The re­volt of the peas­ants gath­ers steam

The Washington Times Daily - - COMMENTARY - BY WES­LEY PRUDEN Wes­ley Pruden is edi­tor in chief emer­i­tus of The Times.

The pop­ulist saber con­tin­ues to cut the elites down to size. The elites, who think they know it all and are uniquely qual­i­fied to tell every­one else how to live, took an­other past­ing Sun­day in the Ital­ian elec­tions. Prime Min­is­ter Mat­teo Renzi felt so hu­mil­i­ated by voter re­jec­tion of his pro­pos­als for con­sti­tu­tional re­form that he quit on the spot.

That’s 3 for 3 for the peas­ants. Europe hasn’t seen such a sack­ing fit in years. David Cameron quit as prime min­is­ter in Bri­tain af­ter the king­dom voted ear­lier this year to say good­bye to Europe, and then Fran­cois Hol­lande, the pres­i­dent of France, looked back and saw some­thing gain­ing on him.

The most un­pop­u­lar pres­i­dent since 1940, when France was about to fall, said he has had enough, and wouldn’t stand for an elec­tion that ev­ery­body said he couldn’t win, next year.

The Ger­mans have a chance to make it 4 for 4 next year, when An­gela Merkel stands for a fourth term, and though she may be the fa­vorite, in the present cli­mate she’s any­thing but a sure bet, and maybe not even a good one. Throw­ing the ras­cals out has be­come a game every­one wants to play, and the world has rarely seen so many de­serv­ing ras­cals.

Barack Obama, who is Europe’s fa­vorite Amer­i­can pres­i­dent, can only be pleased that he isn’t run­ning for any­thing next year but the street­car, to take him to his new digs just down the street from the mosque where he might be con­tent to lis­ten to the even­ing call to prayer, which he calls “the prettiest sound on earth,” but this par­tic­u­lar mosque plays no such call. He’ll have to get it on YouTube. The neigh­bor­hood is fairly finicky about noise.

Only yes­ter­day the big me­dia was agog with spec­u­la­tion about the fu­neral rites for the Repub­li­cans, who were about to be drowned (and good rid­dance) by the com­ing tidal wave bring­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton into of­fice. Alas, the tide turned, as tides will do, and brought the Don­ald to power (if not yet much glory) in­stead.

Now it’s the Democrats who are lep­ers in the land. The same wise men who were writ­ing obit­u­ar­ies for the Grand Old Party are re­cy­cling them as ob­se­quies for the party of the peo­ple. That would be the party that lost the White House, the Se­nate, the House and so many gov­er­nors, may­ors and state houses that ev­ery­body but Jill Stein has quit count­ing.

The Demo­cratic grass­roots, how­ever, are bub­bling and on the boil, if not with op­ti­mism at least in­no­va­tion. Stu­dents at Cal­i­for­nia State Col­lege at San Mar­cos think white folks are the prob­lem and the so­lu­tion is get­ting rid of them. The stu­dents or­ga­nized a “White­ness Forum,” set­ting up more than a dozen dis­plays with imag­i­na­tive themes, in­clud­ing “Gen­tri­fi­ca­tion is the New Colo­nial­ism” (no one ever met a real-es­tate de­vel­oper in a home­less shel­ter), “White­ness in the Courts” (blacks are five times more likely to go to prison than white folks and Lati­nos are three times more likely), and “the hege­monic ideals of the beauty stan­dard” must go.

The First Amend­ment, which not so long ago ev­ery­body re­garded as the most im­por­tant item in the Bill of Rights, con­tin­ues to get a bad rap on cam­pus. Jake Gold­berg, a stu­dent at Tufts Univer­sity, of­fered a res­o­lu­tion to the Stu­dent Se­nate af­firm­ing free speech and it was de­feated 26 to zilch. The Se­nate pres­i­dent chided Mr. Gold­berg for even of­fer­ing the res­o­lu­tion. “I think clar­ity in it­self is sub­jec­tive so I don’t re­ally know what we’re vot­ing on, which is why I op­pose it.” An­other sen­a­tor said 50 per­cent of Tufts stu­dents are from other coun­tries where there is no free speech and free-speech is­sues are han­dled bet­ter than in Amer­ica, and say­ing First Amend­ment rights are the best kind of rights “is not okay.” Hurt­ing some­one’s feel­ings is the most heinous of all crimes on cam­pus.

The best news for the Repub­li­cans this week is not from Europe or the cam­pus but from Nancy Pelosi, fresh from win­ning an­other term as the leader of the Demo­cratic mi­nor­ity in the House. She told a CBS in­ter­viewer that her party doesn’t have to worry be­cause “I don’t think the peo­ple want a new di­rec­tion.”

The in­ter­locu­tor, John Dick­er­son, re­minded her that over the past eight years “the num­bers are ghastly for the Democrats, with the party get­ting clob­bered at ev­ery level, over mul­ti­ple elec­tions. That seems like a real cri­sis for the party.” No, no, Mrs. Pelosi replied. “You’re for­get­ting that we went up so high in 2006 and 2008.”

Ac­cord­ing to the five stages of grief, ev­ery­body should be mov­ing on by now. But some folks are still stuck in de­nial.


Rep. Nancy Pelosi

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