Saturday, March 07, 2009

Grand Times Watching the Elite Backtrack

Not apologize, you understand, for their ridiculous error, but hem, haw, and stutter in a futile effort to avoid saying:
I was wrong.
Does anyone remember the Fonz having that quirky trait? He was incapable of admitting imperfection (although NOT incapable of BEING imperfect).

Imagine. Chris Buckley (son of the late, famous conservative, William Buckley), and the Davids - Brooks and Gergen - all of the Elite (with a capital E), are, at last, acknowledging the - uh, what do you call it - error of their ways.

When they famously joined the Obama Bandwagon, stoutly insisting that "O" was merely a centrist, not a hard-leftist, they contributed to the collapse of the dim Republican hopes. MANY of the elite copied their flight from reality. It was simply TOO dreadful to contemplate the non-elite Palin family in the role of VP Photo Op.

Peter Robinson, in Forbes, covers the uncovering of their awakening.
"The strange thing," Buckley wrote last week after listening to Obama address Congress, "is that one feels almost unpatriotic, entertaining negative thoughts about Mr. Obama's grand plan. ... One thing is certain, however: Government is getting bigger and will stay bigger. Just remember ... that a government that is big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it all away."

"Just remember"? Coming from someone who just remembered, the exhortation might strike a lot of people as rich. But never mind.
Read it in full - it vindicates many of the Obama-resistant non-elite.

We were right - they were bedazzled.

But, why? What was so terrible about the McCain-Palin ticket?

The second part.

From Thomas Sowell:
Governor Palin's candidacy for the vice presidency was what galvanized grass roots Republicans in a way that John McCain never did. But there was something about her that turned even some conservative intellectuals against her and provoked visceral anger and hatred from liberal intellectuals.

Perhaps the best way to try to understand these reactions is to recall what Eleanor Roosevelt said when she first saw Whittaker Chambers, who had accused Alger Hiss of being a spy for the Soviet Union.
Upon seeing the slouching, overweight and disheveled Chambers, she said, "He's not one of us."

The trim, erect and impeccably dressed Alger Hiss, with his Ivy League and New Deal pedigree, clearly was "one of us." As it turned out, he was also a liar and a spy for the Soviet Union. Not only did a jury decide that at the time, the opening of the secret files of the Soviet Union in its last days added more evidence of his guilt.

The Hiss-Chambers confrontation of more than half a century ago produced the same kind of visceral polarization that Governor Sarah Palin provokes today.

Before the first trial of Alger Hiss began, reporters who gathered at the courthouse informally sounded each other out as to which of them they believed, before any evidence had been presented. Most believed that Hiss was telling the truth and that it was Chambers who was lying.

More important, those reporters who believed that Chambers was telling the truth were immediately ostracized. None of this could have been based on the evidence for either side, for that evidence had not yet been presented in court.

For decades after Hiss was convicted and sent to federal prison, much of the media and the intelligentsia defended him. To this day, there is an Alger Hiss chair at Bard College.
As it happens, after I'd read so many conservative discussions about the Hiss trial, I became curious. I found a library copy of the Whittaker Chambers book, "Witness". While not great literature, it is engrossing. And, by the end, the weight of the evidence leads to belief.

It does, that is, if you, like me, are not that special breed, the elite.

Even the evidence from the vaults of Russian history, declassified after the collapse of the Soviet system and released in English, that supports Chambers testimony, will convince the elite. It will persuade the non-closed mind - it did persuade me.

BTW, if you don't know who Thomas Sowell is, check out his columns. I think you'll agree that he is an original thinker, and someone to watch.

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