Congratulations to Pres Obama and his team on their terrific victory..
— Jack Welch (@jack_welch) November 7, 2012
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."
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.
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.