Class and Classless

In this election there have been a spate of conservatives who have endorsed Obama, including Christopher Buckley, the son of William F. Buckley, founder of National Review.  Most of these Obamacons have chastised Senator McCain for choosing Governor Palin as his running mate.  I have been struck by how much of the Palin hatred is simple class snobbery.

“Look at that vulgar woman:  She shops at thrift stores.  She went to no name colleges.  Can you imagine, she competed in a beauty contest as a young woman!  She kills animals!  Her husband is some sort of blue collar type.  Look at all those kids she has!”  Iowahawk lampoons this prejudice perfectly here.

Sarah Palin is a woman who carved a political career for herself by sheer ability.  Unlike most of our politicians she had no wealth, no prestigious education, no powerful friends, no spouse in politics, nothing.  She has made her way on raw talent and pure determination and grit.  In America it is merit that counts, and not the ephemera raised against her by many of her adversaries.   That her critics fail to recognize this speaks volumes about them and nothing about her.  Win or lose on Tuesday, Sarah Palin and her voters are going to be a force to be reckoned with, not only in the Republican party, but also on the national scene for many years to come.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. I can understand why you are amused Catholic Anarchist. Horny handed son of toil grad student that you are.

  2. Sarah freaks those who believe that all national political types should be vetted by the D.C. Chattering Classes. Attend the right cocktail parties. Leave cell phone number to producers of all D.C. cable teevee shows. Come from The Right School. The Right Political Mentor, The Right Image. Thus we have a logjam of folks who spout the same cliches in slightly modified form. We have not even mentioned how Sarah violates basic tenets of Official Feminists. Ew she hunts and fishes. Ew she had five kids. Ew she holds lifetime membership in the NRA. Double triple ew her baby is a gasp retard. But it’s all good. Sarah’s star will shine brightly should the GOP ticket burn out on November 4. Attention Obama- take a look at your 2012 opponent should you win out next week. This means you too Hillary. Thus The Future Of The GOP on display for all to see. Rhyme definitely intended.

  3. For those who, like me, came of age after the English language had ceased to be used to describe anything other than the excretory and reproductive systems (and who failed to sufficiently immerse themselves in the prose of ages past in order to get past that modern degeneracy) “horny handed” refers to someone with heavily callused hands.

    A horny handed son of toil is, thus, someone whose hands are calloused from long years of manual labor.

    What Don was doing, Michael, was questioning your cred as a representative of the working classes.

  4. Perhaps Michael I. wouldn’t qualify for cocktail parties either. Do you really want Palin as the nominee in 2012? I haven’t been that impressed. I like her more than Huckabee…or McCain…or Giuliani. But Jindal is a much better representative of the party I would like to support.

  5. “Do you really want Palin as the nominee in 2012?”

    Depends upon what conditions are in 2012, but as of now yes. I haven’t seen a candidate with better political skills since Reagan, she draws massive crowds wherever she goes and I believe she beat Biden hands down in the debate. If she were the nominee instead of McCain, with a year of campaigning for the public to get to know her, I think she would be up 3 points even in the current polls with the partisan id slanted to the Dems. She has done incredibly well for a candidate who arrived on the national scene only two months ago and in the teeth of the most hostile media environment I can recall for any national candidate.

    Jindal is also impressive. As of now I would be happy with either of them being the standard bearer.

  6. What Don was doing, Michael, was questioning your cred as a representative of the working classes.

    I don’t claim to represent anyone. But you republicans who think 1) that Sarah Palin represents working people and 2) that criticism of Palin is “classist” are unbelievably out of touch.

    Was Michael just kidding, or is his vocabulary that limited?

    Yes, I was joking, in that I didn’t really think Donald’s comment had anything to do with that meaning of the word “horny.” But no, I have not heard the term “horny handed” before. Probably an age thing.

  7. Catholic Anarchist, Sarah Palin is much closer to actual blue collar voters than the Harvard trained attorney and his career politician side-kick. The best conservative candidates can establish such a linkage between themselves and blue collar families, the same type of family I came from.

