People who live in glass houses built at least in part from the largesse of political correctness and affirmative action should not throw stones. And yet, here we have Juan Williams doing just that as he follows in the deep footprints of the hundreds before him who have lobbed hackneyed, gratuitous and even hate-filled insults at Sarah Palin.
On a recent "Fox News Sunday" program, Mr. Williams was speaking about potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates when he said, "There is nobody out there except for Sarah Palin who could absolutely dominate the stage, and she can't stand on the intellectual stage with Obama." Really?
For more than two years now, every time someone I know socially or in the media has proclaimed Barack Obama to be "brilliant" or "the smartest president we have ever had," I have implored them to tell me exactly what they base those definitive statements on. Once challenged, they either refuse to answer the question or fall back on the apparently unassailable fact that "he gives a great speech, went to Harvard and is articulate."
OK, so the man who uses a teleprompter more than any other president in modern history and even needed one to give a speech to 7-year-olds at an elementary school is "brilliant and articulate" based on this oratory crutch. Fine. If that is the only arrow in their quiver of "Obama the Intellectual," then I would normally maintain that their defense is sorely lacking. In this case, it appears to be all the available evidence.
Those like Juan Williams who ignorantly claim President Obama to be "brilliant" might have a better case to make if only he would release his IQ test, his SAT scores, his records from Occidental College or his records from Columbia University. Unfortunately for them, Mr. Obama refuses to do so. Why?
For decades now, the liberal intelligentsia has pompously and erroneously asserted that GOP presidents have been intellectually inferior to Democratic presidents. Aside from being blinded by ideological hate, what proof did they offer? Let's look at recent history. Back in 2000 and 2004, the mainstream media, compromised "historians" and liberal pundits declared Vice President Al Gore much more intelligent than Gov. George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry much more intelligent than President George W. Bush.
Predictable to be sure, but wrong. Based on the very criterion used by the left, it turned out that Mr. Bush had equal or better grades than both Mr. Gore and Mr. Kerry. Oops.
Flash ahead to President Obama and this exchange between liberal "historian" Michael Beschloss and radio host Don Imus:
Mr. Beschloss: "[Barack Obama] is a guy whose IQ is off the charts. ..."
Mr.Imus: "Well. What is his IQ?"
Mr. Beschloss: "Pardon?"
Mr.Imus: "What is his IQ?"
Mr. Beschloss: "Uh. I would say it's probably - he's probably the smartest guy ever to become president."
Mr. Beschloss, like much of the left, clearly has no proof nor any shame.
Last year, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said we were a nation of "cowards" for not discussing race relations is a more open manner. I agree. Let's.
With regard to Mr. Obama being "brilliant" because he was accepted to Columbia and Harvard, is there any chance that he got into those schools not because he was academically qualified, but because he was black and was a product of social engineering by the left? Why does that question so infuriate some on the left? Isn't that the exactpurpose of affirmative action?
It can certainly be argued that Mr. Obama was inserted into the bubble of political correctness when he was about 20 years of age and has floated to the very top on that basis rather than real-world experience and gravitas. Again, it is simply the outcome those on the left were seeking when theydecided to accept and promote on the basis of race, gender or sexual preference. Why are they ashamed of their plan coming to fruition in such a glorious way in the guise of the man who now occupies the Oval Office?
Maybe next time, Juan Williams and all the other propagandists for President Obama will offer up some proof to back up their claims of Mr. Obama's intellectual prowess. In the meantime, I'll take Sarah Palin's real-world experience and traditional values anytime.
Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and a novelist.
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