Pat Buchanan

What happened to the Age of Obama?

Glancing over the New York Times Book Review Sunday, one finds three of the top four non-fiction best-sellers were written by conservatives -- columnist Michelle Malkin, talk-show host Mark Levin and Fox News contributor Dick Morris.

At No. 10, in its 40th week on the list, is Bill O'Reilly's memoir.

No. 1 best-seller in paperback: Glenn Beck's "Common Sense."

Moreover, the altarpiece of the transformational presidency, universal health insurance, is on life support, as huge crowds pour into town hall meetings to denounce it. Responding to the protests, the Obamaites have dumped the end-of-life counselors (aka "Death Panels") and declared the government option expendable.

Culture of Corruption by Michelle Malkin FREE

But what are we to make of these "evil-mongers" of Harry Reid's depiction, these "mobs" of "thugs" organized by K Street lobbyists and "right-wing extremists" who engage in "un-American" activity at town hall meetings? Surely, all Americans must detest them.

To the contrary. According to a Pew poll, by 61 percent to 34 percent, Americans think the protesters are behaving properly. Gallup found that by 34 percent to 21 percent Americans identify with them. For these folks at the town hall meetings are not overprivileged Ivy League brats seizing campus buildings and holding the dean hostage. They look and talk just like them.

What President Obama is losing is not the far right but the center of the country. Nor is this the first time liberals have misread America.

During the 1968 Democratic convention, liberals sided with the antiwar demonstrators in Grant Park. And the country sided with the Chicago cops who went into the park and gave them a good thrashing.

In 1969, the national press was writing that President Nixon must yield to the hundreds of thousands ringing the White House. Nixon went on national TV to call on the Silent Majority to stand by him.

They did, for four years.

One recalls Sen. Ed Muskie blurting out, after being crushed in the Florida primary by George Wallace, that he didn't know there were that many racists in Florida. That was the end of Ed. And in the fall, the Floridians flooded to Nixon, who did not insult them.

After Nixon rolled up his 49-state triumph, Pauline Kael, movie critic at the New Yorker, is said to have expressed disbelief: "I don't know how Nixon won. No one I know voted for him."

George H.W. Bush never saw the rebellion of 1992 coming and watched Ross Perot waltz off with a third of his 1988 voters.

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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