBAMA who immersed himself in local, state and federal government issues for the past 20 years and who even as a Harvard Law School student was able to hold his own in nationally televised roundtables about the issues of the day. But to question the credentials of PALIN who has been involved only in the governments of rural and remote regions is sexist.

One just needs to watch the Daily Show video that juxtaposes Republican politicians and pundits hypocritical comments favorable to Palin on such issues as experience and teenage pregnancy yet downright condemning others on the same issues.

Given the choice, I prefer snob over stupid.

Posted by: marcy | September 10, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

A pathological liar is a pathological liar, no matter the gender. McCain and Sarah are proving to be conscienceless, undignified, dishonorable, and lowest of the low.

Snobs do feel like the best at what they do, in being superior to others. For these two, being the best at what they do involves sheer deceipt, delivered with sarcasm, untruth and gusto.

Posted by: somerseten | September 10, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

About: "The copy-cat McCain campaign.

1. Attacks Obama for being a "celebrity."
2. Manufactures his own celebrity in Sarah Palin.

3. Attacks Obama for being inexperienced.
4. Passes over many experienced moderate Republican women to nominate for VP the most inexperienced Republican woman available.

5. Calls Obama's message of change "empty."
6. Adopts the message of change at his own convention with no specifics"...

How does this work? It's the usual Rovian
It doesn't have to be true because nobody demands the truth. American voters don't look for truth!

American voters are PASSIVE. American voters want to be GIVEN reasons to vote.
Republicans will GIVE THEM REASONS, especially FALSE REASONS. Nobody is punished for lies, smears, deception or criminality.

We don't have elections any more. We have Republican-invented ELECTION SHOWS emphasizing circus acts, sensationalized side shows, rubbernecking non-facts, and tons of bullcrap that passes for "campaigning".

As long as Americans was EMOTIONALISM, NOT TRUTH, we'll have villains, not statesmen, elected to power over and over again, who will destroy America for their own profit.

Posted by: darker | September 10, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse

Kinsley is absolutely correct. Except he left out what I call the Republican Mind-Screw Machine. . . . . . I believe most of the attacks coming from basically unknown sources are coming from Republicans would like nothing less than for Democrats to attack their goddess.

But here are two facts that are solid: . .

John McCain & Sarah Palin both lied to us during their acceptence speeches. McCain lied about Obama raising YOUR payroll taxes. Unless YOU are making over $250,000 per year, McCain mislead you. . . . Do you make over $250,000? Well then, what do you call it when McCain looks out over America and says, "Obama's going to raise YOUR payroll taxes," when 98% of those Americans listening don't fit what he's talking about. To misled someone is to lie.

Palin told an absolute whooper of a lie about the Bridge to Nowhere. She said, "I told Congress thanks, but no thanks." Guess what? . . A full year before Palin was elected, Congress had already pulled the requirement that the money be spent on that bridge and said that it would be use on any requirement. -- Palin didn't have anything to say to Congress, and she certainly didn't turn down the money; she kept it. In other words, Palin out and out lied. Period. No grace, no wiggle room, just one big fat juicy lie.

One of the ten commandment is "Thou shall not commit a falsehood." . . . Palin, Palin, and you want to force us to obey in our private lives, your moral authority.

Posted by: Coldcomfort | September 10, 2008 2:15 AM | Report abuse

When Republicans jeered at community organizers, but also held up signs proclaiming "Service," at their convention, did they not realize that community organizers are... serving their communities?
There's a lack of basic human decency in our discourse that discourages the hell out of me, and "snobbish" doesn't begin to describe it.

Posted by: b_side | September 10, 2008 2:33 AM | Report abuse

The Republican accusations of "snobbery" merely reflect a long-standing pattern in American politics: The entrenched and powerful - the REAL elite, mostly Republicans - drum up bloodlust by promoting the basest of all emotions: resentment. You get a mob (the electorate) fired up against perceived insults, and that mob loses the critical perspective that would allow its members to actually think, organize, and vote their true interests. It's worked since Andrew Jackson...

Posted by: Nigel | September 10, 2008 2:48 AM | Report abuse

It amazes me utterly to see people offering up Maureen Dowd as a liberal snob. Believe me none of us liberals consider her a friend. I blush to say it, but I believe she is of the same species as the pit bull with lipstick, for which there is simple term which begins with "B."

Posted by: frank logan | September 10, 2008 3:05 AM | Report abuse

When the Spartans wanted to recruit someone to reform their political system, they chose Lycurgus, who was an outsider and knew nothing about current practices. Likewise the Athenians, who chose Solon. Likewise Lincoln, who had smaller political experience than Sarah. Nixon, on the other hand, was vastly experienced, as was LBJ and numerous other presidential failures.

Posted by: Lee Pefley | September 10, 2008 3:10 AM | Report abuse

Ah, Lee... Yes, Lincoln lacked experience, but he was also unafraid to talk candidly and openly to anyone while running for office (Calling Sarah...). Palin's inexperience isn't so much the issue as her CONTEMPT for experience, education, community service, free speech, women's choices, and more.

Posted by: Nigel | September 10, 2008 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Gee Kinsley, still not answering those rumors about your AIDS symptoms?
And by the way
It was Your Great Black One who
in an attempt to quiet outrage over his Shaniqua's "Never Been Proud of America" speech
declared "family" off limits.
This despite Shaniqua's blatantly political rants against HRC.

So bring it on.
Continue your sexist snot nosed attacks on Sarah and Cindy.
I mean it is all working out so well for Hussein now isn't it?

Ooops! Maybe not... that swoosh you hear is Hussein and the DemoFrauds going down the toilet...

And one more thing...
Tell your BBF that he needs to be more careful about his "lip" insults...
People in glass houses and all...
Ya' know?

Posted by: JamesT | September 10, 2008 4:00 AM | Report abuse

i normally admire david brooks for being the lone reasoned conservative. but please, please, please count me a snob. i'll drink tea from a demitasse with my pinky sticking out if it will separate me from the white house boob and the belching-bubba palin is and mccain and his ball cap are pretending to be.

Posted by: | September 10, 2008 4:04 AM | Report abuse

Of course we liberals are snobs.
We expect a certain standard from our vice-president and president.
And it has nothing to do with Palin's religion, either.

Why do we have to think it's cute and folksy that her son vandalized the entire school bus fleet?
Can you imagine what would happen if Obama's daughters had so much as a tatoo?

Posted by: Jamie | September 10, 2008 4:08 AM | Report abuse

In light of these renewed culture wars, it's time to let the Obama camp know they had better get TOUGH in response. ANYONE: Feel free to copy and forward the letter below. And post it to Obama's campaign site today. Let's start a movement here!

An Open Letter to the Barack Obama Campaign
By a loyal and frustrated Democrat
September 9, 2008

We’ve been here before, in 2000 and 2004, and we don’t like the feeling. The Republican presidential ticket surges while the Democrats’ campaign is looking like a deer caught in the headlights these days; unprepared, unequipped, and immobilized.

What’s wrong here? We know what the Republicans have to offer, and none of it promises anything but a continuation of the cruel, divisive, unfair policies of the past 8 years. The road on which McCain and Palin would take us is clearly marked, both by their own words and by the martial drumbeat of the Republican base. The income gap will grow wider; our troops will continue to die in a pointless quagmire of a war; the planet will continue to sicken, and the middle class (what’s left of it) will struggle harder to make ends meet.

With nearly 80% of Americans believing the country to be headed in the wrong direction and a Republican president with near-record low approval numbers, Obama should be a shoo-in, but instead he’s lost his lead, his momentum, and his stature as the exciting and inspiring candidate of change. And his campaign, true to the worst and weakest aspects of Democratic election politics, is letting it happen. Accusations are either left unanswered or addressed with cool, almost bored-sounding diffidence. Obama’s strategists seem baffled as to how to counter the Republican bloodlust generated by Sarah Palin, afraid of appearing harsh or demeaning if they go on the attack.

Harsh? Demeaning? This is a fight we are in; a fight with millions of stakeholders against an opponent who plays rough, dirty, and relentlessly. Obama is playing right into the Republicans’ hands by trying to appear cool and above the fray. It’s not a winning strategy; just ask John Kerry and Al Gore.

The Obama campaign seems to have become trapped in permanent reactive mode. There appears to have been no forward motion lately, no initiative, and no inspiration. It’s as if Obama is merely waiting to see what the McCain/Palin ticket will do next, so he can respond. Not very presidential, Senator.

So we beg this campaign: Get it together. Get tough, risk the inevitable criticism, and fight. We are behind you, and we are counting on you. If Obama doesn’t start landing punches soon, it will be time for loyal Democrats to begin working on a Hillary Clinton in 2012 campaign, because you will have blown this one. Don’t let that happen.

Posted by: Nigel | September 10, 2008 4:09 AM | Report abuse

You know what really gets on my nerves is whining! Republicans are the biggest whiners of all. If your gun totin' moose guttin' beauty queen moma can't stand the heat, maybe she shouldn't be throwing hand grenades (you expected me to say she should get out of the kitchen didn't you?)

She's getting rather tiresome, what with wanting to have her cake and eat it too. Her 15 minutes of fame can't get over soon enough. Maybe we can then get past the soap opera and get on to something that matters!!

Posted by: Whippoorwill | September 10, 2008 4:17 AM | Report abuse

What people like me, who share Palin's faith, want to know is what we should expect from her politically if she ever became vice-president or president. We hardly know anything about her and it is not unreasonable to ask questions. Personally, I could care less about her personal faith or family, just as I don't particularly care about Biden's, Obama's, or McCain's. But we should be able to ask our future presidents and vice-presidents the usual questions we have always asked candidates for these important positions. Can anyone truly say we have had such an opportunity with Gov. Palin? Doesn't that bother anyone?

Posted by: Nana | September 10, 2008 4:32 AM | Report abuse

anyone who thinks Obama's going to lower taxes really needs to to some research on Obama's hidden agenda:

"Global Poverty Act" (S.2433) through his committee. The legislation would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of gross national product on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal 13-year total of $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends." - Accuracy in media, CNN

That means a lot more taxes. Please don't let this happen people!

Obama loyalty belongs to Communism and the UN, not America! If not he's a puppet of those who are!

