Smart and Dumber - WSJ.com: Yet it would overstate the case to say that Obama's so-called populism, or "flopulism" in Kaus's droll portmanteau, is completely without appeal. There is one group that just loved the Kansas speech. Among its members were journalists like E.J. "Baghdad Bob" Dionne, Joe Klein and the editorial board of the New York Times, along with academics such as Robert Reich, Geoffrey Stone and Michael Kazin.
There's an irony for you. The one group to which the president's brainless bashing of businessmen and conservatives appeals consists of . . . intellectuals. Or, as Barone puts it, "those who pride themselves on belonging to the party of smart people." Obama's appeal to these self-styled brainiacs is not reasoned but emotional: He taps into their resentments.
The lefty intellectual resents successful businessmen and conservatives because they threaten his own sense of superiority. Wealthy businessmen's material success is a mark of higher status than the professor or journalist's mere affluence. Conservative politicians act as if the lefty intellectual is not morally superior. In addition, conservative intellectuals challenge his sense of cognitive superiority. Within journalism and academia conservatives are smarter than liberals on average, because the former are those who have managed to succeed despite going against the grain ideologically.