It's almost as if U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wants people to dislike him.
The Treasury Secretary did himself no favors this week with his handling of reports alleging he requested use of an Air Force jet for his European honeymoon this summer.
He also won no friends last month when he and his Instagramming wife, Louise Linton, took a government jet to Kentucky for a tax reform-related junket that included viewing the solar eclipse.
But the thing that makes it seem as if Mnuchin is intent on making enemies is his oddly antagonistic defense of his aircraft requests, especially the one involving the Kentucky trip.
Responding this week to the suggestion he and his wife took a government jet to the Bluegrass State specifically to view the eclipse, the former Goldman Sachs banker said this: "You know, people in Kentucky took this stuff very serious. Being a New Yorker ... I was like, the eclipse? Really? I don't have any interest in watching the eclipse."
What a weird and unprovoked attack on Kentuckians.
There are about a dozen different ways to unpack this bit of snobbery, but let's start with the obvious. Many, many, many New Yorkers were, in fact, extremely interested in the eclipse last month:
Everyone getting ready for the eclipse #eclipse2017 #saveyoureyeballs #amnh #rootopviewsA post shared by Courtney Richenbacher (@crichenbacher) on Aug 21, 2017 at 11:58am PDT
Even President Trump, who hails from Queens, was interested in the natural and rare phenomenon.
Now that the factual inaccuracy portion of Mnuchin's statement has been dealt with, there's the question of his overall meaning. There are many different ways to explain the uncalled for swipe at Kentucky, but we'll lean on Mother Jones' Ben Dreyfuss for the simplest and correct translation.
"He's saying that NY is a cool city with exciting things unlike bumfuck Kentucky where they wait centuries for the sun & moon to cross," the senior editor explained.
Dreyfuss, who stressed later he himself holds no such opinion of Kentucky, is correct. Mnuchin's meaning is clear. It's an obvious dig at those hayseeds, rednecks, or whatever the former Hollywood producer and Goldman Sachs banker would prefer to call them.
It's a bizarre and inexplicable attack, especially considering Kentucky is Trump country. But coastal elites gonna' coastal elite, I guess.