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Those Damn Elites

Barack Obama is now in more trouble for making the following elitist comment:

"That’s where your good morals and good judgment come from, growing up in big cities.” 

Oops, that wasn't Barack Obama; it was Becki Farmer, who, according to The New York Times, "lives in Rochester, Pa., another Ohio River town hit hard by the closed steel mills." What Farmer actually said was this:

“It seems he’s kind of ripping on small towns, and I’m a small town girl. That’s where your good morals and good judgment come from, growing up in small towns.”

I am not particularly offended by Farmer's remark, even though it's silly. But this whole controversy should serve to remind people that in this country you are allowed to make fun of "elites" for being cosmopolitan or intellectual or whatever else. Yet if you dare say something about "small town America," watch out.

And now we have the annoying spectacle of people like George Will getting all riled up about Obama's remarks, but also thinking it's perfectly great that "real people" mock John Kerry for enjoying swiss cheese. Meanwhile, because he is enthralled by Edmund Burke and not Thomas Paine, Will himself is somehow more like Becky Farmer than Kerry. Fantastic.

--Isaac Chotiner