Is Perry Dumb?

August 29th, 2011 at 9:24 am David Frum | 126 Comments |

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Politico asks the question out loud.

The answer from Perry’s friends and supporters is not reassuring.

“If he should know about John Locke, he’ll know about John Locke,” said [Tex lobbyist and Perry supporter] Bill Miller. “If it’s not on his schedule, it’s irrelevant to him.”

In other words: his aides run him.

His policy focus as governor hasn’t been complex – it’s almost entirely jobs and business-focused – but that’s not where Perry’s mind is, say those who know him.

He’s a power politician and very canny one. And what seems to animate him is competition.

Whether it is winning elections, beating out other states in attracting jobs or besting them for college football recruits, Perry is ferociously single-minded.

In other words: he is keenly political, but has little policy focus – which will be some handicap for a president who will face after 2013 the toughest economic policy challenges since the 1930s.

“There were some guys we always thought were the brainiacs, the ones who got into the minutiae of legislation,” recalled Cliff Johnson, an Austin lobbyist and close Perry friend and former roommate from their days serving together as Democratic legislators. “We sought information from trusted folks.”

In other words: lobbyists will run him.

Trained as an Air Force pilot right out of A&M, Perry was “taught to trust your information,” said Johnson.

And associates say the same lessons that Perry learned when he was flying C-130s apply now.

“Pilots execute flight plans,” said Miller. “They have a plan, they fly a certain pattern and that’s the way he’s always operated — he has a flight plan for what he’s trying to do and he executes.”

That’s quite an insult to combat pilots, who must react, respond and improvise. “Executing the flight plan” seems a terrible way to approach the presidency. It’s the president’s job to write the flight plan.

Mike Baselice, Perry’s longtime pollster, said his client is of the Ronald Reagan school of management: “Trust people and manage well.”

“His job is to go meet voters,” said Baselice. “We’ll figure out the details of the messaging.”

Voters would do well to ask: Who’s this “we” that will really be running the country during a Perry presidency?

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126 Comments so far ↓

  • Oldskool

    We thought Shrub would exceed expectations if he hired experienced people to shore up his lack of curiosity. So much for that theory.

    • TAZ

      That is the exact reason I felt comfortable voting for Bush the first time he ran. Of all things I figured Cheney (who I knew from Gulf War I) would school him.

  • PracticalGirl

    “Voters would do well to ask: Who’s this “we” that will really be running the country during a Perry presidency?”

    Yes they would, just as they should have with the last incurious, rule-by-committee Texas Governor. I won’t say that Perry is dumb, just lazy. It always amazes me at the conservatives who rail against government programs that cut out incentive and innovation from reliant Americans, yet elevate politicians who do exactly that. Perry has been the lucky beneficiary of an economy set in motion long before he became Governor. And instead of looking to make it better, he’s been content to sit on others laurels, deregulate to the point that Texas water is barely passable to drink, and wave his cowboy hat in a Western “Whoop!” for minimum wage jobs that solve very little except his public relations campaign.

    • Curiosity

      “…and wave his cowboy hat in a Western “Whoop!” for minimum wage jobs that solve very little except his public relations campaign.”

      Can you elaborate on this statement? Are you asserting that Texas’s job numbers have been bolstered by a relative boom in low/minimum wage jobs?

      If so, this simply isn’t true.

      http://www.politicalmathblog.com/?p=1590

      “And it turns out that the opposite is true. Since the recession started hourly wages in Texas have increased at a 6th fastest pace in the nation.”

      • japhi

        Thats because the bulk of the jobs created have been decent paying government jobs. It well documented that Texas job growth the past few years is beong driven by the public sector.

      • PracticalGirl

        “According to statistics from the Texas Workforce Commission, the annual median wage in 2010 for all occupations in Texas was $31,500, or 7 percent less than the national median.

        The most common occupation sectors in Texas were office and administrative service, sales, and food service. Of the three, office jobs had the highest median wage, at $29,300. Food service had the lowest median wage of all occupation groups, at $17,700 annually. Together these occupational groups made up more than a third of employed Texans.”

        Many, many of those jobs also come without benefits, one of the reasons that Texas ranks dead last in population covered by health insurance. And the Texas numbers as a whole are bolstered by the high paying (but relatively few) tech jobs in Austin.

        It is true as stated in the article that the same patterns can be observed nationally and in nearly every state, but that plus the facts tend to disprove the notion of “Texas exceptionalism” under Perry, don’t you agree?

        • Curiosity

          “Many, many of those jobs also come without benefits, one of the reasons that Texas ranks dead last in population covered by health insurance. ”

          A keen observation, Texas doesn’t bode well in the % of population covered by health insurance category. I am not certain if the wage numbers do, or do not, have benefits cooked into them. I suspect they do not.

          However you are making an assertion that if benefits were included then these numbers would be different. This might be true. It might not be. All I can say for certain is that the numbers I am aware of don’t support your conclusion that recent Texas job growth has been of the low/minimum wage variety.

          “And the Texas numbers as a whole are bolstered by the high paying (but relatively few) tech jobs in Austin. ”

          This comment is largely meaningless. Every State’s wage numbers are bolstered by subsets of high paying jobs. That is why the statistic used to measure wages is the median and not the mean. Do you understand the difference and why one is used over the other?

          “It is true as stated in the article that the same patterns can be observed nationally and in nearly every state, but that plus the facts tend to disprove the notion of “Texas exceptionalism” under Perry, don’t you agree?”

          No I do not. The numbers show that Texas stands as an outlier amongst the States for job creation, and the jobs aren’t of the low paying variety. Texas maybe lacking in other areas, but in terms of job creation, it could very well be described as being exceptional. Let me be clear – Perry deserves little, if any, credit for this. However the job growth that Texas has achieved shouldn’t be ignored.

        • overshoot

          The numbers show that Texas stands as an outlier amongst the States for job creation, and the jobs aren’t of the low paying variety.

          Texas’ jobs/capita ratio is not in the least exceptional — what Texas has been doing is adding bodies, which creates demand and thus jobs. Not a formula that will work for the country as a whole, unless you’re planning to open the borders and recruit immigrants.

          What Texas HAS done that’s an outlier is use the ARRA stimulus funds to hire government workers: 47% of all stimulus-funded jobs nationally were in Texas. In other words, Perry has been an effective Keynsian governor.

        • paul_gs

          Nicely said Curiosity.

        • PracticalGirl

          “However you are making an assertion that if benefits were included then these numbers would be different”

          Actually, I’m not. I am, however, making an assertion of the kinds of jobs that have been/continue to be the mainstay of Texas. But I will comment further on that, below.

