King of Elitists Explains Why It’s Okay That Barack Obama Is an Elitist


Lewis Lapham, oil heir, former Harper's editor, and founder of the wonderfully pretentious journal Lapham's Quarterly, will be on Bloomberg TV tonight. During the interview, a portion of which was e-mailed to us, he is asked about whether he thinks Barack Obama is an elitist — we guess in the same spirit that interviewers asked Jesse Jackson and the Reverend Al Sharpton the black questions. Lapham gives a kind of awesome, elitist response:

“He’s an elitist, but he’s an elitist in the same way that the founders of the American Republic were elitist. Washington, Jefferson, Adams … these were elitist and recognized as such. There was no down connotation. The whole use of the word elitism is a little confused. We usually use it as a pejorative. In the last quarter of the 18th century, it meant accomplishment, it meant capacity, it meant the ability to learn and that is a distinguishing feature of Obama. Here is a man who can learn.”

Isn't that fantastic? Also, we bet Obama is really thankful he has Lapham in his corner on this one. Below is a link to the podcast.

Lapham Says Education is `Only Hope' for the Future [Bloomberg]