Why Smart Presidents Do Stupid Things

The GOP's growing anti-intellectualism is a response to intellectuals run amuck.

The most depressing spectacle on the political landscape right now (besides a potential second term for Barack Obama) is the party of Lincoln entertaining the presidential ambitions of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann—women with better hairdos than heads. One needn’t be a GOP-hater like Paul Krugman or Maureen Dowd to be dismayed by the growing anti-intellectualism of the party. Even David Brooks, a conservative commentator, has observed that Republican disdain for liberal intellectuals has morphed into a disdain for all intellectuals.

But modern intellectuals, having abandoned honest inquiry for unabashed activism, must themselves bear some blame for the backlash.

The GOP’s descent into mindlessness began when the gaffe-prone Dan Quayle prodded a sixth-grader to misspell “potatoe.” The more the media lampooned Quayle, the more Republicans circled the wagons around him. Since then, Republican intellectual defensiveness has hardened into intellectual goofiness. No longer is stupidity a disqualification, even for the highest office in the land. Palin, in fact, has turned her lack of intellectual talent into her biggest asset, like Snooki on “Jersey Shore.”

Hostility toward the philosophes is not unique to Americans, of course. It was the ancient Greeks, after all, who executed Socrates because his philosophy conflicted with their piety. Likewise, there is an element of fear among religious conservatives that the intellectual project as such—not any particular brand of intellectualism—is inherently subversive of their settled wisdom.

But the bigger reason for this anti-intellectual animus is that every time really smart people run the country, things go spectacularly wrong.

The team of the “best and brightest” that Lyndon Johnson inherited from John F. Kennedy embroiled America in an ignominy like Vietnam—not to mention Medicare, a fiscal quagmire that, unlike Vietnam, the country can neither exit nor fix without courting bankruptcy or seriously screwing over millions of seniors.

Moreover, George W. Bush’s failures resulted not from his alleged stupidity, as his most vitriolic critics believe, but the brainiacs in his Cabinet. Bush himself might have reveled in his Forest Grump image. But he assembled a team of intellectual stars including Dick Cheney, who was so smart that Beltway Republicans and Democrats wished that he had run for president; Paul Wolfowitz, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies; Condi Rice, provost of Stanford University; and Donald Rumsfeld, who made his mark in academia, politics, and military service. But this Mensa-worthy team, backed by Ivy League neocon intellectuals, left a legacy of Afghanistan, Iraq, and deficits as far as the eye can see.

The prize for discrediting intelligence, however, goes to President Obama. Unlike Bush, he wore his intellect on his sleeve, raising hopes that he could fix the country with sheer brainpower. But he has presided over a deterioration on every front: Deficits are worse, unemployment is higher, a double dip is imminent, and we have added another foreign misadventure.

So why do intelligent people consistently make such a hash of things? Because they are smart enough to talk themselves into anything. Ordinary mortals don’t engage in fancy mental gymnastics to reach conclusions that defy common sense. But intellectuals are particularly prone to this. Hence Bush’s brilliant foreign policy team used the apparatus of the state to search for evidence connecting Saddam Hussein with the 9/11 attackers, which its superior ratiocination told them had to exist.

The great hope from Obama was that he would be different. That his thoughtful, professorial demeanor would prompt him to look for policies that worked—not push a preconceived agenda. In fact, when he took office, I hoped that he would be an “empirical president” who dispassionately considered the evidence from all sides before making decisions. One’s preferred position might not win every time under such a president, but it would at least have a shot, something that people outside Bush’s ideological kin never felt they had.

But Obama has been infinitely worse. He has glibly cited Congressional Budget Office scores and stats to argue that extending government-subsidized health coverage to 30 million Americans won’t exacerbate the federal deficit; that a debt-ridden country can borrow its way out of the recession; that pumping tax dollars into pie-in-the-sky green technologies would stimulate growth and produce energy security, and so on.

Ordinary folks might be unable to marshal facts and figures to counter such ludicrous claims, but they know bullshit when they see it. This has two effects on them: One, they feel profoundly disempowered watching their leaders deploy their smarts not on their behalf but against them. And two, since they can’t become experts and academics, they resist by retreating into their own simple certitudes drawn from folk wisdom, faith and founding principles. Indeed, Sarah Palin is as much Barack Obama’s gift to America as she is John McCain’s.

The great political divide right now is not between eggheads and blockheads, as Maureen Dowd puts it, or intellectualism and stupidity, as other self-serving liberal pundits sneer. It is between two types of activism: an irresponsible, pseudo-intellectual one and a retrograde, folksy one. This divide will disappear when some genuinely smart and wise leader earnestly addresses the nation’s problems, instead of pushing his or her loopy program.

Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia is a columnist at The Daily, where this article originally appeared.

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  • Suki||

    Good morning reason!

  • ||

    he never seemed that smart to me, more like skilled at mimicking the mannerisms of intellectuals, helped by a lot of people desperate to sell him as some sort of genius

    you can see that when he goes off teleprompter, his mind is not that quick

  • Maxxx||

    That describes every "intellectual" today.

  • ||

    Obama is bright, but he's no "Wile E. Coyote Super Genius." He's a guy with above average intelligence, just like Bush, Kerry, or even Sarah Palin.

    Obama's problem is that, despite his Ivy League sheepskins, he is not well educated. I believe his transcripts and grades have been kept secret because they would be an embarrassment, even to his supporters.

    "I don't speak Austrian"...."corpseman"...failing to remember "liberte, egalite, fraternitie" all betray a man without a firm founding in the Western Tradition. I am sure he aced "Third World Transgendered Marxist Literature" but never read Shakespeare at Columbia, and he was too busy with academic bullshit like "Black Studies" or (even better) "Oppresion Studies" to read Aristotle or Locke.

    He is not well read.

  • ||

    Including the editors of Reason magazine, if anyone remembers their coverage of the 2008 election.

  • Bruce Majors||

    + 1/2

    Only half of them. And they are prety young things, some of them, even when they have foolish crushes.

  • Suki||


    The GOP’s descent into mindlessness began when the gaffe-prone Dan Quayle prodded a sixth-grader to misspell “potatoe.”


    Wasn't that the way it was spelled on the answer card by an intellectual 6th grade teacher?

  • ||

    Yes, it was. Sort of like when our current Teleprompter Reader in-Chief read "corpsmen" as corpse men. Remember how the mainstream media jumped on Obama when that happened? No? Neither do I.

  • JohnD||

    It makes me crazy when I hear pundits talk about how smart Obama is. I have yet to see any sign of his so called "intelligence". Obama's only skill is reading a teleprompter. Take that away from him and he becomes a babbling idiot.

  • ||

    Obama's intelligence was illustrated by his ability to articulate non-Leftist arguments, an ability strangely absent among nearly all Leftists, and distressingly most liberals.

    The hope was that that meant a fair treatment of such arguments, but his upbringing pretty much guaranteed that wasn't happening.

    He probably thinks he's bent over backward to be accommodating to non-Leftists, but that's just because he conflates corporatism with free-marketry at just the point in history where they've drifted into almost polar opposites.

  • redefiler||

    You mean his ability to say "no I'm not, but YOU are!" to the opposition?

    I don't think Obama's ever demonstrated an articulation ability, and there is no proof of him ever constructing an argument intelligently on the fly. He even has trouble getting one sentence to follow the other logically, that's without all the stammering, mispronunciations and just plain being dumb (57 states, speak austrian, corpsemen, getting locked out of the White House, etc).

    Let's see... a spoiled kid who got sent to name schools on his grandparent's dime, then coasted thru relying on his skin color to escape effort and normal performance expectation...

    He's just a clumsy looking, race whore in a suit, those searching for something deeper are only deluding themselves.

  • ||

    just like they didn't just on Candidate Obama's 57 states tour...
    Or POTUS' Memorial Day tribute to fallen heroes, "some of whom are with us today"...

  • ||

    As much as I dislike Obama, I'll let the "57 states" thing go as something we all could do. Watch the video, you'll see him say something (paraphrased, not watched it since the election) like " ... we've visited all fifty ...", then he pauses because he realized that the campaign hadn't visited 'all 50 states', you can see him counting which states, probably Alaska, Hawaii and one other, so that's 3 less and I've already said the tens digit so just say "... seven states." I seriously doubt that he would think there were 57 states, having lived in the 50th.

  • ||

    I doubt anyone actually think Obama thinks there are 57 states. It's the clear double standard involved.

  • ||

    YES. I originally thought conservatives were shooting themselves in the foot by focusing on the 57 states thing...but then I realized that that kind of juvenile crap is exactly what liberals do EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. So why not shoot some of it back at them just for the heck of it? They're not the only ones who can throw up a smoke screen. The same with the race card. I LUST after the thought of Cain being the nominee. Then, every single time some lefty criticizes anything about him, we can just say "you're a racist" and turn the other way. And when they vote for Obama, we can say "Don't you think it's pretty racist to vote for the half-white guy over the black guy?" It'll explode all their heads before election day. And it'll be FUN. :-)

  • Hooha||

    I'm in favor of this, just for the joy of watching the bastards twist.

    I think if we wind up with a Palin or a Bachmann candidacy (shudder), the 'sexist' card would work in a pinch.

  • Jeff Jefferson||

    Of course, if someone is traveling to a different state every day, and they count the days that they have been traveling, one could say they have been to fifty-seven states and be accurate. The issue about Obama's gaffe is more a commentary on media double-standard. If Palin had made the same gaffe the MSM would have crucified her.

  • kilroy||

    Heh. Second result on a google for "potatoe" is Dan Quayle. Quite an legacy he's got there.

  • kilroy||

    *a* legacy

    Which law was that and what is this preview button of which you speak?

  • ||

    Joe'z Law!

  • JohnD||

    You do realize that is an accepted spelling, don't you?

  • Alan||

    Thanks for this. Potatoe is not the most common spelling, but it has long been an accepted spelling. It's listed in an American dictionary I have from the late 1800s.

    Of course, the problem remains that Quayle corrected the more common and correct spelling, but it does get a bit ridiculous that the media continually brought up gaffes by Quayle and Bush, but ignores the many, many gaffes that Obama makes.

  • kilroy||

    Actually, I did not realize that. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • ||

    Why does everyone call Obama smart? He is a babbling mass of contradictions; he wouldn't recognize logic if it jumped up and bit him on the ass. His ignorance of history and economics is simply breathtaking and his arrogance prevents him from listening to those people around him that have a better grasp of reality than he.

  • WWNGD?||

    Clearly you are nothing more than a RACIST!

  • ||

    HAH!!!! :>

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Everyone was desperate for him to be the opposite of Bush (whom we all know to be dumber than a box of rocks) that it was decided during the campaign that he was a brilliant constitutional scholar. No matter how much the evidence is to the contrary, the idea continues to be set in stone. Also, soft racism.

  • sarcasmic||

    Being a crappy speaker doesn't make someone dumber than a box of rocks, and reading from a teleprompter does not make someone intelligent.

  • ||

    Stop making sense, your f-ing up the narrative

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Being a crappy speaker doesn't make you dumber than a box of rocks. Starting unnecessary wars & wasting trillions of dollars the country doesn't have on TARP, Medicare part D,etc... does.

  • sarcasmic||

    In general Bush was called stupid because of the way he talked and the way he looked, not necessarily because of his policy.
    We're talking about accusations from the left here. The left doesn't attack policy. They attack people.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Debating policy or fact never works out well for them. Arguing feelings is almost always an easier time.

  • ||

    the bush is dumb meme is dumb itself . by any OBJECTIVE measure (like college entrance test scores - he scored higher than Kerry) he is not. he does the folksy "common man" speak, and her is not one for lofty oratory or using SAT words. but he is not and never has been stupid.