Posted by: J | September 10, 2008 5:09 AM | Report abuse

More Troopergate information in John Hosenball's Newsweek article. It seems the judge in the Wooten divorce case warned repeatedly that Palin's disparagement and that of her family could be considered emotional abuse. Three years later and at least two dozen calls, emails, etc. from Palin, her husband, daughter, and aides haven't slowed her down. Last week, she was still disparaging. The judge said that, after monitoring, he maintained the right to grant custody to the trooper and order him to move, with the children, to Anchorage. It will be interesting to see if this happens.

The trooper has guts though to stay in a state where Cheney with lipstick is the governor.

Will the rest of us have enough guts to say, "Eight is enough" to the possibility of another Bush/Cheney/McCain term, vowing that whether or not the Republicans re-name it God's will or dominion theocracy, fascism (complete with trashing of the Constitution, torture, and secret spying) is still fascism?

Posted by: New Boston Yankee | September 10, 2008 5:30 AM | Report abuse

Only the left stays up nights fearing Rove. To others he is history.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | September 10, 2008 6:04 AM | Report abuse

"is still fascism?"

What next? Fascist ice cream? Or breakfast cereal?

Another term to define for those challenged by words.

"Please tell me what it means to win?"
"Can you define victory?"

Sure, but not until after November.

Posted by: Gary E. Masters | September 10, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is just a throw back to the dark ages packaged in Britney Spears outfit who stand there and cheers for an old corrupt fart who will continue the same policy of the Bush/Cheney disastrous 8 years and even worse. She can be dressed as if she is going to a Hollywood opening and still be as ignorant as a door knob and as backward as Dick Cheney. Dick cheney has been reseructed as Sarah Palin. So if the American people want to continue 4 more years of Bush/Cheney who brought this economic meltdown they can elect this same repackaged same ol same ol Republicans.

Posted by: sam | September 10, 2008 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Martimr1 queried,

"Do we have the stupidest electorate on the planet?"

Judging from the 2 previous presidential elections, one must assume the question to be of a rhetorical nature.

Posted by: steve | September 10, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: fedupwidstupid | September 10, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

If the Economist called Palin "the most inexperienced candidate for a mainstream party in modern history", I wonder how they assessed the neophyte senator who is running for President seeing a "fierce urgency of now"!

Kinsley says - When the story broke that Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant, Obama said that any discussion of Palin's family was "out of bounds" and even reminded people that his own mother was a teenager when he was born.

Really? If he warned "his people" not to attack Palin on an issue that he himself is vulnerable, should he expect to get a thank-you from Palin?

The guy thinks he is clever. He knew that the lipstick remark wuld be perceived as directed at Palin. He clearly reserved a semblance of deniability carefully chosing his words. But this being "too clever by half" is going to backfire on him.

I can't believe I am disagreeing with Kinsley. This is the extent to which this obamination of a candidacy is pitting liberals against liberals.

Posted by: Krishna | September 10, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

My wife said after we elected George Bush to his second term that the American people were dumb and dumber. If we elect Johnny Mac, we would be than be dumbest??? The Republican strategy is not right at this time. The definition to insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. If the country is believed to be insane, then there really is no hope anyway.

Posted by: Dumb and Dumber | September 10, 2008 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Kinsley's an ubersnob of the deplorable intellectual kind, sexist to his jockey shorts

To quote from wapo today
Julia Burns, 72, a Republican from Lebanon, cut in: "Men had better jump back. Women are going to take over. We're sick and tired of playing by men's rules. We're coming out of the ground, and they had better move out of the way.""

Posted by: gm1000 | September 10, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I just find it funny that the social conservatives are falling over BACKWARDS justifying the unwed teenage pregnancy of the Palins' daughter and then parading her and the 'baby daddy" around the GOP convention. Why do you think so many watched? It drew the Jerry Springer audience.

This has more to do with audacious hypocrisy on the GOP;s part than snobbery from democrats. Remember the reaction to the Jamie Lyn Spears pregnancy? Then the American Taliban declared her parents unfit.

Posted by: Becca | September 10, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

"Show Me the Snobs" - Kimsley look in the mirror.

Posted by: Martin | September 10, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse


"When America rejected Gore and Kerry they watered down the brandy."

"America" didn't actually reject Gore. Gore got more popular votes than Bush and may well have legitimately won the electoral college as well.

Also, Kingsley said that people like Bill Maher make their living saying "outrageous things." Well, a great many things Maher says are actually true, it's just that only public figures like him can say them because it would cost politicians their careers to do so.

A good example was when Maher said that the 9/11 hijackers were not "cowards." He was absolutely right. It is not appropriate to call someone a coward just because they do something you strongly disapprove of. The 9/11 attacks were horrible, but they were not cowardly.

Posted by: Lee | September 10, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Frankly speaking, isn't Obama vs. McCain actually about Black vs. White?
How many of you have the guts to say YES?

Posted by: Intelli | September 10, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Lee Pefley:

"Nixon, on the other hand, was vastly experienced, as was LBJ and numerous other presidential failures."

LBJ was not a failure. Vietnam was a horrible tragedy, but Johnson was also arguably the greatest domestic president of the 20th century (he was at least the second greatest, after FDR). It was Johnson who pushed through the civil rights legislation ending decades of Jim Crow. He enacted Medicare and Medicaid into law as well, along with many other programs that have greatly enriched America. I believe Johnson was at least a "near great" president.

Posted by: Lee | September 10, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

One of Obama's Earmark Requests Was for the Hospital That Employs Michelle Obama

Dan Riehl notes, via Amanda Carpenter, that in the list of earmarks he requested, $1 million was requested for the construction of a new hospital pavilion at the University Of Chicago. The request was put in in 2006.

You know who works for the University of Chicago Hospital?

Michelle Obama. She's vice president of community affairs.

As Byron noted, "In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office."

Looks like that raise was worth it.

Posted by: Dubs | September 10, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Martimr1 queried,

"Do we have the stupidest electorate on the planet?"

Definitely a stupid electorate especially if you are one of the lemmings that voted for the least qualified Dem in the race! Maybe he will write more books about himself. And since many of our Presidents that have died in office have died by unnatural causes, why isn't anyone talking about President Biden? Can you imagine the 6 hour State of the Union!

Posted by: mgo | September 10, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Examples of Media Snobbbery: 1) Those like Eleanor Clift who snickered when they learned that McCain had selected Palin. Afte all, Palin has never appeared on Meet the Press; 2) ALL the pundits who question the qualifications of a reform governor and expert on oil and gas exploration but do not question the qualifications of a first term senator with no expertise on anything except oratory; 3) The faux women's lib female pundits (e.g., CNN's Campbell Brown)that smugly expressed doubt that a woman with small children can handle both motherhood and a demanding career; 4)The pundits like Sally Quinn who expected the evangelicals to turn against Palin when they learned that Bristol Palin is pregnant. Evangelicals condemn sins but not sinners--unless the sinners do not accept responsibility and dump their problems on the taxpayers; 5)CNN and MSNBC that aired a tape showing Palin asking the members of her church to pray that God's will guide the War in Iraq and that God protect those wearing American uniforms as they go into harm's way. Their petty attempt to compare Palin's mainstream Christianity with Rev. Wright's prayer that "God damn America" angered and insulted millions of voters, many of whom might have set out this election; 6) Pundits like Wolf Blitzer who opined that Obama sewed up the working class vote when he chose Joe Biden because Biden is a "good Catholic" and has "working class roots". Compare Biden with Alaska's governor and her first dude. Now, which do you think will have the most "working class" appeal? 7) Fox's Alan Colmes who insinuated on his web site that insufficient pre-natal care caused Sarah Palin's youngest child to be born with Down's Syndrome. The list could go on and on.

Posted by: Roberta | September 10, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Show you the snobs? Try this one on for size. A few days ago I received a forwarded email from a liberal friend purporting to be from someone in Alaska who wanted to share her first-hand insights about Palin and her whole redneck town. In the message, "Jackie" calls both Palin and her entire town of Wasilla "red neck".

At first, I thought the message might be from someone my friend actually knew, but a Google later, I realized it is just more of the under-the-radar internet garbage that has polluted this campaign on both sides in seemingly equal measure; the candidates and their immediate surrogates are on their ever-so-good-and-tolerant-and deniable behavior, but down in the gutter, the real attitudes and urban myths circulate.

I guess the candidates really aren't responsible directly for this -- but doesn't David Brooks' lament apply to regular citizens who engage in such bigotry and hate on behalf of their preferred candidate?

Here's one place I found it on the web, so read it for yourself here: or here: (where, interestingly, someone else takes credit for it).

To a substantial extent, those hostile to blue-collar workers on the left have invited the GOP characterization of Democrats as snobs or elitists -- or at least empowered and enabled these characterizations. Some Democrats, not all, really seem to want to tell the voters in places like Wasilla to go to hell, that they simply don't stack up against Ivy League grads, NY Times readers, and long time DC insiders. Where on earth does the instinct to send such a message come from?

Brooks is on the money.

Posted by: Richard | September 10, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin should be attacked -- on the real grounds that she is not qualified to be president and therefore not qualified to be vice president. But the idiots who rolled on the ground in joy of Cheney's selection as VP are back rolling on the ground in ecstasy over Palin. We need a constitutional amendment banning people with proven poor judgment from continuing to vote! Democracy for 3 digit IQs only

Posted by: semi-Democracy for me | September 10, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I have to laugh at the rightwing posters who simultaneously deride liberals as "elitist" while they made fun of the Dem convention for having people that looked "less prosperous and less mainstream" than that white, white, white group at the Republican convention. I guess if elitist means not stupid enough to get fooled by the GOP propaganda every four years, then Dems are indeed elitist.

Posted by: Laughing | September 10, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

A thoughtful and fair column here, as ever, Mr. K. My own take: The Empress isn't wearing any clothes here, alas to some only proverbially. Sarah Palin, to the infinitesimally small degree that we know her, has no ability whatsoever to function at the national or international levels in the American political landscape. Old King Cole was insulting all Americans' intelligence by his cynical and "religious extreme right" choice for V-P, as well as demonstrating beyond debate his own pathetic inability to govern our troubled land.

