Note to Right: Hyde Park Is Neither Liberal nor Elite

Hyde Park is maverick—and conservative
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2008 1:23 PM CDT
The home of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – With the right cranking up to use Obama's Chicago neighborhood as a weapon against him—the Weekly Standard depicting it in a long piece as an liberal elitist bastion—Wall Street Journal columnist (and former Barack neighbor) Thomas Frank says it’s complete bunk. Not only do Hyde Park-ers have a median income below the national and Chicago medians, but if the college town has a political legacy, it’s a conservative one!

Writes Frank: “Stereotype, meet cliché: Professors plus liberalism equals ‘elitism.’” In fact the real U of Chicago cabal follows free-marketist Milton Friedman. “If the GOP ever was the ‘party of ideas,' those ideas pretty much came from Hyde Park.” There is indeed, as the Standard suggests, a local group to whom the working class is “alien”—it’s the right-wingers who have been laboring to dismantle the New Deal.