Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh busted the servers at American Spectator when he read excerpts from one of their new articles, that sounds like an instant classic:
Once in a while — it doesn’t happen very often — once in a while you stumble across an article, an essay that demands to be widely disseminated. This one that I stumbled across is from the July-August issue of the American Spectator, and the title is: “America’s Ruling Class and the Perils of Revolution.” It’s by Angelo Codevilla. Ladies and gentlemen, it prints out to 16 pages. Have you read it, Snerdley? It prints out to 16 pages.
I could read the whole thing to you, and only I have the ability to probably do that without boring you to tears and sending you elsewhere. But I’m not even going to try to do that. It is so good, it is so timely, it is so thorough and complete, it’s difficult to cherry-pick. It’s difficult to pick a couple or three pull quotes to give you an idea.
The reason this appeals to me is that it dovetails with something that I have been trying to explain for 20 years on this program, and it’s come to a head now with the election of Obama. And, you know, for 20 years I have gotten the question, “Rush, why don’t the Republicans do X?” And I have struggled to come up with answers to this question. Every time I’m asked, I search for a different answer. (…)
“Professional prominence or position will not secure a place in the class any more than mere money” [writes Codevilla].
“In fact, it is possible to be an official of a major corporation or a member of the U.S. Supreme Court (just ask Justice Clarence Thomas), or even president (Ronald Reagan), and not be taken seriously by the ruling class. Like a fraternity, this class requires above all comity — being in with the right people, giving the required signs that one is on the right side, and joining in despising the Outs.” (…)
“Once an official or professional shows that he shares the manners, the tastes, the interests of the class, gives lip service to its ideals and shibboleths, and is willing to accommodate the interests of its senior members, he can move profitably among our establishment’s parts.
“If, for example, you are Laurence Tribe in 1984, Harvard professor of law, leftist pillar of the establishment, you can ‘write’ your magnum opus by using the products of your student assistant, Ron Klain.” In other words, you don’t write it; your assistant does.
“A decade later, after Klain admits to having written some parts of the book, and the other parts are found to be verbatim or paraphrases of a book published in 1974, you can claim (perhaps correctly) that your plagiarism was ‘inadvertent,’ and you can count on the Law School’s dean, Elena Kagan, to appoint a committee including former and future Harvard president Derek Bok that issues a secret report that ‘closes’ the incident.
“Incidentally, Kagan ends up a justice of the Supreme Court.
“Not one of these people did their jobs: the professor did not write the book himself, the assistant plagiarized instead of researching, the dean and the committee did not hold the professor accountable, and all ended up rewarded.
“By contrast, for example, learned papers and distinguished careers in climatology at MIT (Richard Lindzen) or UVA (S. Fred Singer) are not enough for their questions about ‘global warming’ to be taken seriously. For our ruling class, identity always trumps.”
[Rush:] So, it is a great example. Everybody totally lied. Not one genuine, authentic action by a whole cadre of people, but the circle the wagons. Dan Rather, the George Bush National Guard story proven to be based on fake documents. What happened? Brokaw and Peter Jennings circled the wagons, and the big members of the ruling class of journalism gave Rather a career award. And none of them did anything right. But they are in the ruling class. Now, instinctively, all of us know this, instinctively we think something’s not right here. These people claim to be the best and brightest, and yet the real best and brightest, the smartest among us, the people who actually make the country work are looked upon with disdain, and they are discounted, no matter where they are, and particularly if they happen to live in the South.
I’m pretty sure that as of this morning, Codevilla has a juicy book deal…
Of course, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, the general slant of his piece will sound… familiar.
I grew up in the working/lower middle class (half of that below the “poverty line”) and am the first person in my family to finish high school.
I know all about “class” — something you don’t hear much about in the big Canadian media Establishment, which is populated almost entirely by cowardly, conformist Upper Canada College grads whose last names are either Richler or Fulford.
(Please don’t try to prove your “cred” to me by explaining that you ate raimen noodles and picked tobacco for a few years while you were getting your Masters. I don’t have a ****ing Masters, m’kay?)
Anyhow, check it out, assuming the Spectator’s servers are back up.
A big thing that is going on is how clawing your way up the ladder of education keeps getting more complex, which gives kids from families with their acts together a bigger advantage. I know a few families with kids in high school where Dad, say, recently retired in his mid-fifties from a career making six to seven figures annually, while Mom is a former Chief Financial Officer or law partner who became a stay-at-home mom when she had her second child at 41.
They tend to be very nice people and they also tend to be very, very hard to compete with at readying kids for success. But at least I get tips from them. For example, one of them recently told me how big a check you have to write to Harvard to move your kid up from Waiting List to Accepted. Not that that’s a very relevant bit of advice for me, but it was definitely interesting to find out.
What we’ve seen in America is the emergence of a Winner’s Class of people who, while they may endorse in general all the 1960s changes, don’t actually follow them themselves. They don’t have a child out of wedlock, but they do get married, they stay married, and the wife often downshifts her career to invest more time in her children and her husband’s career.
For kids growing up in broken families, well, lots of luck.