I had never heard of Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he hit my radar today with the headline “Obama Is Not That Bright.” The headline got my attention because I assumed that it would be a scathing review of some of the Obama campaign missteps so far. It’s a fair criticism to say that the Obama campaign has been touted as geniuses since December 2007 and perhaps they really are a little overrated.
But no. Jack Kelly’s article posits that Barack Obama is actually unintelligent. The constitutional law professor is unintelligent. Let’s go through this amazing screed.
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.
While I personally think George W. Bush is not quite as dull as his public persona suggests, there is something to be said for the Ivy League name game and the son of the former UN Ambassador and head of the RNC probably faced fewer admissions hurdles than the kid of a single mom from Hawaii.
Mr. Obama was president of the Harvard Law Review, but when he was selected, popularity mattered more than scholarship.
This is where you start realizing that Kelly slapped this together without attempting research. Becoming the “President” of a law review may involve some manner of popularity, merely getting ON the Harvard Law Review in the first place is pretty much broadcasting to the world that you are so smart that the rest of Harvard looks at you and says, “damn, there goes the curve!”
Mr. Obama joined an undistinguished law firm, where he tried no cases. So no help there.
Undistinguished seems a little harsh. It was a small firm entirely focused on civil rights litigation. Within that market, the firm was noted. This also ignores that at the time he worked at this firm, he was ALREADY A CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PROFESSOR. At the University of Chicago, one of the top 5 law schools in the country — an accolade it earns by hiring stupid professors apparently.
Columnist Joe Klein said Mr. Obama’s first autobiography “may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.” But Mr. Obama got help writing “Dreams from My Father” from “his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers,” celebrity journalist Christopher Andersen claimed in his 2009 biography of Barack and Michelle.
Bill Ayers reference. 10 points to Slytherin.
When discussing the new controversy about whether or not Obama accurately described his “New York girlfriend” in his own autobiography, Kelly writes:
Yet Mr. Obama’s description closely resembles radical Diana Oughton, who was Mr. Ayers girlfriend and who blew herself to smithereens in 1970 while building a bomb intended to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, according to the blogger “Bookworm.”
If you end a sentence with “according to the blogger [insert pseudonym]” you are not engaged in serious journalism. You are in crackpot territory. And I’m not biting the hand that doesn’t really feed me — bloggers are not necessarily poor sources, but when they spew political opinions hidden behind a pseudonym they are just crackpots.
Mr. Obama has said a lot of unsmart things: there are 57 states; Canada has a president; “Austrian” is a language; America is “20 centuries” old; Arabic is spoken in Afghanistan. He’s called the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) the Maldives, and declared it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to invalidate a law passed by Congress.
Misstatements happen but it personally riles me when boneheaded idiots pretend that Obama was wrong when talking about the Supreme Court. Anyone with a high school civics class should have enough facility with constitutional law to recognize that it WOULD be unprecedented for the Supreme Court to declare that an individual mandate violates the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution.
President Obama’s stimulus bill didn’t stimulate.
Economists who actually “study data” and use “math” would disagree. The best argument against the stimulus is that it was too small to fully cure the economy but remember how the economy was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs each month? And then we passed the stimulus…and then jobs have been going up and we’ve had sustained GDP growth for over 2 years. Yeah that’s the stimulus.
His subsidies to “green” firms have produced neither the jobs nor the energy he promised.
Unemployment on his watch peaked at 10 percent, one of the highest rates since the Great Depression. Deficits are out of control.
Which of these are not Bush administration problems? Obama has turned back the unemployment peak and the deficit has been reined in since the Bush administration deficits ballooned our debt to $10 trillion.
“The man who promised everything is delivering nothing,” wrote Noemie Emery in the Weekly Standard. “Journalists who wept when he won the election now grind their teeth in despair. … The gap between sizzle and steak never seemed so large.” 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?
Well turning the economy around after the worst economic collapse in 70 years was pretty good. To the extent his Presidency has been a disappointment — and in ways it has — that disappointment stems from the lost opportunities of the last two years when Congress has blocked follow-on legislation that would speed the recovery.
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.
What is this guy’s deal with the blogger cites? Well at least this time the “blogger” has a name. Unfortunately, the Doug Ross post in question is just as anonymous as “Bookworm” was above because Mr. Ross makes his allegations based upon meeting with an unnamed Chicago professor. Hurling invective from anonymity is not an argument, its a cowardly gripe. I’m not clear why having a private sector job at the same time he worked at the University of Chicago renders him any less an expert on constitutional law.
Kudos to Kelly for taking a page from The Royal Tenenbaums and taking a proven and accepted fact and saying, “maybe not?”