One of my least favorite things about conservatives is their tendency to think of themselves as more patriotic than everyone else by virtue of their politics. When Americans concerned about the wisdom of waging certain wars or the loss of civil liberties dare speak out, conservatives who spend most of their time bashing Washington, D.C. not only give the federal government the benefit of the doubt—but viciously bash those who would dare doubt the government, calling such dissenters un-American, unpatriotic and even undeserving of a hearing. It’s sickening. Wrapping one’s self in the flag is no substitute for debate and an unquestioning devotion to government is never conservative.
Likewise, one of my least favorite things about liberals is their tendency to think of themselves as smarter than everyone else by virtue of their politics. I’ve always believed a large part of Barack Obama’s appeal is that the image he projects reflects how liberals see themselves—cool, calculated, intellectually serious, high-minded, politically practical, above the fray—and certainly nothing like the Republican rubes who vote for dopes like George W. Bush or Sarah Palin. If the conservative FOX News regularly blasts the Left for its “radical” or “socialist” ideas, the liberal MSNBC seems offended that conservatives are even part of the discussion, portraying Tea Partiers as whacked-out interlopers who contribute nothing and only muck up the democratic process. Describing this patronizing attitude, TIME noted in a February cover story, “The notion that liberals are smarter than conservatives is familiar to anyone who has spent time on a college campus.” This notion is also familiar to anyone who has spent time around liberals.
Alvin Greene is an unemployed man who lives with his father in Manning, South Carolina. Currently facing felony charges for allegedly showing pornography to a young college student at the University of South Carolina, Greene was involuntarily discharged from the Army last year for what appears to be mental health issues. Having no political experience, Greene did virtually no campaigning, has no website, no name recognition and seems to have the intelligence of a pet rock—he’s also South Carolina Democrats choice to challenge incumbent Republican Jim DeMint for his US Senate seat come November, winning the primary by a whopping 60%.
This surprising victory instantly became a national story, with House Majority Whip, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), state and national Democratic operatives, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and other prominent liberals smelling a rat, or to use Clyburn’s phrase, “elephant dung.” Greene had to be a Republican plant, cried the liberal media, without a shred of proof to support such an allegation.
Comedy Central funny man Jon Stewart spelled it out for his liberal friends: “This is the Republicans’ fault? Really? Even if they fronted the patsy, y’all voted for him. They didn’t trick you. Did the Republicans spend a lot of money on ads for Alvin Greene? No. Did they spend any money on ads for Alvin Greene? No. Did they ask Alvin Greene to leave his father’s basement once during the campaign? No. This is a prank? No.” Greene is certainly a joke, but this prank is entirely self-inflicted, or as Stewart aptly put it, “This is the political equivalent of running yourself a warm bath, falling asleep next to it with your hand in the tub, wetting yourself, and then blaming the Republicans.”
In most interviews, Greene could not answer the most basic questions or even name his Republican opponent. Olbermann asked Greene if he had campaigned, and the candidate replied that he had, statewide. Olbermann then asked his guest to name one city in which he campaigned. Greene replied “no comment.” Greene quickly proved to be a complete idiot and continues to do so in a national spotlight that could get brighter.
Liberals are accustomed to being accused of many things—“socialist,” “bleeding hearts”—but “stupid” is not one of them, as they now wrestle with the reality of their problematic Democratic candidate. If conservatives love to pose as superior patriots, liberals love to pose as superior intellects, and when I point out the countless policy similarities between Bush and Obama to my liberal friends, this president’s defenders typically either go into denial or just talk about how stupid Dubya was. CBS News host Katie Couric once asked Sarah Palin what newspapers or magazines the former Alaskan governor read as sort of an impromptu intelligence test. Could you imagine Couric, or any liberal pundit, asking the same of Democrat Clyburn, whose insistence that Greene is a Republican plant is only the latest in a long line of dumb statements?
If the GOP had indeed wanted to “plant” a stealth candidate in a Democratic primary, why would they bother with such mischief to help DeMint, one of the most popular conservative Republicans in a deep red state, making him also one of the safest incumbents in the nation? Like Greene’s victory, it just doesn’t add up. Democrats will continue to make accusations and act outraged, but the truth is they’re just embarrassed—embarrassed of looking lazy, uninformed and worst of all, stupid. And they do.