Bob Herbert: Now You’re All Smart!!

Elitism? At the New York Times? I know, it’s shocking.

Bob Herbert has decided that this year, since the voters appear to be supporting his candidate, they must be substantive and informed. Implying of course that in the past, when they have rejected his candidate, they all were stupid sheep.

In his latest loveletter to Barack Obama, Herbert opines that since polls show that Barack Obama is ahead, ipso facto, the voters all have become like totally intelligent.

You see how that works, gang? Vote for my guy, you must be smart; vote against my guy, then you’re stooooopid.

Did he really say that they are smarter? Oh yes- here is the quote:

But it was clear that the message, style and strategy of [Obama's] campaign pointed to a new direction for American politics, and that a new generation of voters — younger, smarter, more diverse, more open-minded — was anxious to follow his lead.

What exactly is his evidence that the preference for Obama is proof of deeper reflection by the voters? One quote from a random voter (who maybe actually exists, but in light of the Times’ track record here, maybe does not really exist at all):

I remember talking with a voter named Debra Gable…”I dislike politics,” she told me, “because we focus on our differences even though we have so many more commonalities. That’s what I think I’m hearing from Obama, so I want to see how he is in person.”

Based on that (alleged) quote, Herbert is amazingly able to draw the following conclusion about the electorate as a whole:

With the country facing enormous problems (even before the meltdown of the credit and financial markets in recent months), the voters wanted more substance from their candidates.

Substance? Is he kidding? Barack Obama, with his thinnest of resumes, with his minimal track record, with his ambiguous talk of “hope” and “change” is all about substance and not all about style??

I know a great many Obama supporters- many of whom are extremely smart and extremely well-informed. But when I ask them to name Senator Obama’s most significant accomplishment as a Senator, most can’t name any at all. When I ask them what specifically they like about his economic policies, most are aware only that he wants to raise taxes “on the wealthy”, but can offer little more.

Heck, even elected officials who are involved in the Obama campaign seem to have trouble naming a specific thing he has done as a Senator.

But this is how it works in Bob Herbert’s world. Agree with him, you’re smart and open-minded. Disagree, you’re ignorant and closed-minded. Ahh, the Times.

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