Sorry to recycle but it seems that the same themes keep rising to the surface. This morning, I read this column by Jack Kelly at the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette. In it, he writes:
Barack Obama is the smartest man with the highest IQ ever to be elected to the presidency, historian Michael Beschloss told radio talk show host Don Imus in November of 2008.
“So what is his IQ?” Mr. Imus asked. Mr. Beschloss didn’t know. He was just assuming.
Many shared that assumption. Adjectives frequently applied to Mr. Obama are “smart” (278 million hits on Google), “intelligent” (62 million) and “brilliant” (24 million).
There is little evidence to support it. Mr. Obama went to Harvard, but so did George W. Bush, who some liberals consider dumber than dirt. The president won’t release his transcripts, so we can’t judge by his grades. Mr. Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review, but when he was selected, popularity mattered more than scholarship.
Mr. Obama joined an undistinguished law firm, where he tried no cases. So no help there…
Could it be that Mr. Obama’s “superior intellect” is a myth created by journalists to mask what may be the thinnest resume of anyone ever elected president? An example of puffery is the description of Mr. Obama as a former “professor of constitutional law.” Mr. Obama was a part time instructor at the University of Chicago law school, without the title or status of professor. And, according to blogger Doug Ross, he wasn’t very popular with the real professors.
“I spent some time with the highest tenured faculty member at Chicago Law a few months back,” Mr. Ross wrote in March 2010. “According to my professor friend, [Obama] had the lowest intellectual capacity in the building. … The other professors hated him because he was lazy, unqualified,”
Mr. Obama’s been governing like someone with a resume too thin for a president. He’s “incompetent,” an “amateur,” former President Bill Clinton told Hillary Clinton at a private gathering with friends, according to a new book by Ed Klein. The Clintons have vehemently denied his account.
Even Ms. Daum noticed “the gulf between the brilliant young man who wanted to change the world and the stymied president who can barely pass a piece of legislation.” Mr. Obama is just too smart to be a good president, she wrote.
Or not smart enough. “The presidency of Barack Obama is a case study in stupid does,” said Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal.
Originally written prior to the 2010 midterms and updated for reposting when TRNL went live in January of 2011, I had already written along similar lines:
It is clear that Liberals love Obama the way Conservatives love Reagan – except I don’t remember the crazy love – no women fainting over Reagan or men wanting to dork him up the squeakhole. Conservatives haven’t had that much to brag about over the years – our craziness was limited to Bob Dole falling off the stage and then talking about himself in the third person for the next 20 years.
Actually the Reagan analogy isn’t quite accurate. Conservatives revere Reagan, they don’t worship him. He is honored, not for who he was but for the ideas that he represented and the actual achievements he attained. What the American Left expresses for Obama is closer to idolatry, because like worshiping a stone effigy, their reverence and slavish devotion is based on promises – ethereal concepts he talks about or some token action he has taken, the benefits of which are dubious or to be realized at some point in the future.
There is an ongoing battle over just what Obama’s achievements to date really are. If you go to http://www.barackobama.com, there are listed six major areas of focus:
- The economy
- Wall Street reform
- Health care
- New energy
- Comprehensive immigration reform
We know how well the administration of TARP has gone, how well the government/union partnership takeover of Chrysler and GM are going, how well government ownership of AIG and Citi are working out, how the restrictive aspects of the Dodd/Frank are claimed to add nothing but opportunities for government meddling while providing no real protective stopgaps. Health care is now a matter of law and subject of a repeal movement. We have seen that “new energy” means the destruction of the deepwater industry in the Gulf of Mexico while our own government supports the same actions in Brazil and Mexico by providing loan guarantees to Petrobras and PeMex.
Thanks to a Republican majority the House, Cap and Tax is likely dead, as is “comprehensive” immigration reform (code words for blanket amnesty). Education has become nothing less than a way to shuffle federal money to a Democrat constituency, the teachers’ unions.
Obama proved his fecklessness on the budget this very week.
This leaves the supporters of the President touting things like loosening travel to Cuba, announcing the closing of Gitmo (it isn’t going to happen, everybody knows it but the true Obamaites) and the dishonest announcement of the end of “combat” operations in Iraq, when our troops are still fighting in-theater. Even the Obama loving AP can’t even bring themselves to cover Dear Leader’s Six on this one either – as a memo from AP standards editor Tom Kent pointed out:
“[C]ombat in Iraq is not over, and we should not uncritically repeat suggestions that it is, even if they come from senior officials. The situation on the ground in Iraq is no different today than it has been for some months. Iraqi security forces are still fighting Sunni and al-Qaida insurgents. Many Iraqis remain very concerned for their country’s future despite a dramatic improvement in security, the economy and living conditions in many areas.”