  • ||

    bush lost a congressional election in 1978 because he was not folksy enough, so he made sure he did not make that mistake again

    remember, this is a guy who went to andover, yale undergrad, harvard mba, pretty much as elite as elite gets

    to counterbalance that, he needed an "ah shucks" type of shtick

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Bush was also a fighter pilot. Dummies don't achieve that, or if they do, they don't survive.

  • ||

    The Andover, Ivy background is NOT an indicator of great intelligence; if anything, it is an indicator that one will not be brilliant and creative and a supporter of liberty. An indicator.

  • ||

    Nobody in this thread is saying W was a GREAT intellect, just solidly above average like Palin and Kerry. Although I'm willing to suspect that Palin might be a Great intellect.

    In reply to the writer, let me point out that most on the Right think 'David Brooks=Shallow and gullible.' You're not helping your case one bit by quoting him.

    As to anti-intellectualism, oh not so much. Leftists have been good at equating intellectualism with using big words to describe Lefty ideas, but there is considerable intellectual ferment on the Right.

    You're using the Left's framing there.

    As to your last paragraph, I still have hopes that the Establishment in the R Party is not so hell-bent on maintaining their personal power that they refuse to let Sarah Palin win in 2012.

  • Brian R||

    Particularly in the F-102.

    ...a deadly flaw in the aircraft's design that caused an engine stall and loss of control under a certain combination of angle of attack and airspeed frequently encountered during takeoff.

    ... this problem caused the plane to roll inverted and resulted in several fatal crashes.

    Ref: http://www.aerospaceweb.org/qu.....0185.shtml

  • Maxxx||

    Everyone was desperate for him to be the opposite of Bush (whom we all know to be dumber than a box of rocks)

    The real irony of that sentiment is that by the left's standards Bush was an intellectual.

    BA from Yale and MBA from Harvard.

    No stinky state schools in his resume.

  • ||

    Yep. We have no evidence of any academic achievement other than meeting the minimum requirements for graduation. No achievement in the private sector at all. No achievement as a Legislator other than winning elections.

    I think Obama is an idiot. He actually believes the leftist crap his parents and professors fed him. He never had the brains of Bill Clinton who realized he needed those people to get elected, but they were wrong when it came to governing.

  • ||

    "Ordinary mortals don’t engage in fancy mental gymnastics to reach conclusions that defy common sense. But intellectuals are particularly prone to this. Hence Bush’s brilliant foreign policy team used the apparatus of the state to search for evidence connecting Saddam Hussein with the 9/11 attackers, which its superior ratiocination told them had to exist."

    Intellectuals are not prone to this...ideologues are. They seek evidence to confirm what they have already decided must be true. A true intellectual is a pragmatist.

    ".....Obama is an idiot. He actually believes the leftist crap his parents and professors fed him."
    You are correct Old Soldier, I think that sums it up nicely.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    "Hence Bush’s brilliant foreign policy team used the apparatus of the state to search for evidence connecting Saddam Hussein with the 9/11 attackers, which its superior ratiocination told them had to exist."

    Bush's foreign policy team didn't think Saddam was behind 9/11. They needed to convince the American public to invade Iraq. Linking Saddam to 9/11 gave the Bush adminstration the public backing they needed to go to war.

  • ||

    No. He spent a lot of time and effort linking Saddam with WMD's.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    True, but the Bush Adminstration also went to great effort to link Saddam with Al Queada.

  • ||

    He spent a lot of time and effort linking Saddam with WMD's.
    -----------------------------
    As I recall, Clinton spend pretty much his entire presidency doing this and he was the previous holder of the "smartest president ever" title. To his credit, however, the man was a Rhodes scholar and there is no affirmative action program for that.

  • k2000k||

    I think Obamas belief in the leftist ideology is more a testament to the effectiveness of his psuedo-brainwashing by his those around him during his formative years than any lack of intelligence. Let's face it, I'm sure we all think ourselves intelligent, but if it were for some individuals or life events we would never have found the pastures of libertarianism.

  • ||

    "Intellectuals are not prone to this...ideologues are"
    Yeah, except liberals have pretty much convinced the world that intellect and liberal idealogy are one and the same. So someone can spend their entire academic career reading nothing but idealogical garbage and be considered an intellectual, even if they couldn't reason their way out of a paper bag.

  • ||

    Suthenboy wrote: "A true intellectual is a pragmatist."

    Which means there are almost none in academia.

  • Mike M.||

    Why does everyone call Obama smart?

    Because the media still love and worship their Obamessiah, the man who will cause the oceans to stop rising and heal the planet.

    The scummy vermin won't even tell us what his grades were in school, which they usually do with every president now.

  • ||

    Yeah, the press even found time to get all of Rick Perry's grades published the weekend he announced his candidacy. Four years later with Obama, we can't find his grades, can't find people who knew him at school, can't find papers he wrote. It's like he didn't exist or something.

  • ||

    Yeah all we know is that he graduated in the top 10% of is law school. We can't deduce anything about achievement from that!

  • ||

    i'm sorry, that is the first time i heard that one...

  • ||

    Did you know that he graduated magna cum laude? It's pretty easy to verify. And he was voted head of the Law Review at Harvard, I don't know how anyone can consider those things merit-less academic achievements.

  • ||

    how do we know he was in the top 10%? All we know is that we're told he went to Harvard Law and was editor of the Law Review (though he evidently could not be bothered to offer up a single piece of writing that coincides with his time in that role). But back to the issue: how do we KNOW of his class standing?

  • ||

    He graduated Magna Cum Laude, you people are being purposefully ignorant about this fact.

  • ||

    I meant to say "you", not "you people" I apologize, but it's a pretty well publicized fact.

  • ||

    no, you first wrote "you people"
    and no i am not being "purposefully ignorant", i am being steadfastly suspicious of anything put forward about this empty suit...

  • ||

    Then you people are those who continue to use the term empty suit and decide not believe things that are true and established facts, like that he graduated in the top 10% (maybe even top 5%) of his class depending on how Harvard applies the honor. So all the stuff about his grades is simply bullshit people are saying just to have something to say.

  • ||

    They're still working on the translation from Austrian.

  • ||

    I agree. I get tired of hearing how "brilliant" Obama is. What has he accomplished at any point in his professional life that is any more than mediocre?

    I'm not even so sure he's that great of a speaker - have you ever seen those clips of how badly he melts down when his teleprompter goes blank?

  • Dave||

    I agree that he isn't that great of a speaker; he only has one mode of speaking. A great speaker can speak in multiple fashions to suit the circumstances in order to arouse a myriad of emotions. However, I believe he is extremely intelligent, but his problem is that his intelligence is only directed towards playing politics, campaigning, sidestepping the Constitution, filling out his golf scorecards, and where to take a next vacation.

  • ||

    No, no Dave! He can change! He gets his hair colored depending on how serious he needs to appear. More serious = more gray hair. He does tend to get a little drawl if he's out with the folks as well. He's a GEEEEENIUS!!

  • JohnD||

    Thank you, Question. I constantly ask the same thing. You wouldn't beleive some of the answers I get from the liberals.

  • Realist||

    Question. Exactly he is a fucking idiot.....and that is why he does stupid things.

  • Alan||

    I am never quite sure if Obama is an idiot like you say, or one of the greatest geniuses the world has ever known, out to discredit Leftist ideologies.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Maybe Democrats mean he is smart for a black person, the way Harry Reid thought he was clean and articulate for a boy Bill Clinton thought should be fetching the coffee?

  • AlvinWashburn||

    I would recommend this health insurance plan i found through "Penny Health" to anyone with a growing family who is looking to minimize their medical expenses.

  • ||

    would it be good for a shrinking family looking to increase its medical expenses?

  • o2||

    "The GOP's growing anti-intellectualism is a response to intellectuals run amuck."
    _
    nope, the know-nothings are evangelicals as goldwater warned

  • o2 translator||

    herp derp!

  • ||

    Actually, the know-nothings are the postmodernists and their myriad vulgar Popperian non-judgmental-at-any-cost progeny.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    intellectuals run amuck

    "Is this "Reason" or "Free Republic?" I can't tell these days. LOL

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    In my experience, highly intelligent people are often very proud about their intelligence, and once they conceive or adopt an idea, they will fight for it tooth-and-nail, come hell or high water.

    If you look at the modern campuses in the USA, you will see that they are living museums of outlandish ideologies.

    Hell, the only other place in the world where TROTSKYISM is still alive, is France.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    living museums of outlandish ideologies

    Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky are good; Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven are anti-life!

  • ||

    If you look at the modern campuses in the USA, you will see that they are living museums of outlandish ideologies.

    Fantastic line. Kudos.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Yeah, but it sounds kind of cool when you put it like that.

  • ||

    Oh, did I come off as sarcastic? I really meant that I liked the line. It's a nice summation of what I deal with every day.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    No, you seemed sincere. It's just that it would seem entertaining to visit a living museum of cartoonish ideologies (for entertainment purposes only). I suppose it's not so cool when someone has to spend tens of thousands of dollars to be subjected to it. I was just idly musing, I enjoyed the line and your take on it.

    I lived through Art School Confidential for what it's worth, so I know Kechlibar is correct.

  • ||

    Never mind. Teach me to multi-task.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    You definitely want to ask someone else to teach you that! Not I!

  • ||

    I just thought of a new word for the Internet age. Inspired by your work.

    Multibate.

  • ||

    SF's work, not The Art's.

  • ||

    I wish I were limber enough to multibate.

  • ||

    I suppose it could have alternative meanings, like tabbed browsing of multiple porn sites, that sort of thing.

  • ||

    I wish I were limber enough to multibate.
    ------------------

    which would make you a master multibater.

  • ||

    There's also metabate, which is talking about multibating.

  • ||

    Multibate? I once played guitar in a band called "The Multibators"... I think. (It was a Berkeley thing) People couldn't tell if we were prog rockers trying to be punk rockers, or punk rockers trying to be prog rockers.

  • some guy||

    That's how I always saw college. "For entertainment purposes only."

  • Ignore this post||

    I hope it was a comedy. Ten years of drama would have sucked.

  • Ignore this post||

    In my experience, people who _think_ they are highly intelligent (but aren't) are often very proud about their supposed intelligence.

    People who are actually highly intelligent are quite easy to persuade when confronted with evidence that they are wrong.

  • Dave||

    Agreed. I can think in particular of a friend of mine who is very much a second-rate intelligence. He is smarter than the human average - maybe 120 or something - but he's hanging around with people who have IQs in the 150 to 200 range, and he thinks he's the smart one because he attended college (first in his family!) and learned all the liberal mannerisms.

    We like him because he's a nice guy, but it's really funny (in a sad way) to see him make a fool of himself by touting the supremacy of logic when he doesn't quite understand it himself, and touting his education at a second or third tier school to people who were the smartest people at their first tier schools.

    Incidentally, I also object to claims of intelligence based on grades. As someone who was frequently smarter than the teachers, I can attest that students who give the correct answer to a teacher who is not intelligent enough to understand it get lower grades than the less intelligent students who dutifully regurgitate everything their teachers have mistaught them.

  • ||

    Amen to that. Most often, I find that people who think they are "all that and a bag of potato chips" usually expose themselves for the lack of actual intellect.

    And regarding grades and teachers - it's true, in quite a few cases, teachers are there because they couldn't hack it anywhere else. All potentially offended teachers will notice I did not say "all teachers". I know there are many who are talented, actually have skills in their fields, and could do something else. The problem with most colleges today is that these types of teachers are commonly the exception, not the rule.

  • Apogee||

    people who think they are "all that and a bag of potato chips" usually expose themselves for the lack of actual intellect.

    Agreed, and I would add that the regular trolls here almost always exhibit the "bag of chips" attitude, regardless of how often they are eviscerated.

  • ||

    Yep. It would be more accurate to say we are anti-elite, credentialed acedemicism. Truly intelligent people recognize there is a heck of a lot the no one person knows and that real life experience often contradicts elite, credentialed, academic theory. See also the entire history of socialist Utopias.

