Republicans and Fox News are outraged that the President is dining with celebrities. Perhaps they’re hoping y’all forgot about a recent Texas fundraiser for Romney, wherein they flaunted being around extreme extravagance, including dining beneath art painted by none other than Adolph Hitler.
Last night, in an attempt to keep up with the Republican corporate money-printing machine in a deregulated campaign finance system, the President had dinner at Sarah Jessica Parker’s Manhattan home and raised $2 million. The First Lady was on hand for the $40,000 per person fundraiser. Meryl Streep was in the house, along with fashion icon Michael Kors and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Later the First Couple appeared with Alicia Keyes and Mariah Carey at New York’s Plaza Hotel for another fundraiser.
Fox News and trickle down press attacked Obama for hanging with celebrities when he should be eating coal because the economy hasn’t recovered yet from Republican policies.
Melody Johnson at Media Matters pointed out the hypocrisy:
Bill O’Reilly, while managing to avoid any mention of Trump hyping and attending a Romney fundraiser, said: “I don’t see Romney with anybody… he’s not hanging with the rich, right-wing swells.” O’Reilly later asked, “What famous person attended a Romney event? Nobody.”
As a reminder to O’Reilly, here is what Trump said on the June 4 edition of Fox & Friends:
TRUMP: The big dinner is going to be the Trump dinner. You know that, dine with Donald, you know that. Well, Mitt Romney and the whole group came up with a plan. They were looking for a big celebrity, and then somebody said, ‘we have the biggest celebrity. It’s Trump.’
They don’t mention that Romney has out-raised Obama thanks to a few of the nation’s most wealthy donors, and even last night raised $3.3 million dollars at a fundraiser held on Chicago’s elite Gold Coast in the Public Hotel, the former Ambassador East. The price for dinner with Romney? $50,000.
What was that about Obama hanging with rich people in a bad economy?
Romney warned his donors that if Obama is elected, America would go the way of Europe, neglecting to mention that the worst hit parts of Europe are suffering from the kinds of austerity measures Romney supports, “We’re going to have the kind of deficits Europe has, the kind of health care system Europe has. We’re going to have the chronic high unemployment Europe has, the low wage growth Europe has.”
Republicans, jealous that Obama has big name talent behind him, have long sought to compete with Obama’s celebrity status but they’ve only managed to come up with three big names: Birther Donald Trump, crazy birther Ted Nugent, and birther adjacent Sarah Palin.
Since they can’t compete, Republicans next move is to use Obama’s celebrity against him, painting him as out of touch because he is seen with people who make money.
This argument fails on a number of levels. First, it’s not about whom someone hangs out with, it’s about his or her policies. Obama’s polices clearly reflect what is best for the middle and lower classes. The fact that he had dinner with Sarah Jessica Parker has no bearing on his policies. Nice try, Republicans.
Second, it is Republicans who insist that corporations are people and have advocated for the current endless corporate dollars flooding into their coffers in the form of less than transparent PACs. These same Republicans voted no on letting you know who is behind the negative ads you see on TV. That’s because they want to make sure their corporate dollars are hidden under a rock so that you can’t speak with your money against the corporations that fund Republicans.
Republicans seem to be arguing that while corporations are people, celebrities are not.
It’s not as if Romney isn’t hanging with people who make a lot of money. The only difference is that people know who Obama’s people are, because they are famous whereas Romney donor casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is not. But Adelson just gave another $10 million to Romney “Restore Our Future” PAC. Adelson earlier gave $21.5 million to Newt Gingrich along with additional millions to various Republican races.
Third, Republicans such as Romney and Trump gloat about their “success” (although both were born to the silver spoon) as if this elevates their moral character and automatically cloaks them in business competency, which further entitles them to divine, unquestioned power from God (God loves rich Republicans). How is Donald Trump’s celebrity/success any different than Reese Witherspoon’s, Jessica Parker’s, or George Clooney’s?
Well, okay, Reese, Jessica and George are actually talented and likeable people…. But aside from that distinction, there is no difference. All three of those celebrities managed their careers in such a way that they have created wealth, given back to the community, been job creators, and all three actually worked to get where they are today. Having worked with a few of these folks myself, I note that they also tend to support unions and demonstrate appreciation for the work and contributions of others, unlike some people who seem to think their success is a reflection of their singular entitlement.
Republicans like to paint all celebrities as the same, but of course, reality TV star Donald Trump is not the same as artist George Clooney on the respectability scale within the entertainment business. In fact, the real problem Republicans have is that Obama attracts A-listers and their guy gets the reality leftover of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has a lot of money, but so does Paris Hilton. Donald’s career mimics Paris’ in many ways, though I suspect she may be smarter than him as she hasn’t destroyed the Hilton fortune several times over. But really, so what if Donald is a cheap clown with inexplicable nouveau-riche taste? He’s all Romney can get, so Romney will take it, even though you know Romney cringes inside every time Trump opens his mouth.
Republicans would love to frame this election around any issue other than Romney’s actual policies, so they’ll hop on any manufactured drama they can. Today it’s how dare Obama hang with celebrities, even as Romney has plans to have a similar dinner with Donald Trump, and hasn’t been shy about standing next to Trump even after Trump doubled down on his birther barking.
Republicans will try anything to discredit Hollywood (even when the actors are located in New York), because Hollywood attracts artists and artists tend to more often tend to side with social progress and therefor don’t vote Republican.
When they have Trump, they gloat. When Obama has Sarah Jessica Parker, they pout and blame.
Same old show as 2008 when McCain tried to paint Obama’s celebrity as bad only to reveal the depth of his envy by going rogue with Palin.
Republicans wanted unlimited funds for campaigns because they know they stand to gain from it; as greedy corporations and the one percent seek to diminish any possible give backs to the country via revenue generated from taxes. Corporations are people to Republicans, but celebrities are not.
Sarah Jessica Parker is bad, but dining beneath Hitler is oh so good. Mitler fail.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.