          Mea culpa on the comment aboout the high tech as it relates to “median” income. I don’t discount the jobs creation, either, but it’s important for people to understand the exact nature of what, exactly, has been created.

          “The numbers show that Texas stands as an outlier amongst the States for job creation, and the jobs aren’t of the low paying variety.”

          Again, back to the kinds of jobs and the benefits question. I guess it depends on your definition of “low paying variety”. Average wage of $15 + change an hour sounds bitchin, until you consider what needs to be purchased with the $$. 71% of the uninsured in Texas are part of a family that includes a full-time worker, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Put another way, 63 percent of uninsured, working-age Texans do have a job —just not an offer of insurance to go with it. And Texas’ private health insurance rates have grown 7X over Perry’s deregulation, hands off reign. That’s 3X the growth of rates in many other states. After cutting up that $15 an hour to pay expenses, taxes on nearly everything from rental appplications to food to gas, and necessities like rent and energy costs (the former skyrocketing in several cities in Texas, the latter in all areas), there’s just not a whole lot left over for luxuries like health insurance.

          Texas “exceptionalism” under Perry? Not hardly.

        • armstp

          Curiosity,

          Actually Texas does not have all that stellar a job creation record over the last couple of years.

          First of all Texas is experience one of the highest population growth rates of any state in the country, so a big part of the job growth is just from population growth. By the way the job growth has not kept up with the population growth, which is why even with some job growth the unemployment rate in Texas has not gone down. The unemployment rate in July actually went up to 8.4% from 8.2%. In fact, the Texas unemployment rate is the worse it has been in decades and that is with $100 oil and all those military/government jobs added in the last few years.

          You need to look at the employment to population ratio to get a good glimpse of the unemployment picture which takes into account population growth:

          “The employment-to-population ratio in this chart is lower than the employment-to-population ratio we normally see, because it includes everyone, from infants to convicted felons. According to the figures we have for 2011, 44.7% of the total US population has a job, compared to 43.5% of the Texas population.

          And Perry’s record is pretty bad, here: he inherited a ratio of more than 47% in Texas from George W Bush, and has presided over a steady decline ever since — including every year of the Bush presidency bar 2005.”

          Also, the Texas Enterprise Fund has awarded companies $440 million to relocate since it was created in 2003. That is big tax payer subsidies and a big government to steal jobs from other states. That is actually not really creating new jobs for the nation, but only stealing them from somewhere else in the country.

          In addition, there are 25 states that have lower unemployment rates than Texas, which includes all the states that surround Texas and relatively higher regulation and tax states like MA and NY.

          http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2011/aug/16/lloyd-doggett/lloyd-doggett-says-texas-has-worse-unemployment-25/

          Here is an interesting article from Bloomberg:

          Massachusetts Beats Texas as Unemployment Rises Less in Ranking

          “The Massachusetts labor market deteriorated less than in Texas from 2008 to 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

          Massachusetts was the fourth most-friendly state for employment in the period, the data show. Texas, where Republican Governor Rick Perry has touted his state’s title as Chief Executive magazine’s best for business, was sixth.

          Governor Deval Patrick credited Massachusetts’s commitment to education for the ranking. “We’ve invested in public education at the highest level in the history of the commonwealth, even when the bottom’s been falling out of everything else,” the Democrat said in an interview. “It’s our calling card around the world.”

          Massachusetts has a greater percentage of residents 25 or older who hold at least a bachelor’s degree than any other state, according to the Census Bureau; Texas ranks 30th. The unemployment rate among U.S. college graduates was 4.5 percent in May, compared with 14.7 percent for those who don’t hold a high school degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

          Perry, the longest-serving Texas governor, told a $1,000-a- plate dinner of the New York County Republican Party in Manhattan June 14 that the U.S. needs low taxes, reduced spending and less regulation to end its “economic misery.” Perry, 61, said May 27 he was “thinking about” running for president.

          Bloomberg’s ranking weighed changes in states’ employment, their jobless rates and annual median wages. Alaska and North Dakota, which placed first and second, were the only states where the number of jobs in 2010 was more than two years earlier. Both were buoyed by their petroleum industries during the longest recession since World War II, which ended in June 2009, midway through the measurement period. ”

          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-16/massachusetts-beats-texas-as-unemployment-rises-less-rankings.html

          So how does the supposively higher regulation and tax state like MA beat Texas in employment? I thought the model was Texas and its low taxes and regulation?!!?!

        • armstp

          And you cannot just rate Perry on jobs!

          If you look at the stats on Texas is a terrible state:

          > a third of the population has zero healthcare insurance. the highest by far in the country. that is just terrible.

          > largest number of per capita minimum wage jobs in the country.

          > a terrible education record. near the bottom in high school graduation for example. Texas ranks 47th in the country for the level of state spending on schools.

          > Texas regularly scores at the bottom in best states to live in surveys. Here is one where it is ranked 45 out of 50 states.Only other basket case southern states are worse.

          http://www.statemaster.com/graph/lif_bes_sta_to_liv-lifestyle-best-states-to-live

          > Texas is well in the top half of crime rates in this country. Despite so-called get tough on crime politicians and lax gun laws

          > lower taxes has only meant a deficit that is about as bad as anywhere in the country (worse than CA), which is despite all the oil revenues flowing into the state. ($27B Texas deficit out of $99B of spending (two years) versus California (18 months) faces a deficit of $25B out of $128B).

          These are horrible statistics. And Perry has done absolutely nothing to improve them.

        • Curiosity

          armstp,

          I don’t ever remember saying something that was pro Perry.

          I did not speculate why Texas has had the job creation success that it has had.

          I did assert that Texas has had a great deal of success creating jobs, and so stands apart from many states in this matter.

          I did assert that the jobs Texas has added are not of the low wage variety.

          I made these assertions based on the data – which is completley verifiable. I’m not sure why this has made you go balistic, but it obviously hit a nerve. If you want to share with me another data source / analysis that shows that my assertions are incorrect, I will gladly read it and take back my assertions. However I require that you provide links to all data sources so that your work can be replicated.

      • Traveler

        Curiosity,

        Great link. It disabused me of a few misconceptions I had, like that of Japhi. OTOH, PG may be right in her counterpoint.

        As your link notes, it more has to do with long term policies. There is something to be said about having few regulations such as zoning or water quality standards to permit trashing your environment. Them damn externalities cost money if you care about them. Without them, can well be good for your economy. How long the citizens are willing to let these policies persist is another thing.

      • armstp

        Curosity,

        The problem with your “political math” website analysis is that the author just looks at energy jobs in isolation, when he discounts that the high price of oil has had not as much impact as people think in Texas. The author needs to consider that all those oil REVENUES are coming into Texas and are having a multiplier impact on other non-energy industry jobs. All those employees from Exxon spending all those petro dollars on cars, housing, services, etc. The boom in the energy industry from $100 oil has had an enormous impact on the Texas economy. Nothing to do with Perry unless his praying to “god’ put that oil in the ground.