Posted by: Michael T. | September 10, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

This is what is so wrong about the Republicans. How stupid are Americans?

John Feehery, a Republican strategist, said the campaign is entering a stage in which skirmishes over the facts are less important than the dominant themes that are forming voters' opinions of the candidates.

Posted by: biggirl | September 10, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

It is actually very ironic. The democrats are having a hard time determining how to handle a woman candidate. Obama and the media treated Hillary like crap. He did not put her or any woman on his ticket and now they are in a quandry about how to attack her without seeming sexist. God I am enjoying this.

Now if Hillary or another woman was on the ticket, they could have her attack Palin and it would not look sexist. But Obama was too arrogant to consider a woman for his running mate, his view, he would get their vote anyway. Not so fast!

Pundits are telling us (as they love to dictate to women) that women who were for Hillary would not vote for Palin as her views are so different. Newsflash -- don't be so sure

It is really very entertaining

Posted by: Dem52 | September 10, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

To Anonymus: The problem with the Republicans is that John McCain has just handed over the party to the fringe elements. So Rush Limbaugh IS the voice of the Republican party. I wish it were otherwise.

Posted by: Berliner2 | September 10, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

There are different forms of snobbery. McCain comes from an old family of wealth that enabled him to attend private schools and, with the help of his family's name, to get into the Naval Academy. Like George Bush, McCain was a frat boy, and an irresponsible one. Instead of being banned from flying after he lost his second of 5 planes, his family connections allowed him to continue. It wasn't until he was taken prisoner that he so-called fell in love with his country. This privileged frat boy has a one-dimensional view of women - - "c--t," as he called his current wife. His frat boy lies about Obama and his frat boy privileged history and lies raises the question of whether someone who lies in his campaign can be trusted to be honest in the White House.

Posted by: Bob | September 10, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Kinsley need only look in the mirror to find one of the snobs he doubts exist.

Posted by: onerepublican | September 10, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I spent months on conservative website trying to get somebody to define for me the word "elite". Not one person ever even tried. Reliance on "elite"---or any other code word---shows communication at the level of viscera, not brain. I suspect that if we required verbal definition, the term's power would evaporate. Do we really want to say that education makes a person less competent? Is a doctor who's been to medical school a worse doctor than one who bought his MD online? And I wonder how much of the reaction to "elite" is just defensiveness from people who feel inferior about something (with or without good reason). The current firestorm about elitism has to do with Sarah Palin, whose higher education consists of five years in six colleges (or was it six years in five colleges) to achieve a BA in Journalism. When the matter at hand is the high task of governance, that background is not in the same league with Obama's Harvard JD (and other academic distinctions). Plain fact. Unless we want to take the position, as a nation, that education is non-essential.

Posted by: Lilly | September 10, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Salon, Slate, KOS, Move On, etc. Poor Michael, and the left, have created their own chamber of death. Now you all are relying on NBC and MSNBC who are out of control as well. The message is coming out of wrong mouth. You have found the idiots and they are you!!

Posted by: Jeff C | September 10, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

We live in a country where the word "liberal" might as well be "communist" or "anti-American." This is the greatest propaganda victory of the right and it's a gift that keeps on giving. Republican smears are always, always believed while those of "liberals" are just the views of the "I Hate America" crowd. That's the country we live in, where ignorance is bliss and deep analysis is suspect. We reap what we sow.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama and his thugs have been denigrating small-town Americans and accusing non-supporters of racism the entire campaign. His real concern now is finally meeting an opponent who is not going to take it lying down.

Posted by: Elizabeth | September 10, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Republicans may call anyone they dislike a snob, but really we should accept that at least they acknowledge that we have standards. They on, on the other hand, are panderers, and bigots of the worst kind. How other to explain the nearly totally white audience at their convention? How other to explain their seeming demand that an evangelical Christian be on the ticket? How else to explain their strategy of feeding lies and innuendos to country in their ads and their statements, when in fact the American people need a little tough talk about what it is going to take to get out of the mess the country is in.
The delusional enthusiasm of the Republicans for Palin is evidence enough of the large amount of denial among snobs and non snob and a misunderstanding of the task ahead of the next President.
The slogan of times is that "we have nothing to fear but ourselves" and that we have become our own worst enemy.

Too bad George Orwell is not alive; he more than any other writer understood the fine art of speaking and saying nothing

Posted by: Nclwtk | September 10, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

We conservatives hate "entitlement programs" and "welfare moms." We believe in "personal responsibility."

That's why multi-millionaire McCain collects Veteran's disability while voting against benefits for wounded Iraq Vets. No winning a scholarship to some damn elite school--the government paid for the Naval Academy.

Palin collected $60 a day from Alaskan taxpayers to sleep in her own house and tens of thousands for her children's "official business" travel. No damn scholarships for her either at an elite school--a state land grant university was good enough!

You libruls think the govenment should just provide you with all the coddling perks. What a bunch of losers.

Posted by: K. Rove | September 10, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The notion that either Brooks or Kristol would engage in honest, straightforward debate while demonstrating an ounce of integrity is belied by several decades of the writings of both. To conservatives lying to besmirch an opponent is next to godliness if not ahead of it.

Posted by: kalpal | September 10, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

ADDENDUM: I posted something a while ago then went off to eat breakfast and, in the morning paper, found this by Garrison Keillor: "If you question [Palin's] qualifications to be leader of the free world, you are an elitist. This is a beautiful maneuver. I wish I had thought of it back in school when I was asked to subject myself to a final exam in algebra. I could have told Miss Mortenson, 'I am a Christian and when you gave me a D, you only showed your contempt for the Lord and for the godly hard-working people from whom I have sprung...'."

Posted by: Lilly | September 10, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I've lived in rural America, and I've lived in urban America.

By far the most exclusionary and elitist was rural America.

If you aren't straight, Christian, and often (but not always) white, you are excluded. The exclusion varies from the subtle comment to the vicious - denial of employment, housing, actual violence.

Is this always the case? No. But it's common enough that it's unremarkable.

So let's see. Mean old urban elites sometimes say mocking things about small town culture. Compare that to small town culture that does little to stop it's citizenry from doing everything from denying gays and non-Christians jobs and housing to actually occasionally beating the crap out of them.

Which of these is the more elitist and exclusionary?

Posted by: Hillman | September 10, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"Evangelicals condemn sins but not sinners--unless the sinners do not accept responsibility and dump their problems on the taxpayers"

Really? Funny, when gay people are denied jobs and housing and health care try telling them it's the sin, not them, that's being punished.

Posted by: Hillman | September 10, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Palen, McCain, and all other repubs that constantly disparage all democrats as "liberals" are the real snobs. Remember one is not a snob simply because one is called a snob by another.

Further, I believe that all aspects of Sarah Palen's and for that matter John McCain's life, should be on the political table. Especially in the light of Palen and McCain continually brining up their personal lives for political benefit. The democrats have to stop bringing a knife to a political gun fight. If the other side is strapped then get strapped and fight fire with fire!

Posted by: Fred 1 | September 10, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are hoping to pocket change and win the election and if they do they will only put pocket change towards solving our country's problems. No shame and still the same.

Posted by: ejgallagher1 | September 10, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse


I also shake my head every day about how the McCain campaign is making this work. The competing arguments are so illogical--you can't bash experience, then select the least experienced VP nominee, etc.--that it almost leaves you speechless. Instead of arguing, it's more of a plea to America to, "Wake up and think."

Oops...I think I just committed an act of elitism. Sigh.

Posted by: amaikovich | September 10, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Mike, did you just inadvertently use a coded word in the line "... truth is that she's got the opposition spooked"? The word 'spook' was used as a racist term for blacks where I grew up on the Kentucky border back in the 60s' and decades before.

Posted by: Duke of Con Dao | September 10, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Electing Palin as VP would be like appointing Andy Griffith to head the Dept of Homeland Security.

Posted by: CapHillDC | September 10, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Kinsley is being disingenuous. In 1984, Harvard went about 2-1 against Reagan, while Boston College went about 2-1 for him. My recollection is that Reagan won about 49 states. Probably you would have seen the same proportions in 1936 during Roosevelt-Landon, with Harvard supporting Landon. The very issues supported by the Democrats (environmentalism, political feminism, affirmative action) are transparently class issues in which the enemy, shared with the dependent poor, is the white, church-going, bourgeois merchant class and those who are comfortable in their suburbs driving their SUVs. This is why the Democratic candidate invariably carries places like Malibu and Martha's Vineyard, but doesn't do so well in new subdivisions in central Ohio.

Michael Kinsley, a true-enough Harvard man, can't for the life of his see any class prejudice framing the vocabulary and attempted campaign narrative concerning Sarah Palin. He wants unequivocally 'snobbish' quotes before he will believe in the reality of social class in America and how it is expressed in our politics. None from the blogosphere, please. It's a little more subtle that that, although Obama's maladroit 'lipstick on a pig' remark comes close in context.

You Democrats are all sensitive to 'coded' appeals to racism, because you know you cannot produce much in the way of explicit statements that meet the Kinsley standard. Well, there are codes and there are codes. The article ends up being another exercise in empty rhetorical virtuousity by Kinsley, who has devoted most of his considerable talent to such exercises. Recently in Slate, Dahlia Lithwick and Rosa Brooks cited the 'viciousness' of Sarah Palin's acceptance speech. But they were unable to cite a single 'vicious' quote, and Lithwick was reduced to pathetically having to make one up and put it in Palin's mouth. The lesson may be that both parties do this sort of thing, but the GOP charges seem to resonate more, what with all those movie stars and trust-fund babies conspicuous in their support of the Party of the Common Man. That should be a good subject for Kinsley to address, but he's always in full campaign mode, so little that he writes ends up having shelf-life and low on predictive accuracy. I remember when he didn't believe there was any 'firm' evidence about Bill Clinton's peccadillos, too.

Posted by: Mark Richard | September 10, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse


(This message is not intended to offend atheist or others who don't believe in christianity.)

