President Obama told Rolling Stone that “people need to shake off this lethargy” and “buck up.” Vice President Joe Biden suggested disappointed Democrats “stop whining.” There is some truth in such comments, in that Democrats aren’t showing much gratitude for all the administration has delivered. But New York Post columnist John Podhoretz was reminded of when frustrated Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole similarly told a late-October 1996 campaign crowd: “I wonder sometimes what people are thinking about, or if people are thinking at all. Wake up, America!” (The former Kansas senator lost badly to President Clinton a few days later.) Podhoretz noted: “Obama is talking to voters as though he is their boss, or their principal, or their father. He is not any of those things. He is their employee. And employers don’t like it when their employees yell at them.” The Wall Street Journal editorial board hears something else in Democrats’ “blame-the-voters” approach, saying Democrats “are beginning to sound like the late comedian Chris Farley’s portrayal of a ‘motivational speaker’ on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Farley’s character sought to inspire young people by announcing that they wouldn’t amount to ‘jack squat’ and would someday be ‘living in a van down by the river.’”
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