I am always interested to try to peek into the minds of collectivist apologists who defend the Petulant One. It is an interesting exercise in trying to understand the philosophical basis behind the Ruling Class. Real Clear Politics linked to an article entitled, "What Obama Meant to Say About the Mosque," from The Atlantic. The Atlantic likes to believe itself to be an Important magazine. It explains, "this long-standing brand is at the top of its game with an envied roster of talent, powerful new content channels, and a following of the most important and influential readers in the country." So, you know it reaches only the cream of society. It does not strive for a large and growing readership, as most media outlets do. It wants only the 'most important and influential readers." Plebes won't get it. Tyros need not subscribe.
"Marc Ambinder is the politics editor of The Atlantic. He has covered Washington for ABC News and the Hotline, and he is chief political consultant to CBS News." This appears next to his face on his Atlantic webpage. He's a well connected and especially influential journalist. He was a Journolister. He is buddies with the movers and shakers in the political media world. If you look up the word 'smug' in the dictionary, his face is plastered next to it.
So, his little piece was intended to explain the Dear Leader's intent behind his words. You see, even the smartest, most articulate president the universe has ever witnessed, could not explain himself without the help of someone as important as Marc Ambinder. Even his crowd was annoyed with the president's attempt to hijack the debate and settle it with a few golden words, that quickly tarnished. But never fear, Marc Ambinder would allay the doubts and settle the debate with his most important and influential readers.
All this bravado about The Atlantic and his position at CBS News and his very important readership aside, this could be a guy who is just puffing for the audience. He may just be a person who tells everyone who'll listen about his important positions to gain credibility. Nothing wrong with that.
However, let these words simmer around in your brain for a few moments.
"Inside the country, what New Yorkers think matters; what bloggers and commentators and politicians think matters quite a bit less." These are words he begins his piece with. Now, he, and probably most of his influential readership, probably think this is true. He truly believes that when someone in New York speaks his mind, the rest of the country stops, sets down their knitting and their whittling, and listen to their betters. The center of the universe is New York. (Of course, he's referring to Manhattan and not the boroughs or upstate, God forbid) This is an important point he's making because it tells the reader that these aberrant New York firefighters about to protest the mosque site cannot be taken for granted, but they must not be listened to. The rest of America may believe the first responders to 9/11 have a point to make, but Ambinder wants to let the reader know, they shouldn't. That's just our kneejerk reaction to New York hegemony.
So, that being explained, he wants to describe how the Dear Leader was misunderstood, no matter how many times he says, "Let me be clear." Ambinder writes, "one might have an objection to that mosque, or might be suspicious of the motives of the imam, but one can simultaneously accept the need for sensitivity and still find it offensive to use the instruments of government to enforce that sensitivity -- the freedom of religious practice is the paramount value here. This is a sophisticated position, but in attempting to be careful about how he expressed it, the President confused rather than clarified."
Nobody is confused by the president's position. The president said it was none of our business, at first. Then he backtracked and admitted that it may be none of our business but it may not be a good idea. Well, the Won took two statements to come up with what we've settled for a while now. Our press, the alternative press, had presented the moral dilemma, people spoke up and said what they believed, we bantered the situation, and decided that social pressure and adherence to the legal process was the best way. It's not sophisticated or complex or even that controversial. At least not to us.
To someone as important as Ambinder who was behind the curve, it seemed like a complicated position that took an accomplished intellect and a grasp of constitutional, legal, and moral positions. We just discussed it and came up with a measured stance.
You see, there are two important lessons the ruling class can learn from this little example. (But they won't) First, the idea that the smartest, most important, most influential people can arrive at the best answer just isn't true. A group of interested individuals, who are neither important or influential, can come to the best solution through independent critical thinking and mutual respect. At the same time, they will have built a consensus among the population instead of just dictating from on high. That is the genius of real democracy and the wisdom of a republican process.
The second lesson the left will not learn from is a truly free, engaged, and independent press will publish the issues, give a forum to the population, and tell the whole truth. This gives rise to the best kind of thinking and most complete answers. The lame-brained press is so busy trying to edit the facts to put the Democratic Party in the best light they are missing out on the details. They skip stories and dilemmas that confound America. They try to tell us what to think rather than give us a chance to arrive at great solutions. The ruling class does not want to be bothered with our thoughts and ideas. It annoys them. It also leaves them behind the curve.
By vilifying and ignoring the issues we raise, they are constantly trying to catch up. We begin discussing issues like the impact of a mosque near Ground Zero and contemplating the pros and cons. They are so busy burying the stories, they don't have the benefit of a full and engaged debate. That is why they were so flummoxed by the Black Panther issue. That is why they are so slow to interpret and understand the Arizona/illegal immigration situation. They are so busy pumping up their egos and dismissing the population's concerns, it spills over and they look like fools.
But, don't worry about them catching up anytime soon. The important, influential readers and writers at The Atlantic will not give us the time of day or the truth of the matter. The answers to the questions of the day must come from their shiny brows and trendy salons. Manhattan matters, Peoria does not. For puffed up little elitists, well-connected and trendy, our opinion is not worth considering. However, the ruling class may have a little wakeup call soon.
Then, they won't be nearly as important or influential. Won't that be nice.