  • $6M RoboTorso||

    I gotta ask too, where is the evidence (as opposed to the repeated claim) that Obama is so damn smart. Bush had a grad degree from Harvard also.

  • ||

    And a far more useful one (MBA), from professors who don't tolerate bullshit.

  • o2||

    because harvard is soo diff than yale

  • kill yourself||

    No retard, you totally missed the point.

  • o2 ||

    becuz herp glarble derp gorp

  • ||

    Business school instead of Law.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    But Obama has been infinitely worse

    nitpick: this is a false statement.

    He has been like 1.4 times worse, or maybe 2x at most. Some finite number in any case.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Can we say something bad about unions while we're at it? Jesus hated unions.

  • ||

    I know the Communists hated unions. They knew workers' unions would stop the slavery they had foisted on their unwilling participants (i.e., the proles). Starting a union or union membership could provide you with a long term ticket to the Gulag.

  • ||

    Those moneychangers in the temple did in fact get him pretty heated. Close enough first approximation for union behavior these days.

  • $6M RoboTorso||

    Three words:

    Fifty seven states.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Blacks aren't any good at math, and they're definitely not the Chosen People. Read yer Bible, or Reason comments. LOL

  • cw||

    LOL

    LOL

  • ||

    And who knew that they spoke Austrian in Austria? Or that our health insurance premiums would be lowered by 3,000%?

  • Xenocles||

    Also, Abraham Lincoln founded the Republican Party.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    The Abraham Lincoln one seems to be a common sort of mistake. The rest are pretty egregious.

  • Intercontinental Railroad||

    Don't forget me.

  • ||

    Or me.......

  • Joe||

    This is disappointing to see an article like this on Reason. This is not a battle between intelligence and stupidity, it is a battle between elitist self-serving leaders and down to earth individualism-loving leaders. Don’t get me wrong, the GOP has its share of elitists, and I am not suggesting that this is a liberal versus conservative thing. But, this article wreaks of intellectual elitism. The author clearly portrays a sense of knowing better than others. It is also deeply disappointing to see Reason.com pushing the “Sarah Palin is dumb” line.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    down to earth individualism-loving leaders

    I got mine! LOL

    "I absolutely insist on protecting private property ... we must encourage private initiative." ~Adolph Hitler, March 24, 1942

  • Joe||

    What? So, you are suggesting that leaders who claim to be individual-minded are all lying, and will eventually reveal themselves to be as evil as Hitler?

    Good one.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Lying, eh? LOL Got no true Scotsman?

  • Joe||

    No True Scotsman doesn't really apply. I wasn't claiming anything like that. I was addressing the fact that you were implying that Hitler made a statement similar to statements made by the individuals I was referring to, and you therefore were implying that they were the same.

    I like how you use "LOL" to prove your intellectual superiority, and delegitimize other people's points. Very effective (sarcasm).

  • Jesus Shaves||

    IT does apply. Right wingers always try to paint right wing dictators into the left wing camp. Because no true right winger would do something like that.

    intellectual superiority Weird that you'd mention that. Feeling inferior? LOL

  • Joe||

    Right-winger? So, that is what I am? It is interesting how you refer to them as "right wing dictators." Kettle, you are black.

    I'll stop bothering to argue with you. I'll just let you continue to tell me what my arguments are.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Yeah, you're right wing. Private property. Private initiative. Just like you know who.

  • Joe||

    Like our the founders of the United States?

  • Joe||

    Quick! Before I am called an idiot! Yes! I accidentally typed "our."

  • ||

    A real libertarian would have never made that mistake!

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Locke and the Libertarian Mantra:
    Life, Liberty, Property.

    Jefferson's Declaration of Independence:
    Life, Liberty, Property Pursuit of Happiness.*

    You were saying about the founders?

    * "Pursuit of Happiness." ~Jeremy Bentham, Father of Utilitarianism

  • ||

    Yes, because those three words are the founders' views. They never said anything about property. Leave, idiot.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    heller smellered: They never said anything about property.

    Wrong.

    Leave, idiot.

  • ||

    Yeah, OK. Keep telling yourself Hitler was right-wing. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

  • ||

    National, cough, Socialist, cough cough, Party.

  • ||

    Show me a small government socialist,nazi, communist and shown you a flying pig. Simple left and right classifications are worthless. Small government is one of the best protections against dictatorship. That and the second amendment. :)

  • Hank Jr||

    obama is teh [HITLERZ] ! "are u ready for some fascism?"

  • Joe||

    Nice...Now that was dumb.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    I like how you use "that was dumb" to prove your intellectual superiority, and delegitimize other people's points. Very effective (sarcasm).

  • Joe||

    Again, I am bested by your superior intellect. I concede. How can I win, with arguments like that. I may have to resort to "nany nany boo boo."

  • Jesus Shaves||

    "I absolutely insist on protecting private property ... we must encourage private initiative." ~Adolph Hitler, March 24, 1942

    He's dead now, but at least you have a friend in Jesus the union buster.

  • Joe||

    Seriously, do you have a point? Other than making references to Hitler and Jesus in an attempt to insult those who disagree with you?

    When pushed, you simply re-paste the Hilter quote? It's like talking to a child.

    I think I understand your central point. Right-wingers (i.e., everyone who disagrees with you) are evil. They are the same as Hitler because Hitler made statements which, when taken out of context, show that Hilter wanted the same things as right-wingers. Also, you don't like religious people and want to insult them as much as possible.

    I guess it is good that I not a "right-winger," and that I am an atheist. Or, wait, I guess I am a right-winger in your definition.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    It worked. LOL

  • ##||

    I think the correct response here is "So what?" He said a lot of things and did the exact opposite so that quote says absolutely nothing about "right wingers" or anyone else except Hitler. Obama said "Our Constitution places the ownership of private property at the very heart of our system of liberty" and "The result of this business culture has been a prosperity that's unmatched in human history". By your logic that makes him part of the Hitler youth too.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Please don't feed the trolls..

  • BigT||

    Like picking the wings off of flies. New trolls are entertaining to watch as they dance in circles of irrational discourse.

  • ||

    History has shown that he lied.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Apparently Fuzzy Jesus thinks if Mr. Hitler said it, it's true. The same attitude he has to Mr. Obama. I always think this fuehrer worship betrays repressed desires to suck daddy's cock.

  • Lord Humungus||

    "If positive Christianity means love of one's neighbour, i.e. the tending of the sick, the clothing of the poor, the feeding of the hungry, the giving of drink to those who are thirsty, then it is we who are the more positive Christians. For in these spheres the community of the people of National Socialist Germany has accomplished a prodigious work. " - Adolf Hitler, 1939

    See, Hitler was a Christian Socialist!

    herp de derp...

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Hitler's Christianity
    http://nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm

  • Lord Humungus||

    but Hitler was a socialist first.

    or more likely a politician who would say anything to please whoever he was talking to. You sir are an idiot either way.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    "Communists are seeking to destroy our country. Russia is threatening us with her might, and the Republic is in danger. Yes - danger from within and without. We need law and order! Without it our nation cannot survive." –Adolf Hitler

    Or was it Ayn Rand? Have to look it up.

  • ||

    Godwinning everything is an effective argument. You are proving yourself to be a smart individual.

  • kill yourself||

    As has been stated, Hitler was a socialist first. Out of context quotes are fun, but ultimately you're trying to argue WHAT?

    Make a point like an adult please.

  • Mr. Bimmler||

    Hitler was a socialist, you know.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    kill yourself:Make a point like an adult please.

    Do you do standup comedy? That's what I love about "reason," the hilarity! LOL!

    Oh, satan was a socialist.

    So was Mises.

    "The social system of private property..." ~Mises, Liberty and Property, p. 26

    See, its a system. Of social. That must be forced.

    "Man is born an asocial and antisocial being. The newborn child is a savage. Egoism is his nature. Only the experience of life and the teachings of his parents, his brothers, sisters, playmates, and later of other people force him to acknowledge the advantages of social cooperation and accordingly to change his behavior." ~Mises, Omnipotent Government, p. 241

    Mises was a socialist advocating FORCE. His own words.

  • ||

    "Jesus Shaves is a dildo eating assclown"

    -Jesus Christ

  • ||

    "Achoo!" - Adolf Hitler, 1931

    Every time you sneeze, you are supporting fascism. Stop sneezing, please. For the children.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    "other people force him to acknowledge the advantages"

    Hitler or Mises?

    Who is Mises, you say?

    Correct.

    I'll take Lying Libertarians for $700, Alex.

  • cw||

    You are intellectually dishonest.

    By "force him," Mises means the individual realizes he must cooperate with others for his own survival; he learns this is the only way, so his own mind "forces" him to accept it. He isn't physically coerced from outsiders.

    Oh, and LOL.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Does "cw" mean "Communist Worker?" You're arguing like a Leninist in your apology for using force.

  • cw||

    Show me where I argued for the use of force.

    Again, you're being dishonest.

  • ||

    Thses two brothers who claim to be friends of liberty run a company which bribes foreign officials, encourages employees to lie and fires them if they don't.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    The only "liberty" the Koch Bros are interested in is taking the liberty of corn-holing the little people.

    You're little people. And they've got you cheering for them.

    LOL

  • cw||

    LOL

  • ||

    They work for GE?

  • ||

    "Jesus Shaves thinks that he is clever. He is not. He is a douchenozzle of the highest order. He sniffs his own farts and huffs spray paint while sitting on an airhose"

    - Mahandis Ghandi

  • Joe||

    On the same Wikipedia site where you found that quote, it is noted that Hilter "qualified that statement by saying that the government should have the power to regulate the use of private property for the good of the nation."

    So, I don't think the private property supporters in this country would say they want the state to be controlling the use of the property. At least not generally on the Libertarian or Conservative sides.

  • Rick Perry||

    NAFTA super-highways babiee ! eminent domain rulez !

  • Joe||

    First off...Rick Perry? Really? What is he the model conservative?

    Second...

    "At least not **generally** on the Libertarian or Conservative sides."

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Rick Perry is no true Scotsman.

  • Joe||

    Sigh...

  • ||

    Don't let JS's hobgoblins get you down.

    His quite evident misery is wage enough for his aggressive ignorance. As for what Hitler actually put into practice, rather than just gave lip service to, from the Nazi platform:

    "Therefore we demand:

    11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.

    12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

    13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.

    14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.

    15. We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions.

    16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle-class, the immediate communalization of large stores which will be rented cheaply to small tradespeople, and the strongest consideration must be given to ensure that small traders shall deliver the supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.

    17. We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

    18. We demand that ruthless war be waged against those who work to the injury of the common welfare. Traitors, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished with death, regardless of creed or race.

    19. We demand that Roman law, which serves a materialist ordering of the world, be replaced by German common law.

    20. In order to make it possible for every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education, and thus the opportunity to reach into positions of leadership, the State must assume the responsibility of organizing thoroughly the entire cultural system of the people. The curricula of all educational establishments shall be adapted to practical life. The conception of the State Idea (science of citizenship) must be taught in the schools from the very beginning. We demand that specially talented children of poor parents, whatever their station or occupation, be educated at the expense of the State.

    21. The State has the duty to help raise the standard of national health by providing maternity welfare centers, by prohibiting juvenile labor, by increasing physical fitness through the introduction of compulsory games and gymnastics, and by the greatest possible encouragement of associations concerned with the physical education of the young.

    22. We demand the abolition of the regular army and the creation of a national (folk) army.

    23. We demand that there be a legal campaign against those who propagate deliberate political lies and disseminate them through the press. In order to make possible the creation of a German press, we demand:

    (a) All editors and their assistants on newspapers published in the German language shall be German citizens.

    (b) Non-German newspapers shall only be published with the express permission of the State. They must not be published in the German language.