This message is to the Evangelicals.
First of all there is no such a thing as a half-truth or a white lie for that matter. It's either a lie or its the truth.
What's really sad is a mature Christian repents when chastised. You evangelicals and others are enablers to the point now that an ad with the same lie is being shown over and over on TV. That's demonic. God has nothing to do with that lie. If you read your Bibles you would know that the Father of all lies is satan. You should ask Palin to pull the ad and explain that she made a mistake or don't explain it but change it, and get on with your campaign. You guys have even made a liar out McCain because now he says on the campaign trail that Palin sold the plane on ebay for a profit. Just outright lying to the people of this nation and your lies are going around the world. Evangelicals let me remind you of what God saids in a scripture found in Matthew 15:8-9 (NIV)

8:These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

9:They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”

Some of us do know the scriptures and weren't not fool by those who speak about God but have no relationship with him. Don't be hypocrites. Rebuke the lying.
You can get around people, but you can't get around God.


Posted by: Dear Evangelicals | September 10, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

What is with this hands off policy of the media toward Sarah Palin? Take the gloves off for goodness sake. This woman and the republican party bosses are thumbing their noses at the national media and the media is letting them. It appears the media has not learned its lessons from the Bush administration's tactics toward the media over the last eight years. Where are Sarah Palin's unsrcipted opinions on real issues facing this country? The media and the public should be outraged at how the republicans have not allowed an unscripted interview with this vp candidate.

Posted by: wondering | September 10, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Wow, the comment below is ugly, and it offers a clear glimpse of (not to mention chicken soup for) the right-wing soul.

Gee Kinsley, still not answering those rumors about your AIDS symptoms?
And by the way
It was Your Great Black One who
in an attempt to quiet outrage over his Shaniqua's "Never Been Proud of America" speech
declared "family" off limits.
This despite Shaniqua's blatantly political rants against HRC.

So bring it on.
Continue your sexist snot nosed attacks on Sarah and Cindy.
I mean it is all working out so well for Hussein now isn't it?

Ooops! Maybe not... that swoosh you hear is Hussein and the DemoFrauds going down the toilet...

And one more thing...
Tell your BBF that he needs to be more careful about his "lip" insults...
People in glass houses and all...
Ya' know?

Posted by: JamesT | September 10, 2008 4:00 AM

Posted by: Adam | September 10, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Mark Richard - Do you remember the peanuts cartoons and the teacher's voice. Your whole diatribe sounded like that voice. Wa,wa,wa,wa... Get a clue pal, you can't call others elitist in an elitist manner and expect people to take you seriously. Your post is the definition of disingenuous.

Posted by: Fred 1 | September 10, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

James T you are pig without lipstick. That makes you just a pig.

Posted by: slippery pete | September 10, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

simple math

evangelical = hipocrit

Posted by: slippery pete | September 10, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Every election evangelicals like Palen bring religion into politics. I would not have a problem with this if their churches started paying taxes like the rest of us.

Posted by: Fred 1 | September 10, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The republican playbook is based upon:

A)Blatantly lie about anything and hardcore bully any entity (the press) or person who questions you,

B)Use the primordial emotional pull of the cult of personality worship (Palin) and tribalism/party affiliation to suspend logic and reason,

C)Create diversions to distract the attention away from the most damaging issues to your agenda and manipulate public opinion.

The end result is total distortion of reality, where down is up and day is night.

Posted by: Dave | September 10, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm a snob. I think Palin's lack of experience and the string of disasters she has left in her wake are more than enough to disqualify her as VP. Her choice is an insult to the offices of President and Vice President, and shows the contempt that John McCain holds for American people.

Posted by: ChrisMI | September 10, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign's strategy is to take advantage of the innate stupidity of the American people. The American people seem to be eating it up. Guess the McCain campaign is right.

Posted by: tom | September 10, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Ah, JamesT, at least you have the courage of your convictions and are happy to let your racist freak flag fly. It would be refreshing if more "conservatives" could be so honest.

Posted by: Gus | September 10, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign is banking on the fact that American women in particular require nothing more of a female VP candidate than being able to "relate to her as a mom." Sarah Palin is as vapid and untrustworthy as they come. But apparently the fact that she can prolifically reproduce is enough for a lot of women voters. And, of course, the fact that Sarah believes God shares her political views is a big bonus. Please tell me the majority of American women have enough gravitas and good sense to require something more out of a VP candidate...

Posted by: Debbie | September 10, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

the most DANGEROUS HIGH NOSED SNOB is the extremistly relgious right wing kooks, who think that those poor innocent people in israel who where killed by that mad man driving the bulldozer, deserved to die because of gods wrath that they had not converted to jesus and became born again.
sarah palin sat in the chruch and did not walk out and has not expressed those views are not her sentiment.
unlike obama who has CLEARLY refuted that kind of demogogery.
that man driving that bulldozer was killing ANYONE there were no stars of david or palestienian flags on those cars he squashed.
religious snobs kill anyone they perceive that could stand in the way of their POWER,
they have a demented dangerous view of the world and are actually mentally ill.

Posted by: judegalan | September 10, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

So David Brooks is trying to give Obama advice now, saying he should defend the Republicans' execrable, redneck-racist-and-proud-of-it BP pick from any attack, however justified?

Horse hockey! I really don't think that rightwing David Brooks, sort of a George Will with brains, has the best interests of the Democratic Party and its candidates in mind at any time. When regarding his advice, one must definitely consider the source.

Republicans are doing their best to conceal the real nature of both Sarah Palin and John McCain. It is up to us Democrats, whether with our candidates' blessing or not, to bring that nature to light. We cannot rely on the mainstream media to help, and we can expect large portions of the mainstream media, including Mr. Brooks, to do their best to maintain McCain's and Palin's invisibility cloaks. If more Americans get to know McCain and Palin, this election will be a Democratic landslide. We Democrats must get out the truth however we can.

The truth is, McCain and Palin will continue to fight for the privileges of our economic aristocracy over the needs of our people, will deliberately hamper any move to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, will continue to export American jobs and factories overseas, will give the rich tax breaks at the expense of the rest of us for generations to come, will gut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and curtail any move toward regarding health care as a right, and will doom us to endless war.

This is not what the American people want, but it is what McCain and Palin want, and they are trying very hard to hide this fact.

Posted by: Woody Smith | September 10, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Kinsley's weak attempt to make woman bashing an acceptable behaviour. Sad little man, just sad.

Posted by: Cecil | September 10, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that Republicans, who for as long as I can remember have been decrying "political correctness," now claim victim status for Palin for any real or perceived negative comment.

Posted by: BS Detector | September 10, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Kinsley is wrong. There are plenty of snob attacks on Palin. But Brooks is wrong too. Don't stop the attacks! They only help elect McCain/Palin. Thank you very much NY Times, LA Times, WaPo, CNN...

Posted by: Peter W | September 10, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Sen. John McCain has proved himself to be unqualified and incapable of effectively leading the United States of America into the future by, among other things, his reckless, irresponsible, impulsive, and dangerous judgment in picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. Sarah Palin is a minor distraction not even worthy of discussion. However, Sen. John McCain has shown his contempt for the intelligence of the American people by making this unequivocally cynical decision to use an unknown, untested, and corrupt, serial liar like Sarah Palin to deceive voters into believing he stands for change. Sen. John McCain also disgraced himself by demonstrating a lack of courage in his choice of Sarah Palin at the last moment over much more qualified Republican men and women simply because she appeals to the base of the Republican Party, a group of voters he was going to lose. What Sen. John McCain doesn't understand is that by appeasing the extreme right wing of the Republican Party, he is going to lose the voters that really count, i.e., moderate and independent voters, and, in doing so, certainly lose the election. Obama/Biden 2008!!!

Posted by: caliguy55 | September 10, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

News Alert!! David Brooks of the liberal, elitist NYT has given the uppity democratic candidate Obama direction on how to properly behave around the white republicans!! Thanks Mr. Brooks! You sure are white!

Posted by: Racism | September 10, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Snobs? Just be a fly on the wall at any Repub. country club or wealthy gated community, and listen carefully.

Posted by: Roger M. | September 10, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Little Sarah Palin seems to have a little problem with compulsive lying. That needs to be pointed out politely, but firmly over and over.

She is no sacred cow.

Posted by: Unrepentant Liberal | September 10, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Moral absolutism requires situational blinders, and the Republicans are just very adept at adjusting these blinders to meet their tactical needs. And they're winning.

Posted by: Nigel | September 10, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Sally Quinn and Katty Kay are obviously attacking Palin from a snobbish perch.

Posted by: Honest Democrat | September 10, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

the problem with criticisms of hypocrisy citing Rush Limbaugh is that Rush has millions of dittoheads he represents, whereas Peretz has far fewer readers.

Also, what is wrong with choosing elites to run our very complex country? Why do we want a soccer mom or POW?

Should we not want highly educated adn experienced elites to make informed rational decisions in this complicated world?

Would you send your child to a doctor for tonsilitis when the doctor has an associates degree in physical education? Would you submit your taxes to a "CPA" who just completed a high school accounting class?

If this is snobbery then so biet, but the other way is irresponsible and irrational.

Posted by: D Klein | September 10, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't like Sarah Palin. As a woman, it has nothing to do with the fact that she's a woman, and everything to do with the fact that I question her experience, her ethics, her positions, and her judgment. If that's sexist, well then I'm sexist. Personally, I think that's judging a person on their merits, not their gender, but who knows? After all, Republicans wrote the book on feminism, right?

Beyond that, I will be critical of her religious beliefs insofar as she wants to legislate them to everyone else. That's a violation of my Constitutional rights to pick my own religion, and if anyone has a problem with it, they're welcome to do so. I have the law, the Constitution, and the intent of the founding fathers on my side, and I really don't care if the religious fanatics in this country don't agree with what I have to say.

The only people who are afraid, Mr. Kinsley, are those in the media who, instead of using their positions of power in the public sphere to tell the truth, choose to focus on ridiculous issues like whether Obama called Palin a pig, whether Democrats are too reticent about lashing out, how cute baby Trig is -- aren't Down Syndrome babies a blessing?, when there are real issues on the table that NEED to be discussed. I speak out plenty, but as a private citizen with no audience but friends and family, I harbor no illusions about my role in influencing national dialogue.

Mr. Kinsey, you have a platform with a captive national audience. Perhaps if you direct your criticism a little more at the people who NEED to be criticized -- John McCain and Sarah Palin for starters -- we could move away from these silly non-issues and start talking about something real. And maybe those who ARE afraid to speak out would be less afraid when they realize there's someone else out there on their side.

