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Bette Midler Mocked For Calling West Virginians “Poor, Illiterate and Strung Out”

Bette Midler Mocked For Calling West Virginians “Poor, Illiterate and Strung Out”

Joe Manchin “wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out,” Midler tweeted.

One of the few things Democrats are really good at is concealing their deep contempt for working-class Americans behind what independent journalist Glenn Greenwald appropriately called a “thin veneer of condescending intellectual compassion.” But every once in a while they let the masks slip, and the ugliness that is revealed as a result can sometimes end up backfiring spectacularly.

We saw it in 2016 after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said during a posh September 2016 celebrity-filled $50,000/ticket fundraiser in New York City that “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.” She later expressed mild “regret” for her comments but the targets of her remarks didn’t buy it. She lost.

We saw it again earlier this year after Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe admitted during a September debate that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Afterward, he continued to insult Virginia parents by suggesting they were “racists” for opposing the implementation of Critical Race Theory in public school classrooms, the latter of which he repeatedly lied about when he claimed it wasn’t being taught there. He lost.

Actress Bette Midler isn’t running for office, but for some voters, the words of celebrities (the vast majority of who are Democrats) carry a similar weight to the words of a politician or a candidate for public office. They provide “windows into the souls” of the left in terms of what they really think about Average Janes and Joes. And earlier this week, Midler let the liberal mask slip after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) effectively torpedoed President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan for the foreseeable future.

Here’s what she wrote:

So in Midler’s view, every person living in West Virginia is “backward,” “poor, illiterate and strung out” because one of their Senators won’t vote as she wants him to on the Democratic agenda. It was a nasty, broad, not to mention ill-informed generalization and one she was immediately called out on:

And to somewhat prove the above tweeter’s point, AOC appeared on Morning Joe’s program Monday and proclaimed her Congressional district had more people in it than West Virginia:

Er … no:

But back to Midler, reactions to her little tirade fell mostly along these lines: Leftists who were either upset at her broad generalizations or the fact that she said the quiet part about loud about how they really feel, and those on the right who used her tweet as an example of how the elitist left looks down on the little people.

The same day Midler posted her tweet, “West Virginians” trended as other Democrats took to the Twitter machine to either join her in sneering at the state or to claim Manchin was supposedly going against the interests of the people in his state. I made the following contribution:

That’s the thing that “progressives” don’t get about people in the south. The same folks who latte leftists secretly view as dumb, illiterate hicks are actually very wise to Democratic machinations. They know that when Democrats make overtures to them on the bread and butter issues, what they’re really thinking is along with the mindsets of the Midlers, Clintons, and McAuliffes of this country.

For the record, I should also point out that though West Virginia does tend to elect Democrats as governors (their current governor Jim Justice was a Democrat when elected in 2017 but switched parties a few months later) and to serve in the U.S. Senate, they are usually the old school, non-“woke” type Democrats like Manchin who are socially conservative though fiscally liberal.

Perhaps sensing that she wildly overplayed her hand, Midler did a rare thing for an outspoken Hollywood leftist to do. She apologized (though the original tweet is still up as of this writing):

Too late, Bette. The mask y’all have been wearing since long before the pandemic started is off – for good.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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The Friendly Grizzly | December 22, 2021 at 5:43 pm

Regardless of your political views, I have wondered for years what does woman’s level of intelligence is. She’s always been very strange staples about everything in this goes back for decades. I truly think she’s on the two digit range.

“The same folks who latte leftists secretly view as dumb, illiterate hicks are actually very wise to Democratic machinations. ”

Oh, there’s nothing secret about it. They’re completely open about their contempt for southerners. Just ask them,

    dunce1239 in reply to Evil Otto. | December 22, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    West Virginia is rarely in the news unless there is a cave in in a coal mine, then you see pictures of the survivors and the distraught families. The only black you see is from coal dust.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to dunce1239. | December 22, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      You’ll also notice it when they do the interviews, that once they take the microphone back to themselves after talking to the locals, they have a condescending expression on their face. I have only been in West Virginia a couple of times. The poverty there in some places is grindingly bad. But, most of the people that I met impressed me as the type that would give you the shirt off their back.

And, for better or worse, I’d imagine she cares not one whit what anyone at Legal Insurrection has to say about her.

    When the proprietor of this joint is a Constitutional Law Prof, we’re going to say it anyway.

    *Unless it violates the terms of standards

You call that an apology?

