Folks lend a hand in a hell hole

In most presidential campaigns that I can remember, at least one candidate talked a lot about how he spent a lot of time in a Bieber-forsaken hell hole like like Scraton, PA or Hope, Arkansas or a Vietnamese POW camp or whatever mill-town John Edwards grew up in, where people didn’t have any money or food, but where everyone pitched in and it all turned out okay. Not all candidates do this — Hawaii is too vacationy, whichever wealthy suburb Bush I grew up in is too Connecticuty — but the popularity of the ritual was probably tied to the idea that anyone can grow up to be president or vice-president, no matter where they were born (with Obama, it was already surprising enough that a black guy might become president so there was no reason to take this angle).

There’s been nothing like this in the Republican primary at all so far, just a bunch of rich guys talking about screwing the blah and electrocuting illegal aliens.

Is this related to the fact that no one even pretends there’s any class mobility in the US anymore, or is it coincidence?

39 replies
  1. 1
    kdaug says:

    The pretense has fallen away. Worldwide.

    Ergo: Occupy.

    No one believes the shit anymore.

  2. 2
    j says:

    Not true. Frothy is always talking about his coal miner immigrant grandfather and the hard scrabble life he led ( HE WORKED IN THE MINES UNTIL HE WAS SEVENTY!!).

    Truth be told, Frothy’s father was a clinical psychologist who did a stint working for the VA in order to pay off his med school bills, and his mother was also a VA gummint employee, and both of them got cushy gummint pensions. Frothy even lived in gummint housing for most of his life.

    But, don’t forget about his immigrant coal miner grand-daddy. Shucks.

  3. 3
    Mark S. says:

    re: the comments section at the Kevin Drum link:

    Does Megan McArdle comment over there as PattyMo?

  4. 4
    trollhattan says:

    @j:

    Yeah, he gets all verklempt about granpappy diggin’ coal ’til he kaint dig no coal no more.

  5. 5
    pragmatism says:

    Frank Luntz sez: a middle class person in the US has more money than a middle class person in china so don’t worry about it. QED bitches.

  6. 6
    Craig says:

    @Mark S.: Ha. PattyMo is a regular at McMegan’s, you would probably not be surprised to know.

  7. 7
    smintheus says:

    Santorum’s grandfather is the kind of person who’d be screwed by his grandson’s policies.

  8. 8
    cathyx says:

    They just have to go back a few more generations in order to relate to the common man. Great great great grandpappy.

  9. 9
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    According to wiki (so grab the salt shaker)

    Mitt-son of George Romney, nuff said
    Frothy-grew up near Pittsburg, parents worked for the VA, Dad was a shrink
    Newt-army brat
    Ron Paul-Also grew up near Pittsburg, dad owned a dairy

    Take from this what you will

  10. 10
    DougJ says:

    @j:

    Because people can believe we still had class mobility two generations ago.

  11. 11
    PeakVT says:

    @Mark S.: No, but that’s one of two very dedicated trolls that have ruined the comments over there.

  12. 12
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    ‘Belief’ is Big Medicine according to the Shamanistic.

    Joe the Plumber believed it was likely he would suffer egregiously from tax burden, should the , unlicensed and unemployed contractor ever see the other side of the economy.

    That’s what we’re up against, folks;
    the impotent indy whose idea of daylight is the view from their ass.

  13. 13
    ChrisNYC says:

    Santorum is getting as close as he can. His grandfather’s hands and drinking whiskey and smoking. I’m morbidly fascinated with all of them, at this point. I think Santorum is basically doing Huckabee but less well than Huckabee did. In 2008, Huckabee, defending education for children of undocumented workers, told Mitt Romney, “Education is important. Kids like me wouldn’t be in this chair if it weren’t for education.”

    PS — It’s amazing to watch the 2008 bunch. They seem soo liberal and (horrors) almost statesmanlike compared to the current crop. They had a long conversation about global warming with nary an objection. Pro cap and trade, btw. But at the time, remember, it was — what a bunch of nuts low quality candidates! Fred Thompson! Devolution continues.

  14. 14
    Raven says:

    A working class hero is something to be.

  15. 15
    Mark S. says:

    @PeakVT:

    Who’s the other one, MacGruber or contessa? Man, that’s the first time I’ve read the comments there in a while. They suck.

  16. 16
    ChrisNYC says:

    This is a nice Rick Perlstein post on Santorum’s grandfather.

    http://crooksandliars.com/rick.....om-slavery

    I love love love the last line:

    “The basic issue in this race is freedom. Would that there were more Democrats who knew how to tell our version of the story: that sometimes—frequently—it takes government to establish liberty where none existed before.”

  17. 17
    PeakVT says:

    @Mark S.: Who*whatever, though Grubby and Shitter are royal pains, too. I’ve stopped reading the comments so I don’t know about contessa’s behavior.

  18. 18
    WeeBey says:

    Santorum trades regularly on his coal-minin’ granpappy.

    Bachmann talked all of that shit about growin’ up in Iowa.

    Romney’s the son of a governor, so it’s closed to him.

    Newt would sooner die than admit anyone else had a hand in the greatness that is Teh Newt other than Teh Newt himself, though he did tear up the other day talking about his sainted mudder.

    MMV.

  19. 19
    Linkmeister says:

    “Hawaii is too vacationy.”

    Those of us who live and work here (and many of us not in tourism, at that) take offense! ;)

  20. 20
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Linkmeister:

    Is it still Paradise when you live there?

