Maureen Dowd (MoDo) recently wrote an article titled “The few, the dumb, the proud” designed primarily to disparage current Republican front runner Rick Perry. She also manages to take a few partisan swipes at the intelligence, or at least school records, of George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.
Much of this may be accurate and that is not the point of this commentary. The point is that we can see how these presidential aspirants performed in their respective K-12 and college(s).
Can we do that with Barack Obama? In a word, no.
As most of you know, his academic records have been sealed by Harvard, Columbia and Occidental, and all his elementary schools, no doubt at the request of Øbama, and prevention of this release is well defended by his lawyers. We have a picture of him in kindergarten, and a few scraps of his attendance as indicated by graduation records at the different institutions he attended, but no grades. No writings, no scholarly articles or legal opinions from his years at Harvard. Even his time in the Illinois State Senate and the U.S. Senate were unremarkable and mostly unreported.
MoDo make take great relish in attacking the Republican candidates on the basis of their school grades, but she cannot compare any of them to Øbama until comparable school records are released. “Dumb” is relative, but we have no way to compare. Is that fair, or even journalistically competent? All we hear about from talking heads and Øbama spokespeople is how intellectually superior he is, but they offer nothing to back it up, no IQ, no grades, no records. Nothing. Nada. Zip. It is very reminiscent of then presidential candidate John Kerry and his never released military records.
Why the mystery? I would be very happy to find out that he is intelligent, and one would think that he would be proud of his accomplishments. Even if he was as average (benefit of the doubt time here) as most politicians, at least the question of his intelligence would be put to rest. “Pleading the Fifth Amendment” in terms of his scholarly performance does nothing to make us think he is particularly intelligent, despite all claims that he is “the smartest guy in the room” by his supporters.
MoDo concludes with this:
“So we’re choosing between the overintellectualized professor and blockheads boasting about their vacuity?”
How about providing some definitive evidence of “the professor’s” overintellectualization before we start pointing the finger at so called “blockheads”?