I have written before about that observation by H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore journalist and all-around sourpuss, who said you’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the ordinary American. Once again, let’s put that dark remark to the test.
Most Americans tell the pollsters that they don’t like ObamaCare. But they detest Republicans, the very people who unanimously voted against it.
They voted for Mr. Obama because he promised he wasn’t going to play the old polarizing game that politicians have always played. Today he’s the most polarizing president in memory, and thanks to the American people, his approval ratings, though not as high as they once were, are still the kind W would have killed for.
They voted for Barack Obama because he said he would bring us together. Knowing what the American people wanted to hear, he said he would respect the other side’s point of view. During the showdown over the debt ceiling and the government shutdown, Mr. Obama and his acolytes used the language usually reserved for terrorists to describe Republicans. They were hostage takers and people with bombs strapped to their chest, in the words of one of the president’s top political advisors. Or they were like wife beaters, according to Senator Barbara Boxer, one of President Obama’s most loyal allies.
President Obama told us if we passed the Affordable Care Act our premiums would come down. For millions of Americans they’re going up. Way up. And so are their deductibles.
He said we could all keep our doctors under ObamaCare. Some will, many won’t.
He said if we like our insurance plan we could keep it. Again, some will, many won’t.
He told us he’d get to the bottom of the IRS scandal that targeted conservatives. He hasn’t.
He told us those responsible for the deaths of four Americans, including our ambassador, in Benghazi would be punished. We’re still waiting.
He drew a red line in the sand regarding the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian dictator. Then he said he wasn’t the one who drew a red line, the world did. He not only looked foolish. He looked weak. And the jury is still out on whether the Syrian regime will really turn over its chemical weapons to an international organization.
He told us he cut the deficit in half but forgot to tell us a) that a lot of the reduction was the result of sequestration, which he opposes, and b) that it was half of the biggest deficit in our history, created by him and his fellow Democrats – and about twice as much as the deficit in the last year of the Bush presidency.
He told us that he helped created millions of jobs since he became president but left out the part about how many of them – perhaps most — are part-time jobs since a lot of employers won’t hire full time workers because of the costs associated with ObamaCare.
He told us that Republicans were radical extremists at the same time he was the one who wouldn’t compromise even a little to open up the government a lot sooner.
How does he get away with this kind of duplicity? Could be because Mencken was right. There really are a lot of dolts in the USA – the clueless class of Americans who, if they ever heard of Benghazi or the IRS scandal or Syria or any of the rest of it, have already forgotten all about all of it. And the so-called mainstream media aren’t doing much to refresh their memories.
But liberal journalists almost always favor Democrats over Republicans. Still, this is different. As willing as reporters are to put a thumb on the scale for Democrats, I don’t think Mondale or Dukakis or Gore or Kerry would have gotten such an easy ride. Mr. Obama, of course, is different. If we need to say it, he’s black. And more than that he’s the first African-American president of the United States. And precisely because of that a lot of journalists won’t go after him the way they’d go after other politicians, even those of the Democratic persuasion. They have way too much invested in him.
I understand this is not a new or particularly enlightening observation – not at this late date anyway. But in times of crisis it’s important to state the obvious.
There is one more promise Mr. Obama made to the nation while he was selling himself as The One who came to save us from politics as usual. He told us he would fundamentally transform the United States of America. Finally, a statement we can believe he really meant.