So basically, we know what is really going on but to avoid embarrassing the American Idol winner, let’s just agree to some Orwellian newspeak – or if it gets really bad, we just won’t report it. Remember, this is the same organization that broadly criticized President Bush in 2003 for his “Mission Accomplished” moment:
“After shifting explanations, the White House eventually said the “Mission Accomplished” phrase referred to the carrier’s crew completing its 10-month mission, not the military completing its mission in Iraq. Bush, in October 2003, disavowed any connection with the “Mission Accomplished” message. He said the White House had nothing to do with the banner; a spokesman later said the ship’s crew asked for the sign and the White House staff had it made by a private vendor.”
Have you seen any AP criticism for Obama’s “shifting explanations”…yeah, me neither.
There has also been quite a bit of discussion about his personal qualifications that came about due to the resurfacing of a New York Times piece from February of 1990 titled “First Black Elected to Head Harvard’s Law Review” found here: This pre-Obama immaculation article notes how the rules were changed at Harvard Law to promote “diversity” and in their words, to “help insure that minority students became editors of The Law Review”.
Quoting from the article:
“Until the 1970’s the editors were picked on the basis of grades, and the president of the Law Review was the student with the highest academic rank. Among these were Elliot L. Richardson, the former Attorney General, and Irwin Griswold, a dean of the Harvard Law School and Solicitor General under Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.
That system came under attack in the 1970’s and was replaced by a program in which about half the editors are chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow students after a special writing competition. The new system, disputed when it began, was meant to help insure that minority students became editors of The Law Review.”
It has been pointed out that Obama did graduate magna cum laude, and that he did. You don’t get admitted to Harvard Law unless you have at least a little “smarts” but I think that many hold the same assumption that I did, that the president of the Harvard Law Review was THE top student. Until the ‘70’s that apparently was the rule. This article never mentions Obama’s class rank because evidently, Harvard doesn’t see the value in achievement any longer, they don’t rank students any longer – from the same article:
“Harvard, like a number of other top law schools, no longer ranks its law students for any purpose including a guide to recruiters.”
My question would be, if Harvard “no longer ranks its law students for any purpose”, how is it that anyone can be graduated as magna or summa? Aren’t these based on class rank? Mine were.
People say that there is no way that I can say that he wasn’t at the top of his class, and I’ll have to admit that since Harvard no longer ranks “for any purpose” that I don’t have the class rank list in my hand; however, a minimal effort in critical reading, combined with information that even Obamaites agree with gives that answer.
- Obama graduated magna cum laude, not summa – magna is a lower rank that summa
- The NYT piece was touting Mr. Obama’s ascension in conjunction with Harvard’s creation of “a program in which about half the editors are chosen for their grades and the other half are chosen by fellow students after a special writing competition.”
When these two pieces of evidence are taken together, the direct conclusion is that he was NOT the top of his class and was a beneficiary of this process to promote “diversity”, thus eliminating the opportunity for the highest achiever to be honored with the position.
I might note here that I find this Harvard program to be incredibly racist. The entire presupposition that the changes rest on is that it is unlikely that a minority student could ever achieve an academic level sufficient to attain editorship and so they require an alternative path that doesn’t include a quantifiable measure such as grades, that it must introduce subjectivity to the process to allow other “sensitivities” to enter the process. Should we not deduce that things like race would be a discriminator in this case?. For goodness sake, minority advancement is the stated purpose of the change!
I think that processes like this diminish the significance of end result. It somehow lessens the level of actual achievement and sacrifices it at the altar of “diversity”.
While this does not diminish Mr. Obama’s apparent intellectual ability, it does diminish the impact of the “achievement”. If students are no longer ranked, graduating cum laude is meaningless. If a prestigious position of the President of the Law Review can be awarded on the basis of a “minority” promotion effort and not on class achievement, the prestige of this position is also something less that it had been historically. This is analogous to meeting someone in a tailored Armani suit who claims to be the CEO of Mega Amalgamated Corporation International – only to find out that he operates out of closet in his home and has no assets or employees. Not quite the same thing as being CEO of Microsoft, is it?
Even with the recent expressions of dissatisfaction from the Left with the President – they don’t think he has prosecuted enough “progressive” policies yet any challenge to His Majesty’s preeminence is met with rabid defensiveness. In spite of his thin resume, they will fight to protect their Idol because at the end of the day, he is their idol – bought and paid for with all their “hope and change”.
Liberals still retain so much blind Obamalove that if he walked out of a Rose Garden cookout with a skewer of barbecued babies in one hand, a teenage prostitute’s decapitated head in the other, was wearing a cloak made of Michelle’s skin and a bloody paper hat made of the original U.S. Constitution, it would still be the Republicans fault. To them, he’s as much purity and light as Bush was evil and darkness.
The Harvard thing seems to be such a minor issue, a distinction without a difference…but it isn’t. If you critically break down what this president says and is, just beneath the surface you will find substantially less than you expected…and what you do find carries the potential for significant damage and destruction.
Obama is not a man to be taken at face value.
That’s the danger of idol worship. The bejeweled graven idol may be incredibly beautiful but the forces behind it may be far less so.