Ed Driscoll

'Democrats to Voters: You're Stupid (But Please Vote for Me)'

Joining President Obama and Vice President Biden, former Democratic presidential candidate(!) Al Sharpton becomes merely the latest member of the far left to insult his base. As Pat Sajak writes at Ricochet, “Democrats to Voters: You’re Stupid (But Please Vote for Me):”

You don’t have to spend a lot of search engine time to come up with all sorts of unflattering portrayals of Conservatives. Ignorant. Racist. Divisive. Uneducated. Superstitious. All in all, the Left sees us as a hopelessly stupid bunch. However, despite their overwhelming superiority in the brains department, they always seem to allow these intellectual illiterates to outmaneuver them when it comes to defining who they are. When the Left thinks it’s loved (after the 2008 election, for example), they credit the wise and sophisticated American electorate for having the insight to do the right thing for the country. But when the Left falls out of favor (like now), it’s because this clever, conniving bunch on the Right has managed to distort their identity. Pretty smart for stupid people, don’t you think?

In an article in The New York Review of Books*, Michael Tomasky claims “the Republicans have succeeded in branding the Democrats as not merely elitist but somehow alien and un-American, and the Democrats, from the President on down, have had almost nothing to say about it.”

Oh I don’t know, I’d say Pinch Sulzberger has had quite a bit to say on it. As did Bobby Kennedy, long ago. And Van Jones, and John Kerry, and Anita Dunn, and…

As has the New York Review of Books itself. 40 years ago, Tom Wolfe wrote in Radical Chic:

The chief theoretical organ of Radical Chic, The New York Review of Books, regularly cast Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver as the Simón Bolívar and José Martí of the black ghettos. On August 24, 1967, The New York Review of Books paid homage to the summer urban riot season by printing a diagram for the making of a Molotov cocktail on its front page. In fact, the journal was sometimes referred to good-naturedly as The Parlour Panther, with the –our spelling of Parlour being an allusion to its concurrent motif of anglophilia. The Review’s embracing of such apparently contradictory attitudes—the nitty-gritty of the ghetto warriors and the preciosity of traditional English Leavis & Loomis intellectualism—was really no contradiction at all, of course. It was merely the essential double-track mentality of Radical Chic—nostagie de la boue and high protocol—in its literary form.

Again, that was written in 1970 — at some point, nostagie de la boue really does become nostalgia for its own sake, which is another way of saying TV writer Anne Beatts’ motto that you can only be avant-garde for so long, before you become garde.

And yes, it’s a good thing the far left put their radical chic phase behind them, huh?