Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Limousine Liberals: The New Democratic Party?

Discussing the meaning and impact of Joe Lieberman's loss in Conneticut occupies much of the blogosphere today. Most of the discussion centers around whether or not the Democratic Party now excludes anyone supporting the war in Iraq. But I wonder if it signifies something else also, the dominance of the limousine liberal.

Bill Clinton, like him or not, raised himself up from humble roots in Arkansas. Since his presidency, wealthy elites seem to have dominated the Democratic Party. Al Gore grew up as the privileged son of a U.S. Senator. John Kerry married not one but two extremely wealthy women. And, of course, there's the Kennedys.

Now enters Ned Lamont, a member of a family with generations of wealth. Lamont essentially bought his electoral victory. Edward H. Crane at CATO Institute notes, "More than 60 percent of Ned’s campaign expenditures came from Ned. Without Ned, Ned loses. " (Hat tip to Instapundit)

Wikipedia defines limousine liberal as this:
Limousine liberal is a pejorative American political term for a wealthy liberal person who expresses a deep concern for the poor, but is not actually directly engaged with them on a day to day basis. The term can also carry the connotation of expressing concern for the poor but not spending any considerable portion of one's wealth to help them
It may be a pejorative but it sure sounds familiar. More from Wikipedia:
In the 1970s, the term was applied to wealthy liberal supporters of open-housing and school busing. In Boston, Massachusetts, supporters of busing, such as Senator Edward Kennedy and Judge Arthur Garrity, both sent their children to private schools or lived in affluent suburbs. To some South Boston residents, Garrity's support of a plan that "integrated" their children with blacks and his apparent unwillingness to do the same with his own children, seemed like hypocrisy.

By the late 1990s and early 21st century, the term has come to also come to be applied to those who purport to support environmentalist or "green" goals, such as mass transit, yet still drive large SUVs or literally have a limousine and driver, even for extremely short drives better served by walking. Washington governor Christine Gregoire is regularly cited as an example in the blog "Sound Politics".
Rich liberals possess a long history of actions such as the ones described in the first paragraph of the quote. With their wealth and power, they don't have to suffer from the impact of laws they pass or court rulings they make. They can live in gated communities and hire bodyguards. Illegal immigrants won't drive down their wages or take their jobs.

I know many liberals who "support" environmentalist causes who drive SUVs and otherwise use more energy, etc. than needed except to support a lavish lifestyle.

With so many people near the top of the Democratic Party that have never known what it means to struggle just to make ends meet, I doubt the Democratic Party feels the pain or joy of the typical American. The Democratic politicians continue to broadcast the same message, "Thru government, we can make your life better." But most of us just wish the government would leave us alone. And we see the pretense that they "care".

Well, that's how they may do stuff up in Connecticut (where the race is still wide open for the General) but down South, we effectively put a former County Commissioner into the US Congress from the 4th District. Resoundingly so, I might add.

Also, we're running a Methodist minister for Congress in District 1 against a scion of the political class.

"Limosine Liberals" do kinda turn me off, but it is the result more of the "political class" in this country than any wealth or ideology. Too many of our leaders, on both sides of the aisle, are children of privilidge, and have attained political office through family connections rather than any actual ideas they might have.

Like so many folks in this country, what Daddy does determines what Junior does (see also: firemen, military, police, academics, ministers, doctors, lawyers, educatiors, businessmen etc etc). Most of our political class is part of the machine because it is a family business, and like any 'profession,' politics follows the same rules, for better or for worse.
I thought about putting in a disclaimer concerning you and other non-limousines. I didn't mention John Edwards because he may be rich now but he earned it, whether you like how he earned it or not. But on the national level limo liberals seem to be increasing.

On both sides of the fence we are becoming too close to an oligarchy. We need fresh blood. Then again, what intelligent, reasonable person would choose a career in politics in today's climate, not many.
Yeah, I wonder what would happen if a really gifted orator and ideologue came along. Would he/she think it was simply not worth the ridiculous attacks and schmoozing, or could he/she succeed because of good ideas and powerful personality?
USA Today had an article today about Al Gore not really being "green" and about his mansions. I would have mentioned it in a post but a Democrat being hypocritical is not news.
According to Congressman Jack Kingston, Democrats like me also aren't very patriotic. But I reckon that ain't news either.

(Thanks for the distinction, DADvocate, my complimentary limosine is still on back order from Super Secret Liberal Takeover Headquarters. Buttheads can't even run their secret bureaucracy right...)

I used to get all worked up about conservative hypocricy, and then liberal ideological inconsistency, then I realized: if voters voted against hypocricy and ideological inconsistency, we wouldn't ever have an incumbency problem in this country.

This is what we get when rich people have an easier time getting into politics (on either side) where getting votes requires stumping like you're a populist. If the job application is hypocritical, the job ain't gonna stray too far.

But I sho' wish mo' of us folk on a mortgage or holding down crappy entry level jobs could get into high political office. Betcha that might ratchet down some jackassery on a national level right quick.
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