As certain Republican senators attack Joe Biden's appointments as government of the elite, John Avlon points out just how silly that is. I hope you enjoy this takedown as much as I did!
"So President-elect Joe Biden is just naming his cabinet but already the Republican attacks are coming. Check out this dis from Senator Marco Rubio on the national security team," Avlon said.
"Everyone supports American greatness, but it's the Ivy League elitist hit that really doesn't stick. Not only will University of Delaware alum Joe Biden be the first president to not attend any Ivy League school since Ronald Reagan, but the Trump cabinet is crowded with Ivy Leaguers, starting with Trump himself. In fact, most of Trump's current cabinet went to Harvard or Yale, with AG Bill Barr being the outlier from Columbia. So when Trump says this --
"-- it doesn't mean he actually wants those folks around his house. Conservative populism requires the rhetoric of defending the white working class against elites, even and especially if it's a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Take a look at Sen. Josh Hawley, who had a Trumpy trifecta by calling Team Biden 'a group of corporate elitests and war enthusiasts -- and Big Tech sellouts.' Hawley, who raised more than a million dollars from the finance and real estate industries, is a great example of the Ivy League populists who want to rise in Trump's wake. He went to Stanford, the home of Big Tech, and Yale Law. Fancy. Or how about Senator Tom Cotton, who also is competing for the conservative populist crowd, he's double Harvard -- undergrad and law school.
"Secretary of State Pompeo hasn't been secret about his presidential ambitions and he is Harvard Law as well. Kris Kobach, who briefly held Trump's voter fraud panel, is a real fire breathing conservative populist but get this, he went to Harvard, Yale Law and Oxford University. And of course Senator Ted Cruz loves slamming elites but often overlooks the fact that he went to Princeton and Harvard Law.
"Look, the problem is not getting a great education, that's something we should celebrate, even though where you went to college or even if you went to college isn't necessarily a predictor of success or smarts. Harry Truman didn't get a college degree, neither did Lincoln. Worked out for both of them. The problem is the phoney pose of it all, attacking elites for political gain when by any definition, these conservative populist senators are elites and they have all sorts of other elites on speed dial for fundraising calls.
"Which brings me to another populist myth. Ted Cruz tweeted 'Today's Dems are the party of the rich. The GOP party should be the party of the working party.'
"Now Trump is, of course, is a self-styled billionaire. His tax cuts were a bonanza for the super-rich. But it was Biden who won voters making under $100,000 while Trump won voters making over $100,000. It was Biden who won counties suffering from higher unemployment during the pandemic, despite also carrying counties that contain 70% of the U.S. economy. So don't believe this elitist hype, especially from Ivy League populists. And that's your reality check."