Monday, October 27, 2008

Hooray! We're the Elite!

Brian Williams asked John McCain and Sarah Palin to define "elite," and here's what they came up with:  a mistake and two zip codes.

Palin's answer, which she repeated several times in the midst of some unrelated bluster, was "anybody who thinks they're better than everybody else."  McCain's answer was "I know where some of them live ... the nation's capital and New York City."

Among the customary definitions of the word, the first is this: "the best or most skilled members of a given social group."  That one, obviously, has to do with actual ability, not self-esteem.  This is an important distinction, and we are concerned that Palin cannot make it.  She is, after all, a woman who gives the distinct impression of limited ability, but who nonetheless believes she could stand in as President were she called to do so.  By her own definition, then, she is part of the elite; fortunately, the dictionary lets her off the hook.

So, once again, we ar eleft wondering the same old thing about Gov. Palin: does she genuinely not know the answer, or is she purposefully avoiding it?

A second definition, by the way, is "a  narrow and powerful clique."  Like, I don't know -- the Senate?  American governors?

As for McCain, well -- we are thrilled to know that the Egg, with its world headquarters in New York, is part of the media elite.  We'll be sure to tell our pals on the Trilateral Commission.

It does strike us as odd that a man with $500 Ferragamo loafers and more homes than he can count would have a problem with us elites, but what can we say?  It's a puzzle, which we'll consider more seriously as we stir this arugula smoothie with a Marc Jacobs swizzle stick, and chase it with a triple-caf-pure-cream-chai-caccino-latte.

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