Friday, February 05, 2010

When the peasants revolt

Charles Krauthammer reveals how liberals regard the great unwashed: dumb and misguided by evil conservatives who manipulate their anger.
Obama joined the parade in the State of the Union address when, with supercilious modesty, he chided himself "for not explaining it [health care] more clearly to the American people." The subject, he noted, was "complex." The subject, it might also be noted, was one to which the master of complexity had devoted 29 speeches. Perhaps he did not speak slowly enough.

Then there are the emotional deficiencies of the masses. Nearly every Democratic apologist lamented the people's anger and anxiety, a free-floating agitation that prevented them from appreciating the beneficence of the social agenda the Democrats are so determined to foist upon them.

That brings us to Part 2 of the liberal conceit: Liberals act in the public interest, while conservatives think only of power, elections, self-aggrandizement and self-interest.

It is an old liberal theme that conservative ideas, being red in tooth and claw, cannot possibly emerge from any notion of the public good.
You see, liberals good: conservatives despicable.
This belief in the moral hollowness of conservatism animates the current liberal mantra that Republican opposition to Obama's social democratic agenda -- which couldn't get through even a Democratic Congress and powered major Democratic losses in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts -- is nothing but blind and cynical obstructionism.

By contrast, Democratic opposition to George W. Bush -- from Iraq to Social Security reform -- constituted dissent. And dissent, we were told at the time, including by candidate Obama, is "one of the truest expressions of patriotism."

No more. Today, dissent from the governing orthodoxy is nihilistic malice. "They made a decision," explained David Axelrod, "they were going to sit it out and hope that we failed, that the country failed" -- a perfect expression of liberals' conviction that their aspirations are necessarily the country's, that their idea of the public good is the public's, that their failure is therefore the nation's.

Then comes Massachusetts, an election Obama himself helped nationalize, to shatter this most self-congratulatory of illusions.

For liberals, the observation that "the peasants are revolting" is a pun. For conservatives, it is cause for uncharacteristic optimism.

8 comments:

equitus said...

This is a theme I often come back to in comments here, and why I usually comment in response to comments by our lefty crowd (oh where oh where have they gone?).

They almost never fail to grasp what motivates us on the right. Oh, they're quite sure they understand us and don't hesitate to tell us what we think and feel. But they're always way off. I think it's part of their "disease" that they cannot fathom they could be wrong about us. Or maybe it's a matter of faith for them. In any case, it's frustrating and sad.

I'm also reminded of that study from a year ago: Republicans on average could reliable describe Democrats positions. Democrats on average could not do the same for Republicans. So telling.

Alex said...

In psychology this is called 'false attribution error'. Essentially, I am good, honest, intelligent, caring and decent-and this is what I believe. If you disagree with me, then you must be bad, dishonest, stupid, uncaring and dispicable. Most adults move past this in high school.

tfhr said...

The 'Hammer has spoken.

Pat Patterson said...

Can't have a vanguard of the proletariat if those uppity proles take matters into their own hands.

equitus said...

They almost never fail to grasp...

der.... Should say, "They almost always fail to grasp..."

tfhr said...

equitus,

Re: "...our lefty crowd (oh where oh where have they gone?)"

After eight years of non-stop carping about the Bush administration, the left has revealed that it has nothing to offer to the majority of the American people. They do hold a commanding majority in both houses and control the White House but still cannot manage to show effective leadership. They have a charismatic President. What's missing? Good ideas.

Again, after all those years of complaining, sniping, carping and crying, in one year it is revealed that the left does not have solutions.

Hence, we hear nothing from them. Lately they are so disappointed in themselves that they cannot bear to offer up a credible defense of their policies or players.

Color me unsurprised.

equitus said...

tfhr,

I agree. I've often asked how they can defend the indefensible. As Obama and the Dem majority have failed them time and again, I guess they no longer have the stomach for it.

A more provocative theory is that OFA/Axelrod have decided to allocate their resources elsewhere.

I'd always chuckle when BB would say with utmost certainty we WILL have socialized health care, cap'n trade, etc. The mark of a true believer, that. *sigh* good times

Pat Patterson said...

It seems the obvious difference would be that Rahm Emmanuel is now a civil servant and supposedly speaks for all Americans. While Rush Limbaugh remains a private citizen and is accountable to his audience and sponsors only.