        • PracticalGirl

          “The problem with your “political math” website analysis is that the author just looks at energy jobs in isolation…”

          Well, that and the fact that Mr Curiosity only seems to look at one link from The Google to form an entire argument…

        • Primrose

          I was actually curious Practical Girl how 15 an hour could be considered bitchin’, even if healthcare was free. That’s approximately 600 a week and 31k a year unless my formula is wrong. Since under 20 is poverty for a family of four, I don’t see how it is good, unless you are single, living with roommates and have low student loans.

        • Curiosity

          PracticalGirl,

          I’m not sure why you are so hostile towards this one link. Do you have an aversion towards empirical knowledge? If you don’t believe the numbers, then I encourage you to attempt to replicate the analysis yourself. All of the data sources have been linked in the article.

        • Curiosity

          armstp,

          I don’t ever remember saying something that was pro Perry.

          I did not speculate why Texas has had the job creation success that it has had.

          I did assert that Texas has had a great deal of success creating jobs, and so stands apart from many states in this matter.

          I did assert that the jobs Texas has added are not of the low wage variety.

          I made these assertions based on the data – which is completley verifiable. I’m not sure why this has made you go balistic, but it obviously hit a nerve. If you want to share with me another data source / analysis that shows that my assertions are incorrect, I will gladly read it and take back my assertions. However I require that you provide links to all data sources so that your work can be replicated.

          Here is the link again – Just incase you missed it the first time.

          http://www.politicalmathblog.com/?p=1590

  • willard landreth

    You would think that American people have had enough of government by proxy. Under Bush, it was clear that Cheney run the show almost to the very end. Alas, it seems that amnesia is an American trait.

    The comment demonstrates that P(a)erry is knowledgeable of Barnum and demonstrates that what the ole circus guy (business man?) said remains true.

    • LauraNo

      You said: “You would think that American people have had enough of government by proxy. Under Bush, it was clear that Cheney run the show almost to the very end.”
      I had the distinct feeling that all the excitement surrounding Palin, especially by the neo-cons was just this: Install a puppet. Rule the world.

  • Bulldoglover100

    Yes

  • HighCountry

    Even worse, it seems to me like the guy may be smart, but he ACTS dumb because for some reason, the far right has made ignorance into a virtue.

    • Slide

      I agree with this. The right, for some bizarre reason, seems to worship dumbness. You see, they think that the average guy has “common” sense that you can’t get in a university. And there is a certain truth in that but I won’t want a “common” guy to design the airplane I decide to fly in, or the high rise I live in. This anti-elite, anti-science, anti-intellect comes at a pretty bad time when we are competing in the world that demands such rigors.

      I would be so embarrassed to belong to a party where the vast majority of its political leaders don’t subscribe to evolution or climate change. Flat-earthers are all that they are, clinging to beliefs despite what science has proven otherwise. So, in today’s Republican party you have to be dumb or at least pretend. Rather sad don’t you think?

  • Watusie

    Regardless of their IQ score, anyone who isn’t interested in empirical evidence but instead relies on ideology and religion to guide their decision making isn’t fit to be President.

    • medinnus

      Agreed

      • Primrose

        Well said. But also someone who think knowledge is just data, you plug in for appropriate situations and not something which informs the whole.

        It’s like people those sci-fi movies where people plug in skills as complicated as martial arts, as if you just need to know the steps to implement it. Much as I enjoy Chuck and the Matrix, there’s a larger structure one needs to understand about these forms/arts, which only the act of learning teaches you.

        So too with intellectual education, the act of learning about John Lock or Game Theory (or, or,or) teaches you the larger structure. So without this, without even understanding the necessity of this, Mr. Perry won’t get it. Whether he’s smart or wily or dumb as a post, he doesn’t know how to think, and if he doesn’t know how, he can’t. And if he can’t think, his decisions will be sound only as a matter of luck.

  • giova

    He is canny. He is wily. He is NOT well educated (mostly Ds and one or two Fs in college); he is not an intellectual. He will say or do anything to get reelected. We need someone with intelligence and subtlety, not just grit and steel to run this country. We do not need the Marlboro Man. I am a Texan and have had to live with this guy for so long and watch my state deteriorate under his watch. He would be very bad for our country.

    • laingirl

      +1

    • armstp

      “We need someone with intelligence and subtlety, not just grit and steel to run this country.”

      We already have that person and he is currently in the oval office.

  • medinnus

    It almost seems that the GOP has given up on 2012; all of the policy wonks have bowed out, and Huntsman seems to be aiming for 2016 with his 2012 run.

    All that’s left are the “Guns, God, and Greed” crowd, and they can’t win a general election unless the Dems totally crap out… which I suppose could happen, its not like the Dems are smart or capable of taking advantage in exploiting the Right’s weakness. So far they seem content to let the Right defeat themselves.

    • Smargalicious

      Dream on. Even Ron Paul could beat your half-Kenyan reparationist Messiah, and you know it.

      • medinnus

        Ah, a repetitive -yet still boring- fart from the site’s resident closet homosexual bigot!

  • dubmod

    Have’nt we been here before? W’s lack of intellect was also set aside with the good manager story. We only have to look at Cheney to see how disastrous that was. Reagan was smarter than he was ever given credit for. Another buffoon in the White House? No thanks.

  • MattP

    Who’s more dumb: Rick Perry, or the people who actually buy into these media memes that “candidate X is an idiot”?

    • PracticalGirl

      “Idiot” or “dumb” as a total description of any candidate is silly for anybody to buy into. But I do wonder if you have anything but rhetoric to add to the discussion? When you look at the facts, Texas (under Perry) is about middle of the pack except for numbers of low-paying jobs created (We’re number 1!) and numbers of citizens covered by health insurance (We’re Dead Last!).

      • MattP

        Have you read some of the comments on this site? They’re nothing but hackneyed-sounding rhetoric that you would expect to find on a Democrat blog.

        As for the substantive points, the raw data on how a state stacks up to the national median wage does not take into account the cost-of-living differential and variations on the salary scale of similar positions in different markets.

  • tommyudo

    Perry himself is irrelevant, it’s who would come to DC with him that we have to fear. While Reagan slept for 8 years and was trotted out to give the speech he was handed, GHW Bush and his cronies worked behind the scenes. His offspring was the Walmart greeter during the 8 years of The Cheyney Admin.

