November 4 2010

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

Charlotte Hays

In his press conference, President Obama seemed sad that voters just don't get it. But he is forebearing. The president understands that the voters are "frustrated" by the slowness of his transformation of America. Or something.

Meanwhile former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in a valedictory appearance on ABC News remains proud that she "made the decisions for the American people."

Never mind that the American people resoundingly rejected those decisions. Like the president, the former speaker seemed strangely disconnected from the new reality of post-midterm America.  Hotair hilariously captured this sense of detachment from events with a headline: "Captain Queeg Speaks," after the strangely disconnected captain in the Caine Mutiny.

This dismissal of the voters as frustrated or inchoate masses unable to know what is best for them is at the heart of what happened Tuesday night. George Will explains:

It is amazing the ingenuity Democrats invest in concocting explanations of voter behavior that erase what voters always care about, and this year more than ever - ideas. This election was a nationwide recoil against Barack Obama's idea of unlimited government.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post also captured the presidential denial:

The president, facing the media in the East Room the day after what he called his "shellacking" at the polls, admitted it had been a "long night." He confessed that it "feels bad." He acknowledged "sadness" that so many friends and allies had lost their seats.

But what he would not acknowledge is that his policies had in any way contributed to the shellacking and sadness.

Quite the contrary, it appears that it is the voters who have made the president sad. He says that he is willing to "tweak" the health care bill but that is not going to be enough. This was not an election about tweaking.

The question is, of course, whether the president's denial of reality will make it easier or more difficult to overturn the policies that the public has clearly repudiated.  

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