    It does appear to be missing a few things, doesn’t it?

    Five Elements Of An Apology:

    Expressing Regret. “I am sorry for……” Say what you’re sorry for specifically. …
    Accepting Responsibility. “I was wrong to ……..” Explain what offensive or hurtful action or speech you are accepting as your bad. …
    Making Restitution. …
    Genuinely Promising Change. …
    Requesting Forgiveness.

Not wishing her ill, but I didn’t realize “Bette” was still sucking air…..?

Isn’t AOC the person who has been criticized for not having much of a presence in her district in favor of a national profile, even though her state, square-footage-wise is not that big? Meanwhile, even though he’s been in elected office a heckuva lot longer, Manchin has surely visited every accessible mile of his entire, much larger, state.

When you’re from a small state, they expect to see their politicians, and their politicians have to put in extra time and effort to make that happen. For heaven’s sake, Chuck Grassley is in his 80s and makes a point to visit every one of Iowa’s 99 counties every single year. Think AOC would do that?

BTW, I bet more people can sing the chorus to “Take Me Home, Country Roads” than any Bette Midler song.

Her original statement, while offensive as hell, was at least accurate in its actual content, i.e. that Manchin’s decision reflects his constituents’ wishes. The rest of it is just meaningless abuse. She’s upset at West Virginians because they don’t agree with her.

The apology, though, essentially says, “Sorry, West Virginians, I know you don’t support Manchin’s decision, and I shouldn’t have blamed you for it. He’s betraying you as much as he is the rest of the country. I withdraw my abuse of you, and pile it all on him. He’s corrupt and I sympathize with you for being stuck with him until his term is up.” And that may be less insulting, but it’s clearly not true. Manchin made his decision because that is what his constituents want, and he has to occasionally give them something so they will continue to support him.

    What is accurate about her statement?

    ” He wants us all to be just like his state, West Virginia. Poor, illiterate and strung out.”

      As I wrote, that part is meaningless abuse. Since that is all you know how to write, that is obviously the part you’re attracted to. But the actual content of her original statement is true: Manchin’s decision reflects the wishes of his constituents. Her apology pretends otherwise, and is therefore wrong.

      WV has a higher adult literacy rate than doe CA and NY

    It’s not “meaningless abuse”. They’re direct insults.

    And for heaven’s sake, the man was the governor before he became a US Senator. I think that gives him qualifications to having a clue as to what West Virginians think beyond throwing them an occasional bone. He knows damn well this bill would have cratered WV’s economy.

      Milhouse in reply to p. | December 22, 2021 at 10:38 pm

      1. Insults are meaningless abuse. That’s pretty much their definition.

      2. Knowing what they think doesn’t mean he does what they want. On the contrary, most of the time he votes like a loyal Democrat, which is not what they want. But once in a while he has to throw them a bone, or they’ll dump him. He picked this bill, because it has nothing for his state. He was waiting for them to throw in the equivalent of the Louisiana Purchase in the 0bamacare bill, so he could sell it to his people, and they didn’t. But this is no indication that he’s grown a spine or that he’ll now begin siding with his people and against his party. Don’t expect anything from him and you won’t be disappointed. At core he’s still a Dem and will remain a Dem unless they throw him out.

Midler has been on twitter for years and has consistently been a potty mouth disgusting tweeter. I was shocked when I first saw her tweets. Most likely her true personality is vile.

“It was a nasty, broad, not to mention ill-informed generalization”

You could’ve stopped after the fifth word.

Like most of Hollywood, Bette is ill mannered, ill informed, and irrelevant.

An issue I have is all of these responses are coming from the right, was she praised by the left?

What she stated is one of the more flattering ways leftists see us (other ways include as Nazis which is how the media sees us).

For being a illiterate, hick, Manchin sure commands enough intelligence and savvy to put the kybash on the entire Progressive Left’s agenda…


The radical Left filled Biden’s head with ideas that he was to be the next FDR and that he had a “mandate” to govern. What baloney. But Biden obviously bought into all the flattery.

No MANCHIN put the lie to all the fantasy. Biden has no “mandate” – he has a razor thin majority. In fact, the over-reaching and trying to ram-thru a radical change when you have a thin margin is what is killing BIDEN and has hurt the Jackass Party.

Nobody elected Biden to make radical changes. They were told he was a “moderate” and competent. Both were obviously a LIE. Jackasses lie just to get elected – then they do the opposite. Jackasses are typical politicans.