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Clueless Left Misreads the Tea Leaves

November 22, 2010

This will come as a shock to the devoted socialists of the east and west coasts, but the most provincial areas of this country are not located in the Midwest, the Southwest or even the Bible belt of the Deep South. Quite the contrary; these areas respect diversity of thought in ways east and west coast liberals cannot fathom. It is within the big cities that liberalism has become almost a religion. There, in the ivory towers of Washington, D.C., Manhattan and Hollywood, intellectually inbred elitists have become backward caricatures of themselves.

So it is not hard to understand how The New York Times, for example, gets it so wrong so often. Isolated in their fashionable bubbles, reassuring each other that the country surely must be (or at least should be) as left wing as they are, Times editors, reporters and columnists continue to call to mind the inane cry of critic Pauline Kael, who famously said after the 1972 presidential election, "How could Richard Nixon have been re-elected? No one I know voted for Richard Nixon!" (Nixon, of course, carried the state of New York along with 48 others that year, which should give you some clue as to the remote nature of Ms. Kael's existence. I'm sure she had the same reaction a dozen years later when Ronald Reagan swept all but one state.)

Times columnist Bob Herbert's post-election opinion piece is a perfect example of advanced missing the point. What Herbert apparently gleaned from the midterm election, which purged 60-plus Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives and came very close to turning control of the Senate over to the GOP as well, is this: "We're getting mind-numbing chatter about balanced budgets and smaller government and whether Mitch McConnell and his gang can chase President Obama out of the White House in 2012," and "What voters want is leadership that will help them through an economic nightmare and fix a country that has been pitched into a state of sharp decline. They long for leaders with a clear and compelling vision of a better America and a road map for getting there."

Apparently, Herbert is as tone-deaf as the left wing politicians he defends. That "mind-numbing chatter" he hears is the sound of millions of Tea Party activists who are, to quote a clichéd phrase from a 1970s-era movie, "mad as hell and not gonna take this anymore!" He erroneously assumes that because of what happened at the polls, voters want politicians to "do something." What we, the people, were saying was, "Stop! You've done enough! Too much, in fact!"

Likewise, lame duck Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi believes that she is still doing the people's business. In an arrogant attempt to cling to power, Pelosi is insisting on remaining in the position of Leader of the House Democrats. From all indications, no House Dem has the guts to stop her, which should make every conservative in the nation happy. After all, one can scarcely imagine a more polarizing spokesperson for the liberal cause.

Similarly, the divas (male and female) of the entertainment industry continue to spout their collectivist tripe from their multimillion dollar mansions. Barbara Streisand, Alec Baldwin, Leonardo Dicaprio, Sean Penn, Rob Reiner — the whole left coast brain trust — can always be counted on to take sides against America and her people.

The elites of Hollywood, government, media and academia will never read the tea leaves the people are dumping into the harbor. Our concern must be the Republican leadership. They misread the Tea Party over the last year and during the midterm election campaign. Time will tell whether they get it before the next presidential campaign.

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Copyright ©2010 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.