A nation of dodos

From Mark Steyn:

His Genius Is Wasted On You

The United States is too dumb to thrive:

Absolutely amazing poll results from CNN today about the $787* stimulus package: nearly three out of four Americans think the money has been wasted. On second thought, they may be right: it’s been wasted on them.

That’s what it says at the time of writing, by the way: a $787 stimulus package. Presumably Joe Klein’s editors will get around to correcting that at some point, but just for the record let me say that I would have been all in favor of a $787 stimulus package. At any rate, Mr. Klein concludes with two “thoughts”:

So, two thoughts:

1. The Obama Administration has done a terrible job explaining the stimulus package to the American people . . . especially since there have been very few documented cases of waste so far.

2. This is yet further evidence that Americans are flagrantly ill-informed . . . and, for those watching Fox News, misinformed.

It is very difficult to have a democracy without citizens. It is impossible to be a citizen if you don’t make an effort to understand the most basic activities of your government. It is very difficult to thrive in an increasingly competitive world if you’re a nation of dodos.

Having elected the Smartest Administration of All Time, the Obammysoxers are understandably drawn to the notion that the problem right now is that you knuckledragging rubes are too dumb to understand all he’s done for you. If I were Mr. Klein, though, I’d surely be smart enough to wonder if stating it quite so explicitly is really the way to go.

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A third option

“I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president,” President Obama told Diane Sawyer of ABC News in an interview yesterday.

But Charles Krauthammer offered up a third option on Special Report with Bret Baier:

Well, there is a third option he didn’t consider, which is that he could be a mediocre one- term president, and that’s what he has been thus far in his first year. And because mediocrity does not usually encourage the electorate to reelect you, that might account for being a one-termer.

I think what’s even more astonishing than the result in Massachusetts last week was the Democrats’ response over the weekend and how they understood the election. It was a marvel of obliviousness, obtuseness, and unbelievably condescending arrogance.

We heard the president say that the reason they suffered in Massachusetts is because he has been so busy doing all this good stuff for the American people he hasn’t had a chance to go out there and to communicate the shared values.

This guy has been on the tube more than Regis. This is a guy who has given more interviews, press conferences, and speeches than any president’s first year in history. The guy gave 29 speeches on health care.

Then Gibbs is asked on “Fox News Sunday” about the agenda that Brown had laid out in winning the Massachusetts race, very specific, including — he didn’t say I’m uneasy about the healthcare proposal, I’m going to reform it or improve it. He said I’m going to oppose it and I’m going to kill it.

Gibbs says, well, that’s not the reason that people voted as they did in Massachusetts. They are angry against the banks.

I mean, this is unbelievable. Explain to me how anger against the banks translates into a vote against Obama-care, particularly since if anybody had the bank issue, it was Coakley, who was for the bank tax. Brown actually opposed it.

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Let them sleep

From Charles Krauthammer:

Democratic cocooners will tell themselves that Coakley was a terrible candidate who even managed to diss Curt Schilling. True, Brown had Schilling. But Coakley had Obama. When the bloody sock beats the presidential seal — of a man who had them swooning only a year ago — something is going on beyond personality.

That something is substance — political ideas and legislative agendas. Democrats, if they wish, can write off their Massachusetts humiliation to high unemployment, to Coakley or, the current favorite among sophisticates, to generalized anger. That implies an inchoate, unthinking lashing-out at whoever happens to be in power — even at your liberal betters who are forcing on you an agenda that you can’t even see is in your own interest.

Democrats must so rationalize, otherwise they must take democracy seriously, and ask themselves: If the people really don’t want it, could they possibly have a point?

“If you lose Massachusetts and that’s not a wake-up call,” said moderate — and sentient — Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, “there’s no hope of waking up.”

I say: Let them sleep.


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Nuclear

Health care deform has become a sick obsession to the collectivists.

From NRO:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, tells National Review Online that House Democrats are planning to use the budget-reconciliation process in order to pass Obamacare. “They’re meeting with each other this weekend to pursue it,” says Ryan. “I’ve spoken with many Democrats and the message is this: They’re not ready to give up. They’ve waited their entire adult lives for this moment and they aren’t ready to let 100,000 pesky votes in Massachusetts get in the way of fulfilling their destiny. They’ll look at every option and spend the next four or five days figuring it out.”

