Eric Reuter bait

Caught this from Matthew Yglesias the other day. The political genre of smear-by-food-preference is lazy and condescending.

One of the real oddities of the contemporary conservative movement is its intense contempt for the perceived personal consumption habits of contemporary liberals.

Particularly odd is that this is normally phrased as a hyper-defensive accusation that liberals have contempt for conservatives. At CPAC today, Tim Pawlenty went off an a really nasty rant about how liberals all sneer at conservatives for not having gone to Ivy League colleges and for not liking “brie and chablis.”

For one thing, I defy anyone to find a single example of liberals sneering at Pawlenty for having attended the University of Minnesota. It’s a good school! What’s to sneer at? And who’s sneering? Meanwhile: brie? Really? Ramesh Ponnuru likes it. They know all about it at Sam’s Club. Of course in Minnesota, local favorite Target is the big box retailer of choice and they sell this nice cheese board. At the St Paul Cheese Shop about 1.2 miles from Pawlenty’s house they’re offering what sounds like a nice sandwich of prosciutto di parma and Great Lakes brie.

Personally, soft white cheeses aren’t my favorite varieties. But cheese in general is great. And what of the great things about the United States of America is that we’re a large, diverse, and open country where we’re able to learn from culinary ideas from abroad. Minnesota, as best I can tell from Google, has a substantial number of dairy farmers and artisanal cheesemakers. But, you know, some varieties of cheese have—tada!—foreign-sounding names! So I guess Pawlenty had no choice but to randomly dump on millions of Americans who enjoy eating good cheese, or who make cheese, or who sell it. They’re selling chablis at Wal-Mart so I guess Pawlenty has contempt for everyone who works there too maybe. I dunno. Heck, I’ve got a foreign-sounding name. So do a lot of people!


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

One thought

  1. Gotta say, that’s the funniest post title I’ve seen since “Oh hell, Mom’s found the blog”.

    Fully agree with him, though. I don’t understand why food preferences are weighted so much more heavily than, say, sports or car preferences. Last I checked it wasn’t elitist to sport a “Have you driven over a Ford lately?” bumper sticker. Someday I’d love to see one of the purveyors of the “arugula-eating elitists” schtick say it to Phil Stewart’s face, on-camera.

    The Bushes apparently ate lots of organic within the White House. The Hulshofs apparently have a big wine cellar. Scandal Something tells me big-time Republicans don’t cater their fund-raising dinners from a drive-through.

    Yet it’s pretty easy to tag someone like me as a liberal elitist for being proud of growing and eating what I consider better food, and for running a farm that’s far more self-sufficient, traditional, and libertarian-minded than the straw-man American Farmer. What is it about food that turns our politics upside down, such that Republicans become staunch defenders of subsidies, price setting, and bailouts (for commodity farmers) and Democrats get all strange too?

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