Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Intelligence Myth

"I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go."
- Barack Obama, May 9, 2008, campaigning in Oregon

It is undeniable that President Obama is a charismatic individual with an incomparable gift for speechmaking--provided he is working from a prepared text, via his cherished teleprompter.

What he has not been proven to be is the sharpest knife in the drawer, at least to my satisfaction. This almost heretical opinion flies in the face of all the politically correct swooning over how "smart," "brilliant," and "intelligent" the man is. Personally, I've seen little proof of that. Most people are aghast when I counter their ravings about his "intelligence" with skepticism.

Seriously, take some of the gaffes the president has uttered off the cuff (or more to the point, off the teleprompter). A generous collection of them are linked here. Now, put any one of them into former President George W. Bush's mouth. Be honest. What would the media reaction be to Bush referring to a non-existent language, miscalculating the number of states, being flippant about the Special Olympics, complaining about too many questions, or remarking that he saw many of our fallen heroes sitting in a Memorial Day event?

Bush would have been skewered for days, if not weeks, over each and every error, vilified as a subhuman moron. Yet, Obama slides by with a full media pass and moves along to his next ridiculous statement, such as telling us that under his health care reform, we can keep our health insurance if we like it. The president's oratorical mojo is definitely missing on this issue. Take a look at recent polls. On or off script, he is flailing on this issue. He isn't even smart enough to give his incessant media appearances a rest for a day or so, obviously considering the American proletariat too stupid to figure out that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

As the growing grassroots protests show, Americans are not quite so stupid. And a president who persists in behaving as though we are that stupid simply isn't very bright.