Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How Dumb is He?

Many in the MSM have spent the better part of the past 3 years comparing Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln - and deeming Obama the champion in the matchup. He’s been frequently confirmed as both a genius of immeasurable capacity and a leader of such stature that all others pale in comparison.

Now comes Stuart Schwartz, a brave soul, who postulates that dear leader may in fact be The Dumbest President. . . EVER!  In fact, he thinks the idolaters were off in their fawning presidential comparison by one: he thinks a more apt comparison would be to Lincoln’s predecessor, James Buchanan Jr.. The 15th president is almost universally regarded as the worst president ever to serve; a man whose

judgment was so wretched that he thought anti-slavery forces could be convinced to give up their opposition by his personal assurances that slaves were "treated with kindness and humanity" and whose “approach to the raging controversy over slavery in the decade preceding the Civil War was based on ignoring evidence and acting upon events as he wished them to be, not as they were.”

Schwartz sees the same absence of true insight and intelligence in our current dear leader. To support his hypothesis, he unleashes expert witnesses’ analysis of what constitutes demonstrable intelligence:

One survey of more than fifty researchers in the field of intelligence offers the following definition:

A very special mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings---"catching on", "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do.

After explaining several areas in which he believes Obama has failed the above test (i.e.  fiscal response, terrorism response, Gulf oil spill response) he goes on to explain the equally important definition of what intelligence is not:

It does not include, as David Brooks, tells us, having an exceptional and "perfectly creased pant [leg]" or -- in what Hot Air's Allahpundit calls "a loathsome expression of elitism" -- being able to "talk like us," Brooks, and others of the "smart set." If that were the case, all we would need to increase intelligence in the U.S. Congress is to provide our elected representatives with dry cleaning services. As for the "talk like us" part, it doesn't take intelligence to talk like a self-styled intellectual, a.k.a. a New York Times columnist. . .

Want to impress David Brooks and others of the media engaging in what Bernard Goldberg calls "a slobbering love affair" with the president? Simple. Reply, as Obama has done, "Ahhh...Burke" to David Brooks, enthralled by a president who expressed appreciation for the "finer points" of political philosophy; or flash your degree to Christopher Buckley, formerly of National Review, awestruck by Obama's "Harvard intellect"; or simply present Marxism and mainline elegance as typical of the academic life, and media academics like Michael Beschloss will gush on mainstream news, "he's probably the smartest guy ever to become President."

But do read the whole article. If for no other reason than to be entertained by Schwartz’s non-rhetorical question of  “How dumb is he?” which he answers in part with  “How-many-Obamas-does-it-take-to-screw-in-a-light-bulb dumb.”