Sunday, October 2, 2011

Well there's smart, and then there's smart

Mark Steyn has an interesting piece at Investors.com (the online arm of Investor's Business Daily). Entitled "Finally, The Cognoscenti Ask: What Could We Be Thinking?" it's a bit of a screed on Obama's unheralded lack of real experience to be President and the current fad among left-leaning pundits of pointing that out. By the way, "cognoscenti"--for those not versed in 18th century Italian--means "experts," in this case political experts. It's an interesting word choice by Steyn, as it's clearly intended to poke fun at the self-styled elites of political commentary. And given the rising tide of "I was suckered by Obama"-type pieces, it's quite effective in my opinion.

That said, I was suckered by Obama.

I couldn't stand McCain, I thought he was beyond awful. And, hearing Obama speak, I really thought he could lead. I had no expectations that he would initiate conservative/libertarian policies. I knew he would have plenty of wrong-headed--from my perspective--views and initiatives, but I thought his leftism would be tempered by some good sense and that on balance, he could be effective as a President. Obviously, I was wrong. Tragically wrong, as it turns out.

As Steyn points out, it was a foolish conceit on the part of people like me--and David Brooks, and Tina Brown, and others--to allow that Obama's unimpressive resume qualified him to be President of the United States.

Because let's speak the plain truth: Obama never did much of anything, aside from amass degrees and play politics. And he just didn't play politics long enough to really learn much of anything.

Remember, as a Senator, Obama came out vehemently against raising the debt ceiling. As President, he chastised those who had the gall to do the same. This means that--from Obama's perspective--he was pretty clueless as a Senator, at the very least. Yet, it was from this perch that he jumped into the national spotlight, from this perch that he inspired people with his message of hope and change.

Now, all that said. I can't say I think Obama is a bad guy, is out to destroy capitalism or level society. Much of what he does and says springs from a belief that he has a deep understanding of the way things work. He's very confident that he's right, that he can see problems for what they really are and address them accordingly. But it would appear to be a baseless belief, on his part. His understanding is largely superficial, especially with regards to the economy. This wouldn't be that big of a deal if his inner circle provided competent advice and information, because after all a President doesn't really need to know everything, he just needs to know how to find out everything.

Coupled with Obama's tendency to lecture those who disagree with him, these failings have turned Obama into a remarkably ineffective President.

Cheers, all.

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