Defending the indefensible
Megan Daum of the LA Times tries to do just that, and like the typical Lefty columnist she is, she fails miserably:
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m beginning to think she might have had a point. As dumb as things were back then, it’s fair to suggest today’s culture is even dumber. Granted, the police aren’t raiding highbrow cultural events and arresting anyone who uses a three-syllable word, but something uncannily similar is playing out, minute by minute, on television and the Internet. With political discourse reduced to screaming contests and actual news eclipsed by exclusive and shocking footage of celebrities without makeup, we’ve become not only impatient with but downright opposed to the kinds of ideas that can’t be reduced to a line on a screen crawl or a two-sentence blog entry.
What’s more, a lot of people who harbor an intolerance for complexity see it not as a character flaw but a cognitive virtue. That’s because they’ve fallen into the trap of believing that complicated ideas (”complicated” now constituting anything that requires reading, watching or listening to in its entirety) are the purview of the “elite.”
The effect of that trap has been on a continuous loop in recent days, following Barack Obama’s ill-chosen remarks about bitter rural Americans clinging to guns and religion. The takeaway, of course, is that this sentiment proves once and for all that Obama is an elitist fatally out of touch with the average American. But in deference to my onetime dinner companion, let me ask this: Is he vulnerable to the out-of-touch charge because he is an elitist, or because he is usually (even if not in this case) comfortable with and in command of nuanced ideas? Is he bashable because he’s a snob or because he’s an intellectual?
This defense fails on several levels. As Captain Ed points out, she derides those who latched onto the comment, and became rather offended. Well, of course we did. Unlike Ms. Daum, who admits early on that she enjoys dinner parties on Manhattan's Upper West Side, we work for a living. We go to our 9 to 5 jobs, and work for what we earn. Did Obama? Assuredly he did, however now that he has his cake he feels he's "intellectual" enough to slander the heartland of America.
The other reason why this fails is because it's basically the same defense erected by John Kerry's supporters in 2004. He was "nuanced," and too "intellectual" for the "little people" to understand. We had to jump on the bandwagon of a syntax-challenged hick like George W. Bush. The defense fails because in John Kerry, as it is in Barack Obama, there is little empathy for the people of this nation. For both men, it was about achieving power that neither deserve.
Obama doesn't deserve the power of the presidency. It's not because he's black, or that he chose to make snide comments about the nation. It's because he's an inexperienced politician who has always set his sights on the better brass ring. But with the presidency there comes a responsibility to carry out the duties of the office effectively and competently. Given his rise to political prominence and what he did to achieve that, we'd say there is a fair amount of willful incompetence in Obama. He didn't see how Tony Rezko did business. He didn't hear his pastor defaming the nation he represented. He doesn't support the rights of the citizens of this nation. And his accomplishments net the average researcher something akin to a goose egg; that being, he has none.
Barack Obama is an effete snob, and an incompetent elitist. He is the last person we want in the White House. We don't need someone like that dealing with national leaders around the globe. We don't need the lack of understanding he possesses running this nation.
Ms. Daum can call us a bunch of bigots if she wants, but the accusation doesn't pass the smell test. Neither does her defense of the indefensible.