Stranger Fruit

Ironic Statement of the Month

“I feel like [Obama] is an elitist” says a blue-collar single mom who supported Hillary Clinton and has now decided to support McCain.

Just joking!

The statement was made by Lynn Forester de Rothschild, CEO of EL Rothschild and wife of international banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, whom happens to live in New York and London.

Elitist … I think that word doesn’t mean what she thinks it means.


  1. #1 Ethan
    September 17, 2008

    Is there another word for “People who insist on discussing real problems by appealing to facts and logic”?

  2. #2 tincture
    September 17, 2008

    Ethan, I believe the word you’re looking for is “endangered.”

  3. #3 Facial Mirkin
    September 17, 2008
  4. #4 GrayGaffer
    September 17, 2008

    I’m not sure there are many people using that word publicly today who do know. (or. I’m sure there are not). ((or. they do know and choose to assign a different meaning)).

    However, I think the Repubs are using ‘elitist’ as a synonym or dog-whistle code for “uppity”. And poisoning our beautiful English language more.

    For those who need a refresher, look the words elite and elitist up at

  5. #5 chris y
    September 18, 2008

    She thinks it means “too clever by half”. In conservative political discourse this is indeed what it means.

  6. #6 Umlud
    September 18, 2008

    Here’s a GOPper dog-whistle statement:

    Obama’s “elitist” experiences stemming from his years as a “community organizer” is what makes him “uppity”. He is against “traditional family values” and “makes fun of” “small town America.”

    In other words, “Obama’s success-in-life-despite-being-an-African-American experiences stemming from his years as a person who tried to help the community, but a profession the GOP will try and villainize is what makes him a despicable African American and a danger to the status quo of social and racial politics in this country. He is against the strictly defined anti-homosexual, anti-choice, anti-civil rights set of dogma put forward by right-wing religious groups and roundly criticizes those people who use those fundamental feelings of home, belonging, and patriotism hijacked by the GOP and wrapped up in a product called small-town-America.

  7. #7 FastLane
    September 18, 2008

    It’s bad enough these people buy intot heir own stupid propaganda, but why do they always have to be irony impaired as well?

  8. #8 Bee
    September 18, 2008

    Many people use the word ‘elitist’ to mean ‘appears to be much smarter than I am’.

  9. #9 GrayGaffer
    September 18, 2008

    Bee: “Many people use the word ‘elitist’ to mean ‘appears to be much smarter than I am’.”

    – with a negative connotation, like it is somehow wrong to be smarter. Well, when used in place of “uppity” they do mean it is wrong. The neutral meaning is just somebody who believes being better at something is a Good Thing ™.

    Personally I really want the leaders of my country to be smarter then me, to know their stuff better, etc. I know how much of a hash I would make of it. Sharing an understanding of my pain and needs is far from sufficient – I want them to know how to fix things. I sure don’t. And if they insist on coming off as ‘one of us’, a common person, then they sure don’t either. However successful at that deception (? I don’t think Bush’s behavior is a deception – I think he really is a moron).

  10. #10 mercurianferret
    September 18, 2008

    GrayGaffer, I think something is missing here. Alongside the statements of “uppity” there is the statement of “elitist.” Both of them are squared at an African American. The former phrase – uppity – has had a long history of pejorative use in the South, especially against African Americans who dreamed and strove for something beyond what they were “supposed” to have – dictated by the relatively elite white society. Set against that understanding, any African American who ‘makes it’ might well be considered “elitist” – in the sense that they are “uppity African Americans (or [in]appropriate racial pejorative) who now think – due to their new-found wealth or education – they have a ‘right’ to dictate to us (usually ‘us’ = ‘white’) who know better.” The point of a political dog whistle is that it is heard only by those it is meant for. “Uppity” and “elitist” (in the context of uppity) is – don’t doubt it – a political dog-whistle for people with good “small-town” 1950’s-America values (which in the South still meant public lynching).

    Of course, sometimes a word is just a word. But, then again, when did African Americans become “elitist” in the dictionary sense of the word?

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