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Special Report

Fear and Voting in America

President Obama is a disciplined performer but his condescension to the public continues to seep though anyway.

Over the weekend, at a party fundraiser in Boston he said this -- quote -- "part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we're hard-wired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country is scared. And they have good reason to be."

But Mr. Obama didn't seem to think the country was thinking unclearly two years ago when it elected him to fix an economy that had just escaped a total meltdown. People were plenty scared then.

They were scared by the deepening recession and by the hundreds of billions spent on taxpayer bailouts.

They were further scared by the additional $800 billion in borrowed money Mr. Obama and his party spent on a stimulus plan. The president's economists said that would hold the jobless rate below 8 percent. People were scared that wouldn't work and, as Mr. Obama might say, they had good reason to be.

And what did Mr. Obama do then? With millions still out of work and the economy barely growing, he simply moved on to a health care reform bill that was a big priority for him, but not for the country which strenuously resisted it. The president and his party spent a year on it and finally rammed it through.

Now they are in hot water with the voters and the president says the voters are not thinking clearly.