And it's not just Bush. They did the same thing to Reagan. If you listened to those geniuses in our cultural and media institutions, you'd have thought Reagan was a blithering idiot.
The list is long of Republican/conservative politicians that the mainstream media has made out to be complete dopes. Ford, Quayle, Bush, Reagan, and now Palin.
John Fund was in town this week, and he sat down with Nigel Jaquiss of Willamette Week. In the interview, Fund says:
"I’ve noticed over the last 40 years that there have been lots of people who have developed a reputation for being dim, slow, clueless or out of touch.
Gerald Ford. Some guy named Reagan who was an “amiable dunce.” Dan Quayle. Even the first President Bush got a little bit of that. George W. Bush. Lots of people of national stature have had the “dumb” label slapped on them.
In that 40 year period, can you name one liberal politician of national stature who ever got that reputation, ever? There isn’t one. There isn’t one."Think of that. He's right - there simply has NEVER been a single left/liberal/Democrat politician of national stature that they attacked for being a dimwit. On one level, I guess, it's easy to explain. They are leftist, and so they won't attack another lefty no matter how dumb.
But I think the explanation goes a good bit beyond that, and it is quite revealing and also explains why the cultural left in this county is so often rejected by middle America.
Liberalism, at its core, is an elitist world view. It's a world view that in essence says that government should have expanded purview over individuals, because the choices people would make in the absence of government controls are wrong. This of course requires a ruling class - elites who have a higher level of consciousness than the masses, and they get to write the rules and enforce them.
Guess who considers themselves to be those elites? All those folks in charge of our cultural and political institutions: the mainstream media, institutions of higher education, the chattering class.
So what happens when national political figures who don't share their world view hits the stage? Well, by definition, they simply cannot be smart, because if they were, they would share their liberal world view.
And so it is obvious to them that Reagan, Ford, Quayle, Bush are dunces. They get to make jokes, snicker, and create their little collages of all their malaprops to prove how right they are.
The never do the same thing to guys like Al Gore or Joe Biden (who, as Fund points out, you could easily make look like a blithering idiot by stringing together a few video clips.) They give Al and Joe a pass because they CAN'T be stupid - these guys share their world view.
The best part of all this, however, is how the cultural left reacts when the general public just doesn't buy their narrative. They don't just come unhinged, although they certainly do that. They attack middle America that rejects their view.
Look what happened when America re-elected Bush. Look how they are treating Sarah Palin. And just watch (and enjoy) how much they HATE IT when regular everday Americans in flyover country reject what the cultural elites tell them about Sarah, and continue to like her.
They come absolutely unhinged, and they attack more, which drives people to reject them more, bringing on more attacks - and the cycle continues.
Just look at my buddy Jack Bogdanski. For years he has referred to Bush as "the chimp." He's written a constant stream of the nastiest and most mean-spirited invective. And now with the meteoric rise of Sarah Palin, Jack is quite literally over the edge.
He's blocking posters on his blog who disagree with him, in even the mildest way. (I am currently blocked from his blog - a fact I just think is downright funny, given that I have invited him to be my co-host on my radio show when Marc Abrams is out of town. "Jack, come on my show for the express purpose of disagreeing with me. Sure, Rob, but you can't post on my blog.")
And now he's just gone around the bend trying to keep alive the ridiculous conspiracy theory that Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy. Even his friends are telling him he's unhinged. He's actually analyzing the shape of Bristol Palin's breasts by way of claiming she is not currently pregnant!
You see the same loony-bin behavior at Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and Air America radio. Their world view basically requires them to show their contempt for anybody who doesn't share it, and when they realize that includes all of middle America, they prove again and again how much they despise them.
And that is the good news. Middle America never bought the notion that Reagan was stupid. Cultural elites said it so many times in their echo chamber that they thought everyone agreed. Middle America never bought the notion that Bush is stupid. And they certainly don't think Sarah Palin is stupid.
The fun part is watching their reaction when people dismiss their invective. They get hysterical. enjoy the show.