Let Them Eat Cake . . .
Vol: 96 Issue: 19 Saturday, September 19, 2009
According to historical legend, Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, reacted to news of a bread famine, reportedly said, then let them eat cake. Actually, what she said was qu il mangent de la brioche, which means let them eat brioche a type of egg and butter enriched bread that was more of a luxury than regular bread.
The irony of the statement was in the fact both are made from flour it was infuriating to the masses and eventually cost Louis XVI the monarchy and both Louis and Marie Antoinette their heads.
The phrase stands in stark contrast to another statement known to have been uttered by the deposed Queen; “It is quite certain that in seeing the people who treat us so well despite their own misfortune, we are more obliged than ever to work hard for their happiness”.
In all probability, the story is an historical myth. The quote was likely lifted from a statement from Marie-Therese, wife of Louis XIV 100 years earlier. But it was attributed to Marie-Antoinette because of its expression of royal callousness to the plight of the people.
Of course, the real story of what took place in 1793 will never been known. The monarchy was overthrown by what would today be called liberal progressives and history is always written by the victorious side.
In any case, the point is not whether or not Marie Antoinette uttered the phrase that resulted in collapse of Louis XVI s France or if it was assigned to her by historical revisionists. The intended message is clear: Even in a monarchy, rulers ignore their constituency at their own peril.
One of the most enduring narratives of the Obama administration since taking office nine months ago is its breath-taking arrogance. It was in evidence during the campaign, but I think that back then, most people misread it as confidence.
Ronald Reagan was confident. He believed in America — and he believed that Americans did too.
Obama’s first official sit-down interview was with an Arab newspaper and was the kick-off to Obama’s Spring Apology Tour. Obama doesn t care what Americans thinks and he s made no secret of it.
Some thought the pre-election guns and religion explanation of why redneck America is anti-immigrant must have been taken out of context.
They couldn t imagine that a mainstream political party could be so dismissive of the core beliefs of so many that the public figured that a display of such arrogant elitism as that comment seemed to reflect just had to have been misunderstood.
Since taking office, the administration has thumbed its nose at its critics as if they were all Far Right crazies. In fact, I take back the as if part the administration and its spokesmen have actually said that.
Opponents to Obama s health care agenda have been labeled angry mobs and un American , stupid , misled , Nazis Astrotruf — and more often than anything else, liars .
“I’ve got a question for all these folks who say, ‘You know, we’re going to pull the plug on Grandma’ and ‘This is all about illegal immigrants’ you’ve heard all the lies. I’ve got a question for all those folks: What are you going to do? What’s your answer? What’s your solution? And you know what? They don’t have one.”
That raises a question that I have for President Obama. Who do you think you are talking to? I intend that question without sarcasm. I really wonder who he does think that he is talking to. Who is he calling liars ?
The angry mobs of grannies that Obama seems to admit have a legitimate fear may have the plugged pulled on them . Obama s defense to the charge that Grannie has something legitimate to worry about is, Oh yeah? You got a better idea?
On the Friday before more than a million conservative protestors marched on Washington, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs denied knowing about the planned rally that Sunday, saying, I don t know who the group is.
The arrogance revealed by that statement takes one s breath away. The most consistent estimates of the crowds that day seem to hold somewhere between one and two million Americans. If that many Americans showed up think of how many more must share their view, but couldn t afford to make the trip?
Still, I see cause for some optimism, despite the growing sense of impending doom that began on January 20 (can it really have only been this year?) TIME magazine s new issue is out and Obama s face isn t on it.
Glenn Beck s face is.