The Politics of Meaning on Steroids

Excellent piece by Peter Wehner on Obama’s arrogance:

…Beneath the enormous charm and cool persona of Obama beats the heart of an arrogant man. With increasing frequency, the 46-year-old one-term senator from Illinois orates as though he resides at Olympian Heights. By his presumptuous demeanor, he suggests that he sees what no one else sees, and can do what no other person can do; he is America’s healing balm.

Even his efforts at damage control radiate arrogance. Speaking in Muncie, Indiana, after the story broke, Obama said “Lately, there has been a little, typical sort of political flare-up because I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my home town in Illinois who are bitter.”

The flare-up, you see, happened because Obama is the Great Truth-Teller amidst the masses, many of whom can’t handle the truth. Once it dawned on Obama’s aides that expediency demanded an apology, the Senator offered a qualified mea culpa: “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”

So if Senator Obama worded things in a way that made people feel offended (rather than worded things in a way that is offensive), well, he regrets that.

…On a deeper level, what we saw in Obama’s comments is a glimpse into a particular worldview, one that animates his political philosophy (contemporary liberalism). Senator Obama seems to view ordinary Americans as bitter, often broken, small-minded objects of pity rather than anger, ostensibly in need of instruction from — you guessed it — Barack Obama. The words of Michelle Obama are worth recalling in this context. She has spoken about her husband pushing us out of our “comfort zones,” saying “Barack knows at some level there is a hole in our souls” and “Barack is the only person in this race who understands that before we can work on the problems as a nation, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.”

This is the Politics of Meaning on steroids. If one views Americans as fundamentally needy children rather than competent citizens, one embraces the precepts of the nanny state — the state that (in Margaret Thatcher’s memorable phrase) takes too much from you in order to do too much for you.

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