Dr. Gruber has been in the news lately for a moment of candor. It was so, well, candoriffic that even La Wik can't ignore it:
In a panel discussion about the ACA at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2013, Gruber stated that the bill was deliberately written "in a tortured way" to disguise the fact that it created a system in which "healthy people pay in and sick people get money". He stated that this obfuscation was necessary, due to "the stupidity of the American voter or whatever", in order to get the bill passed and that a "lack of transparency is a huge political advantage." His comments caused controversy after a video of them was placed on YouTube in November 2014."Controversy"? Boy, howdy. [video of Gruber's comment at the link]
This is the view of the Intellectual Elite - they have proven by their Ivy League credentials that they are smarter than you or me - and in the Elite's world, smart is everything. And so they repeatedly push unpopular laws and mandates: Obamacare, Immigration "reform", the centralization of power in Washington D.C. and the Brussels that sees itself as the capitol city of an EU Superstate. And if the plebs vote the wrong way on the treaty, make 'em vote again, and again, until they get it right.
Because Smart uber alles. The Intellectual Elite is fit to rule as Philosopher Kings because they are ever so clever. That's precisely how they think.
The problem is that they're really not all that smart. David Brooks is a member of that class, and is certainly very clever - New York Times columnist, and all that. Brooks has been (quite appropriately) mocked for his admiration of then Senator Obama's "perfectly creased trousers". In truth, the mockery misses the mark, because the entire quote (from an interview of Brooks in 2006 after he met the junior Senator from Illinois) is much more damning:
But, as they chewed over the finer points of Edmund Burke, it didn’t take long for the two men to click. “I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging,” Brooks recently told me, “but usually when I talk to senators, while they may know a policy area better than me, they generally don’t know political philosophy better than me. I got the sense he knew both better than me.”Why would Brooks have thought that Obama would have been a very good president? Because Obama passed himself off as being a card carrying member of Brooks' Intellectual Elite class. He was able to talk about Burke, so clearly he would be an effective leader. Or something.
That first encounter is still vivid in Brooks’s mind. “I remember distinctly an image of--we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant,” Brooks says, “and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.”
This is the problem with the Intellectual Elite: they have far too high an opinion of their brains ("... they generally don’t know political philosophy better than me."). They have no idea just how many things they have no idea about - things that millions of Americans do every day: start, run, and grow a business; lead soldiers in combat; accomplish something.
Instead, it's all symposia and friendly hail fellow well met back slapping with the other members of their club (which is not to say there isn't vicious office politics between them, just saying that we didn't win World War II with superior office politics skills).
And so the misplaced sense of superiority leads to Gruber's bald faced lies. No wonder the Intellectual Class is held in such contempt by the population. And the punch line? Gruber and his pals don't get that. They can't imagine that it would make a difference, and so they dance off to lie to the "stupid American voters" again.
Because they can't see a negative consequence from holding this sort of world view. Smart, right there.