Posted by: Katie | September 10, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Rush is fringe? Who's being obtuse about the nubmers in his viewship? Are you being dumb enough to compare Rush's popularity versus the New Republic?

With arguments like that, no wonder Bush has won 2 elections.

Posted by: Lots of Americans are dumb | September 10, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The Big Lie at work:

Snobs are attacking Sarah Palin!
Sarah Palin's "executive" experience makes her more qualified than Obama!

What is there about Palin's "executive" experience that wipes out the fact that she knows nothing about working with Congress and nothing about the rest of the world? As Palin herself said about her "executive" position, "it's not rocket science."

Posted by: jmls4 | September 10, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

One need only look at the video to see that the scummy crowd of supporters around NoClass Nobama took both the pig and fish comments as attacks on Palin. I can understand why NoClass Nobama attacks her- she has much more experience than he does to qualify to be President. That sort of behavior, by him, and by his trashy supporters (and I include the author of this column in that group)will help to send him back to being supported by his racist wife's affirmitive action no-show job. Maybe he can send more taxpayer cash to her employers and double her salary again.

Posted by: Nan | September 10, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I was looking through a great deal of these blogs and thought, this race is about "race." Some people will NOT vote for Obama because he is half white and looks black (and that's okay). I just hope as you vote you consider what you really gain in choosing your candidate. I've voted Republican (Bush twice) and Democrat (Clinton twice) so I'm an Independent. I'm trying to stay above the non-issues with this one as well. This "go round" I'm voting for Obama. With all the blatant false statements coming out of the GOP camp, I just can't support them. Besides, they left Bush for the wolves and that was wrong. You don't leave a man when he needs you most. The whole distancing themselves philosophy is truly disgraceful.

Posted by: Mark from Huntsville | September 10, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

During his last appearance with her in June, Ed Kalnins stated "I believe Alaska is one of the refuge states in the last days, and hundreds of thousands of people are going to come to the state to seek refuge and the church has to be ready to minister to them."

In June 2007, Mike Rose, Sarah Palin's pastor at the Juneau Christian Center, stated the following:

“After listening to Newt Gingrich and the prime minister of Israel and a number of others at our gathering, I became convinced, and I have been convinced for some time. We are living in the last days. These are incredible times to live in.”

My questions are the following - what does it mean for us as Americans if Sarah Palin believes the end of days is coming and she is a heartbeat from the presidency? Does she believe in the end of days prophecy? If so, does she believe that she has a role in precipating the end of days? Does Sarah Palin receive the word of God through Ed Kalnins or Mike Rose and if she were President, would she listen to Ed Kalnins' or Mike Rose's directives?

Posted by: Palin Prophecy | September 10, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain in 2008

Posted by: Gary | September 10, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't judge Palin harshly because she failed to teach her daughter about safe sex but because she failed to support a comprehensive health program for the students in her state. And it is not cultural of me to not want Palin or anyone else to impose their ignorant belief's in my childrens' education. To want to teach creationism in the schools is to bring ignorance into the classroom. I will go to war for my childrens' education. I'm sure David Brooks would also if he wasn't a Karl Rove pawn.

Posted by: free bird | September 10, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Did Kinsley even read the David Brooks commentary?

Here's what Brooks wrote immediately preceding the "attack the snobs" sentence:

"Obama needs to occasionally criticize his own side. If he can’t take on his own party hacks, he’ll never reclaim the mantle of systemic change."

Does Kinsley disagree with this?

The Democrats control the House and the Senate. Polls show voters dislike the congress even more than they dislike Bush. Shouldn't "Change we can believe in" and "reaching across party lines" include occasional criticism of the Democratic establishment? Or does Kinsley believe it is the crown of creation, perfect in its current form?

Posted by: WylieD | September 10, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The images of Sarah as Mother-archtype or as Wonder Woman divert from the Election Priorities, and Why she is even here in front of us in the first place.

It would be better to concentrate on the outrageous fact that she has not fielded any questions thus far about her candidacy and the issues. Shouldn’t the voting public be allowed its own vetting process?

In this matter I see her as a ventriloquist dummy, getting all the attention while others pretend to be her voice. Or, alternatively, as the Ultimate Female Terrorist in a burka with a veil over nearly all of her face, particularly the mouth, not speaking to others, particularly male counterparts. Perhaps she has a bomb under her clothing?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kinsley says The Obam is AFRAID to criticize Gov. Palin;

"But beggars can't be choosers. If you're looking for snobbish comments about Sarah Palin, you must take what you can get. The truth is that she's got the opposition spooked. Democrats are petrified about criticizing her for fear of seeming sexist. Or if not that, then they are afraid of seeming anti-religion or anti-family. Or they are concerned about being labeled as snobs."

RESPONSE: Like Lipstick on a Pig..

Obama's lipstick on a pig comment--documented on his teleprompter-- is much more than just a sexist slur.

It is a deeeply rooted Muslim slur.

Obama was indoctinated in Muslim theology from birth. His Mother twice married Muslim men, voluntarily embracing their worldview.

Obama was further indoctrinated in Muslim schools.

And ask yourself, If schools can't indoctrinate children with religion, why does the US prohibit religion in our schools?

Obama admitted in a freudian slip on ABC Sunday his "Muslim faith", which the "neutral journalist" quickly correct FOR Obama.

Obama says he is a Christian, but denies he ever listened to his Pastor's sermons etc....

So Gov. Palin is a fundamentalist Christian who Obama, with a strong Muslim indoctrination, compares to a pig--highly disdained in Muslim theology.

Posted by: JaxMax | September 10, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, only after a few days of his surregates/Libs'blistering attack did Obama step in, as usual, trying to appear to be a nice guy.
Time he tried a new trick, this old one doesn't work anymore. Everybody knows by now how he works.

Posted by: Veridico | September 10, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Palin's anti-academic achievement position ... better to go to North Idaho State Univ than "elite" (elite is now a put-down, rather than note of high esteem, to Palin) shocking. Will she say that C students are superior to A students and the entire "elite" university system that is the envy of the world is a sham of mere snobbery without substance. Yes, let's sacrifice the entire intellectual valuation system, in order to get elected via snideness. Surely, a mail-order medical degree is superior to an "elite" Harvard degree! The world is stood on its head by Karl Rove et al, if we get votes this way. Back to the stone age where moose-killing is the measure of a statesman.

She paves the way for the rest of the world to surpass us in educational achievement. Her position fits well with McCain's 896th out of 899 grad position from the USNA..."Maverick?" If you don't have the brains to actually come up with better ways, then why not glorify the mode of the sarcastic "wise-guy" who sits at the back of class ridiculing all the gifted students who get into "elite" schools --

Posted by: Stuart Sovatsky | September 10, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, only after a few days of his surregates/Libs'blistering attack did Obama step in, as usual, trying to appear to be a nice guy.
Time he tried a new trick, this old one doesn't work anymore. Everybody knows by now how he works.

Posted by: Veridico | September 10, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"The Economist calls Palin 'the most inexperienced candidate for a mainstream party in modern history.'"

Nah. It's a photo finish with Harry Truman and Spiro Agnew.

In 1944, despite the fact that WW II still raged and his health was rapidly failing, FDR chose Truman, a second-term senator, to be his VP. Truman was sworn in as VP in January 1945, and just three months later FDR was dead.

Truman was an incredibly irresponsible choice. He was ignorant of world affairs and the prosecution of the war when he became VP, and FDR kept him that way. FDR had so little faith in Truman that he never even bothered to tell him about the Manhattan Project.

As for Agnew, two years as governor (sound familiar) of Maryland.

Posted by: WylieD | September 10, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Snobbery? Isn't it snobbery to twitter about community planners, as if this isn't a serious occupation; why, because most of th work is done in the inner city, with most of the clients being minorities? How about the snobbery of poking fun at Obama wearing traditional dress in Africa; isn't it snobbery to gufaw about someone wearing non-western clothing. How about the snobbery of playing games with Obama's names; I imagine Bubba sounds pretty funny in Arabic. How about the snobbery behind the laughter about Obama shoting hoops. Isn't it snobbery to make snide comments about Biden's hair, or lack of it. The Republicans have honed snobbery to a sharp edge. Palin is pretty good at the smarmy, condescening demeanor herself. Please, will the Republicasn stop being hypocrites for just one moment. Republicans don't recognize their snobbery because they think they are God's chosen and are doing His work; consquentially, anything they do or say is blessed..

Posted by: ChuckB | September 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse



Published on on September 9, 2008

Now that the conventions are over, it is evident that the battle of John McCain is over (McCain won) and the battle of Barack Obama will determine the outcome of the election.

Now that McCain has definitively, and I suspect irreversibly, separated himself from Bush, he has become an acceptable alternative to Obama for voters seeking change. The question now is whether Obama's extra quotient of change -- or the different direction that change will take -- is worth the risk of electing him.

Obama was wrong to invest so much in the Bush-McCain linkage. Any candidate can define himself at his convention. And if McCain chose, as he did, to use the gathering to distance himself from Washington and from the Bush administration, there was really nothing that Obama could do to stop him. He should have focused very specifically on McCain himself and taken shots at specific votes and bills that he introduced.

Now, after the massive exposure McCain got at his convention and the demonstrable commitment to change embodied in the selection of Sarah Palin, it is too late.

The Obama campaign doesn't seem to get that it is running against McCain, not Sarah Palin. They spent the entire Republican convention and the week since attacking the vice presidential candidate. That's like stabbing the capillaries instead of the arteries. Nobody is going to vote for or against McCain because they want Sarah Palin to be vice president of the United States, or don't. But Palin has served, and will serve, a key purpose in illustrating and demonstrating what kind of a man John McCain is. She stands as a tribute to his desire to bring change, his willingness to cut loose from the past, and his courage in attempting innovation. No amount of criticism of Palin is going to stop that process. Obama needs to remember who his opponent is.

