Sunday, May 10, 2009

Food Fights

I haven’t written anything about the totally hilarious “Dijon-gate” fauxtroversy which occupied the right wing landscape this past week. It’s almost too stupid to bear anyone’s attention, except I think it does show the conservative base flailing around desperately in search of a talking point.

As you no doubt know by now, Hannity, Ingraham and the rest got all over President Obama’s case for ordering a burger with spicy mustard, which as we all know is teh gaiii and what the terrorists would do and ZOMG we’re all gonna die!!!11!!!1!!111!! etc. etc. etc.

This is the same group of people who called John Kerry “ketchup boy” and mocked him for eating a Philly cheesesteak with Swiss, not Cheez-wiz, which is also teh gaiii and what the terrorists would do. Obama was also teh gaii for ordering orange juice at a diner, while Bill Clinton was ridiculed for his love of fast food.

In the conservative mind-set, ketchup is the only acceptable condiment to eat but God forbid your family should make money off of making and selling the thing: that’s elitist and out of touch. This from the crowd that supposedly thinks the free market economy is our salvation. It’s all very strange and bizarre and very contradictory. I guess someone at the Frank Luntz Conservative Thought Police School thinks the road to American hearts and minds leads through our stomachs.

Jesse hit the nail on the head with this post, titled Common Man Elitism:
The reason that conservatives are pushing this is that they think of “real America” as stuck in some decades-past version of society, where the bread at the store was either white, wheat or Wonder, you got yellow mustard or no mustard, you picked up lettuce and that was what you got, where you bought clothes with American names on them, preferably at a store with the word “Value” in the name.  It’s a patronizingly out of touch view of things that ignores not only the reality of people’s lives ("bread" is an entire aisle now!), but also the impact of the free-market global economy the right supposedly so values and adores.


But perhaps the strangest part of all this is that when Democrats get hit for elitism (Kerry’s cheesesteak, Obama’s mustard), they’re asking for things that the places in question had in stock to sell to customers.  I could understand some hearty mockery if Obama had walked up to a Burger King and asked for lasagna; that would just be clueless.  But the idea that you have established your elite bonafides by walking up to an otherwise perfectly acceptable place of business and asking for a thing that they sell makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

There’s no winning this argument because no matter what a Democrat orders, it’s always going to be the wrong thing. But that "wrong thing" is also what a whole bunch of "common folk" order, I mean who hasn't got orange juice at a diner?

Of course it doesn’t make sense, it’s not supposed to, it’s just supposed to strike some emotional cord in people. We get our coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts not Starbucks, God dammit, until the DD spokesbot gets caught wearing a scarf that looks supsiciously Muslim-y. You can’t win for losing with these people and you shouldn’t even try.

The only appropriate response is to point fingers and laugh.