The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Obama Was Really the Smart One

Posted on | February 8, 2020 | Comments Off on Obama Was Really the Smart One

During the Obama era, there was a lot of noise about why his student record at Columbia University and Harvard Law was off-limits. Some conservative complaints about the secrecy surrounding Obama’s transcripts may have been intended to suggest he wasn’t all that bright — a beneficiary of Ivy League “diversity” initiatives or whatever. My hunch, however, was that Obama’s transcripts, in terms of the courses and professors he chose, might have given some indication of his early radicalism. At any rate, I avoided impugning Obama’s intelligence not because I feared the accusation of racism — like my friend Barbara Espinosa often said, “I’m not racist; I hate his white half, too!” — but simply because he didn’t seem at all stupid to me.

Arrogant? Yes, but not stupid. In his official public appearances, Obama generally avoided anything that would make him seem too much of a radical extremist. Knowing it would be difficult to persuade middle-class white voters to elect a black man with a Kenyan name, Obama shrewdly recognized that being a Jesse Jackson-style rabble-rouser was not going to get him to the White House. Instead, he maintained a low-key demeanor that inspired the nickname “No Drama Obama.”

Hillary Clinton? Not so smart. Obama didn’t play the race card much — he knew he didn’t have to, as his race was obvious enough — but Hillary and her allies deliberately played the gender card to such an extent that people got fed up with that “First Woman President” business. And the Clintons habitually overestimated their popularity. Most people have forgotten that Bill Clinton got only 43% of the vote in 1992, and in 1996, he still got only 49% — less than a majority of the popular vote. While Hillary did get a popular-vote majority, her support was unusually concentrated in deep-blue Democrat strongholds like California, Illinois and New York, whereas Obama got much broader support.

In the aftermath of Hillary’s 2016 defeat, her allies resorted to the “Russian collusion” hoax to explain how she lost, and have kept pushing that narrative even after the Mueller investigation failed to find evidence to support their conspiracy theory. Now, after trying to revive that hoax as the “UkraineGate” justification for impeachment, and failing again, Democrats have become completely deranged. Their 2020 presidential candidates are kooky, as James Carville complains:

“We just had an election in 2018. We did great. We talked about everything we needed to talk about and we won,” he said in a Vox interview published on Friday. “And now it’s like we’re losing our damn minds. Someone’s got to step their game up here.” . . .
“They’ve tacked off the damn radar screen,” he said when asked if the party moved too far left. . . .
According to Carville, both Sanders and Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., were pushing “stupid” ideas about higher education.
“Democrats talking about free college tuition or debt forgiveness. I’m not here to debate the idea. What I can tell you is that people all over this country worked their way through school, sent their kids to school, paid off student loans. They don’t want to hear this s–t. And you saw Warren confronted by an angry voter over this. It’s just not a winning message,” he said. . . .
At one point, Carville took aim at a New York Times writer, who posted a “snarky tweet” about Louisiana State University (LSU) — Carville’s alma mater.
“You know how f—–g patronizing that is to people in the South or in the middle of the country? First, LSU has an unusually high graduation rate, but that’s not the point. It’s the goddamn smugness. This is from a guy who lives in New York and serves on the Times editorial board and there’s not a single person he knows that doesn’t pat him on the back for that kind of tweet. He’s so f—–g smart.
“[Binyamin] Appelbaum doesn’t speak for the Democratic Party, but he does represent the urbanist mindset,” he said. “We can’t win the Senate by looking down at people. The Democratic Party has to drive a narrative that doesn’t give off vapors that we’re smarter than everyone or culturally arrogant.”

One of the smartest things you can do in politics is to play dumb. It is better to let your opponents underestimate you than to act as if you believe you’re superior to ordinary voters. James Carville understands that. Obama understood that. Does any other Democrat understand it?



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