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The <em>New Yorker Cover</em>: Are They Brain Dead Or Politically Suicidal?

What is it with educated elites in our major urban cultural institutions? Where are their heads? What country are they living in?
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This is SO incredibly stupid. I can't believe it. I am a New Yorker subscriber so I know they have been supportive of Obama all along. Their hearts are in the right place.

But where are their heads? What country are they living in?

A truly classic 1976 cover cartoon by Saul Steinberg called View of the World from 9th Avenue answers that question. The key search words might be bicoastal and flyover.

What is it with educated elites in our major urban cultural institutions? Are their heads so far up their assholes that they actually don't understand the fantastically precarious possibility that Obama represents for this country and the world? Is the scope of their experience so narrowly defined by dorm life at Harvard and Amherst and Oberlin that they have zero understanding of the challenge Obama represents to white Americans in that overlooked middle section of the nation depicted so tellingly by Steinberg?

Or is there some deep unconscious motivation to avoid real political responsibility? To make sure that us sophisticates continue to be on the losing side, to make sure we can continue to carp and condescend from the sidelines?

I don't really believe in this second possibility. But, Lordy, this New Yorker cover is so goddamn dumb that I am driven to bring it up.

In general, here's the message: we are now presented with a unique and historically unprecedented opportunity for some portion of national redemption. Any progressive who puts any consideration -- artistic, personal, political, whatever -- above winning this election deserves the name the neo-cons love to label us with: narcissist.

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