As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama Suggests Americans are Ignoramuses

President Obama Monday said in essence that Americans who disagree with his position that failing to raise the debt ceiling would be catastrophic are not paying attention to the facts.

Asked at the White House press conference by Chip Reid of CBS about a CBS poll showing 69 percent of respondents oppose raising the debt limit, Obama bristled with condescension.

Saying he wanted to “distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large,” Obama asserted:

“The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes” – referring to the Treasury bills and notes by which the United States finances its debt.

“They shouldn’t,” he added. “They’re worrying about their family; they’re worrying about their jobs; they’re worrying about their neighborhood. They’ve got a lot of other things on their plate. We’re paid to worry about it.”

Why, in a representative democracy, shouldn’t the public be paying attention to the most important economic issue facing the nation and the critical debate going on in Washington about how to handle it? And why should people trust those in the political class who are “paid to worry about it” instead of themselves?

In my years covering the White House, I’ve heard presidents respond to lots of polls, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard one say people don’t know what they’re talking about. The traditional Answer Of Presidents is, “I don’t pay attention to polls, I just do what’s best for The Republic,” which of course is not true, but at least it’s not insulting.

Obama’s effort to soften the comment with the suggestion that Americans have more parochial concerns to worry about amounts to encouraging voters to abandon their civic duty, at least when it comes to federal issues. It’s like applauding people for watching the string of murders and fires on local news instead of checking out shows about national affairs.

The irony is that Obama himself, through the grassroots nature of his 2008 campaign, has proven the power of turning people at the local level on to national issues.

White House correspondents seek to better educate the public just before Obama's press conference entrance. Photo by Keith Koffler

26 Responses to Obama Suggests Americans are Ignoramuses

  1. When I heard him say that, I was utterly appalled.

    Don’t worry your pretty heads about it, people! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

  2. Oh dear my feelings are hurt.:(. At 60 to find out I am stupid is a real blow to
    my self-esteem whatever will I do? Obama’s going to find we stupid folks will vote and it won’t be for a man who calls you stupid!

  3. Now, now. Everyone needs to stop questioning our king president. He’s only trying to rule govern in the best interests of the serfs citizens.

  4. Shall we be surprised that a teacher of the “Rules for Radicals” by Sal Alinsky look upon us any differently?

    BHO has always behaved as though he is the smartest person in the room. No, we as average citizens should only be worried our little life and not get involved with larger affairs such as what is going on in more important places such as Wachington, DC.

    Thanks Keith, you gave me the ring tail just in time for Carney’s press conference.

  5. Yeah, that ticked me off too. (He didn’t need to do that!) The feds are spending more than thay have, and WE are the stupid ones.

    There is NO sublime philosophic economic model where spending more than you have is beneficial. Adding the fact that the economy is in ruins and revenue is not guaranteed makes deficit spending even worse. Adding the fact that his drunken spending party (stimulus) has proven to be a complete waste makes it completely asinine.

    But full steam ahead on the continued spending, Big O, all evidence says it’s going to help, right? I’m just a stupid serf. Throw the country’s futre under the bus for one more vacation for His family.

    He is right, “we” are stupid. …for electing a marxist jackass.

  6. d. They’ve got a lot of other things on their plate. We’re paid to worry about it.”

    He should have mentioned that he was “overpaid” to worry about it, since he has hundreds of thousands of dollars he doesn’t need.

    • Last nite Krautie said it was significant that he said something like “someone like me should not be allowed to keep x amt”–not be allowed?

      • That statement is significant for a number of reasons. One being, he doesn’t “need” the money right now because he’s living off of US. I’m thinking he and Michelle are going to want to continue their Jet-setting, Kobe-beef lifestyle in 2012 when they’re (hopefully) private citizens again. They may find that those hundreds of thousands will come in handy.

  7. “Why, in a representative democracy…” Our government is actually a representative republic and not a democracy. Our founders avoided that word “democracy” like the plague. In a democracy mob rule usually produces a tyrant or as Marco Rubio describes…a “left-wing strong man”.

    Just heard a report that he did another staged news interview. He is lying about Social Security and Veteran benefits not going out on Aug 3. The money comes out of different funds and have nothing to do with the debt. He is trying to hold the American people hostage, just like he did this Spring.

  8. I guess its true.. my wife has been telling me for years how stupid I am.
    And after years of denial, obozo words confirm it… My wife felt vindicated
    until I had to remind her how obozo included her in his insulting statement…
    Wow , took the heat off me & you wont believe what she’s calling him now !

  9. “Obama Suggests Americans are Ignoramuses”. They were. They thought they could put a post turtle in office and clear the collective national guilt over the stain that was slavery because, c’mon, everybody had one.

  10. defaulting would be catastrophic – failing to raise the debt ceiling would not. He is purposefully equating the two and the MSM is all to happy to not clarify that they are two things that need not be linked other than his hard nosed partisan politically motivated desire to not have to cut entitlements and risk losing votes. That’s it bottom line. Dishonest Dems are backing him, dimwitted ones are clueless to the sham of insisting there is only one solution. Oh and the whole “putting a bandaid thing on” is even more retarded – calling cuts less of a temporary solution than enabling the same behavior to continue via taking on more debt instead of being accountable is shamefully dishonest. There is a reason they keep insisting on all this stuff being behind closed doors. Because if exposed to the common sense of the common man they’d all be fired for trying to play f()ck f()ck games over this. All you screaming Lefties feel free to start asking how your majority Congress didn’t fix this when they should have (or is this yet another “we inherited it so you can’t blmae us for ignoring it or making it worse” things?)

  11. Keep on insulting us, Obama. You might as well quit campaigning; you’re One and Done! We are paying attention; we’re worrying and you’re TOAST!

  12. The SS has it’s own revenue stream and though it is now in a negative cashflow the SS has billions of bonds that can be sold on open market to make up short fall. PLEASE POINT THIS OUT SOMEONE!!!!!

    The failure to raise debt limit will actually cause US debt to RISE in value and interest rates to fall….old supply and demand thing.

    • Not really because in all likelyhood there will be a debt default and possibly a massive selloff. Forcasting the reaction among investors (including the Fed?) is speculative.

  13. Obama studied political science and law, not economics and finance. I have to wonder if Obama is aware that accelerating deficit spending is certain to cause calamity. All other concerns are mere detail.

  14. I worked over 40 years for my Social Security and Obama has the audacity to threaten to cut it off. Why doesn’t he contribute at least 50% of his fund raisers to the economy and/or general population. He has food on his table, his wife, himself and his children have nice clothes and the best of education! Just because he is our President does not make him better than the next person. Start thinking about the American people, not just what he wants!

  15. Gee,,I thought I knew about a lot of tghings, But Obama says I’m a dumb shit.
    Well,,,I DO know 2 things.
    1st- my 6week old puppy IS smarter then all those fools who voted this “THING” into office.

    2nd- My pet SLUG (slimy though he is) is smarter then Odumbo