Fact: it is okay to be mean to rich people. You probably shouldn’t, since habitually being mean will make you into a bitter, unpleasant person,* but if you must contemn someone it’s better they’re wealthy. Hereditary wealth is the best. To be mean to the self-made millionaire is player hating. To be mean to someone who received wealth (say from her mother’s brewery) and fame/a public platform (say from her father’ failed bid at the presidency) through zero work creates a pleasing symmetry. That person was arbitrarily given a life of absurd privilege, and now she is arbitrarily criticized for failing to be the kid of person who could achieve it on her own. Take Meghan McCain. Her column at the Daily Beast is a weekly anti-advertisement for a Columbia education, and her political analyses combine banal received opinion with false marverickery, like someone ordering off the menu at McDonalds. As Leon Wolf at RedState discovered, she’s ripe for parody. Always remember, though, that rich people have lawyers.
In part because we wake gripped by existential terror every morning, we at the Combat! blog offices like to paint the present American moment as one of unusual discord. In this way, we resemble our predatory stepbrothers in the more, ahem, widely-consumed media, who often act as if American politics were more fractious now that it was in, say, the 19th century. Such claims seem convincing—I totally see more modern people accusing one another of not being citizens than I see knickerbockers settling disagreements with sword canes—but how can I know? If only there were some means of quantifying intranational dissent, so I could know with mathematical certainty how the partisan turmoil of my age compares to that of my forebears. I suppose I’ll just have to give up and read the Bi—boom! Logarithmic plotting of correlation between stock market crashes and secessionist movements, pussies! Props to James Erwin, not only for the link but for much of the original research used in the link. He’s also raising a child.
According to the Times, President Obama will officially come out against extending the Bush tax cuts for households making over $250,000 a year, offering instead to extend cuts for the 98% of Americans who earn less than that. He’s also presented a package of deductions and capital incentives for small businesses, plus infrastructure spending designed to boost the economy and encourage hiring. It’s not a stimulus, though, because people don’t like that word. That a government plan to stimulate the economy must never again be called a stimulus is one of the few things that Democratic lawmakers can agree on lately. The other is that not giving a tax cut to the the richest 2% of the country is politically risky, and maybe they should just do it anyway so Republicans will stop being mean to them.