In the wake of Tuesday's "shellacking," I offer a few of my favorite columns from disappointed Obama supporters. This one from former CNN fixture and current Ed Schultz imitator Bill Press, writing at The Hill, insists that American voters aren't "frustrated" or "angry," they're simply "fickle and dumb." In a 245 word piece, Press manages to denounce his fellow Americans as "dumb" a total of three times. No surprise here. Last summer, as Obama's poll numbers were buckling, Press told his radio audience that the American people were "spoiled."
This atrocity, from Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell, accuses Republicans of "fear mongering" unemployment and suggests that there is "something more sinister than voter frustration is behind the seismic shift in Washington." Fear mongering is bad, unless you are fear mongering Indian call center employees:
The next time you drive through a tollbooth and get stuck behind someone who doesn't have the proper amount of coinage to put in the machine, ask yourself when human workers are coming back. Think about these missing jobs the next time you call your credit card company and someone who you know is on foreign soil tries to sort out your issue.
The next time you pump quarters into a soda machine—where's the soda jerk?—think of the jobs we could create by embracing luddism! And the next time you use one of those convenient-yet-job-killing ATMs, think of all of the starving people in West Virginia who would love to work as a bank teller. (Incidentally, I remember my father tossing coins into "the machine" on the Mass Pike way back in the 1980s).
At the perpetually-outraged Daily Kos, I recommend this delightful "open letter to the white right," accusing honky voters of throwing a collective "temper tantrum" at the polls. The increasingly awful Eugene Robinson, last seen arguing that the nonsense phrase "take back America" was the English-language equivalent of ein volk, ein reich, ein fuehrer, said much the same in the Washington Post: "This isn't an 'electoral wave,' it's a temper tantrum….The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats." Now, now, Eugene. Who's sounding like the whinging baby here?
Across the European media, reactions were pretty much what one would imagine—racism, Tea Party nuttiness, assurances that the results don't represent a shift to the right, etc. Germany's Tageszeitung pursued the racial angle. Denmark's Politiken thought Danes would be interested to know that Sarah Palin's daughter didn't vote, that "California voters would rather [elect] a dead Democrat than a living Republican," and that there are now, after the exit of Illinois's ethically challenged Sen. Roland Burris, no blacks in the Senate.
But as usual, Sweden's Dagens Nyheter wins the day with the predictable headline "Obama Portrayed as Hitler, Stalin, and the Devil"—which probably explains the "shellacking." "Barack Obama was a messiah for voters, received the Nobel Peace Prize and was praised for his talent for communicating," the paper writes. "Now he's portrayed as Hitler, Stalin, and the devil. Dagens Nyheter talked to experts about how the storm of criticism effects the American president's leadership." And if you were wondering—and I know you weren't—all of these were news stories, not opinion pieces.
Oh, and I almost forgot this classic: Huffington Post scribbler Frank Schaeffer reveals that Americans voted Republican not only because of unemployment or skepticism of the health care bill, but also because they believe in biblical "End Times" prophesies. Yeah, I don't get it either. So I put the question to you: Which is in worse shape, the state of the American economy or the state of American punditry?