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Politics, Arrogance and The Smartest Kid in the Room
It isn’t simply President Obama’s left-wing politics that has a lot of Americans turning on him. It’s not just the trillion dollar-plus health care bill. Or the stimulus package that looked more like a Christmas tree loaded with goodies for Democratic constituencies. It’s not only his gazillion dollar budget or the prospect of huge tax increases to pay for cap-and-trade legislation. And it’s not even his decision to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Or his preference for trying American-hating terrorists in civilian courts, in places like New York City and Detroit. There’s one other thing that has a lot of Americans fed up with this administration. It’s the attitude. The one that informs us that, “We smart and you’re not. We know what’s best. You don’t.”
No, we don’t like the budget-busting politics. But it’s the arrogance that’s making us ill.
I’ve seen this attitude before, when I worked at CBS News, a place crawling with oh-so-smart liberals. If some dummy said “I” when he should have said “me” – or “she” when he meant “her” -- they’d look at the offender as if he committed a crime not only against the English language, but against all of humanity. To them, Hiroshima and Nagasaki may have been worse offenses, but not by much. But if you made fun of someone who lived in the Deep South, they’d laugh their sophisticated heads off.
These are the kinds of liberals who think ordinary people who fly the American flag are a little scary, and people who like to bowl a little dopey, and people who eat at Red Lobster more than a little unsophisticated. More than their liberalism, I detested their elitism.
And that’s what we have now, one more Ivy League-educated elitist in the White House who has been told since he was a kid that he’s the smartest one in the room and that he’s so clever that he can do anything he wants. If Barack Obama had gone into entertainment instead of politics, he’d be Jeff Zucker, the Harvard-educated genius at NBC responsible for the network’s late night fiasco.
And if the president had a TV show it would be called Obama Knows Best. Never mind that most Americans don’t want any part of ObamaCare, they’ll learn to embrace it, we’re told. “I . . . know what happens once we get this done,” the president says. “The American people will suddenly learn that this bill does things they like.” Right now, of course, they’re too stupid to realize this.
This is a man who ran for office telling us the old ways of doing business in Washington would die a quick death once he took office. Then he looks the other way when Harry Reid buys off senators with hundreds of millions of tax dollars to make sure they vote the “right way” on health care. But bribery isn’t enough to insure the bill would go through, so our post-political president invites his union pals into the White House and cuts them a special deal too: They don’t pay taxes on their top-of-the-line medical insurance plans for nearly a decade – but everyone else starts paying up right away.
I thought liberals were big on equality, on making sure the powerful don’t get more than the average guy on the street. I guess that doesn’t apply to powerful union bosses who spent millions to help get Obama elected.
But it’s not that Barack Obama is nothing more than an old style Chicago politician, which is exactly what he is. It’s that he pretended to be something else. He told us he was the future. He said he would be different from all those hacks who populated the world of politics -- and by different he meant better; better because he was smarter; smarter because he was a big thinker, a man of ideas. But it was all a charade. The whole time he was just arrogant.
And what about those terrorists that Americans wanted tried in military courts? The poor saps who live between Manhattan and Malibu weren’t smart enough to understand what a bad idea that was. Only Barack Obama understood that “American values” had to be upheld, and the best way to do that was to try these people in a federal courthouse, no matter how much havoc that might cause. But he never bothered to explain to the unwashed masses just what “American values” would be trashed if these “alleged” terrorists were tried in a military court.
President Obama has a vision of what America should be, whether it’s a new way of looking at health care or energy or justice. But it’s not the vision most Americans have. And so, one short year into his historic presidency, the Obama magic that swept him into office is gone. He used it all up. Liberals still love him and conservatives never did, so they don’t matter. But it’s the moderates and independents, the ones who voted for him just over a year ago, who are jumping ship. They don’t like his politics. But more than that, I think, they’re sick of his Obama Knows Best arrogance.
The other day the president told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News that the same frustration that swept Scott Brown, the new U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, into office swept Obama into office a year ago. He’s right about that. A year ago the American people were sick of George W. Bush. Now they’re sick of the elitist who replaced him.