    (c) All financial interests in or in any way affecting German newspapers shall be forbidden to non-Germans by law, and we demand that the punishment for transgressing this law be the immediate suppression of the newspaper and the expulsion of the non-Germans from the Reich.

    Newspapers transgressing against the common welfare shall be suppressed. We demand legal action against those tendencies in art and literature that have a disruptive influence upon the life of our folk, and that any organizations that offend against the foregoing demands shall be dissolved.

    24. We demand freedom for all religious faiths in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or offend the moral and ethical sense of the Germanic race.

    The party as such represents the point of view of a positive Christianity without binding itself to any one particular confession. It fights against the Jewish materialist spirit within and without, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our folk can only come about from within on the pinciple:

    COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD

    25. In order to carry out this program we demand: the creation of a strong central authority in the State, the unconditional authority by the political central parliament of the whole State and all its organizations."

    It is left as an exercise for the reader what platform that was recently in the news most resembles this one. Call me crazy, but it doesn't seem much like the Tea Party's.

  • ##||

    You think that most of the people on here support eminent domain???? You are definitely on the wrong web site.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Most of the people here support the big government program of entitling the land to higher, righter, and tighter hands.

    It's called "private property" when one is the beneficiary of government coercion. It's called "theft" when one is the victim of government coercion.

  • ||

    Or perhaps its called "purchasing" when you fucking buy something with money. I can now surmise that you are 15 years old. Probably think your some sort of revolutionary. You have not enjoyed a vagina. Nor shall you eve without carrying a man-purse for many years first. I foresee much subservient beta-maleness in your future. Stop this insanity before it's to late to have sex (with a girl) sometime in the future. The very distant future.

  • Bruce Majors||

    No self-respecting 'mo would do this wormlette either. He'd have to keep his mouth shut, or full, and ply them with drugs. Maybe that explains the gay bar scene.

  • Moses Incests||

    He certainly respected our property!

  • ||

    I think this is because The Daily only attracts 120,000 viewers a month, and Ms. Dalmia has been instructed to make her stories more controversial so as to attract readers.

    Since she's on the staff of Reason, she just cross-posts.

    But you're right, disappointing. Plenty of people on the right who like science and are intellectual, but don't buy in to the pseudo-intellectualism of today's credentialed elite. The premise she makes is disingenuous on its face.

  • BigT||

    One word: Arrogance.

    Ability is wonderful, but humility, which often comes from encounters with harsh reality, is critical. That's why real world experience is a prereq for greatness.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Arrogance, said "tiny t"....I mean, he calls himself "BigT." Anyway.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    BigT is right.

  • BigT||

    I'm overcome by your deft use of logic, fact and insight. What an intellect!

  • some guy||

    I think all potential leaders should learn to code too. Computers always do exactly what you tell them to do. Nothing more. Nothing less. If the outcome isn't what you wanted, it is your own damn fault. Politicians could learn from this.

  • Brian R||

    I see your point, and there's some value in it. I've often thought that legislation is a sort of "legal programming."

    But as you mentioned computers do what you tell them. People, OTOH, will actively try to ignore and/or subvert your instructions. So I think legislation is more difficult - and thus should be undertaken much more carefully. If only legislators agreed with me.

  • NotSure||

    Instead of hoping for a wise Solon to take the reins of power, I would rather have a system that protects the individual from political whims, no matter how "dumb" or how "smart" the politician is.

  • ||

    +++

  • Lord Humungus||

    I would never have called Calvin Coolidge a "genius" - but he was smart enough to know that it isn't a good idea to meddle in everything.

    Even Reagan wasn't the smartest cookie, but (for all his other faults) he did recognize the evil of communism for what it was.

    Obama is so smart, I wouldn't trust him to run a kool-aid stand, which is something you have to be drinking if you ever thought such a man would be a good president.

  • ||

    Here is what I don't get; there is smart and then there is intellectual - he's neither! He is also a lousy orator - monotoned and cliched, yet the press keeps spouting otherwise, and we're supposed to believe them?
    Also, another bloodbath in the markets today: does anybody have a good investing suggestion? Right now, the mattress is starting to look good.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Shorting commodities and financials

  • Lord Humungus||

    FAZ - as finance goes down, FAZ goes up. or FAS if the market is going up.

    Both aren't good long-term deals, but day traders love 'em.

  • Thornton Mellon||

    Buy, buy, buy! What? Everyone's buying? Then sell, sell, sell!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Also, another bloodbath in the markets today: does anybody have a good investing suggestion? Right now, the mattress is starting to look good.

    Bloodbath

  • ||

    Coffee can and shovel.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Even David Brooks, a conservative commentator"

    This is the equivalent of "even the liberal New Republic."

    The David Brooks version of conservatism, like the New Republic version of liberalism, is highly watered down. There is nothing shocking or counterintuitive about either of them taking views at odds with their purported political orientation.

    Also, I don't think it helps your case to say that Sarah Palin is as dumb as a tax lawyer (Bachman). Anyone who knows the federal tax laws knows more than just about everyone in the country, including PhDs and physicists. Now, that's smart!

  • sarcasmic||

    Ordinary folks might be unable to marshal facts and figures to counter such ludicrous claims, but they know bullshit when they see it.

    This gets my vote for quote of the day.

  • Bruce Majors||

    +1

    It was good. And having reason-cruised with the lovely Ms. D (a vacation I recommend to you all for next year) it also seems unusually blunt for her. She is channeling Governor Christie or someone.

  • Jess Asken||

    Anyone who knows the federal tax laws knows more than just about everyone in the country, including PhDs and physicists.

    How about someone who knows the nuances of Scientology, say, or Kabbalah?

  • Caption Contest||

    "Then a miracle happens."

  • anarch||

    his thoughtful, professorial demeanor would prompt him to look for policies that worked

    Huh?

    when some genuinely smart and wise leader earnestly

    Oh, I get it. Tuesday Funny.

  • Qetesh||

    Why does the ridiculous idea that intelligence is some quantifiable entity persist? We don't describe engines with a single number, say horsepower. Why would we attempt to do so for the human mind, even if only implicitly as when we say someone is more or less smart ?

    This simplistic view would be justifiable if it were productive, but it is in fact quite counterproductive. We should all be able to see that our political leaders can be quite competent in some technical, wonkish areas, while exhibiting poor judgment (i.e, complex cognition on ill-defined problems) overall.

    Unfortunately, many politicians fall for their own illusion that they are 'smart' overall.

  • NotSure||

    Lenin was regarded by many as being a genius, when he died, Russian scientists wanted to study his brain to try and find why made him so incredibly clever.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've met several politicians and I find them for the most part to be rather numb.
    They're good at nodding their head and pretending to pay attention, but at the end of the day they're average intelligence at best.

  • Rich||

    This has been my experience as well. They're in it for "the good life". One guy admitted in a moment of weakness that they perform essentially no analyses in coming up with their schemes.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Living in Iowa, I have met a lot of them including Bush & Obama. The only difference between them and your average Joe is their pathological lust for power. Some of them are so fake in person it's creepy.

  • sarcasmic||

    Some of them are so fake in person it's creepy.

    I know it. They put on this show of paying attention, but you can tell that they're playing Tetris in their head.
    What gets me are the ones who so love "the process".
    They don't give a shit about the outcome as long as everyone involved (including themselves) gets a share of the power.

    I have always maintained that anyone who seeks political office should be disqualified from having it.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Iowa is fake and creepy. Children of the Corn. No wonder politicians head their first for affirmation.

  • ||

    Oh, yeah? I met Charlie "Hamiltonian Tan" Crist.

  • ||

    The dumbest people I met in college were the ones who wanted to "get into politics"

  • ||

    I was a Political Science major for my first semester in college (I was told that was the best "pre-law" major, which, incidentally, is complete nonsense). I was so underwhelmed by the material and the students that I decided I needed a real major and switched to Finance. I probably should've switched to Engineering, but I was young and stupid.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I was a Political Science major for my first semester in college

    Political science tends to attract lightweights that can't handle the rigors of history, math, or economics, and need a credential to legitimize their lust for societal coercion.

    The whole term is just intellectual masturbation, anyways. There's nothing remotely scientific about politics, other than the mass delusion of crowds.

  • ||

    I wholeheartedly agree. I minored in History, just missing a double major by six hours, I think.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Free Market economics tends to attract lightweights that can't handle the rigors of history, math, or economics, and need a credential to legitimize their lust for societal coercion.(*)

    The whole term is just intellectual masturbation, anyways. There's nothing remotely scientific about economics, other than the mass delusion of crowds.

    ________

    Like Hitler, free market economists lie about their true intentions. They really do mean to coerce you, even if they hide it most of the time. But, it does come out, in their own words, as follows:

    Man is born an asocial and antisocial being. The newborn child is a savage. Egoism is his nature. Only the experience of life and the teachings of his parents, his brothers, sisters, playmates, and later of other people FORCE HIM to acknowledge the advantages of social cooperation and accordingly to change his behavior.

    - Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government, p. 241

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Like Hitler, free market economists lie about their true intentions. They really do mean to coerce you, even if they hide it most of the time.

    Yes, because cultural norms are the same as government policy. Totally the same thing.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Western Civilization is indeed a culture of force and domination; its typical government policy is just one aspect. You're learning that, slowly.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Western Civilization is indeed a culture of force and domination; its typical government policy is just one aspect. You're learning that, slowly.

    Because Eastern civilizations have never coerced or tried to dominate anyone. Nope, not once.

  • ||

    Is it joke troll day, or something?

  • ||

    David Axelrod learned how to use a computer.

  • CRC||

    Who ever said Econ was a science?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Unfortunately, they are often the most fanatical, as well.

  • ||

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

    --Bertrand Russell

  • sarcasmic||

    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."

    —Albert Einstein

  • Maxxx||

    The dumbest people I met in college were the ones who wanted to "get into politics"

    Didn't know any journalism majors, eh?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Didn't know any journalism majors, eh?

    Journalism majors want to get into politics, too, they just don't have the patience for the fund-raising circuit.

  • ||

    Or "education" majors.

    I found, in college, that the people who explicitly stated they wanted to run for office were smarmy and shrewd. Mostly student government-types.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    I found, in college, that the people who explicitly stated they wanted to run for office as Libertarians were smarmy and shrewd. Mostly failed student government-types.

  • Chewbacca Shaves||

    And Obama marries her.

  • Alan||

    Yes. I am amazed at the ignorance and stupidity of the majority of journalists. I was amused recently when I came across a small article written in an alumni magazine about a friend of mine who worked with me in Antarctica. My friend had doubtless supplied the correct information, but the writer had mutilated everything - they mixed up conditions at McMurdo and South Pole (about 800 miles apart and 9300 feet difference in elevation), mixed up kilometers and miles, and everything else. It was like they had thrown all the facts supplied them into a blender, and pulled out the bits and stitched them together into a new narrative.

    Anyone who has seen an event they attended reported by a journalist knows that most of them are some seriously stupid people.

  • Bruce Majors||

    I keep doing deals with the realtor spouses of politicians and appointees. Clinton advisor Sandy Berger, Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator Larry Pressler all have realtor spouses, and another big DC realtor who specialized in mlti-million dollar houses of the tax predator ruling class (including Hillary) was a former Teddy K staffer. Some of these people seem like more regular janes and joes than many other realtors, though of course they are on their best behavior when you are doing a transaction with them and paying them money.

  • Lord Humungus||

    from Mickey Kaus:

    Obama: "“[Energy] Secretary [Steven] Chu has assured me that within five years, we can have a battery developed that will make a car with the equivalent of 130 miles per gallon.’”

