The Corner

Why the Tea Party? Ask John Kerry.

John Kerry once again lashes out at the hoi polloi: “It’s absurd. We’ve lost our minds. We’re in a period of know-nothingism in the country, where truth and science and facts don’t weigh in. It’s all short-order, lowest-common-denominator, cheap-seat politics.” 

This comes after earlier John Kerry comments that “we have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on, so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening” — and reminds us of the 2004 blurt about George W. Bush, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this idiot,” which was itself a bookend to the later 2006 put-down, “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

Here we have a synopsis of the modern technocratic mindset, oozing with condescension and petulant about the inability of the masses to appreciate their genius. The rejoinder from the despised Tea Party would, of course, be something like, “Hmmm, we may not be zillionaire U.S. senators, but none of us would be stupid enough to buy a $7 million play yacht in the midst of a recession and then try to avoid paying the government $500,000 in excise and property taxes on the sale — while calling for higher taxes on others.”

What the Tea Party is about, among many things, is a fury at political elites who talk down to taxpayers and fail to abide by the rules and protocols they think others must embrace. In that context, Kerryism is simply a convenient window into the world of a tax-dodging Treasury Secretary Geithner; the contorted sermons by Obama about a frightened electorate, captive to its emotions and  lashing out against his agenda in irrational ways; the constant refrains against the “rich” juxtaposed with the serial golf outings and Michelle’s Costa del Sol/Martha’s Vineyard vacationing; and the disconnect between, say, Al Gore’s green world for us, and Al Gore’s own world of mansions and private jetting, or John Edwards’s mansion playroom set against John’s two nations of rich against poor.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

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