Edgar Allen Beem’s column of Nov. 17-19 (“Let’s recap, shall we? … “) is not in the tradition of a mature political thinker confronted by adversity, as expressed in Mo Udall’s response to his primary election loss to Jimmy Carter in 1976: “The people have spoken … the bastards!” Udall’s lament accepts his opponents as sentient, if contrary, beings.
Mr. Beem, in demeaning contrast, identifies the Republican, independent and (thinking conservative) Democratic voters of Nov. 2 as being “frightened and weak-minded,” “misguided” “tool(s) of the rich,” “who voted with their emotions rather than their heads,” “in a predictable tidal wave (of progressive disaster).”
Mr. Beem’s hissy fit is more in the royalist tradition of Scotty Reston (the dominant New York Times columnist of 30 years previous, into whose league Mr. Beem is unlikely to ascend) when he roundly castigated the American voters who voted for Ronald Reagan rather than Jimmy Carter.
The current health-care law passed (barely) because the then-dominant (House and Senate) Democrats said, “We’ve got the votes, so let’s just do it!”
They certainly did have the congressional votes, and in all its unseemly grandeur, the deed was done. But, the deed was done without consulting with, or mobilizing the support of, the citizens they were elected to represent.
This is the behavior of unelected courtiers. Mr. Beem is well-suited as their court jester.
Dr. Nicholas M. Nelson