Friday, October 22, 2010

Doors of Perception, Closed Tight

R. Emmett Tyrell has doubts the President and his Democrats are seeing things clearly:

Our President has a difficult time conceiving of this growing majority who oppose him. Apparently in May, President Obama asked a group of presidential historians over to the White House to discuss history and to inform him of any historic movements comparable to the Tea Party Movement in all of American history. The historians told him what he wanted to hear. 

As Peter Baker wrote in the New York Times Magazine, the President wanted to know whether there were "precedents for this sort of backlash against the establishment? What sparked them and how did they shape American politics." Reportedly the historians spoke of the "Know-Nothings" of the 1850s, the Populists of the 1890s, and the Coughlinites of the 1930s. Thus our President was reassured. They were racists and fruitcakes. He heard nothing to challenge his smug sense of history.

No doubt there is wisdom in old sayings about knowing your enemies.  If Obama reacts to widespread defeat of his party by stepping up his current "us vs. them" rhetoric, he'll show himself to be either malevolent or else stunningly clueless about who opposes him and why.  I think this would make his general approval plummet further still and might lead to what must be his ultimate nightmare, his own base turning against him.  

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