Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
19

Some Plutocrats Are Being "Classy" About Obama's Second Term


One of the weirdest words to infiltrate Election 2012 wasn't "binders" or "rape." It was "classy," as in some guy in sweatpants surveying the omelet bar at an Embassy Suites buffet and saying to his wife, "This is a classy joint, they got shrimps in the eggs and everything."

But now, in this glorious second term of Barack Obama's imperial socialist presidency, "classy" is used to describe a powerful plutocrat when he briefly controls his vulgarian outbursts for long enough to express basic good manners. The right-wing wealthy in this country have become rage monsters, like The Hulk but without a compelling backstory. We have allowed this to happen.

Any public behavior more restrained than Donald Trump is worthy of a respectful golf clap in the unhinged world of America's chief executives and other moneyed sociopaths. Mitt Romney was wheeled out to recite whatever platitudes his handlers stuck in his flashcard slot last night, and thousands of commentators both liberal and "objective" rushed to describe the empty-eyed concession as "classy."

This broad's got real class!

Jack Welch, a rich and powerful American, should be gracious enough to not be a giant asshole in public. So when he manages a tweet's worth of congratulations for the president, it at best deserves a "glad you managed to control yourself for a minute while something important was going on, sociopath." Instead, Twitter sang out a chorus of "classy" praise.

"Classy" is a peculiarly American term, in its pre-Election 2012 use. In an allegedly class-free nation, the lower classes used it to praise behavior they considered worthy of their upper-class betters. Putting plastic covers on a sofa or not unbuttoning your pants once you got full at a restaurant, these were classy ways to act. Momentarily not being a jerk isn't classy. It's just another reminder that an unhinged person is probably up to no good again.

Hey that Romney, he's all class!

Class in America was once about subtle and not-so-subtle ways of displaying power and wealth. "Classy" was the way people of lesser means let each other know their behavior was upstanding, worthy of the rich! Now the very rich are utter cretins, and 140 characters of not being a dick on Twitter is enough to win a weary nation's appreciation.

19 Comments / Post A Comment

carpetblogger (#306)

The Awl is essential reading today.

petejayhawk (#1,249)

@carpetblogger Most days, really, but especially days in which I have no desire to do actual work. Like today. Or most days, really.

namedropper (#8,938)

Class is grace under pressure. Romney, Welch, Adelson, and Trump failed that test.

hershmire (#233,671)

Protip: wealth doesn't buy class.

alorsenfants (#139)

Verily I say unto you – - this kind of "Classy" is a Three Dollar Bill,

Matt (#26)

Mighty white of you.

SkinnyNerd (#224,784)

In this case, it is a portmanteau of clueless and assy.

All's I know is that CNBC is going all MARKETOPOCALYPSE this AM because some idiot traders are liquidating their positions before the Bolsheviks can line them up against the back wall of the NYSE. Those who do not remember history are doomed to etc etc. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-22/stocks-return-more-with-dem-in-white-house-bgov-barometer.html

Obligatory : At least they were classy enough to not perp-walk Megyn Kelly back to the numbers guys this time.

BadUncle (#153)

@Gef the Talking Mongoose Awesome time to invest, then.

@BadUncle : Since I'm not a pundit, I might actually be held to my predictions. Therefore, I shall offer none save a click of the thumbs-up button.

JoshUng (#11,371)

The least classy thing I saw was MSNBC before Romney conceded. Ohio was called, but was still close (in fact, Romney had a slight lead but the projections were still Obama because the uncounted votes were in democratic areas).

Lawrence O'Donnell was already accusing Romney of not being the classy guy Kerry was but dragging this thing on. And some other guy was complaining, "well, rich people don't like being told they can't have something they want."

I mean, if it was a day or two later, I'd understand. But this was before any of the later states were called for Obama. They were just assuming Romney was going to be a dick.

NeonTrotsky (#2,249)

Look, it's just important to note that Mitt has come a long way, considering his father's Mexican immigrant background.

PoignancySelz (#238,693)

When I think of classy, I think of Tawd Palin, go figure.

Dave Bry (#422)

I dislike the use of the term without regard to context. As noted above, but with humour as opposed to serious revulsion, "classy" is a classist term. Basically every time someone uses it, it's saying, "Rich people know how to act better than poor people." Right? That's the way I've always taken it. I think it's gross.

@Dave Bry : Like "luxury", "classy" has been so over-applied as to strip it of not only its original classist roots, but also of any meaning whatsoever.

Downhill (#239,259)

Real classy post.

john smith (#245,014)

"Classy" is a peculiarly American term, in its pre-Election 2012 use. In an allegedly class-free nation, the lower classes used it to praise behavior they considered worthy of their upper-class betters. Putting plastic covers on a sofa
cubensis

john smith (#245,014)

Classy" is a peculiarly American term, in its pre-Election 2012 use. In an allegedly class-free nation, the lower classes used
sporedepot

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