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The audacity of arrogance
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In the week following the shellacking of his party in the midterm elections, one might think that President Barack Obama would be conciliatory and humble. Instead, he has continued to be audacious — but with arrogance rather than hope.

The day after the elections, during a White House news conference, Obama said this in response to a reporter’s questions about the possibility of changing focus based on the mid-term election results: “The key is to find areas where the agenda that I’ve put forward, one that I believe will help strengthen the middle class and create more ladders of opportunity into the middle class, improve our schools, make college more affordable to more young people, make sure that we’re growing faster as an economy and we stay competitive — the key is to make sure that those ideas that I have overlap somewhere with some of the ideas the Republicans have.”

Based on this answer, from Obama’s perspective, it’s about taking his agenda as it currently is and looking for overlap with Republicans who will be in charge of the legislative branch of our government.

He did not mention the need to rethink his agenda, even though his policies were resoundingly rejected at the polls. His response — the audacity of arrogance. While the American people might have voiced their objections to his policies at the polls, he is going to continue with the agenda he has already put forward, because, of course, he knows better.

According to a poll released by Gallup earlier this week, “the majority of Americans want the Republicans in Congress — rather than President Barack Obama — to have more influence over the direction the country takes in the coming year.... Republicans’ 17-percentage-point edge over Obama on this measure exceeds what they earned after the 2010 midterm, when Americans favored Republicans by an eight-point margin (49 percent to 41 percent). It also eclipses the nine-point advantage Republicans had over Bill Clinton following the 1994 midterm in which Republicans captured the majority of both houses.” (Telephone interviews conducted Nov. 6-9, 2014, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.)

Obama and his advisors would do well to understand that the American people have made their views clear in the recent election, and that they are not happy with the current direction. But if you believe you are smarter and better than the average voter, why pay attention to elections?

Unfortunately, more evidence emerged this week underscoring the Obama administration’s audacity of arrogance. Two recently surfaced videos of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, who helped architect Obama’s key health care legislation, provide a peek at who controlled the legislation. He noted that a change in presentation worked for passing the legislation because “the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”

Plain people too stupid to understand.

Welcome to the audacity of Obama. It’s not his audacity to hope that is off-putting; it’s his belief, and those of many other liberals, that they are smarter than the rest of the nation (i.e., me and you). If you understand that this is his point of view, then his actions and his unswerving belief that government is the best answer to any question or problem begins to make sense.

So Obama’s arrogance continues. Why wait for the new (Republican) Legislature to enact laws regarding immigration issues when executive orders can be written instead? Why change the laws on the books when one can simply direct administrative departments to defund areas to prevent enforcement of laws? Why let the American people be in charge when those in government are so much smarter?

The audacity of arrogance. It’s hard — if you believe that you are better and smarter than everyone else — to believe that the American people can get things done and can lead the way toward prosperity without big government.
Obama should be careful. History has proven that Americans are many things, but tolerant of arrogance is not one of them.

To find out more about Jackie Gingrich Cushman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit