Bourgeois Bubbas

One of the biggest intellectual scams perpetrated by the right is the idea that supporting an inclusive, pluralistic vision of America somehow makes one an “elite.” As a public school-educated daughter of teachers who grew up in a rural area, I especially resent hearing this from blue-blood multimillionaire frat boy types like Tucker Carlson. I mean, check out the Orwellian absurdity of this screenshot (from Media Matters):



Unfortunately, many progressives have internalized the “elite” label which is foundational to conservatives’ victimization narrative. Think of the language they’ve popularized over the years. There’s David Brooks’ “Bobos in Paradise,” which mocked “bourgeois bohemians.” There’s the vapid insult “limousine liberal.” Both terms imply a kind of hypocrisy; yet I would argue that there’s nothing necessarily wrong with progressives having money so long as they put that money towards addressing inequality and vote accordingly. Meanwhile, no such term exists to describe these wealthy posers on the right who fight policies that might actually help ordinary workers at every step.


  • Mark Lungo

    Meanwhile, no such term exists to describe these wealthy posers on the
    right who fight policies that might actually help ordinary workers at
    every step.

    “Bourgeois Bubbas” works for me. And Trump is the worst of them all.

  • SusanM

    To be honest, you don’t need to be a millionaire to oppose unions. Just as reading the bible oftentimes makes an atheist, so too does working in a union shop usually turn one against the concept of unionization. Corruption and cronyism are widespread, promotions are based solely on seniority without any regard at all to actual competence. Harassers with seniority run wild and should anyone with less time lodge complaints, even serious ones, it’s the newbies who are transferred or fired, regardless of the merits of their complaints. And then there’s the unpaid “volunteer” work employees are required to do on behalf of union PACs and other such politicking or that the leadership will happily screw the rank-and-file over office politics. Unions are their own worst enemy and don’t need the One Percenters to make them look bad.

    • yougottaproblemwiddat

      I know, fast-food workers are the ultimate spoiled limousine liberals.

      • SusanM

        I find it interesting that you choose that label to describe low-income retail employees. Did you hear something on NPR that made you magnanimous enough not to use “Burger-flippers”? Nevertheless, anyone who has worked unionized retail can vouch for the accuracy of my assertions. Believe me, it’s not the bourgeois elite mystifying the plebes causing every attempt to unionize retail to fail. It’s people who know exactly what sort of con-job the unions are.

        • democommiescrazierbrother

          Wait until they’re gone, fun times, the gay 90′s, Shirtwaist stuff…

          • SusanM

            The Unions can help themselves help others by actually fulfilling their stated missions. I don’t oppose unions in principle but unless they become more responsive to their members needs, become more flexible with their workers and more rigid with the companies and work to curb abuse of the job protections they have, they’re finished.

            I don’t blame anyone for not believing my OP, but I’m calling it as I’ve seen it.

          • democommiescrazierbrother

            Oh, I absolutely agree that unions suck donkey balls, I’ve been in one, (IBEW, most of 8 years). I just know that, as bad as it was, it would have been much worse for me–especially the last two years when someone was actively trying to get me fired–without them.

            The only way to change a union is from within and it’s sometimes a deadly risky business.

            I looked at some of your other comments (don’t know why I haven’t been aware of more of them) and thought you were probitive but I feel pretty strongly about unions–even though I don’t like them, I think we need them–so , thanks for replying. Your viewpoint is just as valid as mine.

          • SusanM

            Huh, my parents were with IBEW. Small world.

            I think the best word for unions today is “complacent”. Unions can do good and they weren’t completely horrible but the leadership really hasn’t grasped the need to work to gain and keep support. Maybe Trumponomics will be what shakes them up a bit.

          • democommiescrazierbrother

            My experience in the union was that as my union brothers and sisters became middle class people they began to resent people who were lower on the ladder being allowed to climb it.

            Similar to the anti-vaxxers who grew up in the 50′s and 60′s, not seeing the ravages of polio, dipthereia, rubella and other childhood (primarily) diseases. They seemed to think that once they had what they wanted that they didn’t NEED unions anymore. A fair number of them retired and held their company stock, ‘cuz good dividends–then complained when the market said, “Bad move!”. The retirees also tended to get tossed under the capitalist limo during negotiations.

            Union “complacency” is caused primarily by union members taking ZERO interest in their union.

        • yougottaproblemwiddat

          Actually, I meant fast-food workers, who get paid a lot more in Australia and Europe, without bankrupting the major franchises.
          I guess profits going mostly to capital is the liberal way. Free market rules!

          • Alan Barta

            If you don’t appreciate unions, then you side with Reagan, who did everything a POTUS could to break them. Why was that? Union members, collectively, at 35% of nation’s workforce, constituted a powerful 3rd party revulsed by Republican master-slave mentality, so voted Democrat and Independent. Reagan was McCarthy’s sidekick, saw commies in anything resembling social justice. Once broken to only 5% of workforce, unions lost their clout, so had to cringe in the corner, defeated. Only a few exist, municipal workers mainly, and are constantly under attack, like Hillary, an ogre hiding in wilderness whose mere existence terrifies town folk.

  • Alan Barta

    Life’s a lot easier when you kowtow to monarchs, sell out to billionaires, worry about self instead of social justice for underserved masses. But it’s a gamble and an inevitable debacle. Someday the balance will shift, and you’ll be executed as a class war criminal.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.