    Kaus:What does “130 miles per gallon” even mean in a car that doesn’t use gallons at all? What size and price of car are we talking about? (Mitsubishi already sells a car that is somehow rated at 126 mpg in the city, but it’s tiny.) … If this is the stat Obama throws in the face of a stranger who argues with him, the President probably thinks it’s important. But is it realistic? … Larger implications: Obama is “data-driven,” his observant friends suggest. But how good is the data that’s driving him? The possibilities here are a) he’s well-informed; b) he’s being fed wildly optimistic estimates of the sort he wants to hear; c) he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about at all; or d) he’s BS’ing. … I’m guessing (b), at least when (as here) the issue is ideologically charged, patronage-driven and plays to Obama’s self-image as a transformational figure.

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/10.....a-fantasy/

  • Alan||

    The "130 mpg equivalent" means that it would get 130 miles for an amount of energy equal to the output of one gallon of gasoline.

    It's really no mystery - this kind of thing is done all the time to help us compare energy usage regardless of the actual fuel or power source used.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    Well... you could do it any number of ways. It would be more relevant to compare the miles per dollar spent on fuel, or miles per ton of carbon dioxide emitted, if your concerns are primarily environmental. Saying that a car gets more miles out of 114,000 BTU from electricity than it does out of 114,000 BTU from gasoline doesn't actually tell us much of anything.

  • Metazoan||

    Presumably, one examines the miles/unit energy, then converts that (gasoline ICE inefficiency in mind) into a quantity of gasoline.

  • ||

    My opinion of Obama is almost exactly the same as 6 years ago when Capt. Hopey-Changey appeared on the scene: an Empty Suit with heavy dose of narcissism.

    No real accomplishments in life other than showing up. A lawyer who never tried a case. A professor without published papers or praising students. A community organizer without any organized communities to point to. A legislator who was never willing to fight the powers and on anything controversial, took a ciggeratte break.

    It seems he got himself some fancy credentials, a nice suit and an high school debate team oratory and he took it too the Whitehouse. I'd applaud him if I wasn't weeping.

  • Bob White||

    I wholeheartedly agree.

  • ||

    this is more to the point. Maureen Dowd missed it, close, but missed it.
    what people are distressed about is really "credentialism". Owebama's record proves this. lots o' titles from academia but when you turn the page and read about the real world,
    its blank...

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Why do Presidents do stupid things?

    Because they can.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Because they are stupid.

    Satisfies Occam's Razor nicely.

  • GroundTruth||

    Obumah's policies have worked EXACTLY as intended, grabbing more control of our lives from us and making the Federal government even more intrusive than under W.

  • Warty||

    It's rectal, you fucking idiots. Incif it and be done with it.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Must ignore. No think.

    Conspiracy against the fwee.

    Must ignore. No think.

    Elmer Fudd stuck in the mudd.

    Must ignore. No think.

  • Warty||

    What? Speak up, you stupid whore.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Dear rather,

    Got it?

  • ||

    That's pretty unrealistic.

    No horse could haul her fat ass.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Your morning affirmation is really none of our business.

  • ||

    "Ordinary folks might be unable to marshal facts and figures to counter such ludicrous claims, but they know bullshit when they see it."
    'Ordinary folks' can see the forest through the trees. Intellectuals, with no practical experience, are incapable of rejecting the trivial and focusing on what actually matters.

    Obama and the elitists in general are up on getting credentialed, not on doing anything. Obama has a Law degree from Harvard, Steve Jobs actually built a company from the ground up. The sensibilities are completely different. One focuses on pedigree, the other on achievement.

    Obama, and other progressives, find answers in bromides that date from the 19th century. These ideas are divorced from reality, and the results are universally poor. It is not knowledge that is being rejected. It is intellectualism, which is the worship of knowledge for its own sake.

    Then there is the hubris that comes with being an intellectual, ordinary folks change course when they f-up. Brainiacs never admit error.

  • Ignore this post||

    We just had eight years of "ordinary folks" running the country. In case you don't remember, it didn't work out so well.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    We just had eight years of "ordinary folks" running the country. In case you don't remember, it didn't work out so well.

    The country was run by a bunch of teachers, plumbers, carpenters, veterinarians, doctors, bus drivers, and waitresses the last eight years, as opposed to a bunch of academically-credentialed policy wonks and career politicians? I really must be losing my memory.

  • Maxxx||

    It is not knowledge that is being rejected. It is intellectualism, which is the worship of knowledge intellectuals for its own sake.

    FIFY

    Seriously, all the arguments from the 'smart party' are nothing more than appeals to authority. Intellectualism today is the ability to mindlessly parrot bromides.

  • Bob White||

    "This divide will disappear when some genuinely smart and wise leader earnestly addresses the nation’s problems, instead of pushing his or her loopy program."

    Unfortunately, Mitch Daniels is not running for President.

  • Anomalous||

    For many decades, the Democrat "intelligentsia" attack all Republicans as dumb, except for the ones where they can't make that stick (Nixon, Cheney) who are then declared to be evil.

  • ||

    This...

  • Ynot||

    I could be wrong, but if smart people do stupid things, then they are not so smart. And if stupid people do smart things, then they are not so stupid.

    I don't think Dubya was very smart, nor do I think he appointed the right people during his administration. Were they smart? Perhaps. Obviously Ms. Rice must have been. Except she was really bad at foreign policy.

    So being intelligent in general does not mean that you'll be good at something. It just means you are intelligent.

    Einstein was very intelligent. Chomsky is intelligent.

    Would they have been a good President of the US?

    I think Dalmia should have a real look at Washington, not at Washington as seen in "The West Wing".

  • Jesus Shaves||

    I could be wrong...

    Or stupid.

  • ||

    the idea that intellectuals and.or people with extraordinarily high IQ's will make better leaders of men has always been stupid and fraught with peril. an oligarchy of intellectual elite (lol) is fraught with peril. i hark back to WFB Jr's statement about better to be ruled by men chosen at random from a boston phone book than the faculty of harvard. that's not even remotely questionable in my mind. two of the smartest prez's in recent memory - carter and nixon SUCKED as presidents. one of the biggest faults of intellectuals (and reason posters lol) is thinking they know everything about everything. we see this all the time when people like chomsky, admittedly a very smart guy and a good linguist jump into politics etc. and lord themselves as holders of the obvious truth. we see it in the elitism of ideologues, libertarians included, who state that those who disagree with them do so out of ignorance. if only they were as smart and knowledgeable as them, they would inevitably believe as they do ... this ignores the sowellian reality that political differences stem from conflicts of vision, not ignorance or evil intent.

  • YOU are inferior||

    an oligarchy of intellectual elite (lol) is fraught with peril.

    No shit, sherlock.

    You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who are better than you.

    If this be arrogance, as some of your critics observed, it still is the truth...

    ~Ludwig Mises, letter to Mrs. [lol!] Ayn Rand, January 23, 1958

  • nanda||

    If a person says I am subversive and christianity is stupid and western civ is inferior, that is regarded as intelligence. It is all about what views are fashionable. At some point, anti westernism became the viewpoint of the intelligentsia. Anyone who says western civ has value is regarded as stupid by the educated or the liberal non educated.

    A lot of what conservatives believe cannot be explained in a simple fashion. As Thomas Sowell has written, a liberal can often articulate his view while the conservative cannot. Most people, for instance, cannot really explain why stealing or incest are wrong. Even those who can may have to write a book about it. It is really conservatism not liberalism that is the province of nuance and delicacy and complexity. Conservatives know that it matters if children have fathers and fathers have children to the success of a society and the only way to achieve this is to have marriage. A liberal can always say, well, I know this woman who does not even know who fathered her kid and the kid is just fine. But too much of that destroys the environment that makes the kid able to be just fine. And that is hard to explain. The way this worked traditionally is that people had certain ideas about morality, usually based on religion. When someone says, well, why does God care if you take something from your neighbor, the uneducated may not have a quick answer.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    ...people had certain ideas about morality, usually based on religion.

    Yep.

    Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks! -Psalm 137:9

    Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. -Capitalist Jesus, Mark 4:25

    Especially if your a sub-human Palestinian.

  • ||

    you aren't being harsh. when you consider how shiftily the arab nations treat the palestinians, shun them, don't open their borders to them, etc. - they apparently do see them as subhuman.

    the palestinians are a political exclamation point the arab nations can use to try to push the meme that israel is oh so terrible when the reality is that NONE of those nations are opening their arms to palestinians and god knows the average palestinian has far more rights in israel than a member of any group would in the average arab muslim country if their official leadership had the same attitude and stance towards muslims that hamas etc. has towards jews.

    heck, criticizing islam can get you tried and/or KILLED in most of these countries, whereas talking smack about judaism gets you ... nothing in israel.

    heck, turkey is trying some guy right now for daring to say islam is a sham.

    i'm still waiting for palestinians to get thrown in prison for preaching that allah is god and judaism is false.

  • ||

    nanda, well said.
    I believe Thomas Sowell calls the conservative's type of knowledge "systemic". It can only be understood by looking at the whole. Another word to describe it would be wisdom. That's why people become more conservative as they grow older.

  • Alan||

    we see it in the elitism of ideologues, libertarians included, who state that those who disagree with them do so out of ignorance.

    While true, I find that libertarians have one great advantage - which is that libertarian ideology acknowledges our inability to know what is best for others.

    The other great advantage of libertarianism is that few of the self-seeking politician types think we can be their meal ticket yet.

  • ||

    This article is long on accusations and short on evidence.So called dump people with the right set of values have been running this country for generations and did pretty well until FDR blew up the government to 1984ish size. Obama is the animal of a different color, remember he is half white, that's the smart half. His other half has the wrong values and I AM NOT a racist.. cheers

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Obama is the animal of a different color, remember he is half white, that's the smart half. His other half has the wrong values and I AM NOT a racist.. cheers


    R-r-racist?

  • ||

    Hey, that actually is racist! We get that so rarely here.

    Is he half white, half black like on that Star Trek episode?

  • ||

    "he is black on the wrong side"

  • BigT||

    If you are saying Obama's father was a socialist, and thus dumb, we can agree. I don't know that Obama has a smart half, however. What has he accomplished of value without aff action?(including getting elected, which was merely a conscience-salving liberal exercise)

  • Dekedin||

    I thought it was weird when I found out that most of the top men in Chinese government were engineers, compared to the lawyers we have in DC. Then we have Hoover, a mining engineer, who sped up the Great Depression. Makes me pessimistic about my own chances to run for president.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Well, Hoover knew too much about digging deeper holes, if you know what I mean.

  • BigT||

    Jimmmmmmah was a nucular eng. I had great hopes he might be rational. But alas.

  • ||

    "Intellectuals" have never made good leaders or rulers. Many of the most frightening tyrants in the world in recent years have been PhD's from Ivy League universities.

  • ||

    good point wasn't it intellectuals who claimed Eugenics was a good thing and of course its modern intellectuals who are now claiming global warming. Unfortunately we always find out their wrong after the deed is done.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Hitler was an artiste, no?

  • ||

    A frustrated one.

  • ||

    Fact is, we're not likely to elect a true intellectual, so the media can get away with calling someone one because the standards among politicians are so low. I do not see much evidence that Obama is an intellectual in any real sense. Maybe he can do crossword puzzles?

  • tadcf||

    The GOP's growing 'anti-intellectualism' is actually due to the education deficit of its members.

  • ||

    How absurd. Where do people get these ideas?

  • ||

    sort of like the intellectual giants marching against Wall St. and supporting Owebama's re-election...

  • Smelly Hippie||

    Hey!! Those people have ART HISTORY degrees. ART HISTORY.

  • Tony||

    Nope, this wasn't any better than I thought it would be.

    Obama is "infinitely" worse than Bush? Really? There's more than a little blind hatred here, which is what Republicans substitute for thought.

    Blaming smart people as a uniform group really, really misses the point. One would hope national leaders would always be smart. That Republicans are now a bunch of scary stupid ideologues who crawled from under rocks is not smart people's fault.

    Obama, from what I can tell, is earnestly trying to address the nation's problems. That he's "pushing a program" of a centrist Democrat seems to qualify him for your destructive pseudo-intellectual club. Perhaps he should try a radical antigovernment dogma? Would that make him "earnest"?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Obama is "infinitely" worse than Bush? Really? There's more than a little blind hatred here, which is what Republicans substitute for thought.