  • armstp

    I think the answer is “Yes” he is dumb. All those quotes seem to be making excuses as to why Perry cannot think for himself or just plain think. They have built a picture of some kind of robot, who follows out the orders of others. Sounds an awful like G W Bush.

    It would be a joke if Perry were to become President. We would go from a bonehead President to a thinking President back to a bonehead President.

    I remember the concept with Bush was that most knew he was not particularly bright, but I remember hearing; well he will surround himself with smart people”. Well we saw how that worked out. The people he surrounded himself with like Rove, Cheney, Rumesfeld et al were just about as dumb as Bush was.

  • Houndentenor

    Do not “misunderestimate” yet another Texas governor. Is he smart? Not really. Does he know how to play the political game to win? In Texas he does and that game will likely work very well with GOP primary voters. Too many conservative commentators seem never to leave Georgetown or Manhattan long enough to see this.

  • kuri3460

    Is Perry dumb? I don’t think so.

    Today’s GOP seems most interested in embracing a caricuture of what a politician should look like. They want to see a flannel-shirt wearing, gun-toting, conspiracy-touting individual who is “one of them” – a white, middle-aged, non-academic, evangelical Christian gunowner – up at the podium, somebody who gives simple (although sometimes counter-intuitive) answers to complicated problems, bashes the lamestream media and Washington elites, and embraces a “go with your gut” approach to governing.

    The fact that Perry fits that mold relatively well simply means he’s in tune with what his supporters care about. If the supporters happen to be dumb, well, that’s a whole other issue.

    • valkayec

      “They want to see a flannel-shirt wearing, gun-toting, conspiracy-touting individual who is “one of them” – a white, middle-aged, non-academic, evangelical Christian gunowner – up at the podium, somebody who gives simple (although sometimes counter-intuitive) answers to complicated problems, bashes the lamestream media and Washington elites, and embraces a “go with your gut” approach to governing.”

      In other words, manufactured, focus group approved candidates. All show and little substance. Truly sad.

  • lilmanny

    George W Bush spawned Sarah Palin by way of elevating “folksy” as a synonym “leader of the free world”. It became the only job qualification, instead of a pleasant marketing detail.

    Rick Perry is a panicked attempt to keep the folksiness and faux stupidity of W while cutting out the actual stupidity of Sarah, though we can’t really tell what is real with Perry and what is a calculated illusion.

    A hilarious caricature of George W Bush, only meaner and stupider, is the Republican solution to Obama? The cynics that aped whatever they thought evangelicals would fall for for the last 30 years are quite literally shitting their pants as we speak. Bachmann and Perry are beating the living crap out of their assumed default candidate and then defiling his carcass in front of the whole country. Perhaps the cynics know the wink-wink campaigns against them by their allies are now about to cost actual blood. And you have to run to a Kenyan socialist for protection? The humanity…..

  • Solo4114

    Perry will not be the president. When 51% of the country blames the current economic situation on GWB, there is no way they’ll vote for a less inquisitive, less-polished, more “Texan” re-run of him. Perry’s getting play because he straddles some line between Tea Party wackadoo and establishment stooge. He might take the nomination (although I still think it’s Mitt’s to lose), but he won’t take the White House.

  • LFC

    I’ll go with a form of “dumb” for both Rick Perry and George W. Bush. Neither Bush nor Perry know how woefully inadequate their abilities are for the top job of the President of the United States. That lack of self awareness coupled with an inflated egos and religious righteousness blind them to easily observable realities right.

    So maybe “dumb” isn’t a fair word, but there are plenty of others like over confident, blind, untethered to the truth, intellectually incurious, deciding from the gut, etc. that work qutie well. The upshot is that Bush wasn’t and Perry isn’t fit for the highest office in our nation.

  • TexasDog

    Definitely not dumb. He’s just all about Rick all of the time. Underestimate him at your own risk – just ask KB Hutchison.

    • Smargalicious

      Bingo.

      But we all understand David Frum’s agenda on this forum: promote the weak, compromising centrists, like Romney, over the Christian conservatives.

      The only thing I worry about with Perry is his stand on amnesty, since he’s coming from a state with a massive illegal/anchor baby population.

      • armstp

        Smarg,

        I think Frum is trying to promote some intelligence in the GOP, no necessarily centrists.

        No, I think Perry comes from a state where half the population will soon be legal hispanic Americans. Nothing wrong with that.

  • ProfNickD

    The question can more legitimately be asked of Obama.

    For those who think Oblahblah is intelligent, what is your evidence of that? What were Obama’s grades? Why didn’t he publish any articles at the Harvard Law Review, as all editors are supposed to do and as all have done? Why does he require teleprompters for even the most casual speeches and friendly settings? Above all: why is he advocating dumb ideas (i.e., stimulus spending, ZIRP, cash for clunkers, national health care, amnesty, etc.)?

    • think4yourself

      Hey Prof. You forgot where is his birth certificate in your litany.

      As for policy items, you may not like them and disagree with the reasoning behind them, that doesn’t make them dumb, just a different solution than you would choose. It’s not like saying something along the lines that Irene was an act of God to get the politician’s attention as Bachmann just did.

      BTW, I don’t think Perry is dumb. You don’t serve as Gov as long as he does and beat someone like KBH if you’re stupid. That doesn’t mean his ideas or method of governing are good for the country.

      • ram6968

        prof, your not much of a prof….the harvard law review is not a weekly mag…..it’s called a law review for a reason…..the harvard law review , reviews opinions submitted by sitting judges, for legal precedence, etc……not write articles like people magazine…..duh

    • Smargalicious

      ‘Oblahblah’. I like it, but prefer ‘Odumbo’.

      He was a stoner throughout college and law school, therefore he hides his grades.

      He didn’t care about publishing; he just wanted to get elected to public office with a majority fatherless welfare constituency–which he readily found in Chicago.

      Don’t expect “hope and change” to be the defining brand of Odumbo’s bid for re-election. But do expect a “hair of the dog” set of proposals when he unveils the specifics of his latest “hard pivot” to jobs.

      Could Odumbo really trust his mainstream media allies so much that he would dare propose a second stimulus? It would require an almost Mount Everest amount of self-regard and economic ignorance to believe that more federal spending is the ticket out of our near zero-growth economy.

      Rush Limbaugh argued last week — and very persuasively as usual, meddy — that Odumbo will do just that and then campaign against a Congress that would never pass such an obviously irresponsible second spending bender.

      If he does attempt to tout a new stimulus, the instant and prolonged chorus should be laughter and ridicule, and the political consequence an approval rating heading toward 30 percent.

      Three out of 10 Americans might believe in ghosts, Bigfoot and the efficacy of Stimulus 2.0 but even proposing such an absurd program should cement in an election result that will be 1980 2.0.

