To go with that last video. I think it is great that Obama is finally hitting back against McCain on the economy, and pointing out the position of economic privilege that McCain holds, and connecting that to his lousy, benefit the rich and screw everybody else policies. Its smart economic populism and I hope it will go far.
That said, charges of "elitism" always seem to stick more to Democrats than to Republicans, don't they... I'd like to advance a theory as to why.
Maybe its about gender.
The McCain campaign hit back against Obama's remarks by calling him "someone who worries about the price of Arugula" and thus is more "out of touch with ordinary Americans" than his fellow millionaire, John McCain.
I think that says something about how Republicans craft their message on "elitism" and what cultural codes they depend on it activating. I think they are trying to cash in on a long tradition of depicting the upper-class as effeminate - and therefore weak - and the working-class as strong, robust, and masculine. Arugula is expensive, sure, but more importantly it is a salad green - very fem. Rich folks who eat that stuff, like those who spend their money on haircuts (John Edwards) windsurf rigs (John Kerry) hybrid cars (Al Gore) or chardonnay (liberals in general) are effeminate, possibly gay, and therefore disgusting. Rich folks who buy prime steaks, massive SUVs, toy cattle ranches, and sports cars are just ordinary (macho straight) Americans.
One hopes this sort of blatant manipulation of prejudice has a limit, and that the electorate will not respond to it forever. Especially since the policies it enables are now so clearly screwing over the vast majority of the country. Sadly, history would seem to suggest that may not be necessarily so.