"He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on." -- Benjamin Franklin
This week President Obama has caught a lot of flack for stating "I don't know all the facts", but then proceeding to provide unwarranted and inflammatory conjecture anyhow.
Although that statement was concerned with a very specific incident, one might argue that this is a phrase that he might want to utter before speaking on major policy topics like economics and health care. For it seems that like many who emerge from liberal academic echo chambers, he is chock full of intellect, but lamentably short on actual knowledge.
The President has thus far admitted his ignorance as to what was specifically contained in the House health care but urged its rapid passage in order to do great things such as save the planet and not ruin the upcoming Congressional vacation. And Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard calls Obama the "Know-Nothing-in-Chief" for his seeming total void of knowledge free-market economic theories:
There's no evidence Obama has even a sketchy grasp of economics.
Is President Obama an economic illiterate? Harsh as that sounds, there's growing evidence he understands little about economics and even less about economic growth or job creation. Yet, as we saw at last week's presidential press conference, he's undeterred from holding forth, with seeming confidence, on economic issues.
Obama professes to believe in free market economics. But no one expects his policies to reflect the unfettered capitalism of a Milton Friedman. That's too much to ask. Demonstrating a passing acquaintance with free market ideas and how they might be used to fight the recession--that's not too much to ask.
But the president talks as if free market solutions are nonexistent...
Getting back to the topic of health care, fairly intelligent and experienced men state that the President doesn't even do a good job faking that he knows what he is talking about.
Glenn Reynolds speaking on the Hugh Hewitt show said "Obama is an idiot when he talks about medical things...", as well as saying some of the President's prescriptions doled out when taking on the subject are like "...prescribing a laxative for lung cancer. This guy is making health care policy, and he's clueless."
On the same show, Charles Krauthammer (a former board certified doctor) said this:
"The real problem with Obama is he’s extremely intelligent, but he’s even more arrogant. And he trusts his own intelligence to get him through anything, even with a lack of knowledge. And it is amazingly arrogant. He’s standing up there, and he’s saying that there are doctors out there who will rip out a kid’s tonsils in order to make some money, without even knowing what are the indications for a tonsillectomy, and what’s not. He sort of made it up as he went along. You’re right. He operates on what he thinks he only needs, a minimal level of knowledge..."Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for the President, his ignorance of a range of ideas on major policy issues may well be the undoing of his proposals. Much of this is due to the repeated public display of this ignorance in his self-induced hyper-exposure. If he were to keep from the spotlight, and only appear when escorted by a phalanx of teleprompters, he could limit the damage. But it may already have been done. But perhaps he is willing to sacrifice these things on the alters of vanity and narcissism.
Unfortunately it would not be a surprise if President Obama had spent all those years in academe becoming an intellectual, rather than a learned man.
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." -- Saul Bellow
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.” -- Johann Wolfgang vonGoethe