      Odumbo’s only real option — and the country’s — is the recipe adopted by Ronald Reagan in 1981: tax reduction for the job creators and a single-minded focus on shuttering the regulation factories of the Beltway, which are crushing expansion in 100 different ways.

      BHO’s only rational hope for re-election is a genuine economic recovery, one which demonstrates almost unstoppable momentum toward 4 percent growth over many years.

      And the only way to get such growth is to put out massive incentives for the people who create private-sector jobs.

      The problem is that even if every economist in America signed on to such a proposal, even if Paul Krugman, George Soros and every MSNBC host recited in unison the same prescription, still this deeply ideological president could not bring himself to embrace it.

      Odumbo is apparently convinced of very few things outside of his own abilities, Chicago rules and the powerful effects of his speeches on the public.

      But he really and truly does seem to believe the nostrums of his community organizing days, and the recipes he pushed then (and detailed in his first memoir) remain the fixed star of his economic theory.

      Sadly, they don’t work. They have never worked. They won’t work now.

      NOVEMBER 2012

      • Demosthenes

        On the one hand, I am somewhat proud of you for at least attempting to string together more than two or three sentences. In a row!

        On the other hand, your GED is still depreciating in value, as more and more of those “anchor babies” are getting college diplomas.

        -1

        P.S. You deny global warming and mock people for believing in ghosts? And Bigfoot? What I really want to know is, do you accept evolutionary biology? I mean, what exactly are your standards for what constituties a belief worthy of mockery?

    • armstp

      Funny stuff NickD….

      Your post is a fair bit tinfoil hat. I am sure you are getting this from all the looney tunes websites you read. Part of the effort to de-legitimize Obama.

      I think you only have to listen to Obama to know that he is an intellgent guy.

      If you have ever attended a top college you would know how difficult it is to graduate magna cum laude at the top law school in the country.

      Actually, you are wrong Obama did write a six page article that appeared in the Harvard Law Review.

      “”Like most second-year law students on the Harvard Law Review, Senator Obama wrote an unsigned student case comment that summarized a recent decision by a state or lower federal court. The piece analyzed a case in which a mother was sued by her child for injuries caused by the mother’s negligent driving during her pregnancy. Senator Obama concluded that, in such cases, the Illinois Supreme Court was correct not to allow lawsuits by children against their mothers,” said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt in an email. “He wrote that the best way to protect the health of fetuses was to provide prenatal education and health care to pregnant women – issues he remains committed to today and which he has worked to advance as a legislator and in this campaign.”

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12705.html

      teleprompters? really? that is your criticism? Why don’t you do a study and compare Obama use of teleprompters with all other major politicians? Then come back and report to us how he is different and why this makes him unintelligent.

      A lot of very smart people thought the stimulus, healthcare and other ideas and legislation that Obama has passed as pretty smart. These are all major positive achievements.

    • PracticalGirl

      I try so hard to stay out of this mindless screed, but Jesus, ProfNick- you’re simply ignorant.
      “For those who think Oblahblah is intelligent, what is your evidence of that? What were Obama’s grades? ”

      We have evidence of his intellligence way beyond this, but since you insist:

      Barack Hussein Obama graduated from Harvard Law Magna Cum Laude. At some schools, a specific grade point average is attached to this. At Harvard Law, however, it’s a distinction that is given to the top 10% of Law School graduates, and the “curve” breaks slightly above an A-, or roughly equivalent of a 3.72 GPA. I know this is very, very difficult, but perhaps you could learn to extrapolate from this to get a rough idea of what his grades at Harvard were.

      And who gives a damn about Columbia? He graduated. It’s was either with grades high enough to gain entrance into Harvard Law or (as most of your ilk would say) he was a recipient of affirmative action. The former points to legitimate grades; the latter simply tells us all that affirmative action WORKS. Either way he’s one smart dude, wouldn’t you say?

      Grow up. Learn to think for yourself, instead of mindlessly mouthing the same bullshit that hasn’t been true since the first right-winger uttered it 4 years ago.

    • mc419

      No one cares what you think. The article was about the consensus amongst Texas polticians that Perry, while possessing impressive political skill and intelligence, is weak intellectually when it comes to his grasp of non business related policy. I’m sure if you were to poll insiders about their impressions of the President, they would return with the opposite conclusion: Obama has a scholar’s reach in terms of policy, but weak political skills – and poor decision making ability – when it comes to choosing and implementing that policy.

    • chephren

      Obama’s academic achievements can’t be tainted with the cheap sneers on this thread. He graduated magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School and edited the school’s law review, the most cited and influential such publication in the US.

      Obama’s high academic standing had nothing to do with his race or affirmative action. His exams and papers, like those of all Harvard law students since the 1880′s, were blind-graded.

  • Slide

    Talk about dumb…

    cue one fakeProfNickD

    • Smargalicious

      Why don’t you slide back into your hole, dummy?

      • Slide

        ahhhhh… a trifecta of dumb: Perry, FakeProfNickD and troll master Smarg. I feel like I lose IQ points just reading their drivel.

  • Slide

    FakeProfNickD: “What were Obama’s grades? Why didn’t he publish any articles at the Harvard Law Review, as all editors are supposed to do and as all have done? ”

    this is the new meme that has taken over, “why doesn’t he produce his Birth Certificate”. It is all over the moronic right web sites of which the fakeProfNickD exemplifies.

    How stupid are these guys? Do they REALLY want to question Obama’s intelligence? I can understand questioning his judgement, his morality, his vision for America, etc. That is all fair game. But his intelligence? Really ? What utterly un-serious people.

    • zephae

      “How stupid are these guys? Do they REALLY want to question Obama’s intelligence?”

      If it means that the right will turn away from its anti-intellectualist bent, I’m all for it.

  • Hunter01

    Many Americans are looking for a new kind of exceptionalism, one where we don’t have to be smart, where science can be dismissed, where low paying jobs without benefits are the happy norm, and where the social safety net is finally dismantled. America may no longer be a leader, may no longer have a prosperous middle class, may no longer be a “shining beacon on the hill.” BUT, WE WILL BE PROUD, WE WILL CARRY GUNS TO DEFEND OURSELVES, WE WILL PROTECT THE UNBORN, AND WE RUN ROUGHSHOD OVER ANYONE WHO INFRINGES ON OUR CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE.

    That is enough for us. Yes, our best years are behind us when we measure success in terms of material things. That’s okay. We are still exceptional, we are still number 1, we are still Christian. And we will be glad to have a president, Rick Perry, who gets that.

    • balconesfault

      And this from Hunter is evidence 1 why I do believe Rick Perry will get the GOP nomination … and why I believe he will go down in flames in the General Election.

      At this point we should all welcome this development.