Now the election will hinge on a referendum on Obama. Is the extra healthcare coverage he would pass worth the huge tax increases he will impose? Nobody buys his claim that he will only increase taxes on a few rich people and give the rest of us tax cuts. Voters can add, and they realize that his spending plans and tax-cut promises come to a trillion dollars and that his tax increases represent only one-tenth as much. They know that everyone who pays taxes will end up paying more if Obama is elected. The question will be: Is it worth it?

Is his commitment to income redistribution and increasing tax "fairness" worth the risk his tax plans pose for the economy?

Is his plan to pull out of Iraq and his commitment to multilateralism in foreign policy worth the risk of putting someone with virtually no foreign policy experience in charge of our international relations in the middle of a war? Is his promise to respect the Constitution and ratchet back the intrusions of the Bush homeland security measures worth the extra risk of terror attack?

The answer to these questions will only partially depend on what Obama is proposing and on how sound we think his judgment is. They will also depend on the events that will transpire between now and Election Day. If Iran moves closer to getting nuclear weapons or Israel attacks Iran to forestall that development, things could change in a hurry. If the current atmosphere of economic uncertainty and impending possible crisis -- signaled by the federal takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae -- deepens, it may make voters less willing to risk the high taxes and big spending that Obama will bring in his wake. If Russia continues to assert its imperial right to dominate Eastern Europe and restore a Soviet-style satellite empire, voters will wonder if they can take a chance on Obama.

But if things are relatively peaceful and uneventful, voters may bristle at the stagnation and turn to Obama in the hopes of change.

The key point is that this race is now not about Bush or McCain or Clinton or Palin. It's all about Obama.

Go to to read all of Dick's columns!

Posted by: rtfanning | September 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Poor Kinsley is so addled that he doesn't realize David Brooks is trying to help.

If Obama (Axelrod) is smart, he'll follow Brooks' suggestion. If he wants to make Republicans happy, he'll follow Kinsley's and argue that there is no significant snobbery.

A free clue: If the argument is that there are only a few, outlier snobs in the Party and the mainstream media, you have already lost the debate. But if you want to fight a lost cause, go right ahead. Sarah Palin will thank you.

Posted by: WylieD | September 10, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The distinction is clear. Obama is the progressive choice, McCain is the Washington insider- more centralized politics. He has and will continue to support monopolies!

Remember Bushies gave us the same old song and dance for 2000 and 2004 and "W" turned out to be the worst president in modern day history! And now some of you want to vote for his GOP brother, John McCain?

George Bush, Karl Rove and the GOP faction have used this type of character assignation tactic over and over again. What did we learn from this?

That the very same people that offer this sort of political fray were the politicians short on dignity, character and intelligence! And in Bushes case- corrupt, narcissistic and subversive!

This is what our nation cannot abscond from!
McCain has voted with inept and corrupt GOP ideology 95% of the time and with Bush over 90% of the time.

This is the kicker, McCain, 26 years as AZ. senator, is a top ranking GOP senior senator of this current financial mess!

Never mind what a candidate looks like, the physical attributes or the name, these are the facts that are hindering our businesses, our families our nation everyday!

Insider- now we know the definition of "Maverick!"

Posted by: rube | September 10, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"Do we have the stupidest electorate on the planet?"

Here's a hint: What would you expect after the massive voter registration drives and motor-voter laws of the last several decades?

Posted by: WylieD | September 10, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

You need names of liberal snobs.
Here goes just off the top of my head.

Sally Quinn,Campbell Brown,Andrea Mitchell,Barbara Walters, Katie Couric,Barbara Boxer,Chris Matthews,Keith Olberdork,Tom Brokaw,Greta Van Sustren,Bob Bechal,Lanny Davis,Maureen Dowd,Diane Sawyer,Peggy Noonan[yup even her]

Posted by: PugPug | September 10, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats need to stop viewing themselves as "boxed in" and tied up. If you believe in the platform, stand up for your policies. The downfall of the Democratics has been one, their willingness to apologize for their "immoral" beliefs and two, their willingness to take a hands-off approach to addressing and slamming hate-based agendas introduced under the guise of faith for fear of insulting the religious. Come on, everyone in this country has faith and my faith doesn't tell me to discriminate and taunt people. Step up and seize the Democratic ideals. Remind people that without the Democratic Party, there'd be no Civil Rights or Women's rights. Sarah Palin and her husband would not have been able to get union jobs to help support their growing family, Palin would not have received fair pay at any of her jobs and her daughter would not be embraced by society in the way that she's being embraced today. These events were all the result of the hard work of Democrats devoted to making America a more moral place to live.

Posted by: Stepup | September 10, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that the American electorate has been dumbed down to the point where anyone who is intelligent enough to use complex sentences is considered to be "elitist". Frankly, we had a C student as President for the past 8 years, and look what's happened to this country! With all of the problems this country and the world are facing, I *WANT* the smartest people in the country solving them! I WANT a President that doesn't make us cringe every time he (or she) goes abroad! I WANT someone that can pronounce the term "nuclear" correctly.

We're falling behind China and India in technology while our kids go to college to major in Advanced Drinking and sports. Barack Obama did everything RIGHT - worked hard in school, got himself out of trouble, got student loans and scholarships to first-class colleges, went to law school, then came back to help others. John McCain got into Annapolis because he was a legacy, partied his butt off, almost got kicked out, came in fifth fromt the bottom of his class, and crashed five expensive, taxpayer-purchased airplanes, came back from Vietnam, ditched his first wife to marry a rich blonde so that she could buy his way into politics.

John McCain and his wife own 10+ properties, including 7 homes. Barack Obama and his wife own one moderately large home in an upscale part of Chicago. Who's the elitist here?

Posted by: Liberal Elitist Snob | September 10, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Suppose we can expect to see Brooks and Kristol at the next NASCAR event shotgunning Busch cans from the back of their Dodge Ram pick-ups.

Or maybe enlisting in the military to fight the wars they so loudly proclaim are necessary. When pigs wear lipstick and fly.

Posted by: hypocrite hater | September 10, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Lee Pelfey:

Interesting and completely revisionist use of the historical figure Lycurgus. If you read Plutarch, you obviously didn't understand it. Lycurgus was uncle to the heir to the throne who was too young to rule. Hardly an outsider. He relinquished power when the boy came of age. At this point, the people of Sparta, impressed with his wisdom and moderate temperament appointed him to write their system of laws. His greatest and most effective policy was to essentially make money worthless by making small denominations of currency out of arge pieces of spoiled iron. It was impractical to be rich. Using Lycurgus to support a modern Republican position is beyond ludicrous, but then again, Republicans are'nt real big on history, are they.

Posted by: joebewildered | September 10, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

If Mr. Kinsley can't find the snobs, I suggest he look at the Daily Kos. It's full of the people he can't seem to find - the ones who claimed as fact that Palin wasn't the mother of her last child for instance. Of course he did find two - but then dismissed them. Though I do think that being the editor-in-chief of New Republic is a job with considerable influence myself.

Posted by: AlibiFarmer | September 10, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The word "jaxmax" is highly offensive in my religion. How dare you be so profane? You are condemned to eternal patheticness for your offense!

Posted by: No one of Consequence | September 10, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

How do liberals find a snob? They look into a mirror.

Posted by: w stricklin | September 10, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

hey Dick Morris, how's it hangin dawg?
hey I need you to know that your 2 favorite girls are just waiting by the phone for your call. and don't worry. NOBODY is gonna know about our hookup. Bring plenty of $$$$$$$ for a good time! Bi Bi Dicky

Posted by: Deep 6 | September 10, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to think we hold the Vice President of the United States to a higher standard that, say, Ward 5 Councilmember.

Posted by: UberSnob | September 10, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

How's this for misrepresenting yourself:

If you have any photos or tapes of the Republican Convention last week, take another look. Do you see the word "Republican" any where?

I'm serious. I'm not making this up. Whiz-kid Shales totally missed it. The GOP had a convention that wasn't labeled "Republican."

They also didn't have a band. Cheap skates.

And none of the women wore pant suits. None. Not one.

Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | September 10, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Did you ever wonder why conservatives are so hyper-sensitive to what alleged "snobs" think? Could it be they suspect something about their own inadequacy? What could a snob be for that matter? A person with more knowledge, self-awareness, better taste, broader experience, an appreciation of rational analysis, an advanced education? People with these qualities must be scorned (called snobs!) because they just don't fit with the gun toting, Jesus quoting, false emoting yahooism that modern American conservatism requires. Anyone who is worried about snobs probably has a good reason to be worried.

Posted by: billthinx | September 10, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"fringe elements like Rush Limbaugh"

It's hard to be fringe when you interview the president on your radio show.

Posted by: gavin | September 10, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Mike means to be humerous with his articles.
But the Liberal nominee is no laughing matter as your colleague George Will points out, "There never is a shortage of nonsensical political rhetoric, but really: Has there ever been solemn silliness comparable to today's politicians tarting up their agendas as things designed for, and necessary to, "saving the planet," and promising edicts to "require" entire industries to reorder themselves?
In 1996, Bob Dole, citing the Clinton campaign's scabrous fundraising, exclaimed: "Where's the outrage?" In this year's campaign, soggy with environmental messianism, deranged self-importance and delusional economics, the question is: Where is the derisive laughter?"

Semper Fi

Posted by: Bill Mulgrew | September 10, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"Obama had the wisdom to declare Palin's family problems out of bounds, but many of his supporters didn't listen to him. Now, their personal attacks have backfired, and it has, in large part, caused McCain/Palin's surge in the polls."

Wrong on all counts--Obama's supporters have kept mum, the media have been all over Palin like syrup on hotcakes. And the media, as much as the Repubs would like to paint it this way, are not Obama's supporters.

The WaPo comment section really shows you how uninformed Americans are... And how they love to spread their ignorance.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Snob attacks that pop to mind in five seconds include Obama spokesman Bill Burton, Michael Murphy and Peggy Noonan caught by open mic, snarky op-eds by Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins in the NYT and sneers in at least two pieces that came in the mail.

Posted by: bri | September 10, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

My observation is that the most severe attacks on Sarah Palin are coming not from the campaigns, nor from the media columnists, commentators or bloggers. They are raising questions, which OK, the conservative media doesn't want to hear.

But ... the most critical things I've read have been "below the byline" by readers commenting and adding their opinions.

