In case you did not know (and judging by their subscription numbers, you probably didn’t), the New York Times keeps on staff a man named Charles Blow, who essentially functions as the id of Barack Obama. If you ever want to know what Obama is thinking deep down in the areas of his mind where his essential emotions lie, so far down that he cannot access even marginally talented rhetoric or persuasive powers, Charles Blow is perennially here to help you. And so if you were baffled by Obama’s bizarre presser yesterday and would like to know what he really thinks about the drubbing he received on Tuesday, it might be helpful to read Charles Blow’s latest offering, to understand how a person who is probably under the influence of hallucinogens of some sort and definitely under completely unjustified delusions of intellectual superiority views the post-election world.
First of all, in case you did not know, Blow/Obama think America is mostly filled with rubes and idiots:
Candidates adopted a faux rustic aura, like a strip mall Olive Garden. The campaigns were savvy in their simplicity: anti-Obama, anti-Washington. Republicans damaged the Obama brand as best they could, then attached all Democratic candidates to it.
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The nearly dimwitted, Goober-esque affectations came together with an ocean of dark money in a midterm where the map and the math already favored them to give Democrats a drubbing.
In other words, problem number one with America as seen from the perspective of Blow/Obama is that Americans are still bitterly clinging to their guns and religion with a little more fervor than one might have hoped, even after 6 years of the glorious Obama era.
For all that people criticized Bush for the way he walked with a “swagger” and for the way he allegedly suffered from “epistemic closure,” we can clearly see now that Bush didn’t genuinely think he was better than average Americans. So when he was chastised in 2006 at the ballot box, he mostly went underground and quietly served out the rest of his term with a low profile. Obama, on the other hand, clearly does. And one truth about people who genuinely think they are better than other people is that it is really hard for them to even fake humility. Credit to Blow/Obama for not even trying.
The second problem, according to Blow/Obama, is that Republicans ran on fear and Democrats ran on issues:
“According to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG),Republicans ran nearly 12,000 anti-Obamacare ads in Senate races during the week of October 13-19. That’s almost twice as many ads as they ran on jobs/unemployment, more than twice as many as they ran on international affairs, and more than three times as many as they ran on taxes. In fact, it’s more than they ran on jobs/unemployment, taxes, and social issues combined. It’s also more than they ran on jobs/unemployment and immigration combined.”
Over the same period, but to a far lesser degree, Democrats focused more on issues like education, Social Security, prescription drugs and social issues.
David Harsayani, writing in The Federalist, tackled this same delusion when it was peddled by Eugene Robinson before the election:
It is inconceivable voters could be unhappy with Democrats’ recent body of work or the content of their message. A GOP victory will sit atop a mandate-free edifice of anxiety, hate, rage, and lies. “Republicans are conducting a campaign of atmospherics,” Robinson explains. “Be afraid, they tell voters. Be unhappy. Be angry.”
Is Robinson referring to the campaign to persuade voters that plutocrats have the ability to steal democracy by drilling into the collective subconscious of America and forcing all of us vote for Republicans? That kind of atmospheric? Or is he talking about the condom-thieving vote-stealing white men whose detestation of entire genders and races is so fervent that it leads them to a career in reactionary politics? You know the type. The kind of scum that still supports slavery. Or maybe, when Minnesota becomes a desert because we haven’t pumped enough subsidies into windmills conservatives will be happy? After all, “civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate,” says the rational, idea-driven leader of the House Democrats.
Sure, only one party has a laser-focus on the issues that matter.
It seems ludicrous that anyone would suggest that outside groups on the Republican side scaremongered their way into a GOP victory given that NARAL literally ran an ad suggesting that [mc_name name=’Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’G000562′ ] would make condoms magically disappear, and that a Wall Street Democrat billionaire spent $65M of his own money trying to convince voters that Republicans were literally trying to destroy the planet. But introspection is not the forte of the narcissist, and thus Blow/Obama are incapable of reflecting on the possible weaknesses of their own policies and message.
Blow/Obama then moves on to the greatest (and my personal favorite) of all the Democrat post-election delusions: that Democrats lost because of not being liberal enough, and especially because they shunned Obama:
It didn’t help that the Republican strategy pushed Democrats so far back on their heels that they never found enough footing to trumpet their own successes. Many were so busy running away from an association with the president that they never got around to running on Democratic principle.
This was a huge mistake. When someone from your party occupies the White House, you are shackled to them no matter what you say. Better to move together than chop off your own leg trying to free yourself.
Unfortunately for Blow/Obama, this is not a non-testable proposition. Not all Democrat candidates shunned Obama. In fact, three governors in deep blue states actively courted Obama and appeared with him on the campaign trail in the closing days of the race. These candidates were Pat Quinn (Illinois), Anthony Brown (Maryland) and Mark Schauer (Michigan). The common thread among these three, you may have noticed, is that all three suffered embarrassing losses in races that should have been gimmes given the partisan tilt of their states. Obama also campaigned for Dannel Malloy in Connecticut, who managed to barely eke out a win despite a huge partisan advantage for Democrats.
In other words, we don’t have to wonder “what if” Democrats had embraced Obama rather than run from him on the campaign trail. We know the answer. And the results are not pretty for Democrats.
In the bizarro world inhabited by Democrats, nothing is wrong with what they are doing and Americans are still solidly behind them. They intend to learn no actual lessons from being drubbed wholesale on Tuesday night. And that’s all to the good… if only Republicans can take advantage.