Though somewhat tangential to the thrust of the piece, these lines gave me greater pause than any others:
Kerry has long had a reputation as a haughty Boston Brahmin, a privileged, elitist, condescending careerist who cannot relate to ordinary Americans.Is that it? Or is it just the New American Condescension? It isn't new at all. Reagan donned a cowboy hat first, didn't he? Everyone wants to claim Lincoln's humble log-splitting beginnings, right? Wait, Lincoln was a self educated man who took pride in his intellect.
In contrast, on the stump this week Bush has shown that whatever his faults – and there are many – that he still has that indispensable political gift of speaking simply to ordinary people rather than talking down to them.
I don't recall ever hearing that the Lincoln-Douglas debates were a battle of who could sound stupider.
You can be an arrogant prick about pretty much anything. For George W. Bush, it's arrogance over who is more common. Who needs less hoity-toity book-learnin'. Is Kerry also an arrogant prick? Oh hell, probably, but at least he takes pride in smarts and not idiocy.
I have little respect for people who dumb themselves down to look cool. Bush strikes me as the kind of guy who'd smirk and say "guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses" as he shoved the chess club president and his girlfriend off their tandem unicycle. Yeah, he's That Guy. He'd taunt people with "four-eyes" and "smarty pants" while discreetly shoving his Yale diploma under the latest People Magazine.