Friday, December 9, 2011

A word of caution on elation in élites


The famously self-protective
American President has wan-
dered into Bloody Kansas, at
who knows what incalculable
mime the histrionics of the
aristocrat of Sagamore Hill,
and all the Critical Left is
but agog to speak its thrill.
How awesomely soon they for-
get the rhetorician's first
and only task, which is to 
give voice to the lower or-
ders, not to describe them
in the syntax of a social en-
gineer. This was one of the
saddest proofs of alien
disdain of human life, of

cold unfitness to be found in campaign diction since the first Bush's immortal, Message: I care. But you saw the delirium over this illusive populism, throughout the print media: the editorial boards of both The Times and The Post adored the genius of invoking The Middle Class in the third person - Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast counting 25 such hearteningly aloof descriptions of his listeners. The man who can't bring himself to the first person plural in public discourse is going to be rejected as a tight-assed Thomas Dewey, and richly deservedly so. 

Where is Peggy Noonan when she's needed, who could make Caligula sound innocent and quaintly sweet? He sounded like a pedagogic oncologist, touring a ward of the suffering with his retinue of readers, declaring right before their upturned faces what to do about their pain as if they were not there.

Yesterday, this man needs to go to the movies; he needs to go to the drugstore for a cherry soda; he needs to skin his knee and yes, quite frankly and urgently, he needs to lose at something, or take himself off the road.

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