Smarter Than Thou

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Some people enjoy their allotted fifteen minutes of fame with modesty and decorum. Others, like Jonathan Gruber, cannonball into the deep end, having had the good grace to get most of it on video beforehand. For those whose discretionary news time was all taken up with the comet landing and the tacky shirt aftermath, here is a basic rundown of Gruber’s exploits.

The reason this story has the traction it now does is that it represents far more than the conceit and hubris of one individual man — although it does do that in addition to a bunch of other stuff. The thing that is remarkable about all of this is how unremarkable Gruber was in the settings in which he was speaking. He was speaking to particular predictable groups, and he was getting laughs at the places he was expecting to get them. The videos only appeared in a different light when they got aired — as they just recently got aired — to the audiences who were the object of his derision. As it happens, wireless coverage has now gotten out here to Dogpatch, and we are now treated to the prospect of watching videos made by our betters. Once the whole thing was explained to Mammy Yokum, she took it ill.Mammy Yokum

Gruber is a class phenomenon. He is a representative. He is the poster child of the whiz kid brainiacs who know better than you, and they don’t care who knows it. Actually, they don’t care who knows it until something unexpected happens, and a goodly number of the great unwashed come to know it. Then they spend a great deal of energy trying to get the smell back in the barn.

If you find Gruber and his class mystifying, then I have a couple of book recommendations for you. The first is Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed. The subtitle says a lot, “Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy.” The second book is Angelo Codevilla’s The Ruling Class. Both books are great, and while Sowell is always a heavyweight, Codevilla’s book is smaller and lighter, punching way out of its weight class. Start with him, and move on to Sowell.Ruling Class

These books make it plain that we are getting these supercilious rulers because we put up with them. One Gruber is insufferable, but a ruling elite made up entirely of Grubers is something that would take a far more talented writer to describe. I am thinking of someone who was a mix of Dante and John the Revelator, on hallucinogens, trying to paint something described to them by Hieronymus Bosch. Someone at that talent level could complete the master work I have in mind, and it could be called The Cabinet Meeting.

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Mark Hanson
Mark Hanson
7 years ago

With that title, I think Chesterton would probably do an admirable job.

Matthew Paul Abel
Matthew Paul Abel
7 years ago

Maybe a dash of Dali would be helpful in painting the scene, or employing Isaiah who hits surreal foolishness on the head: No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” He feeds on ashes… he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?” The upper-middle-genius class worshipping and eating… Read more »

Kirsten Miller
Kirsten Miller
7 years ago

Haha, just watched these videos for the first time. Boy, did he step in it. We need more laughs like this: Body cams for the ruling class!

timothy
timothy
7 years ago

Our magistrates used to enjoy the presumption of good-faith; no longer.

DCHammers
7 years ago

One of the letters to the editor in our village paper {CO Springs Gazette} this morning pointed out that this ruse was to fool stupid, American voters who’s economic prowess rivals the prairie chicken. The problem is that it didn’t fool Dogpatch. It didn’t fool the GOP, not a single one of them. It was the Democrats who voted for Obamacare that was so obviously a train wreck before the law was even passed. So actually Gruber was inadvertantly poking a stick into the eye of the left, not the right as he so cleverly thought he was.

Mark Hanson
Mark Hanson
7 years ago

DC – You don’t get it. This is what democrats think of their followers. Those were the folks they had to put it over on to get the bill passed.

katecho
katecho
7 years ago

GruberGate in two minutes:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDomkBtJC7Q

They had to lie to us… for our own good:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPdClw_Ir6Q

Tom Brainerd
7 years ago

“…punching way out of its weight class.”

Well played.

bethyada
7 years ago

Writing law that is intentionally confusing, deceitful, or intended to say something other than what it appears to say should be criminal.

I did hear however that a consequence of this is that employee funded health may not survive. Surely that is a silver lining! Individually funded health may be better than socialised medicine, but compulsory employer funded health must certainly be worse than both of those?

Jack Bradley
Jack Bradley
7 years ago

Priceless, Douglas. I have a feeling “Gruber” is about to become a verb.

Al Stout
7 years ago

Mark Hanson is exactly right…

Those on the right, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the like, call them low information voters. They mock them as much as MacGruber does.

The ruling left despises all their block voting constancies… They despise them!

Al Stout
7 years ago

or constituencies… Clearly it is autocorrct that is stupid. Not me… no never me.

timbushong
7 years ago

Another great book on the general subject of “Smarter Than Thou” (or maybe “Above All That”) is Paul Johnson’s Intellectuals.

Duells
Duells
7 years ago

What I’m finding amusing right now, is that Gruber seems like the presidents kind of people. Obama is an intellectual, and it’s his intellectual pride that I might get the better of him in these last few years of round two.
His talk of ‘Congress just doesn’t want to work with me, so I have to act.’ I find the height of silliness. I hope the GOP doesn’t respond to this goading, Obama just might implode all on his own.

Mister Ed
Mister Ed
7 years ago

A good name slandered, maligned, smeared, vilified. Mr. Gruber owned the antique/gently used shop where Paddington went for his elvenses. My family and I always relished stories that featured Mr Gruber

Mike Bull
7 years ago

It seems that Obama’s second term was entirely necessary. The Obsurdium required a Reductio.