The Democrats' recurring nightmare

Hillary Clinton is getting a big boost from Obama's bitterness fumble. Her case that he is unelectable got a lot easier to make, and she doesn't even have to mention race. Not that Hillary ever gave anyone (except maybe Chelsea) the warm and fuzzies, but she has decades' more practice at hiding her disdain for ordinary folk. After all, moving from Wellesley to Yale to the Watergate hearings, and then going to Arkansas as a politicians' wife must have been quite a baptism of fire when it comes to camouflaging condescension.

The Party of the Little Guy appears to be caught in what Marxists like to call a contradiction. Their rhetoric is all about compassion and helping, and taking care of the unfortunate. But their political philosophy is anchored in elitism: the notion that the government (and the elites running it) know better than Everyman what is good for him. The entire "What's the Matter with Kansas" hypothesis rests on the assumption that people are too dumb to understand the complexities of politics, just mindlessly reacting on the basis of false consciousness to the Rovian deceptions of the alternatively idiotic/brilliant GOP.

The first two presidential elections of the new century saw pompous Democrat badidates narrowly losing to George W. Bush, who is regarded on the left as having no conceivable person to whom he might condescend. A regular baseball-loving, pretzel-eating kind of guy so unlike Al Gore and especially the haughty, serial wealth-marrying John Kerry.

Now here it is 2008, and the Dems have given their hearts over to a black guy raised without a father. That must have seemed like a great idea at the time they were caucusing in places like Wyoming. Except that now it turns out that Obama is as much of a snob as Kerry, albeit with a wife who thinks she is poor when they earn a million bucks a year, and feels aggrieved at the cruel way America has treated her.

Tom Maguire of Just One Minute writes an excellent essay on the Back to the Future thoughts that must be going through the minds of people like Rahm Emanuel:

Timeless wisdom from a Dem strategist, with emphasis added:

"Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter got elected because they were comfortable with their faith," said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, a former Clinton aide. "What happened was that a part of the electorate came open to what Clinton and Carter had to say on everything else - health care, the environment, whatever - because they were very comfortable that Clinton and Carter did not disdain the way these people lived their lives, but respected them."

He added: "We need a nominee and a party that is comfortable with faith and values. And if we have one, then all the hard work we've done on Social Security or America's place in the world or college education can be heard. But people aren't going to hear what we say until they know that we don't approach them as Margaret Mead would an anthropological experiment."

That was Rahm Emmanuel assessing the Dem debacle in 2004 but it could be EveryDem assessing the upcoming 2008 adventure.

I would keep my eye on Emanuel. He is an undeclared  superdelegate -- a Chicago politician and has many ties to the Obama faction, but also has many ties to the Clinton camp. He is very smart, and can see where Obama is heading. As Rahm goes, so goes the Democrats' nomination? Maybe so this year.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky