Two years into the Obama presidency, and this kind of thing really shouldn't be a surprise.
Obama told the several dozen donors that he was offering them his “view from the Oval Office.” He faulted the economic downturn for Americans’ inability to “think clearly” and said the burden is on Democrats “to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling.”
The President believes that we are not "thinking clearly," and that our attitudes and behavior stem from "fear and frustration". It is one thing for Obama to think that, but it is yet another for the President of the United States to say it out loud - about his own nation's citizens.
But this is no surprise, is it? This is the same man who accused those who disagreed with him of being hyper-religious, violent xenophobes:
And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Yes, we remember that one well, don't we?
A quick Google search reveals the extent of Obama's condescension problem. Article after article document his snooty, patronizing attitudes about those around him.
Recently, Obama even teed off on his own party.
Whatever complaints they might have about climate change or other issues, Obama said, it is “just irresponsible” that some Democrats and progressives were lacking enthusiasm for the election.
“If people now want to take their ball and go home that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place,” he said. “If you're serious, now's exactly the time that people have to step up.”
Darcy Burner, of the leftist organization ProgressCongress.org, responded:
“Here we have a president who over and over again said that a public option was going to be a key part of the health care plan — who then, it turns out, cut a deal to get rid of the public option. And he’s upset at the base that worked so hard to try to get a meaningful health care bill,” she said.
"The least he could do is acknowledge that progressives have legitimate concerns. Instead he’s condescending. It’s not helpful.”
It IS rather amusing to see the tables turned on them. Yet, Obama's condescension towards his own ilk is not a new thing either. The Huffington Post noted this attitude last year. The conclusion of John Knefel's article states:
And what these recent polls are showing is that if Obama continues to treat those who mobilized en masse to work for his election with scorn, derision, and disrespect, he can, and should, expect nothing but the same in return.
A prescient statement, considering how most pre-election polling indicates an apparent abandonment of support for Obama's agenda by pretty much all but the most hard-core leftists. Victor Davis Hanson spots this as well, and notes:
But polls suggest that these clueless and unappreciative Americans apparently believe that an elite education does not ensure their officials can balance a budget, pay their own taxes or speak candidly.
What an outrageous "How dare they!" thought.
Obama's attitude undoubtedly originates from the bowels of liberal/leftist thought and his sheltered past as university academic wonk and community organizer. Elitist liberals believe they know better than we do about how we should think and act. From health-care legislation that removes choice, to limits on what foods we can eat and beverages we can drink, to motorcycle helmet laws and beyond, the leftist philosophy is to remove our ability to think for ourselves and turn it over to the State. Their assumption is that we not capable of making our own decisions, and the desire to do so is met with disdain and condescension. In his piece, Hanson also observes:
When America votes for a liberal candidate, it is redeemed by the left as intelligent - and derided as dense when it does not. We were told not to worry that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner did not pay all his income taxes since we were lucky to have someone so well-educated.
Obama's tendency to be insultingly dismissive of those who disagree with him ultimately indicates a fundamental lack of perception of what's going on in the United States. He is like the child who covers his ears, closes his eyes, and chants "I CAN'T HEAR YOU... I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!" It is a pathological case of denial. As one of my distinguished colleagues notes, "he has never really considered the possibility that Americans aren't actually liberals."
I believe he may finally see this on November 2nd.