  21. 21
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Linkmeister: Serious question. Does all the political horror seem more bearable from there? You all are so far away. Does it feel insulated from the nonsense?

  22. 22
    j says:

    @Canuckistani Tom: Don’t be fooled by that “grew up near Pgh” B.S. He graduated from a lily white Catholic High School (Picture here:http://www.dailyherald.com/app.....8;maxh=248) in the lily white Chicago suburb of Mundelein, Il. (Google it.)

    Yeah, he’s from Pgh like Ted Nugent is from Detroit. (HE graduated from St. Viator H.S. in the upper middle class Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights.).

    What is it with these GOP phony assholes trying to create some “street cred”?

  23. 23
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I’m living in a hell hole
    Don’t want to stay in this hell hole
    Don’t want to die in this hell hole
    Girl get me out of this hell hole

  24. 24
    Wag says:

    You know where you stand
    In a Hell Hole!
    Girl get me back
    To my Hell Hole!

    I love me some Spinal Tap

  25. 25
    Canuckistani Tom says:

    @j:

    That’s why I mentioned the salt shaker, I know these entries have been massaged like [CENSORED].

  26. 26
    Maude says:

    The 1% is trying to convince the 99% that they really are one of them.

  27. 27
    Mike in NC says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    It’s amazing to watch the 2008 bunch. They seem soo liberal and (horrors) almost statesmanlike compared to the current crop.

    Nobody thought the GOP could top the disaster of Bush/Cheney in 2004, but they managed to puke up McCain/Palin for 2008, and we can expect to see maybe Mitt Romney/Jan Brewer in 2012. What possible horror awaits America in 2016?

  28. 28
  29. 29
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Mitt Romney/Jan Brewer in 2012

    that would be hilarious.

  30. 30
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Mark S.:
    Re KD’s trolls,
    MacGruber is fine, sometimes funny even, and sometimes makes interesting points. WhosDis is the most irritating, Shooter242 a close 2nd. “The Lounsbury” is the one I miss – a cheerfully rude drunken unrepentant Thatcherite persona, with spelling issues, who clearly knows quite a bit about banking. PattyMo is polite and mainly irritating due to number of posts.

  31. 31
    Wag says:

    Romney/O’Donnel 2012

    A tin mam and a witch in search of Dorothy and Toto, winning the Kansas electoral college votes

  32. 32
    Jc says:

    Rick perry can talk that talk, and truthfully. He just ended being a horrible candidate, and coming across as dumb.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @j:

    Hahahahahahahaha! I always knew Mundeleiners sucked!

    Ahem. Sorry, old high school rivalry raising its head at a weird moment. It’s not like Libertyville was much better in the “snobby North Shore suburbs” category.

    Still, at least we didn’t breed a Rick Santorum.

    ETA: I assume the “lily white high school” to which you refer was Carmel, though I guess I could look it up. The smart boys went to Loyola.

  34. 34
    RalfW says:

    @Maude: You mean Todd Palin/Meghan McCain?

    I’m in!!

  35. 35
    Gretchen says:

    Santorum came out today for cutting Social Security right away. Put those 70 year olds back in the mines.

  36. 36
    Brian R. says:

    @smintheus:

    Santorum’s grandfather is the kind of person who’d be screwed by his grandson’s policies.

    More than that, Santorum’s father is the kind of person who would despise his son’s policies.

    Aldo Santorum called the GI Bill the greatest gift he received. He gave back by building a career and family around veterans hospitals.

    “We always lived on the campus of the veterans hospitals. It was called the domiciliary,” said his son, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Penn Hills. “I always joked that I spent my childhood living in public housing.”

  37. 37
    Brian R. says:

    @Canuckistani Tom:

    Mitt-son of George Romney, nuff said
    Frothy-grew up near Pittsburg, parents worked for the VA, Dad was a shrink
    Newt-army brat

    So, … son of a government employee, son of a government employee, and son of a government employee. And they all want to strangle the government?

    Sounds like the Daddy Party has some serious fucking daddy issues.

  38. 38
    kwAwk says:

    Dougj

    There’s been nothing like this in the Republican primary at all so far, just a bunch of rich guys talking about screwing the blah and electrocuting illegal aliens.

    Is this related to the fact that no one even pretends there’s any class mobility in the US anymore, or is it coincidence?

    I think it’s a lot of things.

    First of all Obama is the embodiment of the principle that anyone can grow up to be president. Hell, he’s the mixed race son of a divorced family of consisting of a African father and a mother who left him at a young age to go live in another country. The issue kind of plays into his favor.

    Secondly, we have the Ayn Randian element whereby Objectivism would say that being poor or even middle class for that matter is a direct result of moral inferiority. It’s almost an embarrassment from that perspective to declare that you came from a poor and thus morally inferior family.

    Lastly I think the Republicans seem to have given up on the idea of supporting working people. Take Newt for an example with his recent talk about Jobs vs Food Stamps. A couple of generations ago a politician would have talked about how their policies would lead to GOOD jobs at GOOD pay. Nowadays they talk about jobs vs foodstamps(welfare).

  39. 39
    Mike G says:

    The idiot-child GW Bush ascending to the White House pretty much killed the illusion that merit and intelligence — rather than political power, wealth, connections and sociopathic ruthlessness — have much correlation with how far you go in 21st century America.

    The Wall Street Economic Special Olympics of 2008-2009 (“Everyone gets a prize! At taxpayer expense!”) and grinding recession finished off what remained.

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