ARROGANCE – AT 8:55 A.M. ET: It is simply incredible to behold the arrogance of the administration and its congressional allies: The insults toward citizens, the patronizing attitude, the belief that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable skills, among which are the ability to know what is good for everyone else.
Victor Davis Hanson examines the swelled-head syndrome, which has become an epidemic in Washington:
The bookish, twice-unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson once sighed that if most thinking people supported him, it still wouldn't be enough in America because "I need a majority."
For some reason, Democrats have chosen to follow the disastrous model of Stevenson and not that of feisty man-of-the-people Missourian Harry Truman -- though the former nearly wrecked the party and the latter got elected.
Yeah, and even the "bookish" part doesn't hold up. We learned after his death that Stevenson actually read very little, whereas Truman borrowed more books from the Library of Congress than any other president. But Stevenson sounded like an intellectual, which was convincing enough for most intellectual wannabes.
Now, John Kerry -- who failed to win the presidency in 2004 and recently tried to avoid state sales taxes on his new $7 million yacht -- is voicing similar frustrations about Americans' inability to fathom what their betters are trying to do for them. He is furious that an unsophisticated electorate might not return congressional Democratic majorities in 2010. Kerry laments that, "We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on." Instead it falls for "a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what's happening."
Gee, that's not what the Democrats were saying after the 2008 election. The country must have dumbed down in the last two years. Must be Fox News.
That sense of intellectual superiority was channeled by Barack Obama himself when he later tried to explain why his message was not resonating with less astute rural Pennsylvanians: "And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
When America votes for a liberal candidate, it is redeemed by the left as intelligent -- and derided as dense when it does not. We were told not to worry that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner did not pay all his income taxes since we were lucky to have someone so well educated and experienced in high finance.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed that the tea party movement was merely a synthetic Astroturf movement. Professors and preachers may like such sermonizing, but for politicians it's a lousy way to get elected. Again, compare the relative fates of the patronizing Adlai Stevenson and the plain-speaking Harry Truman.
But current polls suggest that these clueless and unappreciative Americans apparently believe that an elite education does not ensure their officials can balance a budget, pay their own taxes or speak candidly.
What an outrageous "How dare they!" thought.
COMMENT: I once stood two feet behind Adlai Stevenson while he delivered a speech in my home town on Long Island. I was one of those volunteer teenagers who showed people to their seats. Stevenson spoke beautifully, but an hour later you couldn't remember a thing he said. Kind of like Obama. Do you remember anything he says?
But we remember what Harry Truman said, and did. And Dwight Eisenhower, often ridiculed by self-appointed "intellectuals" of the day, put more substance into a speech than any modern president.
Pride may well goeth before the fall. The fall this year occurs on November 2nd.
September 30, 2010