I guess if it appears in any print form anywhere, then it's "the media" and therefore your fault.

This sounds like a simple, albeit naive fix to me ... put the word out that this is free speech around the "digital water cooler".

Posted by: LAGirl1 | September 10, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I could give a donkey's behind about Ms. Palin's pregnant daughter, other than the fact that it does draw attention to her views on abstinence only education. What scares me to death is the thought of this woman we know virtually nothing about, who is a far right evangelical Christian with views that are far out of the mainstream, and who does NOT have the qualifications to be VP, let alone president is a heart beat away from the WH. Media people, I am begging you to PLEASE do your job. How insulting is it to the American people that the Rethuglicans would have chosen such an unqualified woman? Given McCain's age, there is a one in three chance he won't make it through the first term. How can anyone possibly be okay with this?

Posted by: spicegal | September 10, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin's faux religious panders to the evangelical group. A sincere Christian honors the Ten Commandments. One of those Commandments is "Thou Shall Not Lie". It looks like she has broken that Commandment numerous times. I don't always trust the polls. However, the pundits are asserting that Palin has plucked a lot of the women voters. If that is the case, what does it say about us as women? Are we that shallow that we will allow someone to dangle something shiny in front of us and expect us to grab on to it without, first examining the product. Well, it appears that McCain and the Republicans think we are that shallow. Some us may be. McCain, Rove and the others probably go behind closed doors and laugh at the bimbo female voters as well as Palin herself. She is being used. I for one will decide my vote based on the issues and who I think will deliver come January. But, I think McCain has decided that for me when he attempted to play on my intelligence by bringing Palin to the fold expecting you and me to act like ditzs. What a joke!

Posted by: bev | September 10, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The governor of the largest state in the countrry is not fit to be president. But a man who voted "present" over 100 times as a state congressman to not leave a voting trail, been running for the presidency ever since getting into the Senate and who has proven there is no one he wouldn't throw under the bus for the presidency (i.e, his pastor and church of 20 years)is? I'll take her inexperience any day of the week over his socialist utopian visions for the country. You Obama folks keep drinking your Koolaid.

Posted by: Gainesville, Florida | September 10, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Michael, Michael, Michael -- I read you frequently enough (and enjoy, whether I agree or not) to KNOW you are much sharper than this, so I, too, must say you are being disingenuous. Liberal, intellectual, urban elitism is VERY real, and a very real part of the Democrats' problem. (I am in a deep blue area of CA where I see and hear it constantly.)

I highly recommend to you Clive Crook's article in the Sept. 7 Financial Times. R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Posted by: grannyg1 | September 10, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

That's the problem with democracy in America. When anyone can run for high office, anyone does.

Posted by: DFC102 | September 10, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I am a woman and a Reagan Republican. I am deeply disturbed by John McCain's choice of a totally unqualified person as his VP, but am incensed that he is USING this poor woman as his political tool. What he has here is a woman who is willing to allow herself to be USED as an object, for political gain. She is being totally subservient to a man, and has willingly prostituted her womanhood. How can McCain have any respect for this woman? How can she have any self respect? It's shameful and disgusting to all self respecting women of any party. This is a very destructive thing to do to women, Mr. McCain. What message does this send to her pregnant unwed 17 year old daughter?

Posted by: Janice W | September 10, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his thugs have been denigrating small-town Americans and accusing non-supporters of racism the entire campaign. His real concern now is finally meeting an opponent who is not going to take it lying down.

Posted by: Elizabeth | September 10, 2008 10:13 AM


Lemme guess. You're a small-town American.

That's a neat little lable like "liberal" but I'm not buying the code. I like smalll-town Americans, myself. What I can't stand is hypersentitive idiots, no matter what kind of town they're from, who think that all Americans are equal, and moreover, who hate their betters.

Let me elaborate in case you don't understand.

Some Americans are indeed better than others. Some are more talented, more capable, wiser, better educated, harder-working and more accomplished. They deserve their position at the tip of organizations and, if they're honest, they deserve what they earn. America is a great country because we create and encourage that kind of elitism.

Ignorant, parochial, insecure little people who don't give as much to our society don't merit the attention or the respect that the elites get. They don't merit high office. They don't merit the responsibilities and rewards of leadership. They can't or don't contribute as much to the greater good as the elites do.

The world needs American elitism. America needs it. We don't need anything less. This petty anger from petty people who demand that the playing field be leveled in their favor hurts everyone.

Posted by: DFC102 | September 10, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

C'mon now. Who has a larger audience? Rush? Or The New Republic? I think the highest-rated talk radio host in America hardly qualifies as a "fringe element." Maybe he and Hannity don't represent "the majority of conservatives," but they certainly speak for a large plurality.

Posted by: Matt | September 10, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

"I am a woman and a Reagan Republican. I am deeply disturbed by John McCain's choice of a totally unqualified person as his VP, but am incensed that he is USING this poor woman as his political tool. What he has here is a woman who is willing to allow herself to be USED as an object, for political gain. She is being totally subservient to a man, and has willingly prostituted her womanhood. How can McCain have any respect for this woman? How can she have any self respect? It's shameful and disgusting to all self respecting women of any party. This is a very destructive thing to do to women, Mr. McCain. What message does this send to her pregnant unwed 17 year old daughter?"

Lighten up, my guess is that you need a little fun in your life. It would appear that there are very few women, "self respecting" or not that don't feel the way you do. Maybe you should re-evaluate your feelings.

Posted by: Bobn | September 10, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Knappy headed hoe..and big eared monkey with lip stick?? VERY UNQUALIFIED DISFUNCTIONAL..OSAMA OBAMA

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

19 months into the campaign before you looked at Obama's pastor, who was clearly and glaringly an issue unto himself. Even then, only the posting of "G**D*** AMERICA!" on Youtube forced you to put anything in print.

19 minutes after Palin was announced as McCain's running mate, you rushed false, misleading, and snarky crapola into print about her religion.

Just in terms of process, that's BIAS

It is BIAS.

The signs the people held up in Czechoslovakia in '68 can be held up today in America:


Posted by: Frank | September 10, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

That the Republican Party attacks its adversaries with charges of elitism and snobbery - purely subjective characterizations with no policy implications - rather than with charges of stupidity or ignorance, is telling. Living under Bush for eight years and still daring to call themselves Republican, they have little choice, and it explains everything about the McCain campaign. There's nothing left to do but misrepresent your opponent and fan the flames of (misplaced) resentment. Good for your Party, perhaps, but bad for the country.

"Movement Conservatives" are the canary in the coalmine of America's future. We'll elect them at our peril.

Posted by: Phee | September 10, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: sonnysideup34 | September 10, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Name calling—"Washington elite"—won't hide the fact that Palin has no education and no cultural background and could care less about either one. It is not elitism to be educated; it is an obligation to democracy. It is not elitism to have culture: it is the most fundamental courtesy to others.

Posted by: M Ross | September 10, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

What would Bill Buckley think of all of this? I knew Bill Buckley and he certainly was no snob and no elitist. Oh gee, I guess maybe he did believe in a meritocracy at times, but he probably wouldn't apply this to Alaska, would he? Maybe he was a member of the press though and he was Republican. Personally disagreed with his politics but he was nobody's fool. We have come to an end of intelligence with this moronic combo on the so-called conservative ticket. This is the worst election for President, well, maybe since Harding. Or Grover Cleveland?

Posted by: cb | September 10, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: YVES | September 10, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

GMS, you're so right.

From "day one" I have not been able to figure out why it's news that John McCain finds it necessary to go against his party from time to time (proving I guess that he does have some sort of conscience) and Obama doesn't. If your party is just screwing the country, piling up benefits for cronys and selling the rest of us down the river, you'd have to take exception with that from time to time. If your party is out of power and has to work hard to get everyone on board, why the hell would you (if your name weren't Lieberman (a quisling for the 21st century) jump ugly with your team.

McCain is a sad old man and he's sold what little remained of his soul (after the Bush hug)...and now he has that one last glimmer of hope that the Palin pick brings ...well, let's just say, Goodnight Johnny...

Posted by: Serge S Werken | September 10, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

David Brooks and Bill Kristol calling out *other* people for being...wait for it...snobs?


Sorry, sorry....


Thanks, I feel better now.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey bri, you moron. Mike Murphy was MCCAIN'S OWN ADVISOR until last year!!! Peggy Noonan was Reagan's vaunted speechwriter!!!

But yeah, that's what the GOP elite thinks of you morons who lap up all the lies you're being fed about Palin from the McCain camp, which can more accurately be called the Rove camp now.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

re: Stewardesses.

It's her outfit. I keep expecting to see an American Airlines pin on her jacket or blouse.

What's sexist about that? Is there something demeaning in being a stewardess? Is it sexist to say a man dresses like a cowboy?

Re: Snobs.

Some people think the president should be educated and intelligent enough to understand a complex world. Real Americans always believe they know better than the president, unless they agree with the president, in which case he's as smart as they are. Anybody who thinks that Joe sitting on his barstool may not be up to the job is a snob.

Posted by: Jack | September 10, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

"Common now Mr Kinsley, lets reduce the hypocrisy. Whenever people of your ilk want to criticize conservatives for something that was said about Sen Obama, you have cited fringe elements like Rush Limbaugh. I'm sure he probably doesnt represent the majority of conservatives, but you have had no problem citing him over the past 2 yrs in that context"

Kinsley is a member of an ilk? Is that like the Elks?

There are conservatives, and then there are dittoheads. Once this party was known as the know-nothings. Limbaugh may not be a good representative of the general class of conservatives (Will almost never mentions him), in this case the shoe fits. Limbaugh promoted Palin for VP for months; McCain wanted Lieberman. Limbaugh won, and McCain is running with Limbaugh's VP candidate.

Poor McCain. He was a man of honor and independence once.

Posted by: I can be Anonymous2 | September 10, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Call me a snob - but I do look down my nose at a candidate who would imperil the country and the world by choosing an inexperienced, extremist nutcase to be his vice president. McCain - you're makin' me more uppity by the minute. Palin -- you are the scariest thing to come down the pike since (oh damn, I can't decide if it was Bush or Cheney who is scarier -- take your pick. Let's see how many of those idiots who voted Bush/Cheney last time get fooled again. I'm guessing 99.9% based on the current polls. Fools all.

