Affirmative Action, Baby!

Where's the evidence that Barak Obama is an intellectual? Granted, the President extemporaneously can string appropriate cliches together with the fluency of a street-corner evangelist reciting his catechism. Was the last person to hand you a copy of some religious tract an intellectual? In this case, absence of evidence is evidence of a vacuum. Beyond some wretched poetry about aquatic baboons and two apparently ghost-written books, where's the evidence? James Taranto has noticed.

Occam's razor suggests that Obama is a mere conformist--someone who absorbed every left-wing platitude he encountered in college and never seems to have seriously questioned any of them. Kloppenberg characterizes Obama as a skeptic, not a true believer. We're not sure he has an active enough mind to be either one.


J.D. Salinger said...

Excuse me? Occam's razor? And how is that applied? Gee, the simplest explanation for Obama is that he's a conformist. QED. Pretty handy that Occam's Razor tool, isn't it?

Malcolm Kirkpatrick said...

The simplest explanation for the stream of platitudes and unserious metaphores in which the President speaks is that he thinks in platitudes. Most politicians express themselves in the political equivalent of top-40 radio. They have to, since they deal with rational ignorance. Normal people have normal life priorities, like feed the kids and get the car to the mechanic. So politicians cannot get too involved in their attempts to communicate.

Reagan was serious and thoughtful. See Reagan in his Own Hand. Sarah Palin can speak extemporaneously without floundering. But Barak Obama, uh, gets lost without his, uh, teleprompter and fails when he has no, uh, platitudes handy.

Maybe he's a genius from outer space. The most economical explanation for his apparent vacuity is real vacuity.