    He's taken Bush's policies and ramped them up to 11. So yeah, he's a hell of a lot worse than Bush ever was. At least Bush got permission from Congress before he began attacking a foreign nation.

    Blaming smart people as a uniform group really, really misses the point. One would hope national leaders would always be smart. That Republicans are now a bunch of scary stupid ideologues who crawled from under rocks is not smart people's fault.

    And arguing that national leaders should "always be smart" also misses the point. All the smarts in the world don't do a bit of good when the direction your smarts are taking you and everyone else is right over the cliff.

    Obama, from what I can tell, is earnestly trying to address the nation's problems.

    No he's not--he's trying to do everything he can to get re-elected. That's not always the same thing. And if he can't convince the other side that they need to fall in line behind his programs, well, that's not really their fault, is it?

    That he's "pushing a program" of a centrist Democrat seems to qualify him for your destructive pseudo-intellectual club.

    He's pushing the same program that Democrats have been pushing for nearly 100 years. Just because it's not Full-Blown Commie doesn't mean it's centrist.

  • BigT||

    Tony thinks Obama's jobs plan is a serious proposal. He is too dumb to see it for what it is - a purely political ploy, to attempt to shift blame. The 'blame Bush' mantra has passed its expiration date, even with Dems.

  • Tony||

    At least Bush got permission from Congress before he began attacking a foreign nation.

    There are other ways to compare Iraq and Libya than congressional approval. Maybe on that point alone Libya was worse--but on every other count Iraq was, quite obviously, the bigger disaster. Obama is no presidential powers minimalist, and I do have a problem with what the president is allowed to do in this country, but at least he didn't get thousands of American troops killed over invisible WMD.

    All the smarts in the world don't do a bit of good when the direction your smarts are taking you and everyone else is right over the cliff.

    I definitely think there is something to be said for distinguishing smart people from stupid people in public office. It's just sad that we have to worry about that. You feed anti-intellectualism by implying that smart people by virtue of their intelligence alone are dangerous. Does that mean stupid people would be better? Or wouldn't we just get bad policies not informed by critical thinking (like under the last administration--the first presidency proud to claim it led with its intestines over its brain)?

    No he's not--he's trying to do everything he can to get re-elected. That's not always the same thing.

    Since Republicans have made American governance entirely a question of winning elections, that's pretty much all he can do. He does have a jobs proposal, and if he can't pass it he can certainly rub it in Republicans' faces. It's not like they have any bright ideas. "Give even more tax breaks to billionaires" is not a serious jobs plan.

    He's pushing the same program that Democrats have been pushing for nearly 100 years. Just because it's not Full-Blown Commie doesn't mean it's centrist.

    He's the most liberal president since Nixon, creator of the EPA. Nobody is a communist or anywhere close in this country. Politics has only moved rightward in the last decades, taking both parties along with it. It's about time someone came along to push back in the other direction, since rightwing antigovernment dogmatism doesn't seem to have worked. (Cue the cry of the dogmatist: we haven't been dogmatic enough!)

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    There are other ways to compare Iraq and Libya than congressional approval.

    Sure, but you'd be chimping out if Dubya had not gotten congressional approval. So on that point, you're being fundamentally dishonest.

    You feed anti-intellectualism by implying that smart people by virtue of their intelligence alone are dangerous. Does that mean stupid people would be better?

    False dichotomy and strawman. A smart person will inevitably end up running the country because their intelligence allows them to confront the intricacies of navigating the current bureaucratic system in place. But just because a person is smart doesn't mean that they are going to be able to effectively run that system, nor be able to handle the unexpected. Sometimes common sense and an accurate assessment of reality needs to be considered over simple theory--for all their smarts, a lot of college professors would be quickly overwhelmed by the day-to-day operations of running the United States. It's not just about intelligence, it's about ability.

    Since Republicans have made American governance entirely a question of winning elections, that's pretty much all he can do.

    Oh, horseshit--if you think Team Red is solely responsible for this, and that this is a recent phenomenon, you're a fucking blind partisan. The problem with having a reputation and making promises is that sometimes you're obliged to live up to them.

    He does have a jobs proposal, and if he can't pass it he can certainly rub it in Republicans' faces.

    Even Durbin has admitted that members of Obama's own party wouldn't vote for whatever "plan" Obama's got in mind. We certainly haven't seen anything concrete being submitted yet, just whistle-stop bluster.

    It's not like they have any bright ideas. "Give even more tax breaks to billionaires" is not a serious jobs plan.

    Neither is "perpetually increase the size of government."

    Politics has only moved rightward in the last decades, taking both parties along with it. It's about time someone came along to push back in the other direction, since rightwing antigovernment dogmatism doesn't seem to have worked.

    The government has only increased in size and has done nothing but increase in cost since Hoover. If you call that "anti-government dogmatism," I'd hate to see what you consider to be the pro side.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    you're a fucking blind partisan

    You're talking about Tony, you should have just written this and left it be. He is, after all, a full and willing supporter or corporatism, international (mis)adventurism, the drug war, and many other dumbass things by virtue of his continuing to vote for not-Republicans. He's fully admitted that Obama hasn't been what he'd hoped, but will vote for him anyway because if he were to stay home or (gasp) NOT support Team BLUE, there is too great a risk that a president will get elected that ensures more war, more corporatism, escalation of the drug war, etc.

    He's no less than a sufferer of battered spouse syndrome, and his main goal is to tell us how awesome that is.

  • Tony||

    How has not supporting either party worked out for you, say on the drug war?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Yes, we've gone so far rightward that the federal gov't now borrows .40 of every dollar it spends. When it gets to 1.00 of every dollar, we'll see who is right.

  • Tony||

    Whoever said moving rightward had anything to do with fiscal prudence? The right borrows and spends a lot more than the left.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Whoever said moving rightward had anything to do with fiscal prudence? The right borrows and spends a lot more than the left.

    Which pretty much contradicts your "anti-government dogmatism" meme.

  • Tony||

    I don't see how. Get rid of government, you get ruled by unelected elites of capitalism, which I believe is the goal.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I don't see how.

    Of course you don't.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Republicans LOVE government, Tony. Without it, they can't get us into bullshit wars (with your Team's help).

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Libertarians love big government, Fify. Without it, there is no entitlement to privation property.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Well, White Indian, why haven't you gone on to live the shackbrah lifestyle yet?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Shitcakes. Is that White Idiot back again?

  • Bruce Majors||

    Private property was respected in the wild west, where there was either no government or one town constable. Of course, average people all owned a piece of private property called a gun, and most knew what private property wax and expected it.

  • ||

    Here's a comparison in Iraq we won. What has the days not months produced in Libya?

  • ||

    we get it, we get it. i earnestly wish he would stop trying so earnestly...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's not anti-smart people in general, Tony... it's anti-smart people trying to tell us how to live.

    And those kinds of meddlers exist in BOTH Teams.

    Honestly, I can run around without a pair of scissors in my hands; I don't need some self-appointed Expert with a capital letter in ()'s, telling me NOT to.

    Can you?

  • ||

    If you have to ask. . . .

  • ||

    No, the anti-intellectual attitude is due to the fascist "Christian" wing of the Republican party best exemplified by Bachman, Perry and Palin. These fundamentalists reject Darwin (see Scopes v. Tennessee which is still alive and well in the South), believe that HPV vaccination and free condoms encourage sexuality rather than "just say no" like both of Palin's kids resulting in pregnancy, and are basically Old Testament judgmental Luddites. While I detest Obama and usually vote Republican, as a Libertarian I cannot vote for such ignorant throwbacks and will avoid voting, or write in Paul, rather than elect Fundamentalist Fascists.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Ron Paul is a Fundamentalist Fascist too, rejecting evolution in favor of magical thinking.

  • Jesus Slaves||

    My diaper fell off - I poop on you!

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Is Ron Paul a slaveboy Bride of Christ?

    Will his cornhole will be as useful/b> as Paul made his slave-boy Onesimus' little flower?

    I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me. -Philemon, New Testament

    Nothing like Brides of Christ, slaveboys, and "useful" pederastic victims for a Presidential philosophic foundation.

    But evolution is bad, ya know. Ron Paul sez so.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Isn't evolution still a theory? Create life from non living material and I'll believe you. Till then I'll believe the two people I've met who temporarily died and told me what they experienced.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Gravity is still a theory too.

    A theory explains empirical evidence, or facts.

    Think of gravity as a fact. Think of evolution as a fact.

    Or vote Ron Paul.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Again, show me life created from non life and I'll believe you.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    It's pretty easy, but like a dog, you'll return to your religious vomit. No wonder Jefferson called the Bible a dunghill.

    Russell, M. J. and A. J. Hall. 1997. The emergence of life from iron monosulphide bubbles at a submarine hydrothermal redox and pH front. Journal of the Geological Society of London 154: 377-402.

    Schueller, Gretel. 1998. Stuff of life. New Scientist 159(2151) (12 Sep.): 31-35.

    Cody, G. D. et al. 2000. Primordial carbonylated iron-sulfur compounds and the synthesis of pyruvate. Science 289: 1337-1340.

    Ferris, J. P., A. R. Hill Jr., R. Liu and L. E. Orgel. 1996. Synthesis of long prebiotic oligomers on mineral surfaces. Nature 381: 59-61.

    Kuzicheva, E. A. and N. B. Gontareva. 1999. The possibility of nucleotide abiogenetic synthesis in conditions of 'KOSMOS-2044' satellite space flight. Advances in Space Research 23(2): 393-396.

    Orgel, L. E. 1998. Polymerization on the rocks: theoretical introduction. Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 28: 227-34.

    Rode, B. M., H. L. Son and Y. Suwannachot. 1999. The combination of salt induced peptide formation reaction and clay catalysis: a way to higher peptides under primitive earth conditions. Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 29: 273-86.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    I've read that scientists are trying to create life from non life in the laboratory. So far, no luck. But eventually we'll find out who is right. Again, I believe those who have seen the other side.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Keep reading your creationist crap and vote for magical-thinking Ron Paul if you think that the foolishness of God is any solution. I don't really care.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    It isn't just what I've read, it's what I've heard from those who have crossed over and come back. And you really do care, or you wouldn't be on this site, praying for your diety of gov't to take command and create heaven on earth.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Concerned Citizen, it is your "deity" of government, the agricultural city-State (civilization,) that gives you entitlement to privation property. You think that the agricultural city-State creates a human-made heaven on earth, where formerly there was only a "nasty, brutish, and short" existence.

    Of course, that Hobbesian mythology has been thoroughly debunked.

    And no, I really don't care if your bullshit superstitious-thinking Ron Paul gets elected. He'll destroy civilization as fast as Lenin, just like the Christians did to the Roman Empire once before. Suits me.

    END:CIV
    http://endciv.com/

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    He'll destroy civilization as fast as Lenin, just like the Christians did to the Roman Empire once before.

    The Byzantines weren't Christian?

  • ||

    The big flaw in Gibbons' proposition: The non-death of the Eastern Empire (until 1453, that is).

  • ||

    Yeah, and grandma lasted seven extra years on the respirator.

    After Justinian hosed Belisarius, it was all downhill from there.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    You think that the agricultural city-State creates a human-made heaven on earth, where formerly there was only a "nasty, brutish, and short" existence.

    Average lifespan of those living the "shackbrah" lifestyle--30 years.

    Average lifespan of those living in "civilization"--75 years, and growing.

  • ||

    You're confusing evolution with abiogenesis. Evolution, like gravity, is an observed phenomena.

    The good thing about Ron Paul is that even though he's a Creationist that will have no effect on his policies as President. Can't say the same for a Bachmann or Perry presidency.

  • ||

    You're wrong.

