Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tim Pawlenty hates dairy farmers...

(And grape growers)

I have always wanted to post something like this - totally unfair, out of context, and attacking one silly rhetorical blunder.  But even then, what was Terrible Timmy thinking?
One of the real oddities of the contemporary conservative movement is its intense contempt for the perceived personal consumption habits of contemporary liberals. Particularly odd is that this is normally phrased as a hyper-defensive accusation that liberals have contempt for conservatives. At CPAC today, Tim Pawlenty went off an a really nasty rant about how liberals all sneer at conservatives for not having gone to Ivy League colleges and for not liking “brie and chablis.”
For one thing, I defy anyone to find a single example of liberals sneering at Pawlenty for having attended the University of Minnesota. It’s a good school! What’s to sneer at? And who’s sneering? Meanwhile: brie? Really? Ramesh Ponnuru likes it. They know all about it at Sam’s Club. Of course in Minnesota, local favorite Target is the big box retailer of choice and they sell this nice cheese board. At the St Paul Cheese Shop about 1.2 miles from Pawlenty’s house they’re offering what sounds like a nice sandwich of prosciutto di parma and Great Lakes brie. [More]
Obviously aspiring pop-conservatives like Pawlenty will say anything for an applause line at CPAC. Embracing populist egghead-bashing works pretty well, except he seems to be unaware the American cheese-buying market has moved on from Velveeta. At the least, it was tragically dated.
The mustiest of Tim Pawlenty's attacks today was on San Francisco elites who eat brie and drink Chablis.
Both are available at Wal-Mart. [More]

What is the point in market-driven dairy producers seeking to serve a lucrative premium market if politicians who claim to be on their side ridicule their customers?


JR said...

hey John thanks for talking about dairy in your blog. However I doubt thee liberal's use of brie has had any impact on the price of milk however the fact that we can't get more pizza sold has really hurt us. I think our declining consumption can be laid at the feet of an aging populace.
The other thing is I was way more offended when our president while campaigning called us in effect "bitter clingers". Clinging to God and Guns was his point. I really think that on both sides the groups who hold on to thier ideals the tightest cheer the loudest for the soundbites.
Personally I wouldn't call terrible Timmy a conservative either.

John Phipps said...


I was at a dairy meeting somewhere and an economist was talking about the devastating effect of the cheese cutback by pizza makers. I forget the actual ounces they reduced when prices shot up in '08, but the lasting problem from his perspective is the generation growing up who will think low-cheese pizza is what is "normal" - in other words after a few years, taste buds will be reset to less cheese.

It was all news to me as we are so far from good pizza and delivery we rarely eat it, but my friends confirmed this change.

He also talked about us old guys steering clear of dairy as the umm, processing machinery works a little less effectively.

Hence our "no-ice-cream-after-6 pm." rule.

It looks more and more to me that preserving free trade to boost exports will be critical for the dairy industry.

Anonymous said...

John, no ice cream after 6:00p.m.??? What a silly rule!!! But I guess you are getting older! And the more cheese on a pizza is goo-ood!

Dairy said...

At a dairy meeting I attended the speaker said that Americans consume the equivalent of roughly 193 acres of pizza per day. Our job as promoters of dairy products was to work to increase that acreage, since half of USA milk is made into cheese, and a large percentage of cheese goes on pizza. You bring up an interesting problem--there has been "topsoil" erosion on that acreage!