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You Have to Hand It to Them

The liberal media throng and Democratic elites never learn the right lesson. It’s been only a month since they vilified Sarah Palin, leading to a gigantic backlash and the largest surge in John McCain’s standing in the polls yet. But they didn’t learn. They are at it again with Joe the Plumber and, once again, are exercising no self-restraint.

They don’t, at bottom, respect non-elites from middle America or listen to their concerns. They treat them as cartoon characters or as frauds sent to foil their own quest for power. So they set upon Joe the Plumber in the mistaken view that what was significant about the interchange with Barack Obama were Joe’s concerns. And–surprise, surprise–you’ve got the makings of a backlash.

There are two problems with the approach of the Obama supporters. One, as with the Palin feeding frenzy and Bittergate, it convinces ordinary voters that the Democrats are vicious snobs. Two, it doesn’t address the problem: voters may begin to suspect that Obama is fixated on wealth re-distribution. That’s the idea the Democrats should be working to dispel. But since they can’t imagine that the public would have a problem with raising taxes in a recession, they don’t even bother to reassure voters that of course Obama wants the private sector to grow and of course he understands that you must tread carefully in tax-burdening small businessmen.

The McCain team must be pinching themselves: they can hardly believe their luck that the Democrats have attacked an everyman and prolonged a dangerous storyline. The only question remaining: will they keep it up? McCain couldn’t be that lucky, could he?