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More Rothschild Populism


Clinton dead-ender Lynn Forrester de Rothschild today takes to the Wall Street Journal to attack Barack Obama as an elitist. Forrester trots out the usual GOP/old Clintonite talking points -- "his current campaign is based mainly on an assumption of his transcendence," Greek columns, fake presidential seal, with no acknowledgement that Obama is giving meaty speeches filled with programmatic solutions keyed to middle-class and working-class voters.

"Elitism," Forrester assures us, "is a state of mind, a view of the world that cannot be measured simply by one's net worth, position or number of houses." That definition conveniently excludes Forrester, a millionaire businesswoman who became a billionaire socialite when she married into the Rothschild banking fortune. (Lloyd Grove has called her the "flashiest hostess in London," a position which I'm sure she attained due to her close touch with working-class mores.)

Forrester further explains that John McCain's POW history proves that he's not an elitist:

Mr. McCain can truthfully tell the story of when he refused to be treated as special, and stood unflinchingly beside less-privileged Americans. It is a story that suggests the way he would govern as president of the United States.

So McCain's 40 year old war record, and not the plutocratic economic plan he's currently running on, are the best way to tell how he would treat less-privileged Americans. Tell us more, Lady de Rothschild.

Relatedly, I see that the Nation has the story about John McCain's visit with wealthy Italian con man Raffaello Follieri and then-girlfriend (and actress) Anne Hathaway on his yacht in Montenegro. If it was Obama on that boat (Celebrity! Elitist!) the election would be over. The point, of course, is that in the current context, "elitism" isn't about your lifestyle or wealth, and it's not about whether your program caters to the middle class or the very rich, it's whatever the Republicans say it is. Lady de Rothschild and her fellow Clinton zombies are just too blinkered to realize that Hillary and Bill were "elitists" before Obama beat them in the primary, and they would have been elitists again if they had won. 

--Jonathan Chait