Obama is So Smart!
by Tom Donelson on April 29, 2011 at 8:50 AM
Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has basically given us a piece that explains Obama’s shortcoming as an executive leader; he is to damn smart to get it right. Mr. Milbank noted,
“Seeking a template to understand the enigmatic president, I consulted three leading academics in the fields of psychology and behavior. With their help, I put Obama on the couch and came away with a reasonably coherent diagnosis: There’s too much going on in the poor guy’s head.”
So trying to get inside Obama’s head, he went to outside sources and their points can be summarized in the following fashion:
- Obama’s mind is so full of knowledge that he has to work through all the facts before coming to a conclusion. Contrasted to Bush’s, who was just a simpleton with only simple ideas and slogans inside his head.
- He is a brilliant political and social analyst that it is hard for him “to play hardball” as one of Milbank’s experts stated.
- The complex thinker like Obama can quickly grasp situations and tradeoffs but sometimes the complexity produces paralysis as he sifts through the options.
There is another answer to all of this. As one pundit said a year ago, could Obama’s problem be that coming into the Presidency with the experience of being only a first term Senator that maybe he was not ready for a chief executive job? Or instead of being a complex thinker, could he simply not have a grasp of the key issues a President needs to have on the economy or foreign affairs?
The tendency of the left is to make their own out to be intellectuals, even when they are not. Compare Obama's analysis of health care to Sarah Palin or for that matter, review what Palin wrote about QE2 a few months ago and decide which of these two have a more solid grasp of economics? (Columnist Don Suber did a brilliant Piece on Palin’s thoughts on QE2, a piece titled Palin for the Feds. Suber’s point was that Palin saw the shortcoming of QE2 several months ago.)
Or for that matter, review Palin’s talk in India a short while back when she challenged the conventional wisdom that China will be the super power of the 21st century and instead presented the notions that the democratic nations of India and the United States will be the leaders with freedom winning? Palin forsees a future alliance that includes India. America still has the resources to be a leading power, if not the leading power, well into this century. Who knows what Obama thinks of India or for that matter what role the United States will still command over the next few decades? And his handling of the Middle East has consisted of halfway measures and confusion where our Allies in the region, those that are left standing, don’t know what our intentions are. All while our enemies are gleeful that they have what they perceive as a naïve opponent in the White House.
When I think of Obama, I am reminded of Reagan. Reagan was considered a amiable dunce but the reality was that when he became President, he had studied the world for nearly three decades. It was not just the experience of governing successfully a large state that prepared him for the White House but that he had been giving speeches and writing about the big issues for three decades before entering into the White House. His understanding of the world was superior to his critics and he had a plan ready for the world as it was. This was a key to Reagan’s success.
Obama's grasp of the world is shallow at best and he did not come into the White House studying the issues in the same intensity or length of time that Reagan did. This is not to say Obama is not highly intelligent, for to make it through Harvard Law School, you have to be smart, book wise. Being smart book wise is not the same thing as being street smart or understanding how our capitalist system works. Obama may be the former, book smart, but he does not have any in depth knowledge of our capitalist system and how it truly works.
Obama's indecisive nature may simply be due to the fact that he became President before he developed the wisdom or knowledge required to govern. That is one possibility that Dana Milbank won’t consider but it is a more likely reason than he is a complex man full of complex ideas and the average American simply doesn't understand his brilliance.