Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Arrogant = Uppity

A few minutes ago, commentators on MSNBC were discussing whether Barack Obama has become "too arrogant."

The seeds of this narrative started last month, when Karl Rove - of all people - referred to Obama as "coolly arrogant" and said that "even if you never met him, you know this guy. He's the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by."

Of course, Rove said this during a breakfast at the Capitol Hill Club. The delicious irony, no?

But when Rove and others call Obama "arrogant," what they really want to say is "uppity." How dare Obama think of himself as special!

As John Ridley observed: "Arrogant, of course, is a euphemism. In the monochromatic bunkers from which old-schoolers cling to power the true word they use is 'uppity' when hurled at blacks. It's the "B-word" for women."

If Rove and his ilk are going to go there (and we know they will), I hope Obama supporters meet him in the gutter with their thinking caps and swords. That sort of rhetoric should no longer be tolerated.

UPDATE: This column in the Washington Post has renewed all this superficial "arrogance" chatter. As Matthew Yglesias implies, this appears to be an almost willful effort by Dana Milbank to distort Barack's words.

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