The Corner

“This Should Just Happen”

Politico’s Ben Smith reports that at a fundraiser in San Francisco last night, after being called “a leader that God has blessed us with at this time” by Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama assured the 1,300 donors in attendance that “I will win. Don’t worry about that,” and then he said this:

It would be nice to think that after eight years of economic disaster, after eight years of bungled foreign policy, of being engaged in a war that should never have been authorized and should never have been waged, that cost us a trillion dollars and thousands of lives, that people would say, let’s toss the bums out. Toss the bums out, we’re starting from scratch, we’re starting over. This is not working.

So I understand why a lot of folks are saying, this should just happen. Why are we having to run all these television commercials? Why do we have to raise all this money? Just read the papers. These are the knuckleheads who have been in charge. Throw ‘em out. But American politics aren’t that simple.

The fact of the matter is, at a certain point, when government has not been serving the people for this long, people get cynical. They tune out. And they start saying to themselves, a plague on both your houses. They are willing to consume negative information more frequently than positive information, for good reason. They’ve seen how promises haven’t been kept.

It seems that San Francisco fundraisers are where Obama really speaks his mind. No clinging to God and guns in this one, but surely something of the same basic condescending attitude is on display here: the election should just be handed to the Democrats, but because voters are cynical and bitter, the Democrats have to work for it. Poor dears.

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.


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