Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Issue of Obama's Intelligence

Is President Obama a smart guy? Any smarter than George W. Bush? Clinton? GHW Bush? Reagan?

If we are to believe the mainstream media, Obama is a genius whose intellect towers above all before him. Yet, the evidence to the contrary continues to mount.

His approval numbers continue to drop as voters realize he is not the great leader they thought (or hoped) they had elected. He continues to break campaign promises, betrays an inappropriate arrogant mentality, runs away from responsibility by claiming decisions are in the hands of others, chooses a clearly incapable vice president, undermines his own presidency by allowing such things as a probe of CIA interrogation methods of terrorists which can only backfire in the eyes of the public, holds a spellbound belief in the historically-discredited theory of socialism (not exactly the hallmark of a great mind, is it?), and already seems nothing more than a prisoner of his own psychological demons which are the source of his anger at traditional American values--capitalism, for one.

But look at these quotes from a new Washington Post story ostensibly written about a "new dynamic" between the White House and the Justice Department. The real point of the story in the liberal DC newspaper is to portray Obama as a great intellect. The authors quote members of Obama's staff and a Democratic Member of Congress, as if their opinion of Obama's intelligence is gospel:

official accounts did not mention Holder's conversations with the White House, nor Obama's deep, if cautious, engagement with the issues.

For his part, Obama appears determined to enter relationships with his Cabinet members as a strategic participant. People who brief him say he is able to game out scenarios before the experts in the room, even on foreign policy, national security and other issues in which he had relatively little expertise before running for president.

Obama is approaching the issues as a game of "three-dimensional chess," said John O. Brennan, an assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. "It's not kinetic checkers. And I think the approach in the past was kinetic checkers. There are moves that are made on the chess board that really have implications, so the president is always looking at those dimensions of it."


"The president is a very sophisticated thinker and understands the implications of these decisions and events, and wants to make sure that he is aware of what those repercussions might be on the workforce, and on the reputation and image of the United States," Brennan said in an interview.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said Obama has "put a lot of thought" into how to balance security and civil liberties.

"I think he is very much aware that this area has been something of a constitutional teeter-totter," said Wyden, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

You get the point. But as noted above and as I've written here before, Obama shows signs of troubling psychological weaknesses, both in his decision-making and in his public utterances. That does not bode well for the American people over the next several years. How bad is he? We're about to find out.