In her latest column at The Daily, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia explains how the Obama administration has further discredited the role of intellectuals in American politics. As she writes:
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.