Posted by: Elitist | September 10, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

So rtfanning - do you suppose Dick Morris was sucking on a prostitute's toes again, when he wrote that column? After he did that, he had no choice but to become GOP. Party of morality.

Posted by: Jess Wondrin' | September 10, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Republicans for Barack Obama in 2008

Posted by: Mary | September 10, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Snobs are the people that are presumed to be someone else, as in, it certainly can't be "me" or "my group." It is a made-up designation to deflect getting to a greater truth usually. In this case, people that are "off-limits" to criticize Sarah Palin are designated snobs. That's the easy way to write them off, and thus, whatever they say or their criticism becomes meaningless. But I'm a mother of 5 and come from a small town, so I have a pretty good appreciation of women's issues. On top of that, I've even been to Alaska and I'm a professional with a lot of work responsibilities. So I don't know who the snobs are -- just because we may have opinions that disagree with her on the issues. Assuming she will ever answer questions from the media, that is.

Posted by: dilleaux | September 10, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Lighten up, my guess is that you need a little fun in your life. It would appear that there are very few women, "self respecting" or not that don't feel the way you do. Maybe you should re-evaluate your feelings.

Posted by: Bobn | September 10, 2008 5:41 PM

No woman needs a man, Mr. Bob n to tell her how she should feel. Nor do any women need men to be authorities on womens' feelings. You are a condescending, arrogant chauvinist who represents the very problem with John McCain. By the way, is your idea of having fun ending up like the 17 year old daughter?

Posted by: Janice W | September 10, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Sally Quinn is a pinhead....

Dems need to leave Gov Palin alone, it's not working! Give it up.

Posted by: palinpower | September 10, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Ello also from Oz ...not Kansas..anyway Martimrl 12.41 asks WHY can this be so - that people are stupid enough to keep taking McCains bate and avoiding real issues - like "its the economy stupid".

This is the problem with Democracy - is 51% of the people are stupid you win - so target the masses is the strategy and it works ....and..

well let me start again as - ello Ello World leaders and exporters of Democracy "US STYLE" - this election since the Mc Cain VP pick has descended into a cross between Jerry Springer/WWF/WWE/Jackass - thanks for the humour - but then we then think - hey this is the worlds so called leader - who tells everyone to be with them or against them...anyway you can pick who you want and we can decide wether the respect you demand from everyone is warranted...

anyway I think you should all go watch the B grade cult classic as seems very prophetic - especially with the campaign strategy being adopted at the moment... "Idiocracy"... here is a overview below....pretty accurate - makes Nostradamus look fraudulent

"Idiocracy is a 2006 American dark comedy directed by Mike Judge, and starring Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph. The two main characters sign up for a military hibernation experiment that goes awry, and they awaken 500 years in the future. They discover that the world has devolved into a dystopia where marketing, commercialism, and cultural anti-intellectualism run rampant and dysgenic pressure has resulted in a uniformly stupid human society.

Despite its lack of a major theatrical release, the film has achieved something of a cult following because of its satire of the “dumbing down” of contemporary society and the breakdown of individual responsibility and consequences.

A narrator explains that natural selection is indifferent to intelligence, so that in a society in which intelligence is systematically debased, stupid people easily out-breed the intelligent, creating, over the course of five centuries, an irremediably dysfunctional society. Demographic superiority favours those least likely to advance society"

So sounds very prophetic and thats where you guys are headed - if not there already

Posted by: col in paradise | September 10, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

I object to the author's statement "Obama said that any discussion of Palin's family was "out of bounds" and even reminded people that his own mother was a teenager when he was born. He got no thank-you from Palin."

Keep in mind that in this very paper it was noted that Obama has done nothing to stop the invasion into Sarah Palin's family - so Obama has proven that talk is cheap and his prommises are empty.

I guess Sarah Palin should thank Obama for his grossly inappropriate and insensitive comment of "lipstick on a pig". His refusal to acknowledge that the comments could be perceived as insulting to women voters is a clear indication where women stand with him. But he made that pretty clear with his Hillary bashing campaign.

Women need to vote for advancing their status in this country by voting for Sarah Palin '08! Give them lipstick that they have to deal with!

Posted by: Working Mother | September 10, 2008 10:15 PM | Report abuse

"Wrong on all counts--Obama's supporters have kept mum, the media have been all over Palin like syrup on hotcakes. And the media, as much as the Repubs would like to paint it this way, are not Obama's supporters."

I know personally Obama-supporters at my office who have ignored their leader's warnings and have instead declared Palin's family fair game and have accused her of being a bad mother. And I've read pro-Obama blogs and comments on websites, including this one, which have used similar attacks. But, instead of their being fair game, the family was bait for a trap, and it has sprung.

Posted by: Sam | September 10, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Michael, Michael. You're a bright guy. Surely you see the purpose of Brooks's column? He's framing the debate. This isn't about ad hominem attacks on Palin. It's about her honesty problem, particularly with her laughable claims about the Bridge to Nowhere.

You're right, though. He's set up a straw man. Where ARE these so called snobs? As usual, he and other conservatives have no answers.

Posted by: Monk | September 10, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh go ahead and call me a snob. But don't call me "boxed in" by the Sarah Palin pick - I'm just bored. It truly is the only reason I got tired of talking about her 24 hrs after the announcement.

Really, the country is going to hell in a hand basket faster than Bush II could snort a line - and all the Right can pull out is a woman who soaks the airwaves with estrogen-laced subjects. Teenage pregnancies, lipstick on dogs, updos (yadda), the price of a good suit (yadda, yadda). And (oh yawn) do I need to go on?

The woman is a giant bore - and rather shrill. So, the snobs aren't "boxed in" by la Palin - we just have much better and more interesting things to talk about. Moving on (pleeeeeeeeeaaase).

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the new Dukakis. He's going to lose. No experience, no accomplishments. Kinsley and the other liberal snobs and biased media folks are just going to have to deal with it. At least you'll have the Congress.

Get ready for 2012. Palin-Jindal vs. Hillary or Mark Warner.

Posted by: Sally Jenkins | September 10, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Enough! No Seriously…

The McCain campaign has gone too far. Waking up this morning to hear the news that the McCain campaign is demanding that Obama apologize for using the “lipstick” phrase. The very phrase John McCain has used to describe Hillary Clinton at least twice before. With all the important issues to discuss and debate the McCain campaign has chosen to use Karl Rove style politics-taking the focus off the important issues and changing the storyline to superficial headlines that wont matter after Nov 5th. The American people (no matter who you are voting for) deserve better than this. After seven and a half years of the Bush administration we ARE NOT better off. The American economy is spiraling, what victory in Iraq looks like has yet to be defined, education is not equipped for the challenges of the 21st century and America’s oil dependence needs to be addressed (besides chanting drill baby drill).
We need a clear vision for the future-not sensational sound bytes to feed the inept media machine. The media has failed the American people!
It is now up to US-to DEMAND the McCain campaign focus on the issues and not simplistic distortions and detraction. I use to think that by just voting I was completing my civil duty. But now I realize that I must take the next step-US- the American people have to demand better from the McCain campaign. The media is so interested in ratings it is willing to sacrifice our country.
Now I am just one person. I have never done anything like this before. My suggestion is to organize to show up at McCain rallies/headquarters around the country-wherever he travels- and simply ask for the truth. Peacefully ask him to stop the lies and distortion and focus on the issues. I don’t know what else to do…we need to organize and stop the smears. So if you are fed up too-if you have a better idea.
I have created an email just for this purpose. It is up to US-from the bottom up to organize and demand better. This is the president were talking about…not American idol. It was the Republicans who put us in this mess now- John McCain who agrees with the overwhelming majority of Bush policy-now wants to disown the party?
As a teacher part of my job is to teach accountably. Its time for John McCain to be held accountable for his actions!

If you feel the same or have better ideas email me

Posted by: bizarroworld08 | September 10, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Man O man.. nothing ever changes.. its politics as usual..BOTH sides.. when is America gonna get a belly full of all the tripe ?? Clone Reagan.. i'd vote for him again

Posted by: Nomad1814 | September 11, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

For proof of disdain against "provincials" such as Palin, just check the comments that readers left at Kevin Drum's blog, Matt Yglesias' blog and the Huffington Post in the days right after Palin's selection was announced.

Posted by: stir fry | September 11, 2008 12:40 AM | Report abuse

It it gross to watch this dog and pony show from the Republican side of this race. They are desperate and it shows in their race tactics (lies, lies, lies) and lack of integrity! If we vote McCain into office, we deserve to suffer the consequences for the next 4 years!!!!!

Obama for president!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

OMG! Look on the internet. Palin has been savaged. I heard a family friend tell my 13 year old daughter "Sarah Palin tried to ban Harry Potter!". Umm, not true.
She's a creationist, who has imposed abstinence only sex education in Alaska and now look, her daughter's pregnant. Not true again. But its been repeated over and over. I'm not a Republican but its disingenuous for Kinsley and the commenters to deny that there have been some very nasty things written about Palin over the past week.
And lest anyone think nastiness is confined to the right, just click on the comments on virtually any political article in the online Washington Post.

Posted by: bowiemd1 | September 11, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse


There! We have heard from on high.

I have never heard such authority from a ... a ... a community organizer.

Organize those messy communities people! Look busy!

Posted by: LMAO | September 11, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The people I've talked to are either very happy with Palin, or they call her a red-neck nobody from a hick state.

So in my experience the snob factor is very much in play. And it will, yet again, bite the Democrats.

Posted by: some made up name | September 11, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Sally Quinn, Kitty Kay, Bill Maher; Hanna Rosin; Leon Wieseltier; Roger Ebert; Richard Cohen, Wendy Doniger, Carol Fowler, Juan Cole, Cintra Wilson, David Plotz, Borack Obama.

Want me to go on?

Posted by: robtr | September 11, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are desperate to win and the appointment of Sarah Palin is evidence of this! Uck.....Let's get some help here, not a female figure head that has NO EXPERIENCE!
It is frightening the thought as Sarah Palin as our Vice Chief and Commander and Yes, I am a female. America, wake up and see this show for what it is.........a SHOW!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 15, 2008 10:56 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company