Ed Driscoll

Of Self-Professed Saps, Misfiring Synapses, and Situational Slalom Turns

At the Belmont Club, Richard Fernandez explores the recent mea culpas from Peggy Noonan, Marty Peretz and David “I’m a sap” Brooks, as to why they failed to see in 2008 what the rest of us could see — that Obama was a train-wreck waiting to happen. Read the whole thing, this is but an excerpt:

It would be interesting to study whether the same group of people who tended to view Barack Obama unfavorably in 2008 also saw John Edwards as a sharper. There was something about Edwards’ hair, the unnatural emphasis with which he delivered his messages, some oleaginous quality that hung about him that, like the burglar example in the Amazon review, stirred memories of something unpleasant in the viewer.

But these unpleasant memories were largely absent in middle class, college educated, white America. These were nice people. They didn’t routinely associate with the con-men, hucksters, pawnshop brokers, and street corner grifters. To them the perfect hair, the nice suit, and the emphatic speech were simply proof of good personal grooming and culture.  But to others these very same things were too clever by half. And just as the sight of a man climbing out of the window with a bag at night would arouse no suspicions in persons unfamiliar with burglars, neither would Obama’s papered over resume ring any alarm bells in people prepared to think the best of everyone.

Given the paucity of investigative information on Obama, given his near absolute lack of a substantial track record, it was natural for Peretz, Brooks, and Noonan to be taken for a ride. Not because they were dumb, but because they were “quality” people.

Now the quality people can see certain kinds of truth, because they are familiar with the sort of data that now alarms them.  Now that they can observe the betrayal of Israel, the lunacy of Obamanomics, and the erratic management, the full magnitude of their error becomes apparent. But they didn’t see it at the outset; lurking on the edge of his expression as he campaigned, nor in the little niggling inconsistencies the media was determined to ignore. Now the problems are as big as life: upheaval in the Middle East, the bankruptcy of the country, the scandals of the administration. Now they can use the Bayesian.  Perhaps a little late, but better than never. “Welcome back to the fight, Rick. This time we win.”

But there’s one last thing that nice people don’t know. It is that hucksters aren’t confined by the same boundaries they assume everyone else is contained by. They are capable not only of sucker-punching you, but of exceeding limits you never thought could be transgressed.  Grifters are in some sense not part of the same civilization that Peretz, Brooks, and Noonan inhabit. Maybe they don’t believe this yet.  But they will. They will.

Meanwhile, both Don Surber and Bookworm Room are reminding those further to the left of the aforementioned pundits what they told the rest of us in 2008: if you disagree with Obama, you’re a racist, whether you support McCain or Hillary (not surprisingly given the left’s vicious history of internecine struggles, particularly if you supported Hillary). As Bookworm writes:

From 2007 through August 2011, daring to question or criticize Obama meant you were a racist.  Now, though, liberals are suggesting that Obama is so toxic he should just walk away from the job.  Holding them to their own standards, aren’t they being racist?  I mean, really, really racist?

Please don’t scold me for pointing out Leftist hypocrisy.  I couldn’t leave it unsaid, no matter how obvious it is.

Don Surber blames the hatred on the average white power activist’s limbic brain, which is “much larger in their head space than in a reasonable person, and it’s pushing against the frontal lobe. So their synapses are misfiring.”

Oh wait, that was Janeane “racism straight up” Garofalo railing against those disenchanted by the president in early 2009. Presumably she thinks the same about today’s crop of Obama haters on the left as well, as documented in the quotes that Don has compiled, no?

Actually, considering how many ethical pivots the left have already made in the last decade, in a way it cushions the blow of this latest example. What’s another situational slalom turn as you race towards the bottom?