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Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) explains reconciliation.

VDH’s take

Backlash:

Dream up a gargantuan backlash against Barack Obama’s left-wing gospel, and you still could not invent the notion of a relatively unknown, conservative Scott Brown knocking off an Obama-endorsed, liberal, female attorney in liberal Massachusetts — in a race to fill the seat once held by Ted Kennedy.

If a liberal senatorial candidate can be defeated in Massachusetts, eleven months after the Obama hope-and-change blitzkrieg, it is hard to believe that any liberal seat is necessarily safe anywhere.

So the real story is not a populist backlash, but a growing populist backlash, whose ultimate nature and magnitude are as yet unknown. What’s going on?

BUYING JOBS?
Voters are sick and tired of a terrible year of big spending and big deficits — especially the sight of Obama and his congressional allies almost daily talking breezily about spending what we do not have.

Voters went for the hope-and-change Obama in part because he promised fiscal sobriety after the Bush $500 billion deficit. Instead, in utterly cynical fashion, Obama trumped that red ink four times over. In the process, he developed a terrible habit of promising favored constituencies a hundred billion here, a hundred billion there as if it were all paper money — rather than real borrowed currency that will have to be confiscated in the future from the beleaguered taxpayer. It only makes it worse that the more the administration borrowed, printed, and spent, the higher unemployment rose and the lower economic activity plummeted.

Most have had enough of pie-in-the-sky talk of massive new health-care entitlements, cap-and-trade taxes and regulation, more stimulus, and more takeovers of private enterprise. The country is broke and the people want to pay off, not incur more, crushing debt. What got us into the mess was too much borrowing, skyrocketing debt, and reckless spending — not too many balanced budgets and too much lean government.

PROPHETS CAN’T MISLEAD?
No politician quite gets a pass for deception and prevarication. Obama in his narcissism thought his sonorous rhetoric made him exempt from a “read my lips” or “I didn’t have sex with that woman” moment. It didn’t.

People heard his serial promises about airing the health-care debate on C-SPAN, his new-transparency/no-lobbyist vows, and his monotonous boasts to close down Guantanamo within a year. All that is now “inoperative.” The problem was not just that Obama made promises that he broke, but that he made them so frequently and so vehemently — and so cavalierly broke them. That brazen campaign deception is problematic for a politician, but proves fatal for a self-appointed messiah.

A CESSATION OF CORRUPTION
We went from a Republican “culture of corruption” to a liberal cesspool of corruption. Sen. Chris Dodd lectures Wall Street while he gets sweetheart loans and vacation-home deals. Few could make up a story that the nation’s top tax lawmaker, House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, is a tax dodger, and the nation’s top tax enforcer, Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, is an even more egregious tax dodger. When the Democratic Senate leadership started buying health-care votes at $300 million a clip, our Congress became little more than the praetorian guard, auctioning off its support to any wannabe late Roman emperor. The idea of a muckraking Obama nominating Tom Daschle as his Health Secretary — the liberal populist who skips out of thousands of dollars in taxes on his free corporate limousine service — was the stuff of satire.

BUSH REALLY, REALLY, REALLY DID DO IT
No one likes a serial whiner. It has been a year now — and Obama still blames George W. Bush ad nauseam. He did it in Massachusetts again — and on the eve of the election, no less. Blaming the past for the mistakes of the present gets old quickly. And when one adds in the constant What’s the Matter With Kansas? brand of condescension about naïve yokels not knowing what’s good for them, it gets even worse.

Yet Obama still pontificates that angry deluded voters will “suddenly” come to appreciate how he rammed health care down their otherwise ignorant throats: “The American people will suddenly learn that this bill does things they like and doesn’t do things that people have been trying to say it does. . . . The worst fears will prove groundless. And the American people’s hope for a fair shake from their insurance companies — for quality, affordable health care they need — will finally be realized.”

Good luck with that, O philosopher king!

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