    In scientific usage, the term "theory" is reserved for explanations of phenomena which meet basic requirements about the kinds of empirical observations made, the methods of classification used, and the consistency of the theory in its application among members of the class to which it pertains.

    The sun rises in the East is a fact therefore the sun rotates around the earth.

  • Alan||

    Ron Paul may be a fundamentalist, but he's no fascist. He isn't interested in forcing anybody to believe in Creationism or even push that theory.

    While not true for most politicians, Ron Paul's beliefs on evolution are about as pertinent as his favorite color when it comes to whether to vote for him or not.

  • BigT||

    Better a fool on religious issues, where the Prez has little power or influence, than an economic fool, where policies damage every facet of life. There will never be a perfect candidate.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Ron Paul's economic foolishness is based on his religious foolishness. He'll even tell you that.

    He'll even tell you its foolishness. Nothing says stupid like bragging about it.

    "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men... 1 Corinthians 1:25

  • Dave||

    Thanks for that. It just gave me a new perspective on the Bible.

    You see, I tend to think of "God" as the totality of humanity, the combination of all our experience and knowledge and our love for one another - and for the first time I understand that passage. Yes, the foolishness of the crowd is great, but it still contains more wisdom than any man.

  • Bruce Majors||

    Mises was a Jewish atheist and Hayek was an atheist. If you had ever read anything Paul has written you would know that is where he gets his political economy. But you would have to have an intellect to manage that.

  • ||

    lets see every since schools started sex education and handing out condoms we have only seen an increase in teen sex and births. Zero decrease so if you look at the number teaching it has increased it. I believe in the numbers.

  • Alan||

    Except, your "facts" are false.

    Sex education is strongly correlated with later sexual debut and lower rates of teenage pregnancy.

    The Western nations that have resisted sex education the most - notably the United States and Britain - also have the highest rates of teenage pregnancy among the Western nations.

    Of course, this is a completely separate question from whether this is a good thing or not.

  • CraterMaker||

    I've heard that the current Darwinist ideas supported these days are pretty vague platitudes.. which makes them easier to defend.

    Not saying it isn't a good guess, but there's a possibility things don't work that way.

    And if wanting people to master themselves, rather than taking chances on the risk of disease and early onset parenthood is wrong..

    Well, I dunno, that sets the bar kinda low, doesn't it?

    I do get tired of the whole, they disagree with me so they are stupid meme.. I dislike Fundamentalism as well, but you can see that there are multiple, valid paths to arrive at the same type of conclusions.... Without the religious element that seems crazy.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    I've heard that the current Darwinist ideas supported these days are pretty vague platitudes... Without the religious element that seems crazy.

    We at the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster couldn't agree more.

    Plus, he boiled for your sins.

    http://www.venganza.org/

  • ||

    HPV vaccine support and Old Testament judgmental Luddites? together?

  • prolefeed||

    not to mention Medicare, a fiscal quagmire that, unlike Vietnam, the country can neither exit nor fix without courting bankruptcy or seriously screwing over millions of seniors.

    You're not "screwing over" someone if they've been robbing you, and you stop the theft. It might make for some cash flow problems for those who have become accustomed to getting their share of the looted cash, but I really don't have a problem with ending the theft.

  • ||

    That's the exact same thing I told my father and his good friend in October of 1988 after attending a Ron Paul speech in Boston. Like lots of people, they were / are all for ending "welfare" but even broach the topic of the third rail and...........that's communism.

  • Mr. Mark||

    Means-testing and gradual phase-out.

  • ||

    Given the fact that Obama has such a poor understanding of the Constitution but is a professor of Constitutional Law I would say that there is no objective evidence that he is very smart.

  • Tony||

    You mean he doesn't agree with you about what the constitution says.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Obama says the Constitution doesn't address redistribution of wealth. So there's that.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Isn't big government's program of entitlement to land a redistribution of wealth?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    WTF? Someone is going to own the land. Should it be individuals, or Fidel Castro? I'll go with individuals. The Founders didn't give us Big Gov't, FDR did. People flock here from all over the world to own land. No one flocks to Cuba.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    And who is entitled to own land in America? It has to be bought, and gov't exists to protect personal and property rights. What would you prefer?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Don't forget Obama's disdain for "negative rights".

  • Tony||

    Whoever government says is entitled to own it.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    gov't exists to protect personal and property rights

    Close. Government exists to invade and occupy land, entitling the privileged to their privation property.

    If you're not privileged enough to hold privation property, you're just not trying hard enough, right?

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Someone is going to own the land.

    Not hardly, pilgrim. Abstract ownership of the land is a recent development of the agricultural city-State (civilization.)

    "Agriculture creates government." ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain, p. 73

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Your stupidy is intoxicating. Kings didn't own all the land under their control? Ceasar didn't own land? Who paid the rent on the pyramids? All your beliefs are in practice in Cuba and North Korea. They work here just as well.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    No, your belief -- agricultural civilization -- is practiced in Cuba and North Korea.

    The outliers of agricultural civilization are shitty places to live for the same reason the rich center of empire is also becoming a shitty place to live.

    P.S. There were no kings in egalitarian Non-State sociopolitical typologies.

    Fibertarians like you don't even know about real non-state societies, (and hate them if they have heard a little,) so read up.

    NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
    faculty.smu.edu/rkemper/cf_3333/Non_State_and_State_Societies.pdf

  • Mr. FIFY||

    We'll help you pack up a rucksack and move to North Korea or Cuba.

    Your choice.

  • ||

    Obama was NOT a U. of Chicago law professor; he was only a "lecturer". And that only because he was Cass Sunstein's buddy. Thank God the Law School (I'm a grad) is rid of both of them! Obama is nothing but a poster child for affirmative action - color rather than competence.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    And if his henchmen hadn't released his opponent's divorce records, he wouldn't have made it to the Senate.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    That wasn't the only dirty trick Obama pulled, but it was among the worst.

  • Bruce Majors||

    One of the many things NO media have reported on is that Obama signed an executive order to end anti-gay discrimination in federal employment early on, but most of it was vitiated by the Defense of Marriage Act. How did he not know that would happen? So either he is stupid OR it was a fake gesture for show.

  • Mainer||

    Are you stupid, Private Gump ?

    Stupid is as stupid does, Sir.

  • Jesus Shaves||

    Someone is going to own the land.

    Not hardly, pilgrim. Abstract ownership of land is a recent development of the agricultural city-State (civilization.)

    "Agriculture creates government." ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain, p. 73

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Ok, I'll stop feeding the troll. My bad.

  • ||

    The prize for discrediting intelligence, however, goes to President Obama. Unlike Bush, he wore his intellect on his sleeve, raising hopes that he could fix the country with sheer brainpower.

    Hilarious.

    The only non-stupid thing Obama's ever said or done is fooling other people into thinking he's not stupid.

  • Edward Emerson||

    The idea that someone can be 'too smart' to make good decisions is ludicrous. Truly brilliant people are able to forsee the impact of their decisions, and put situations in the same context that the 'masses' will. It's like when people say they did poorly on a test because they overanalyzed the questions. No; your analysis was incorrect.
    The bottom line is, Obama, Bush' cronies, and most 'politicians' are not 'brilliant.' Brilliant people know better than to get involved in that game.

  • ||

    Why in the hell is this person employed as a writer?
    Somebody's kid? Good lay? WHAT?

    This article, like almost everything I have read by this particular typist, lacks facts, is empty, and worthless. I wish I had taken one tiny second to check the byline before I wasted my time.

    I guess the one upside is the hilarious bit of irony involved with this person lamenting anti-intellectualism; a phenomenon for which it should be eternally grateful.

  • Mr. Mark||

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Politics is soundbites and slogans.

    Do GOP candidates say incredibly stupid things? Yes! All the time! But so do Democrats.

    It is a rare politician who believes in anything at all beyond their own importance.

  • Cloudbuster||

    You know why I know I'm smart? Because I know I'm not smart enough to tell everyone else how they ought to live.

  • DDavis||

    "It is between two types of activism: an irresponsible, pseudo-intellectual one and a retrograde, folksy one."

    It's increasingly polarized identity politics, each side defining themselves in opposition to the other.

  • ||

    And just how do you justify conflating intellectualism with liberalism or having talents or ideas that align with your definition? How do you define intellectualism? Speaking well off a prompter? One of the most intelligent men I have ever known was my university mathematics instructor. He could not spell at all, primarily because he wasn't concerned with it as long as his message got across, nor could he speak articulately. Talent in one area does not presuppose talent in any other. I had a distant relative who was a gifted used car salesman. He could talk a nun out of her habit on a crowded street, but I certainly wouldn't put any faith in his political wisdom or integrity. You sound like a liberal to me.

  • ||

    How about a disdain for Keynesian anti-capitalist intellectuals?

  • Oy!||

    Socrates wasn't put to death because of the contrast between his teaching and the piety. He was very respectful of the gods. What he didn't do, in the Athenians' mind, was to assume responsibility for his words' impact on his students, some of them proven very bad men. That was his downfall.

  • ||

    This article reminds me why I haven't visited this site in months. Who the hell is this Dalmia? He/She is even more condescending than your usual Reason staff.

  • ||

    BTW, is Dalmia a woman or gay man? I'm just wondering because of the 'hairdo' snark. No respectable straight guy would bring that up.

  • Bruce Majors||

    She is a heterosexual woman with a cute academic husband.

  • ||

    Obama has Ivy League credentials, including being an editor at the Harvard Law Review, but by his own admission he benefited from affirmative action, so those credentials may not mean much. As for his books, there is considerable doubt as to how much of them he actually wrote. He had no notable legislative accomplishments in either Illinois or U.S. senate. His supporters tout his instructorship at the U of Chicago, but he has no academic publications. He has an expensive law degree but virtually no experience as a lawyer. The things that we normally look at for evidence of superior intellect, such as test scores and grades, have been locked up and the presumption has to be that their publication would undermine the image that the President has built. Rational people do not hide things that are favorable. Obama has shown show genius in self-promotion, but where else? His presidency has been a disaster. The evidence that he is exceptionally intelligent is not convincing.

  • Bruce Majors||

    But he conned over half the people for over two years!

  • ||

    Shikma, I hate to break it to you, but from where I stand, you and Sarah and Michelle all are about the same IQ level, and about the same knowledge level.

    Yep, my degree in engineering came from a State univeristy too (one of the best, TTU). And my score on the ACT put me in the top 1% of those who took it, and that was in 75, before it was watered down twice.

    And I read for pleasure, at about 1200 wpm, so for pleasure I have read about 14K books. And while I am no Roebling, I am close enough that I have not a lot of regard for your sort of unjustified elitism.

    In other words pal, if you cannot solve higher math problems, then I am with RAH, and consider you at best a tolerable subhuman who has been taught not to piddle on the floor.

    It does not take a genius to be a good president, just average intelligence and good judgement and understanding of people.

  • ||

    That's actually a very good point. And sadly, probably the only President ever that could do higher math is Jimmy Carter...

  • ||

    LOL. You are right, based purely on IQ, it is an odds on bet that Jimmah was the smartest president of the past 7. And also the worst.

  • ||

    You and I could be practically the same person. My SAT was in the top 0.5% of the nation and my engineering degree is from the real UT (not that cocked up thing in Texas). I read a damn bit slower than you though. In fact, I think I was the slowest reader in my AP classes. But I was the fastest writer.

    Pleasantries aside, I agree with everything you have said. There is no evidence Obama is overly bright or that Palin is overly stupid. I take it as a sign of low intelligence and the inability to think for oneself if I hear someone contend otherwise without citing some sort of credible proof that has thus far escaped my knowledge.

    That Dalmia thought it OK to take so many cheap shots says more about the circles he/she/it runs in than it does about the people he/she/it was trying to disparage.

    The premise is that smart people can convince themselves they can do what others have not. Somehow it escapes Dalmia that stupid people can similarly delude themselves so there is really not much of a distinction there... and thus not much of a premise.

