Last week, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber, one of prominent architects of Obamacare, was exposed as little more than an elitist fraud.
Gruber was caught on videotape expressing the haughty attitude that drove the Affordable Care Act, deriding the “stupidity” of Americans as a way to justify misleading them.
Unfortunately, Gruber’s disdain for the proverbial masses — he was paid nearly $400,000 in consulting fees — is thematic of the last six years.
Another master-of-the-universe drafter of Obamacare was Ezekiel Emanuel. He scoffed on national television that the number of people covered by Obamacare at that point was “irrelevant.”
Former speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi lectured of Obamacare that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” The same elitist message reverberates: that government and academic elites are smarter than average Americans, and so need not explain what they are doing.
This is a pattern of Obama administration ruling elites who express disdain or lack of concern about the people they are supposed to serve. Former energy secretary Steven Chu made a series of astounding statements about energy use, the most inane being that America would be better off if gas costs soared to Europe’s sky-high prices.
Susan Rice, the former U.N. ambassador and current national-security adviser, has misled in chronic fashion. She was untruthful about the Benghazi killings on national television, claiming that the attacks on the American consulate were the result of a spontaneous riot over a video. Rice defended the administration’s surreal Sergeant Beau Bergdahl prisoner swap by claiming that the AWOL soldier had served with “honor and distinction.” She again prevaricated on national television when she boasted of a diplomatic breakthrough in getting Turkey to provide U.S. bases and support against the Islamic State.
The list of deceptions and untruths goes on. Remember IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner’s cute trick of planting a questioner at a conference to leak her own past targeting of conservative groups? The Veterans Administration hierarchy did not just cause the deaths of its own patients, but tried to cover up the scandal.
Do we recall how Attorney General Eric Holder contemptuously called Americans collective “cowards” because they did not necessarily share his identity-politics idea of race relations? Holder was the first attorney general in the nation’s history to be held in contempt of Congress.
President Obama habitually believes that his own superior talents make him immune from accountability.
He has referenced his own talent by bragging, “Just give me the ball,” or, “I’m LeBron, baby.” In 2008, he bragged to an interviewer, “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
That same sense of superiority explains his campaign boast that, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
No wonder Obama believes that he can just give millions of foreign residents amnesty by executive order — against the will of Congress, the American people, the courts, and his own prior warnings that the president has no such power of fiat.
What explains the sense of entitlement of a few self-anointed grandees believing that they are somehow superhuman and not accountable to common notions of truth?
Progressivism has always assumed that the supposed noble ends of fairness and quality justify any means necessary to achieve them.
Influential Americans also have developed a sick idea about higher education, equating wisdom and character with a degree stamped from an Ivy League or exclusive university.
The media has abdicated its watchdog role. Barack Obama, Jonathan Gruber, Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, and Susan Rice are empowered by understandably assuming that they should be exempt from media criticism.
Wealth and status assure elites that their own lives are never affected by the laws they pass or by the concrete ramifications of their own ideology.
In the view of the snobocrats, the harm that follows from Obamacare, blanket amnesty, or out-of-control bureaucracies should always affect someone else — someone thought to be too stupid to figure out what hit them.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals. You can reach him by e-mailing [email protected]. © 2014 Tribune Media Services, Inc.