Yes, this is an alarming thought

It’s an alarming thought that Obama is correctly viewed as the most intellectual president the US has had in living memory and that he admires Tom Friedman.

 

John Quiggin

28 thoughts on “Yes, this is an alarming thought”

  1. You know, I’ve never thought of community organisers who goof off for golf afternoons while the world around them is turning into rat droppings and can’t utter a word in public without a prompt board as particularly intellectual, You live and learn.

  2. Is there room in his head for ideas beside self regard? The world has definitely failed to live up to his expectations.

  3. He’s left-wing and black. Those are the two main drivers for this opinion. Remember, everyone insisted Gordon Brown was a great orator. Some on the Left even consider Milliband to be an ‘intellectual’, for fucks sake.

  4. So Much for Subtlety

    There is nothing remotely intellectual about Obama’s life that would suggest he was smarter than George W Bush for instance. Obama has been a beneficiary of Affirmative Action and probably has a very good reason to keep his academic records sealed. Certainly he was not an outstanding High School student. He was the first editor of the Law Review who did not publish a single piece of work. He was unable to get a proper academic job at Chicago despite that Affirmative Action. Nor does he seem to have published any academic articles of note. His book was probably written by Bill Ayers and are vacuous anyway.

    Woodrow Wilson on the other hand was an intellectual.

    Just proves being an intellectual is not all that great.

  5. Narrative, folks.

    Bush was no idiot, though he did some stupid things.

    They don’t give fighter planes to mouth breathers, even National Guard ones, they just don’t.

    Imagine say Arnald at the controls of an F102 in close formation!

    Or Murphy – still shouting into the mike that, candidly, they were supposed to break left, as his aircraft ploughed into a school.

    Those things cost a lot of money, for the time, and so did the pilots.

    Ditto places at Harvard (though I accept it may be easier to buy your way in there).

    Obama on the other hand was a law professor who never published a significant paper and rose to fame as a rabble rouser in the Chicago machine/blaxploitation arena.

    That they *do* give to cretins* – watch Al Sharpton go to war with a teleprompter on YouTube if you don’t believe me!

    *not saying Obama is a cretin, he’s a bright enough guy. It’s almost racist the way he’s elevated to the status of genius though; I would bet a lot of money that the bloke who did the lead on my roof yesterday is his equal, IQ wise, but no-one acts surprised or strews palm fronds on the floor ahead of him everywhere he walks.

  6. It’s quite ironic that America’s first black president is likely to ensure he will be its last, at least for a very long time. Any future black candidate is going to have an awfully difficult time convincing people he’s not just another Obama, I.e. a man with a single selling point, that being the colour of his skin. Electing the first black president was a big step, nobody gives a shit about the second.

  7. It would be good if people stopped giving a shit about the colour of a president’s skin.

    I still don’t think that will improve the field very much since all the plausible candidates are the worst imaginable people for the job, or become the worst imaginable people for the job shortly after becoming politicians.

  8. “It’s an alarming thought that Obama is correctly viewed as the most intellectual president the US has had in living memory”
    Because they turned down Adlai Stevenson and Eugene McCarthy, and after the spinmeisters noticed that Adlai Stevenson’s intellect didn’t win votes the major parties avoided intellectuals. Obama, not very intellectual, had three compensations: he had married (like Jack Kennedy’s father) into a political dynasty, he was half-black so he could mobilise the black vote and he wasn’t Hillary Clinton.
    It is also alarming that not one US President in my lifetime has been of the intellectual calibre of Eden, MacMillan, Wilson, Thatcher, Heath, Cameron or even Attlee, Alec Douglas-Home or Blair.

  9. Adlai Stevenson’s supposed intellect was a myth, he had an intellectual bearing but there isn’t much reason to believe he was among the more intelligent presidential nominees.

  10. Those who claim Obama is a “great orator” like Churchill, JFK, MLK, etc. : challenge them to give a quote from “the great orator”.
    Chances are, the only thing they can come up with is : “Yes, we can!”

  11. “Woodrow Wilson on the other hand was an intellectual.” A bloody awful one, it’s true. The last century’s brightest President was probably Hoover, and much good that did him.

  12. “Adlai Stevenson’s supposed intellect was a myth”: he certainly managed to hide his failure at Harvard pretty effectively.

  13. “not one US President in my lifetime has been of the intellectual calibre … even [of] Attlee, Alec Douglas-Home or Blair. ”

    Blair? Christ, you must be young. You’re doing very well to type, but does Mummy know you’ve got her iPad?

