Monday, May 03, 2010
Why They Hate
...Democrats took up the cause of health care reform to strike a blow against ghastly health insurance companies on behalf of The People. It was to be another cut-and-dried case of average Americans demanding their due from the rich and powerful.
Instead, the only average Americans who showed up were angrily confronting their congressmen at town hall meetings and waving Gadsden flags in the streets of Washington. Polls showed the Democrats' approval numbers in freefall and independents becoming sympathetic with the Tea Parties. Suddenly, it seemed to the casual observer that The People were the Tea Party protesters and The Powerful were the PhRMA-allied Democratic managers in Washington working against public opinion. The entire progressive narrative collapsed.
A progressive dream -- thousands of Americans protesting in the streets -- had been turned against them. The left responded first by trying to prove that Tea Partiers weren't The People; they were astroturfers, paid agents of the insurance companies. When that didn't stick, progressives began throwing everything at the wall. The Tea Partiers were racists, Fox News drones, teabaggers, morons -- anything to drown out the truth that these were the same middle-class Americans that the left had been trying to marshal against the insurance companies.
It didn't work. The Democrats did manage to heave health care reform across the finish line, but they lost The People in the process. Worse, they cast themselves as elites indifferent to their constituents.
This is the central paradox of the left. Progressives are driven by class warfare against elites, but they themselves often are the elites....