Saturday, July 12, 2008

With friends like these . . .

One part of John McCain's bad week was that Phil Gramm made the rather inappropriate comment that America is a "nation of whiners." Oops. Not good. That has already become a soundbite, and that is going to be hanging around McCain's neck. And Gramm is not just some random politician who shows up on talk shows - he's one of McCain's key economic advisors. As a former senator from Texas, he has strong cultural affiliation with Bush.

McCain, of course, repudiated the comments. Obama's response was brilliant, because it is now associated with the original comment. Obama said that America already has one Dr. Phil. Now, almost any time Gramm's comment is discussed, Obama's comeback will be discussed as well.

But then Fred Barnes had to show up on Fox News and make matters just a tad bit worse for McCain. He argues that we are not in a recession, and that this is, in fact, a nation of whiners.

The other people, Brit Hume and the woman (didn't catch her name), to their credit, disagree. I have no clue why someone - anyone - would think that you're going to help your candidate by insulting the American people.

I am hoping that what we are about to see is a turnaround in the whole "who's a snob" debate. The idea that an African-American politician is a snob, while a man married to a woman worth $100 million, is somehow a man of the people, is ridiculous. One reason Republicans have hammered Democrats for so long about being elitists is that it's the best possible defense against Democrats doing the same thing. Which Democrats can very easily do, because many Republicans are elitists.

Here's Barnes:

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