    All that matters is a politician has the right philosophy of limited government and adheres to it. In that case they will succeed to the greatest extent possible. If they are a Marxist then they are going to fail. Intelligence at best only changes the speed with which these things happen (and not always for the better).

    In other words, it's the vector that matters stupid. If you don't get that right then the rest is just time till failure analysis.

  • ||

    Even David Brooks, son of Even Kevin Phillips.

  • ||

    Frankly, I think that the test of real administrative intelligence is the ability to take complex issues and simplify them and organize responses that are realistic.

    The problem with the "intellectuals" is they do just the opposite. They over complicate everything looking for "nuance" that either does not exist or will prevent any solution that can actually be implemented.

  • ||

    Why is it your so smart? If you were smarter, surely you wouldn't be pulling down 65,000 a year. You are a half-assed pundit on a brand B blog 30% as popular as the one the good professor runs all by his lonesome. Seriously...Palin is stupid? How touching. Dumping on Palin is not the way to my heart. Brown-nosing credentialed morons is dissapointing. Your have soiled yourself. Clean the mess you have made. Or don't and continue to David Brooks with faux intellectual creases.

  • ||

    Why is it that people call Sarah Palin stupid and Obama smart when he is the idiot who thinks that the solution to our massively over leveraged economy is more borrowing? Palin says we need to balance the budget with spending cuts. She knew that Obamacare would make health care more expensive for the middle class and the Kaiser Foundation just bore that out. Obama, the smart one, said it would make health care "more affordable".

    Palin isn't polished but the public policies she advocates are more sound that those advocated by Obama. Maybe Mr. Dalmia's standards of intellectualism are incorrect.

  • ||

    Re: Intellectuals

    You aren't if you say you are.

  • ||

    Are you serious? I don't think you have a clue as to what you are writing about.

    David Brookes is NOT a Conservative, and Obama and his minions are the most incompetent group of busy-bodies in the history of the Executive Branch.

    Intellectuals? We don't need no "stinkin'" intellectuals.

  • JB||

    If you think Brooks is an intellectual, then you are a retard.

  • ||

    Even David Brooks, a conservative commentator,...

    Please.

    David Brooks? "Conservative"? Not even.

  • ||

    Don't confuse "intellectual" with "intellectus". There are different kinds of intelligence. The only one used in education at all levels today is "ratio" or analytical reasoning. All other forms of intelligence are not even on the radar screen. People who use other kinds of intelligence are unable to articulate the difference between the way they think and that of the credentialed intellectuals, and the credentialed classes are unable to recognize alternative forms of intelligence, so the impasse will remain. The real irony for me is that if we expect to find other forms of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, don't you think we'd try to do a better job here first? Read some Nicholas of Cusa.

  • ||

    The ordinary man is not arogant, and respects the little fund of wisdom and logic he calls 'common sense', and he subjects this and himself to the test of reality.

    The 'intellectual' is very arrogant, often not much if any smarter than the common man, and dislikes the test of reality.

    When reason exceed judgment, the result is rationalization or detailed fantasies that probably left contact with Earth some time ago. A wiser man would attempt to ground his theory in reality as often as possible.

    Suppose an intellectual can make a logic chain of ten steps, whereas an ordinary man can only do two steps. Both produce Step One that is ten percent wrong. Likewise with Step Two. And for the Intellectual on up to Step Ten.

    For the intellectual, well before he reaches teh end of his logic chain, he will be in the Land of the Utterly and Completely Wrongheaded (imagining a process more like compound interest as cumulative errors rebound on themselves.)

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  • ||

    Shikha can't be faulted for completely missing the significance, much less the presence of the real schism in our presidential politics. She, like so much of postmodern academic America completely miss our national rooting in the colonial, frontier and pioneer cultures of our national experience. The coastals are mostly Hegelian; Victorian; provincial. These same Victorian forces would likely also shape the academic culture of any Indian university conferring degrees in Chemistry.

    Much of the nation is slowly awakening to a stunning realization that most of our lawyers are not intellectuals nor particularly well-educated. The same can be said for our economists and the present 'soft science' or 'anti-science' professional educator from K to post graduate. There is a striking paucity of intellectual and professional trustees in our governing and academic institutions of today.

    There is great knowledge and learning to be taught in modern university. But too little of that is happening. The postmodern university has become a candidate case study in profound corruption, absurdity and institutional psychoses run amok.

    What floors me is Dalmia's miscasting Palin and Bachmann as the same person; as anti-science, anti-intellectual dumbasses with awesome hair. No two women could be more different.

    Bachmann is a hungry, linear and an ambitious institutional player. She is a prosecutor, lawyer, and politician with tremendous ambition and a desire to impose her personal vision of orthodoxy.

    Palin is frontier-pioneer stock. The archetypical American generalist. She married an American Indian without regard for european values or conceit about race, blood and breeding. She married for love and for quality; blind to matters of race and indifferent to what the europhile orthodoxy thought.

    Palin's American academic experience was not the preening self-absorbed world of academic poseurs desperate to bestow the glorious affirmations of europhilia onto themselves; to be branded with the affect of Ivy League social acceptablity.

    Palin is the real deal -- driven by a sense of duty and a wisdom born in a grounded fatalism that comes from embracing one's mortality and facing the world as it is.

    Bachmann is Gingrich with boobs.

    What you see as anti-intellectual in the conservative base is more an honest appraisal of the serial incompetence (typically in both character and basic judgement) that one finds commonplace in the postmodern academic of today which infests our major institutions and government.

    Kill the electricity and let the social fabric tear, and Americans rooted in our frontier and pioneer traditions will survive. Like Palin, we have our degrees and credentials as well, and we also know many of the old ways too, and we know what it means to survive and endure, and that what others see as social certainly is just another instance in history away from catastrophic change.

    Our frontier-pioneer world view is rooted in self-honesty and a healthy appreciation that the orthodoxy others call "reality" is little more than a malignant competition between corrupt institutional interests which have fought to an apparent standstill.

    Thus we recoil in horror when exposed to the chronic, incipient malignancy in our postmodern institutions. The phrase "government family" is a revealing example of this structural malignancy on display. We get their message loud and clear: "You are not a member of our family." We sadly agree.

    Another is the fraud of diversity. How do we take seriously a government and academic culture that actively practices Phrenology as a scientism under the guise of law? How perverse and anti-science is that?

    We see our supposed "diverse" SCOTUS bench piously glorified by the lawyers elected to our federal legislature and we are bewildered. What is diverse about a bunch of coastals that went to Harvard? There is no diversity there; no diversity on any meaningful national scale. Diversity would ensure there were not more that two from any same university. The same should be so for other government executive and upper management positions. If the universities of Ohio, Idaho, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Nevada, etc, are not "academically fit" for high government station then why have they not been shut down for the sale of fraudulent services? Why do those touting diversity engage in such naked bigotry and overt racketeering to protect the financial hegemony of a select few universities protected by what appears to be a well-established legacy of serial insider dealings.

    And no, they are not so smart. Who among those academic insiders in government has invented any technology, created any freely-earned commerce or capital, or directly washed the feet of any person in need?

    Damn few. And that crowd can't even cull and prepare their own food; can't fix their own light switch, faucet, etc., or explain how they work.

    Engineers are educated. Chemists and Life Scientists are educated.

    By comparison, Physicians, Lawyers, journalists and Academics are merely trained.

    The latter practice and champion the very "scientism" the scholars of the Mont Pelerin Society warned against in the 1940s.

    Palin is an authentic product of the gestalt that built America. The rest of the Beltway, Ivy and Chicago crowd appear to have become an authentic byproduct of the devolved latter-day Americans who feed upon the creative, authentic and productive liberty of the American People.

    Our postmodern political orthodoxy is not America, but a schizoid transnational parasite that has dug in deep to feed and render the produce of individual liberties into food for the corpus of their syndicates and money for their family pocket.

    We'll see where this goes soon enough. What you're missing: More Americans each day are seeing Palin is elementally more trustworthy than the modern day grown up mousketeers and howdy-doodys that quibble and writhe for dominance and control over what were once the great institutions of our nation.

    Free-thinking Americans see an impending catastrophe in the unyielding hubris, prozac-addled thinking and malignant personalities dominating today's generation of failed trustees and highly-credentialed incompetents at the helm of our orthodoxy and major institutions.

    That they might self-identify as Democrat or Republican makes little difference to us.

    We are looking for Americans who know how to live; how to struggle and endure; how to prosper without becoming a predator of their fellow man. This is what Palin exudes; what the others simply don't.

    We are waking up to the frightening truth that "what makes great TV" was never material to what mattered in pursuing our American future.

    On behalf of the indigenous ancestry that animates my family's past, may I also welcome you and your family to the greatest experiment in self-government in the history of our human species. The enormity of richness and grace that comprises our nation cannot be properly understood through the experience of coastal and corporate elites or the corrupted filters of postmodern academe.

    May we all pray it does not fail.

    History tells us what tyranny awaits should our love of individual liberty fall victim to the treachery of elitist approval.

  • ||

    And you're soooo much smarter than Palin?
    It's "Forrest Gump", not "Forest Grump"!
    I think middle America is fed up with Ivy League bastids who sell us out to the political class, or who dragoon us into financing their too-clever schemes. They look at Palin's working/middle class history and indifferent education and see someone who's just like them. In office, she could hire all the intellectuals she'd need; God knows they're all for sale, and fairly cheap to boot.

  • ||

    The premise of this article is ridiculous. Republicans are not Anti-Intellectism. We're Anti-"Intellectual", because they're fucking God-damned retarded know-nothings!

  • Jeff Jefferson||

    "Palin, in fact, has turned her lack of intellectual talent into her biggest asset, like Snooki on “Jersey Shore."

    I disagree. Palin's biggest asset is her integrity.

  • ||

    A good read is The Closing of the American Mind by Alam Bloom. Buy along with The Road to Serfdom at Amazon.

  • ||

    Yup, two favorites of mine.

  • naruan||

    ok!

  • ||

    An interesting article that makes some good points but then:

    "But Obama has been infinitely worse."

    How can anyone talk about reason and then say this with a straight face? For it to be infinitely worse we would be at 100% unemployment, for example. Forget about infinitely worse, it's not even worse. By most metrics it's about the same as when he took office. That's hugely disappointing, but it's not infinitely worse. And if you say it is, you're one of the reasons - intellectual or not - that we can't get anything done. Drop the hyperbole and extreme confirmation bias and maybe we have a chance.

  • kevin||

    I agree 100% with what you say. This article isn't very reasonable. Sometimes this entire site isn't very reasonable.

  • LogJam||

    The average intellectual has spent so much time learning that they have no idea how to apply their learning to real life.

    What we don't need in the White House is another intellectual, we need a person with Wisdom.

  • kevin||

    A president doing stupid things is more a problem with integrity, not intellect.

  • ||

    Oh please! Shikha Dalmia is no more of an intellectual than the likes of Maureen Dowd, Arianna Huffington, Rosie O'Donnell, Janeane Garofalo, Joy Behar & Rachel Maddow - confused, bitter, and a bit deranged. I'm surprised that Dalmia even gave Obama the benefit of being a 'different' President after his comments about "Americans clinging to guns and religion"; attending Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years, blackout of his college transcripts and who can forget, Joe, the plumber (redistribution of wealth)? Any reasonable person could see that Mr. Obama was going to run the country in hyper-partisan way. The man buys cheap pop-culture fiction for summer reading for god's sake! I think psuedo-intellectualism, thy name is Shikha Dalmia. If Dowd suffers from 'Clinton derangement syndrome,' Dalmia suffers from Katie Couric's and every other MSM torch bearer's 'Palin derangement syndrome.' This article is a piece of crock and I'm surprised Dalmia is Reason Foundation's Senior Analyst. What a joke!

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