      • Hunter01

        The general election will be a fight between two blocks of voters: (1) those who DO NOT want to spend their lives trying to achieve greatness, well represented by Perry, and (2) those who DO want to accomplish great things, uncomfortably represented by Obama.

    • armstp

      You are one paranoid MOFU.

      We need no repeats of Finland and Oklahoma City please.

    • medinnus

      So, are you a military veteran, or just another brainless chickenhawk who fellates his firearm hoping to make up for his lack of courage, like SmeggyFaggot?

    • Solo4114

      Am I the only one who took this post as being very much tongue-in-cheek?

    • greg_barton

      “Many Americans are looking for a new kind of exceptionalism, one where we don’t have to be smart, where science can be dismissed, where low paying jobs without benefits are the happy norm, and where the social safety net is finally dismantled.”

      What you’re looking for is “Ignorance Is Strength!”

  • jagerine

    Doesn’t the politico article sound like a hack-piece though? You’re correct in everything you read between the lines. That’s what makes it so unbelievable. I thought the rule of thumb was that dumb people don’t make it to governor.

    • balconesfault

      I thought the rule of thumb was that dumb people don’t make it to governor.

      All depends on what you mean by “dumb”. The list of governors who have been extremely short on critical thinking, but long on backslapping go-along-to-get-along good-old-boy brilliance, has quite a few entries.

      Perry knows what to kiss, and when. And his benefactors will keep rewarding him for it. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that he built the machine he’s riding.

    • wileedog

      “I thought the rule of thumb was that dumb people don’t make it to governor.”

      Alaska begs to differ.

  • Oldskool

    Who’s more dumb; a person who acts dumb and doesn’t care that he appears that way, or, a dumb person who doesn’t know how dumb he is?

    Discuss.

  • dugfromthearth

    It has long been know that our process for selecting a president has nothing to do with who would make a good president. But so far no one has suggested a viable alternative.

  • gonzoredux

    It should be noted that Keynes considered FDR an “intellectual dullard”, and FDR admitted to Ernest Hemingway (after the author had asked the president if he had read For Whom the Bell Tolls) that he hadn’t read a novel since he was an undergraduate at Harvard. He definitely wasn’t the brightest guy, but he was very good at organizing people who were. It would be nice to know if Perry shared this acuity, but I don’t think it’s enough to judge Perry based on his own intellectual curiosity, which seems limited. He must be judged on his ability to lead, and that takes competence more than intelligence.

    • armstp

      Did Harvard MBA GW Bush have the ability to organize people? The first MBA President.

      Given a lack of real achievement in Texas by Perry, I would say there is little evidence of an ability to organize people.

  • chephren

    “Is Perry Dumb?”

    Yes, but no dumber than the people who keep electing him. They’re the real dummies.

    • LFC

      “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.”

      Obviously not true of Texas voters.

  • LFC

    “PracticalGirl said… And who gives a damn about Columbia? He graduated. It’s was either with grades high enough to gain entrance into Harvard Law or (as most of your ilk would say) he was a recipient of affirmative action. “

    DEFINITELY affirmative action. Oh, wait. I got confused and thought you were discussing George W. Bush’s acceptance to Harvard and Yale, despite the fact that we KNOW he didn’t have the grades to get into either on his own merit. Daddy bought him two degrees, a place ahead of 200 other men into a unit that wasn’t going to Vietnam, and a little toy company (that daddy’s buddies gave him money for when he screwed it up). Daddy’s buddies got him a piece of a ball team he couldn’t afford, gave him more than it was worth when it was sold, and so on.

    Obama? He earned what he got. Not that certain bigots on this forum could ever accept that.

  • Churl

    Yes, he must be dumb. You have to be dumb to stay governor of the country’s second largest state for 10 years.

    Meanwhile, the really smart people make comments about how dumb he is on a third-string political weblog.

    • Curiosity

      +1. I laughed.

    • drdredel

      If your argument is that the size of the state or the length of one’s tenure is a direct corollary to its elected politicians’ intellect, I would be very curious to see some data that supports such a connection.
      He does *seem like an idiot, but maybe I’m just not smart enough to see through his moron-appearing subterfuge.

      Also, what does this say about the Governors of smaller states? How long does the Governor of Rhode Island need to be in office before we can assume she is as smart as Perry?

      • Churl

        I suggest it is a safe bet that someone who has spent 10 years as governor of the country’s second largest state is not dumb.

        • the lee

          It’s also a safe bet to say that a guy who graduated with a 2.5 GPA in animal sciences from Texas A&M….is probably dumb.

          Yet we’re talking about the same guy……tough call as to what is the safer thing to say.

    • Bagok

      Another hypothesis would be his handlers were smart enough to keep getting him elected. Like most successful politicians Perry probably has a high social IQ, he’s good with people. I haven’t read anything that makes me think Perry has more than an average general IQ, have you?

    • armstp

      The only thing that matters is his record of achievement in Texas. It is pretty abysmal! Just ask someone who lives there.

      • Churl

        Election results would suggest otherwise.

        • the lee

          Churl,

          According to your logic (winning elections means you’re doing a good job), then George W. Bush did a good job. He won elections. He won almost every election he was ever in.

          Yet most people would agree his presidency was a failure and a significant failure at that. Historians regularly rate his presidency as among the 10 worst in American history. He is generally considered marginally better than Fillmore or Harding, but not as good as Nixon.

          Nixon…..think about that.

  • Politico Asks: Exactly How Dumb Is Rick Perry? | Con Games

    [...] Johnson said. …   "Pilots execute flight plans," Miller said. David Frum finds this last bit of praise curious. "'Executing the flight plan' seems a terrible [...]

  • rbottoms

    No Republicans are, because they vote for assholes like Rick Perry and then expect government to work.

    • Smargalicious

      Well, in 1980 and 1984 the American people elected a former actor and governor and got the best President since Teddy Roosevelt.

      Just sayin’.

      • balconesfault

        Seriously dude – the modern GOP would run Teddy Roosevelt out on a rail. He’d have less chance to win the GOP nomination than Jon Huntsman.

        • AnBr

          I am surprised that the usurpers of the Republican Party have not begun to demonize Teddy Roosevelt for his role in the progressive movement.

      • armstp

        Reagan was only a good President for some…. a lot got left behind.

        Reagan was good if you liked big government, big deficits and big debt.

      • LFC

        I disagree. If you look at record of accomplishment, I think Nixon was much better than Reagan. It’s a pity his personal paranoia got the best of him. If he could have just chilled out a bit I think he would have gone down as one of the greatest Presidents of the 20th century.