  14. “a “great orator” like Churchill, JFK, MLK”: did JFK write any of his own stuff? Churchill did, and I imagine King did.

  15. @ dearieme
    I said “or even … Blair”. I mentioned Attlee who was the first PM I remember but did not refer to Churchill because no-one really knows how bright he was.
    “you must be young” because I am not yet three-score years and ten – well tell that to my son. If you are as bright as he is you can have a fun debate
    Mummy had a pre-WWII typewriter on which I learned to type; she died before iPads were invented, so your comment is a bit off centre..,.

  16. Your average Ivy League school graduates more morons in a year than your average community college graduates in a decade. One quick listen to Barack Obama unscripted or John Kerry anytime proves that.

  17. So Much for Subtlety

    Interested – “They don’t give fighter planes to mouth breathers, even National Guard ones, they just don’t.”

    No but they probably should. The Royal Air Force wanted to distance itself from the Army and it rejected that sort of class consciousness – even in the 1920s – but on the other hand they wanted people to look up to them. So they have used higher education as a proxy for class. While all the time carefully not looking at what makes a good pilot. The answer is probably a healthy dose of thuggishness. So you can see why they prefer to commission nice upper middle class boys with a university degree or the like.

    Tim Newman – “It’s quite ironic that America’s first black president is likely to ensure he will be its last, at least for a very long time.”

    I think that is an odd reading of the word ironic. You will live long enough, God and the throw of the genetic dice willing, to see America become a majority minority country. That is, Whites will be in a minority. By that time White people will not be able to be elected. Any more than they are in Detroit or Baltimore or anywhere else the dead don’t vote.

    Because if there is one thing Black voters don’t care about, it is competence in their leaders. Or a criminal record.

    Bloke in Germany – “It would be good if people stopped giving a shit about the colour of a president’s skin.”

    Unfortunately that is not going to happen. White people have given up caring about the colour of anyone’s skin. But Black America has not. Obama has been the worst president for Blacks in living memory. 90+% of them still voted for him. America is going to be more race conscious, not less, as Whites fade from the scene. Because everyone else cares and defends their racial corner.

  18. SMFS: “White people have given up caring about the colour of anyone’s skin. But Black America has not. Obama has been the worst president for Blacks in living memory. 90+% of them still voted for him. America is going to be more race conscious, not less, as Whites fade from the scene. Because everyone else cares and defends their racial corner.”

    It’s even worse than that; white western culture has learned to do the reverse of defending their racial corner. So far we are the only culture to have achieved this feat. And it looks like it will destroy us in the next few decades.

  19. It is an interesting question: why do lots of white western people apparently want to see white western people and culture disappear from history? We must really hate ourselves I suppose.

  20. So you can see why they prefer to commission nice upper middle class boys with a university degree or the like.

    Once again, the great General speaks.

    On the ither hand, us what has done the trenches knows, even if anecdataly, that any of the three services would let a monkey (no, a real one, no-one would let the RMP fly) fly but only Crab Air would call it Sir and salute it.

  21. Obama wasn’t editor of the Harvard Law Review for christ’s sake, he was President of it, an elected role with no executive requirements. Obama was also the first president of the review for a very long time (maybe the very first) NOT to have an article published in it.

    Editor of the review is a substantial role requiring direction of the review and what it prints. As such, unsuited to Obama’s “talents”.

  22. In the Soviet Union, “intellectual’ meant somebody smart enough to realise that communism was a crock, and therefore had to be watched carefully.

    Apparently in the west it means somebody dumb enough to believe in communism and therefore a hero.

  23. @SMFS

    ‘No but they probably should.’

    You’re wrong, they defintely shouldn’t 9which is why they don’t).

    Flying fighter aircraft (I understand from people who do it, though I suppose they may be biased) is quite a demanding job, mentally. It all happens so quickly, you see.

    Now, I don’t know and am not interested in the history of the RAF, though I understand they had sergeants flying fighters at one time. But that wasn’t my point, or relevant to it (you can be highly intelligent and a sergeant – I know one in the Army who has a double first in physics from Cambridge, though he’s an outlier!).

  24. hey, Penis the Penis and Interested

    That’s funny! Of course I couldn’t drive a plane in close formation! ahahahaha! Imagine twats like you being a midwife!!

    Or anything useful.

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