This fear would explain the sneering toward the Tea Partiers, the smugness with which they are looked down upon.
Recall those with sneering suggestions that “The circus has come to town!”
Then came the pivot to taking on the opposition, which Biden did with his customary relish: smiling rather than sneering.
1550s, "to snort" (of horses), perhaps from North Frisian sneere "to scorn," related to Old English fnæran "to snort, gnash one's teeth," of imitative origin (cf. Danish snærre "to grin like a dog," Middle Dutch, Middle High German snarren "to rattle"). Meaning "to smile contemptuously" is from 1670s; sense of "to curl the upper lip in scorn" is attested from 1775. Related: Sneered; sneering. Sneer word is in E. Digby Baltzell (1987).
1707, from sneer (v.).