        After Reagan we had Clinton who cleaned up some of Reagan’s leftover messes such as massive deficits. The Boy Blunder, of course, pretty much destroyed the majority of good fiscal work Clinton did, but I digress since we were talking about the best Presidents, not the worst.

  • Emma

    I used to believe the country could survive just about anything. Bush caused me to abandon that belief. A President Perry will likely push us over the inflection point into mediocrity. The US as a second-world nation — like Mexico but with an awesome military.

  • monsanto

    Sounds like its Morning in America!!! Unlike the GWB presidency (which was the disappointing sequel to Reagan’s), Perry’s’ will be a reboot, you know, a true origin story…

  • sublime33

    “Yes, he must be dumb. You have to be dumb to stay governor of the country’s second largest state for 10 years.”

    It isn’t that difficult when you essentially have a one party state or have weak competition. Rod Blagojevich got elected twice in Illinois because a more competent Democrat got taken out in the primary thanks to Mayor Daley the first time around, while the more competent Republican got taken out in their primary that same year.

  • buddyglass

    May catch some flak for this, but my understanding is that the Air Force sorts new pilots into “bins” after flight school. The best pilots get to fly the most demanding air craft. The guys who end up flying C-130s are, shall we say, not the best pilots.

    For me, the best supporting evidence for Perry’s dumbness are his grades in college. It’s not like Texas A&M was the toughest place in the world to get an “A” when he was there. Not the easiest either, by far, but we’re not talking about Harvard here.

    Transcript here: http://politicalwire.com/archives/2011/08/05/perrys_grades.html

    Then again he got a C in Gym one semester, so maybe he just didn’t give a crap.

    • pnwguy

      bg:

      By and large, this is true, from what I’ve been told by those in the respective services. I was considering an Air Force enlistment myself in the early 80′s when the Reagan era build up greatly increased the number of pilots that both the Navy and AF needed to graduate. You got your pick of assignments based on your proficiency level ranking after graduation, and the best pilots typically wanted the glory or challenge of the high performance fighters and bombers.

      But if your goal was to parlay the million dollars of government paid training into a career as a commercial airline pilot, then the cargo assignments were probably better experience. Airlines aren’t looking for hot shots. They like pilots that can do routine flying without getting bored and who can maneuver massive aircraft with a steady hand.

    • Churl

      It probably does make sense to compare college grades of political candidates in deciding how to vote. Could you direct us to President Obama’s transcripts to compare with those of his possible opponent?

      The only grade of Obama’s I’ve seen is an AA+ in Government Finance which sounds pretty good, I guess, but I would like to see more.

      • PracticalGirl

        Sigh…Back to the Obama grade thing? Already litigated on page one of this thread, but Ill repost (truncated) since you seem to want to carry it through:

        President Barack Hussein Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law, which means that his GPA placed him within the top 10% of his graduating class. Harvard doesn’t have a set GPA for the distinction, but the curve to cut the top 10% is usually slightly above an
        A- GPA, or around a 3.73.

        Governor Perry got a D in Economics as well as in a class called “Meats”, and graduated from Texas A & M with a GPA slightly under a 2.0.

        This is so boring, but since you and the others seem to want to let mythology stand on every page, I’ll just take the opportunity to follow it up with the truth.

        • Churl

          So Obama’s grades are not available in the same detail that Perry’s are? One would like to know at least which courses he took. It is, for example, easier to get high grades in Sociology than in Advanced Calculus. Did the fellow who is going to stop the ocean’s rise (when he gets around to it) study hydrology? Did the great Bankrupter of Owners of Coal Fired Power Plants take any classes in thermodynamics or chemistry?

          Just wondering.

        • buddyglass

          “Did the fellow who is going to stop the ocean’s rise (when he gets around to it) study hydrology? Did the great Bankrupter of Owners of Coal Fired Power Plants take any classes in thermodynamics or chemistry?”

          Given his degrees, most likely he did not. Then again Perry’s choice of courses isn’t awe-inspiring either. Also it’s worth noting Perry didn’t “release” his transcript; someone leaked it without his knowledge or permission. So Obama has been no more secretive than Perry with regard to his academic record.

          Here are the math/science courses Perry took and his grades in them:

          C – General Botany of Seed Plants
          C – General Chemistry (1st Sem.)
          B – Algebra
          C – Vertebrate Zoology
          C – General Chemistry (2nd Sem.)
          D – Plane Trigonometry
          D – Organic Chemistry (1st Sem.)
          C – College Physics (1st Sem.)
          F – Organic Chemistry (2nd Sem.)
          C – College Physics (2nd Sem.)
          C – Intro to Biometry

          His one grade above C (a B) was in a math class most kids now take in High School. Given the fact he made a C in Phys. Ed. one semester, my theory is that he was just a total slacker in college.

        • LFC

          Buddy, the thing that jumps off that course list at me is “Algebra” which, as you point out, is the only grade above C. Are you kidding me? I took my first algebra course in 7th grade. Algebra is a junior high school course, or a high school course at best. It sounds like Texas A&M gives college credits for remedial math courses.

        • MSheridan

          Not a Perry booster, and have not much opinion of grades as a marker of intellect (although they do fairly nicely as markers of work ethic), but Algebra in college is not the same material as Algebra in high school. Taking Algebra in high school will not usually exempt you from taking College Algebra, at least, not if you are planning to take the more advanced math classes for which it is a prerequisite. No, although there is an “easy” algebra class in college, it isn’t Algebra; it’s Linear Algebra.

        • buddyglass

          I’m aware college algebra (now) is typically not the same as what’s taught in high school. That said, what Perry took in the 60s probably was. Note that he followed up Algebra with Trigonometry.

          Here is the 2003-2004 course catalog from Texas A&M. It was the oldest one they had online:

          http://catalog.tamu.edu/03-04_UG_Catalog/Course_Descriptions/MATH.htm

          Note the description for MATH 102 (Algebra):

          “Sets, structure of number system; absolute values, solution sets of equations of second and higher degree, of systems of equations, and of inequalities; relations and functions, graphical representations, variation, progressions, mathematical induction, determinants.”

          That sounds like a slightly more advanced version of what’s covered in Algebra I and II in high school. Their linear algebra course is MATH 222 (Linear Algebra) or MATH 304 (Linear Algebra). I’m guessing one of these is for math students and the other for engineers. Their algebraic structures courses are MATH 376 (Intermediate Abstract Algebra), MATH 415 (Modern Algebra I) and MATH 416 (Modern Algebra II).

          What Perry took is the high school version.

