Dan Holler

It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the far left, far right or somewhere in the middle, there is absolutely no denying the rise of the tea party has altered America’s political landscape. And the elite media is making clear, in no uncertain terms, they despise this type of change.

Last week, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) voted against the Schumer-Toomey gun bill because her constituents were opposed to the bill. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, former lawmaker Joe Scarborough and his sidekick Mika Brzezinski lit into her:

MIKA: She is defending her vote saying her office was flooded with calls from constituents who opposed background checks by a 7-1 ratio.

JOE: You can’t handle that?

The implication is that Heitkamp, who is not conservative, is supposed to ignore the citizens of her state because the elite media in New York City say the “overwhelming majority of people want to go the other way.”

In fact, a Pew Research-Washington Post poll found 47 percent of those closely following the gun debate were “happy” or “relieved” the bill failed. It would be logical to conclude folks in North Dakota, the state with the 8th highest gun ownership in the country, were even more relieved.

The cascade of righteous indignation continued, though:

JOE: Heidi Heitkamp wants to be a United States Senator but she is not tough enough to handle 4% of her constituents calling into her office a lot. She’s not even taking the phone calls!

MIKA: That’s what they do.

JOE: … This is one of the saddest most pathetic votes I think I’ve ever seen in Washington, DC. What Heidi Heitkamp has done. Cowarding [sic] in the corner because 4% maybe 5% of the people in her state were making phone calls that her staff had to answer.

MIKA: What about her own opinion? Does she have one?

The coastal elites regularly dismiss people in fly over country. The difference with this tantrum is that the elites are dismissing a fundamental constitutional right. The 1st Amendment guarantees citizens the right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

If it seems as though they’re advocating for a callous disregard of their constituents, you’re right:

JOE: They are really vocal. Oh, my gosh. When she has to walk past her staff and saying a lot people are calling. I’ve done that. They are calling! I said, “that’s great. I’ll be back.”

When you consider this for standard operating procedure for the political and media elites, it should come as no surprise the vast majority of Americans are dissatisfied with Washington and the media.

It goes beyond just demeaning commentary, though.

The Washington Post reported this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner “will raise about $150,000 for journalism scholarships, according to the WHCA, a nonprofit group.” The piece then went on to report “some media organizations will drop as much as $200,000 each to entertain an elite list of guests” at after parties.

Ultimately, the money raised for scholarships is “small change.” The Post concludes “The real targets are a few hundred elite and influential guests. The parties help news organizations court would-be advertisers and reward existing ones by putting them in proximity to power and the Hollywood figures who will be transported and pampered at the media’s expense this weekend.”

Of all people, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw has the self-awareness to realize this type of display is just “another separation between what [journalists are] supposed to be doing and what the people expect us to be doing.”

Whether talking heads are dismissing the beliefs and opinions of one segment of the country or engaging in a schmooze-a-palooza with another, there is no doubt a massive disconnect exists between the elites and the rest of America. And politicians, elected by a ridiculed constituency, should remember who they represent.


Dan Holler

Dan Holler is the Communications Director for Heritage Action for America. Previously, he held numerous positions at The Heritage Foundation, most recently he was the Senate Relations Deputy. A Maryland native, he is a graduate of Washington College.