"No More Qualified than a Plumber"
Yesterday, Joe Biden was continuing the attack on Mitt Romney's Bain Capital experience, stating that Romney's experience as a private equity CEO "no more qualifies you to be president than being a plumber." For a vice president whose main role on the ticket is to connect with the blue collar Reagan Democrats, that is a Biden blunder ranking up there with praising Obama as "clean and articulate." No surprise.
I view it as a "Kinsley gaffe," in which a politician reveals what he (and in this case, most of the Democrat leadership) actually does think, about the average blue collar tradesman. Why, exactly, is a plumber unfit to be president? I know one plumber who has built up a substantial contracting business over the last 35 years; I suspect his practical knowledge of how the real world works far better fits him to be president than, say, a lawyer with a lifetime in the US Senate or a community organizer turned law professor. But, in the minds of Biden, Obama, and most of the Democratic leadership and the "Mainstream Media", only people possessing advanced degrees are qualified for elective office. (I suspect Sarah Palin's lack of such a credential was the invitation to her marginalization.)
This obsession with higher academic credentials goes far beyond elective office, though. Over the last 40 years, the whole view of blue collar work has changed profoundly. Parents of children who choose not to go to college are deeply shamed (particularly if they attended college themselves). My father (who had a masters degree) never felt that way about my brothers who went into blue collar jobs, but now even those brothers push their own kids to go to college. (This is the cultural driver of the higher ed bubble that is rarely discussed.)
In the 50s America I grew up in, blue collar men were not ashamed of their work, and it was inconceivable that a Vice President of either party would casually voice the kind of snobbism Biden did. The Left's obsession with income equality can be seen as simple projection, a strategy to divert attention from the reality of the Left's contempt for the noncredentialled serfs they pretend to represent.