For established politicians, the defeat of Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, in a primary no less, came as a shock. But for many Americans it was a matter of "it's about time." In a year when Tea Party candidates have not fared well, Dave Brat's victory came at a good time.
Certainly there were the usual laments about the death of accountability in American politics from the mainstream media. How dare an underfunded professor of economics at Randolph-Macon defeat a Wall Street darling? Americans, they reasoned, should not assert their birth right by electing, gasp, one of their own. The usual gang of hanger-ons should have sufficed.
It is a matter of attitude, not ideology, on the part of the elite and the flagship media that support their causes. Perhaps it is telling that in Barack Obama's White House, there is a paucity of advisors that graduated from state universities. During the 2008 campaign, screeches came from some Democrats that among Sarah Palin's sins was that she graduated from, can you believe it, Idaho State University.
Dislike Palin for her ideas, not where she received her diploma. This shockingly came from the Democratic party, which pretends to be the champion of the working people. This appears to be a glaring contradiction. And although Obama has done much to aid the poor, he has been a little slower with the working middle class.
This drift toward the politics of condescending elitism has its roots in the 1950's. Then Adlai Stevenson was considered smarter than Dwight Eisenhower; after all, he only helped to liberate Europe. Eugene McCarthy, the 1968 "peace" candidate, needled Robert F. Kennedy for attracting the "B" students while his supporters were the best and brightest. It was a battle of the Mensa stars which, unfortunately, gradually helped to stoke the fires of Reaganism.
Even George W. Bush, a product of an Ivy League institution, was somehow deprived for having a Texas drawl which no doubt reduced his intelligence. Now we have Jen Psaki, John Kerry's spokesman, to teach us proper speech. Criticize Bush for his ill-considered decision to go to war in Iraq, not his accent. Our fashionable friends love to mock, but, strangely, not to think.
In Cantor's case, it was none of those vices. His were more motivational. In fact, he has a rather lovely old Virginia accent and seems to be the epitome of courtesy. His problem was that he served them up grits from a distance in Washington. His lobbyist friends saw more of him than his constituents. Those interested enough to vote sought to replace him with a regular, albeit well-educated, fellow.
Democrats say many of the right things, but their psychic distance from the American voter has to be narrowed. To regard your base as clients and non-supporters is harmful. There is a whiff of charity in Democratic appeals.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, like husband Bill before her, seems to think that if you "feel" their "pain" it is enough.