The condescender-in-chief 

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal highlights this passage from Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson. Carlson is apparently annoyed at Obama’s condescending response to a town hall questioner earlier this week, who told the President that she was “tired of defending him”:

“Now, as I said before, times are tough for everybody right now, so I understand your frustration,” he told Hart, after rather clumsily praising her as part of “the bedrock of America” and before citing new credit-card rules and student-loan procedures as evidence of progress.

“As I said” always carries with it the implied question, Weren’t you paying attention? “For everybody” telegraphs you’re one out of millions, nothing special.

And “everybody” isn’t suffering, which is the truth that gets to the heart of Obama’s problem and makes his brushing off Hart as much substance as theater.

I would be more sanguine about the fact that Carlson — a high priestess of Beltway conventional wisdom — has had the scales fall from her eyes, if she hadn’t written just last month that his condescension is the inevitable consequence of the fact that he’s just so gosh darn smarter than everyone else:

How can President Barack Obama be so right about the mosque and yet get it so wrong?

Here’s how: He is so supremely confident in his intellect that he forgets, on his way to the correct decision, to slow down and pick up not-so-gifted stragglers.

He’s an intellectual comfortable with abstractions, a former editor of the Harvard Law Review, a constitutional scholar, a community organizer. When convinced he’s right — which is often — he turns his head at the podium to the right and left, gazing above his audience into the near distance, chin elevated, and makes his pronouncement about what is just and reasonable. We are expected to nod.

With the mosque, he didn’t bother with feelings when he saw that the U.S. Constitution and facts were on his side.

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Mark Hemingway

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