WHY DOES HE HATE US? – AT 8:40 A.M. ET: We used to ask, about other countries, why do they hate us? Now we ask it about our own leaders. Toby Harnden, one of the most astute British commentators on American politics, is appalled at President Obama and his opinion of his country, and charges that Obama can cause lasting damage:
This year, Democrats have embraced with gusto the notion that Republicans, and by extension anyone thinking of voting for them, are dimwits...
...In choosing California and Massachusetts, two of the most liberal states in the union, to demean ordinary Americans during election campaigns, Obama did not display a whole lot of his much-vaunted intelligence. But Obama's decision to plug Stewart's rally approvingly and appear on his show three days beforehand is even more foolish.
In the 1990s, Democrats managed to get away from their image as "eggheads" in the 1950s or "pointy-headed liberals" in the 1970s. Bill Clinton spoke like a Good Ol' Boy from the Deep South, ate junk food and enjoyed trashy women. He was clever, but he did not look down on people.
Obama, by contrast, has become a parody of the Ivy League liberal smugly content with his own intellectual superiority and pitying the poor idiots who disagree with him. It is an approach that shares much with the default anti-Americanism of British and European elites, who love to mock the United States as a country full of gun-toting, bible-clutching morons.
Obama would feel no pain if accused, to his face, of fomenting anti-Americanism. He seems to have no problem with the phenomenon.
The problem for Obama and the Democrats is that belittling the Tea Party movement, which is taking hold of much of Middle America, merely fuels the popular sense that the party in power is out of touch. It also highlights the reluctance of Obama and the Democrats to discuss the Wall Street bail-out, economic stimulus and health care bills because they know they are not vote winners.
Joining the Europeans in mocking ordinary Americans for their supposed idiocy may play well at big-dollar fund-raisers. In adopting this as a political strategy, however, the Democrats could be the ones who end up looking stupid.
COMMENT: They will look stupid, but they will never be called stupid by the media elites, who share their views and their shallowness. How would you like the country run by Christiane Amanpour?
Obama has revealed his true self during this campaign, as compared to the fake image projected in 2008. Most Americans don't like it. But, even if that's true, the Republicans still must find a credible candidate to take him on, or we'll have four more years of Obama after 2012.
October 24, 2010