A recent opinion piece by Eugene Robinson perfectly illustrates the hauteur, the contempt with which the elites survey the majority of us: "The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats ... in a mood to hold their breath until they turn blue." Yes, "the nation demands the impossible: quick, painless solutions." Ah, the pesky, petulant electorate. Here we are, 19 months into the hoped-for change, trillions of dollars spent on stimuli, on bailouts, on government takeovers of businesses, pedal to the metal in President Obama's mad race to socialist nirvana, and all the public wants is for him to take us there-faster! Are we there yet, Daddy? How much longer now? When do we get there?
Can it really be but a year and a half since Mr. Robinson was dancing on the grave of the GOP, the demise of the party brought on by its "drunken-sailorish spending during most of George W. Bush's time in the White House" ("Obama's Mandate Could End the GOP"). That bit of gloating was followed in his next column with this stern advice: "Obama and the Democrats have public opinion on their side and the wolf at the door. Republicans need to get out of the way-or get run over." Then the majority that elected Barack Obama rode tall in the saddle, their will not to be gainsaid. Now the majority are vilified as small children-worse, "spoiled brats." What high regard you harbor for your countrymen, Mr. Robinson, what penetrating insight you bring to the punditry game.
Mr. Obama's only fault, mooted oh so gently, was not to "frame the hard work that lies ahead as a national crusade that will require a degree of sacrifice from every one of us." Crusade, Mr. Robinson? Crusade? Doesn't the Washington Post's style manual forbid use of that word, so hurtful to the sensitivities of Muslims worldwide? But on to your point: we understand perfectly well the "degree of sacrifice" we are being forced to bear, watching our health insurance premiums rise to pay for the "free" care that Obamacare is so generously spreading around, listening to the Democrats plan on budget deficits of $1.5 trillion per year as far as the eye can see, witnessing the takeover of GM and Chrysler to make whole the unions, and so on, ad nauseam. We can see all too clearly that these sacrifices are not being borne by "every one of us": the unions are getting preferential treatment under Obamacare, the citizens of Nebraska and Florida are not bearing the same burden of Obamacare as are those of the other 48 states are. And the beat goes on.
Mr. Robinson's peroration ends with that old rhetorical standby, the triad: "Fixing Social Security, working steadily to improve the schools, charting a reasonable path on immigration-none of this is what the American people want to hear." So those are the three items at the top of the Obama Administration's fix list? Who knew? If "fixing Social Security" is a priority, they're being awfully quiet about it.
As for "improving the schools," hasn't every president blathered about that for the past half century? Their solution has always been to spend more money on the schools as they continue to slide downhill: spending per pupil on education in America, after inflation, tripled between 1960 and 2000, we spend way more than the rest of the industrialized world, and still the Left's tired refrain is that education is underfunded. Now we learn that Americans are "in the market for quick and easy solutions that won't hurt a bit." Well, that particular solution has been anything but quick and easy, while it has hurt quite a bit. And a "reasonable path on immigration"? President Obama's latest effort on the "reasonable path" is to drop deportation proceedings against thousands of illegals. We do want a "reasonable path on immigration"-- show us one. We're waiting.
So no, Mr. Robinson, we are not just "spoiled brats" threatening to hold our breath. The ad hominem attack is the fall-back position of the intellectually lazy, of those who have no arguments at all. Is the Left incapable of mounting a reasoned argument? Their modus operandi is that of the shyster lawyer: If you don't have the facts, argue the law. If you don't have the law, argue the facts. If you don't have either, attack your opponent.
Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.