        • MSheridan

          @buddyglass,

          Hm, well perhaps you’re right then. I don’t see it mattering a lot. Regardless of his courses or grades, even in his own state he doesn’t have a reputation for or history of real-world intelligent governance, even within the limits of the office. As Molly Ivins pointed out to the rest of the country years ago (http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/i/ivins-shrub.html), Texas governors are hamstrung by the fact that they cannot do very much:

          The single most common misconception about George W is that he has been running a large state for the past six years. Texas has what is known in political science circles as “the weak-governor system.” You may think this is just a Texas brag, but our weak-governor system is a lot weaker than anybody else’s.* Although the governor does have the power to call out the militia in case of an Indian uprising, by constitutional arrangement, the governor of Texas is actually the fifth most powerful statewide office: behind lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, and land commissioner but ahead of agriculture commissioner and railroad commissioner. Which is not to say it’s a piddly office. For one thing, it’s a bully pulpit. Although truly effective governors are rare in Texas history, a few have made deep impressions and major changes. Besides, people think you’re important if you’re the governor, and in politics, perception rules.

          And she was very clearly right about that last sentence. I haven’t yet heard about anyone promoting Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson for POTUS.

  • pnwguy

    Supposedly the guy is a whiz kid at getting himself elected, but *dumb* would be the word I’d use in doubling down on the “Social Security is a Ponzi scheme” meme.

    Now I’ve been telling every political friend I know for 20 years that SS is a train wreck waiting to happen, because of demographics. I blame the structural problems there far more on the D’s than the R’s, who cave in to AARP demands and pander to the elderly voters on this, making SS reform the famous Third Rail. No Democrat has been willing to take action on bumping up retirement ages, means testing, or adjusting the CPI used to reflect “retirement inflation” as opposed to general consumer inflation. But then, the GOP has been good at blowing all of the accumulated savings in the trust fund.

    But “Ponzi scheme” is a political suicide vest.

    In some ways, it IS such a scheme. That’s because people have the false belief, reinforced by politicians for decades, that we are contributing to OUR retirement. This is false. We’re contributing to OUR PARENTS retirement. Caring for elderly parents has been a social obligation in every culture in the world. That’s why some people got to draw “benefits” back in the 30′s who never contributed a dime. But their children’s generation contributed, and the burden on them to carry the expenses of their parents was decreased immediately, because the parents had a financial floor beneath them.

    Every critic of the present system likes to tout what private investment could accrue over a lifespan if it was actually saved and generating a return. True enough, if only it wasn’t a generational program, which it is. But it’s also an insurance system for workers IMMEDIATELY in terms of disability. If you were going to calculate what you could accumulate in savings if SS money was privately invested, you’d need to deduct a portion for what you’d have to pay in premiums to have some disability coverage.

    So is it a Ponzi scheme? Only in the sense that some generation at the end will lose out. But that’s pretty much only if the US as a nation collapses or the social order is decimated by some worldwide calamity. But if either of those scenarios happen, private retirement money is probably just as worthless. If a mega-asteroid hits Nebraska, no one will be griping that they got cheated out of SS in the last unpleasant years of human life.

    Getting back to the Perry = dumb story, the electorate only hears Ponzi = scam. So unless Perry is going to fully support the foundations of Social Security and is merely trying to explain how it works, calling it a Ponzi scheme means he’s really trying to attack and gut it. So IF he really does support SS, using that terminology is a bonehead strategy. But outside of GOP activists, the support for SS is VERY broad across society. Attacking SS as one more piece of “government socialism” is a terrible move for the general election that will cream him.

    Any GOP candidate who is smart would borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton from the welfare reform days. “Mend it, not end it”. And if they are going to wear the mantle of Reagan, remember that Reagan RAISED taxes to put funding Social Security on a more sustainable basis to adjust for longer lifespans.

    • balconesfault

      The problem is that I suspect Perry … just like Bush in 2000 … doesn’t have your level of understanding of the intricacies of Social Security.

      I’m always reminded of this gem:

      They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it’s some kind of federal program.
      George W. Bush, St. Charles, Missouri, November 2, 2000

  • bol1923

    He’s not dumb, given his political record. He probably has an OK IQ. He’s just lazy as a sloth and doesn’t feel like learning anything he doesn’t absolutely have to know- just like Bush the Younger, just like Palin.

  • shelturn

    I’m not voting for this guy. The best candidate we have is already in the Oval Office.

    • balconesfault

      +1

      I am open to hearing any economic plan from any GOP politicians that consists of more than:
      a) warmed over Bushenomics, or
      b) spitballs at Obama, or
      c) prettified ways of returning us to the gilded age before the Federal Government played any role in providing social services

  • WestQuake

    Oh great, Iran Contra again. The “best president” said something like: Duh, I didn’t know what I was signing, I did what Ollie told me to do. I had to go to lunch. It was complicated you know.

    Not another cheerleader president from TX (or is he another New Englander masquerading as TX beef?).

  • elizajane

    Intelligence is vastly overrated as a criterion for governance. Everybody in my department has a PhD from an Ivy League university (or overseas equivalent) and most of us are terrible at even chairing our little dinky department. I have a mensa-level IQ and there is no way I could run the USA.
    Perry is probably as smart as plenty of people who have been president. Texas A&M is a good school and Animal Science is not a slouch major. Clearly he was lazy. He will never be a policy-wonk. But the reasons I cannot bear the thought of him as our next president are definitely not about his intelligence or lack thereof.

    • Churl

      I agree with you that “intelligence” (however exactly that is measured) doesn’t necessarily correlate with the ability to manage or govern.

      It’s too early to guess if Perry is sound presidential material, but to call somebody with his accomplishments “dumb” is a bit silly. Nevertheless, branding an opponent “dumb” is the quickest leftist or (Republican Establishment Squishie) patellar reflex response to a possible rival to their favorite candidates.

    • Primrose

      You could with the proper training and motivation. Presumably you all are there because you are interested in your field, and find managing your peers dull work. And how many would have had previous experience anyway? It proves nothing. It doesn’t mean that intelligence is not important, it just means that motivation and specific skills also matter.

  • Churl

    To buddyglass // on Aug 30, 2011 at 10:00 am,

    I was asking for Obama’s grades and courses, not Perry’s. But I’ll give you a “Special Star” for effort.

  • ‘Is Rick Perry Dumb?’ Politico Asks | photoshoptutorials.za.net

    [...] It’s also important to note that, regardless of the article’s content, the headline and first few paragraphs alone advance a narrative — Perry as another shoot-from-the-hip, anti-intellectual Texas governor candidate — that becomes part of the broader story of the presidential race. Already, the perpetual echo chamber of the Internet has produced a cascade of reaction stories that, if they don’t implicitly embrace the Rick Perry is dumb meme, at least embed the question in our consciousness: “Politico Asks: Exactly How Dumb is Rick Perry?” from the Atlantic Wire; “Is Perry Dumb?” wonders David Frum. [...]