It is one of the most cherished illusions of the left that conviction politicians of the right are stupid: not just wrong, but actually obtuse. The consequences of such prejudice are obvious: colossal underestimation, leading to blind arrogance, and thus electoral defeat.
Margaret Thatcher – "that stupid woman" – was a great (and grateful) beneficiary of this collective conceit of the British left ; in the United States it was even truer of the career of Ronald Reagan – who also happened to be the most popular American politician of the post-war era.
How, with his simple faith, apparently eternal optimism and starry-eyed reverence for the American flag could Ronald Reagan be anything other than "an amiable dunce"? Only a simple idiot would, as President, dare to denounce the Soviet Union "an evil empire", surely? How could anyone except a man still thinking that he was on a film set possibly say "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall"? Yet when the Berlin Wall was duly dismantled, Reagan's political opponents – who included the entire European social democratic movement – could not bear to contemplate the fact that this ex-Hollywood actor had understood the inherent rottenness of socialist economics far more profoundly than they.
Lefties, if you want Obama to win you're going to need a little humility, a little less arrogance, and just generally a more constructive narrative for America's future. All this bitching creates sympathy for Palin, beseiged by the biased and snobbish media...