Clueless People Of Quality

There is always the chance Barack Obama will rise from the ashes next November, but I don’t think it too early to consider how he went, in only three years, from the most brilliant, most eloquent guy ever to an inexperienced incompetent who can neither do anything right (with the exception of the bin Laden whack) nor utter a sentence which isn’t liberal piety or leftist demagoguery.

The answer lies in both the toxic self-esteem our modern education system instills in blacks who wear their pants above their rear ends and are capable of uttering a comprehensible sentence and the credulity of the so-called educated class toward minorities and women.

Why did the Democratic Party (whose members consider themselves “quality people”) insist on making their 2008 primary elections a choice between a woman who owed her prominence to her husband and who carried more baggage than U.S. Airways and a one term senator who was completely bereft of any experience in the real world? The answer: the defining role race and “gender” play in the liberal mind. Race and gender (when one is a Democrat) bestow magical powers that white males (particularly Republicans) can never access.

It isn’t that the Democrats did not have good candidates. One person who stands out is Indiana’s Evan Bayh. A two term governor and senator, Bayh comes from a well known political family; he is young, good looking, smart and articulate. What’s not to like?

Problem is he’s a white guy and white guys don’t get the liberals’ juices flowing. The most a white, male politician can aspire to nowadays is to be considered merely intelligent and merely well-spoken. Brilliance and eloquence are reserved for women and minorities. Next to brilliance and eloquence, mere experience counts for almost nothing.

Thus the perplexity exhibited by liberals now that Obama has shown that he may not even be smart and well-spoken, that he may, in fact be clueless and boring.

Seems Like Only Yesterday

As Richard Fernandez points out, even normally sensible people have had a reality lesson:

… in 2008 nobody had direct experience with Barack Obama. He was the man from nowhere. We had no a posteriori way of judging him. But in 2008 a very large number of people saw Barack Obama stumping on the stage. Interestingly, many saw him exactly as [Martin] Peretz, [David] Brooks, and [Peggy] Noonan did: a fairly competent politician who might be left of center but whose policies and likely actions would fall well within the mainstream and bounds of rational behavior. But others saw him right off as a huckster. Neither group could quite explain to the other why what they saw was the “true Obama.” Why did two different sets of people see the same Obama images and come to different conclusions?

The reason I think is prior collateral information, or experience. It would be interesting to study whether the same group of people who tended to view Barack Obama unfavorably in 2008 also saw John Edwards as a sharper. There was something about Edwards’ hair, the unnatural emphasis with which he delivered his messages, some oleaginous quality that hung about him that…stirred memories of something unpleasant in the viewer.

But these unpleasant memories were largely absent in middle class, college educated, white America. These were nice people. They didn’t routinely associate with the con-men, hucksters, pawnshop brokers, and street corner grifters. To them the perfect hair, the nice suit, and the emphatic speech were simply proof of good personal grooming and culture. But to others these very same things were too clever by half. And just as the sight of a man climbing out of the window with a bag at night would arouse no suspicions in persons unfamiliar with burglars, neither would Obama’s papered over resume ring any alarm bells in people prepared to think the best of everyone.

Given the paucity of investigative information on Obama, given his near absolute lack of a substantial track record, it was natural for Peretz, Brooks, and Noonan to be taken for a ride. Not because they were dumb, but because they were “quality” people.

Now the quality people can see certain kinds of truth, because they are familiar with the sort of data that now alarms them. Now that they can observe the betrayal of Israel, the lunacy of Obamanomics, and the erratic management, the full magnitude of their error becomes apparent. But they didn’t see it at the outset; lurking on the edge of his expression as he campaigned, nor in the little niggling inconsistencies the media was determined to ignore. Now the problems are as big as life: upheaval in the Middle East, the bankruptcy of the country, the scandals of the administration… Perhaps a little late, but better than never. “Welcome back to the fight, Rick. This time we win.”

But there’s one last thing that nice people don’t know. It is that hucksters aren’t confined by the same boundaries they assume everyone else is contained by. They are capable not only of sucker-punching you, but of exceeding limits you never thought could be transgressed. Grifters are in some sense not part of the same civilization that Peretz, Brooks, and Noonan inhabit. Maybe they don’t believe this yet. But they will. They will.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: