Populists owe a huge debt to David Brooks for his succinct classification of the enemies of The People as the “educated class.” Especially so since his fellow elitists are flocking to that banner. Take for instance Charlie Blow (no links to the Tired Gray Crone):
Welcome to the mob: an angry, wounded electorate, riled by recession, careening across the political spectrum, still craving change, nursing a bloodlust.
There is a scene in the movie “Gladiator” where two Roman senators are discussing the games that the emperor has revived. One laments: I think the emperor “knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they’ll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they’ll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the senate. It’s the sand of the coliseum. He’ll bring them death. And they will love him for it.”
That was America during the dawn of W. — too many too easily manipulated. But people grew wiser and restless. And they revolted. As they did, a young crowd-pleaser in Chicago, cloaked in hope, sprang up, won them over and shaped the mob into a movement.
Chuck seems to be playing to the pre-Brown election memes here. Specifically numbers 2 (There has been a political realignment.) and 5 (Barack Obama’s charisma can carry the Democrats through to victory.). These memes should have been buried with Coakley’s electoral ambitions, yet here they are prominently on display. He also demonstrates a willful ignorance of the difference between an electorate and a mob.
First of all, a mob would deal with the source of its displeasure directly. In the absence of smashed windows, spontaneous arson, and violence (all of which have been conspicuously absent from the Tea Party Protests, though well represented in the counter protests, cf Ken Gladny’s treatment by the SEIU), such a classification is ludicrous.
Second, in a point of inconvenient fact contrary to Chuck’s thesis, the most mob-like behaviors seen in the last decade were those of the “Anti-War” protests of the left.
Thus the classification of the Tea Parties as a “mob” while failing to apply the same term to the “anti-war protests” bespeaks a clear prejudice on Chuck’s part.
But by all means, keep on condescending; that’ll swing the electorate back your way!