    As to horny handed, I feel so old! Tip O’Neill, then Democrat Speaker of the House, and President Reagan once had a minor dust-up when they attempted to “out poverty” each other regarding which one of them had the humbler start in life. A columnist referred to the horny handed sons of toil multi-millionnaires and the phrase stuck with me.

  8. “In Western PA, most ‘bread and butter’ people think that Sarah Palin is a joke.”

    You’ve talked to them all Mr. DeFrancisis? I suspect that the joke this election cycle in western PA is Murtha lambasting his constituents as racists and rednecks.

    Palin draws massive crowds at all her events in PA. For example in eastern PA Biden and Palin had dueling campaign events in Williamsport last Thursday. Biden drew 700. Palin drew 13,000. Her political opponents underestimate this woman at their peril.

  9. “Her political opponents underestimate this woman at their peril.”

    Not this election cycle. I certainly over-estimated her prior to the Katie Couric interviews. She has a serious credibility problem; not necessarily among evangelicals or talk radio, but among independents/MSM. The independents tend to follow the MSM conventional wisdom, and Palin has a lot of work to do if she wants to run successfully for national office. She might be able to win a Republican primary, but her approval ratings indicate she would be a tough sell to non-Republicans.

  10. Though I was politically aware enough to be massively upset by the outcome, I wasn’t a very deep reader of political commentary in ’92. However, I do remember that at Bush’s concession speech there were GOP supporters there waving “Quayle ’96” signs. Despite four years of relentless media pile-on, at least some of the conservative base still clearly loved the guy. But come ’96, he wasn’t even talked about in the primaries that I recall. (Not that the GOP disported itself well in the ’96 primaries.)

    Now, unlike Quayle, Palin has a strong ability to work a crowd. She can electrify an event in a way that few people (Reagan and Obama are the only examples springing to mind) can. The question is: will she succeed in building up a viable mainstream political persona over the next four years — which would mean having solid speeches on a range of topics which she’s able to give convincingly, something resembling a stated political philosophy (Obama’s would fit on an index card, but he does have one); and successfully going up against Meet The Press and other major venues.

    If she walks away from this with a solid team of advisers and puts in the work that work, she might well turn into a very viable candidate in ’12, with a “she was hobbled by McCain’s bumbling campaign” narrative smoothly coming into existence.

    Right now I wouldn’t have a problem with her as number two, but she doesn’t strike me as having the gravitas to be a president.

    As for the polls — I’m starting to think that we pretty much have a 47/47 electorate with very little swing actually in play no matter who the two parties run. There have been precious view victories by more than 4% in recent memory. So while I think it’s true that selecting Palin got McCain a much needed degree of loyalty out of the base, I wonder how much the polls would be different if he’d picked someone safe like Pawlenty.

  11. Catholic Anarchist, Sarah Palin is much closer to actual blue collar voters than the Harvard trained attorney and his career politician side-kick.

    There must be vastly different factions among blue collar workers, then. From what I can see, Mark is quite right.

    BTW I simply can’t wait for Palin to become the new face of the republicans. Their demise will be sealed. And the real conservatives know it!

  12. Given that the nation is roughly equally split between supporters of each candidate — it seems a no-brainer that there must be radically different groups of “blue collar” workers out there.

    Who do you consider to be the “real conservatives”, Michael?

    It’s all very well to vaunt over the idea that an intellectual/political movement one dislikes is about to meet its demise — but honestly if conservatism could survive GOP nominees ranging from Nixon to Dole and progressivism could survive Democratic nominees like Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry, it would seem clear that lousy presidential nominees (if Palin were both nominated and lousy) are incapable of destroying a movement.

  13. Please Catholic Anarchist. Real conservatives? You have as much of an ability to determine who is a “true” conservative as I do who is a “true” anarchist.

  14. “The question is: will she succeed in building up a viable mainstream political persona over the next four year…successfully going up against Meet The Press and other major venues….Right now I wouldn’t have a problem with her as number two, but she doesn’t strike me as having the gravitas to be a president.”

    Agree completely. I’m inclined to say it won’t work, but I’m open to be proven wrong. The GOP doesn’t have a very deep bench right now, although Jindal shows promise (if everything goes well in LA – a big ‘if’)

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