Friday, May 09, 2008

Playing the egghead card

Barack Obama is waaay too smart to be the president of the United States. No lesser a light than Michael Gerson said so this morning in the Strib:

The Obama narrative is intellectual and ideological (not social) elitism. Humble roots have never been a guarantee of intellectual humility, especially when a mind comes to flower at Columbia and Harvard.

When a stunted bush flowers at Yale and Harvard, boys and girls, what do we get? Well, never mind, Spot digresses.

Gerson makes this gem of an observation, too:

The issue of the lapel flag pin is a good illustration. Obama's explanation for its absence -- that it had become a "substitute" for "true patriotism" in the aftermath of 9/11 -- is perfectly rational. For a professor at the University of Chicago.

So, Mike, you're saying that ordinary people can't understand what Obama said? You don't give the American people much credit, do you?

And here's some more pithy insight:

The problem here is not that Obama is unpatriotic -- a foolish, unfair, destructive charge -- but that Obama has declared himself superior to an almost universal form of popular patriotism.

Uh, Mike, if you spent some time away from inside-the-Beltway Republicans, you would know that conspicuous flag waving, lapel pins, and the other hoo haw of pseudo-patriotism have fallen off sharply since the heady days of March 2003.

But it's clear that the egghead meme is one that the Republicans are going to try to pin on Obama. Yesterday in The Bloghouse, collected a right-wing blogger's use of the "egghead and African-American coalition" to identify Obama's core supporters, playing both the egghead and the race cards. If he had just included "Muslim," he would have had a hat trick.

Regrettably, Hillary Clinton has been guilty of piling on in this regard, especially in places like Pennsylvania and Indiana. In fact, the blogger's comment above was a quote from Paul Begala, a Clinton supporter. (You can track down the link if you go to The Bloghouse, boys and girls.)

The next time that somebody disparages Barack Obama as an egghead, Spot wants you to ask that person how well the "drinking buddy preference" presidential selection criterion has really worked out.

Spot believes that the vein of anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism that the Republicans have tapped so long is running out.

Some of you may recall the soaring rhetoric of a couple of Democratic presidents of the last century: Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy. They didn't demean citizens - the people we now call "folks" - by assuming they could only communicate with them by pretending to be goobers.

Why Spot even recalls that FDR urged people to get maps of Europe so they could follow along when he described the campaign in Europe during his fireside radio chats.

You don't really remember that, do you Spot?

No, but it's a true story.

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