Is Obama, at bottom, an empty suit?

This L-dotter’s comment is not the whole truth, but it’s got too much of the truth to ignore:

I also think he is particularly lazy as a government servant. Does anyone sincerely get the impression he’s even engaged with the nation’s business in a daily fashion? He’s got nothing else to do but show up, hit his marks on stage, and mouth the pablum scrolling down the screen.

- end of initial entry -

James P. writes:

Obama is lazy?

They say there are four types of people:

Smart and Energetic—they get the most done
Stupid and Lazy—they get nothing done but don’t cause any harm
Smart and Lazy—they can at least be kept out of the way
Stupid and Energetic—they cause great harm and must be purged from the organization immediately

The Clinton administration seemed to fall into the “smart and lazy” category, and thus their eight years was not as damaging as it might have been.

Bush II and Obama, I fear, fall into the “stupid and energetic” category.

It would be a plus if Obama simply wanted to enjoy being President without actually achieving anything.

LA replies:

When I agreed with the L-dotter’s comment that Obama is lazy, I didn’t mean that he’s not ceaselessly active. I meant lazy in the sense that he doesn’t work at his job seriously. He doesn’t think and learn about things, he doesn’t attend to things, e.g., he lets the House decide on the stimulus, he announces the closing of Guantanamo without knowing how to dispose of the inmates, he announces an Afghanistan strategy without having thought it through. While I don’t know in which of James’s categories I would place Obama overall, when it comes to my three examples, I would have to agree with James and say: Stupid and Energetic. [Correction: Obviously in the last sentence I contradicted my previous point. I meant to say that in the three examples I gave, Obama was lazy. However, since I was defining the word differently I don’t know how my idea fits into James’s scheme.]

Jim C. (who has argued elsewhere that Obama has an IQ of 105, a view I consider absurd) writes:

The Obama Quiz

Does anyone on Auster’s blog really believe that Barry is cognitively prepared to:

1. be an innovative copywriter an a competitive ad agency? [LA replies: that’s a clever question.]

2. solve complicated problems like healthcare-insurance reform at a think tank?

3. handle the intricacies of intellectual property law?

4. create an innovative television show (for that matter, create anything innovative)?

5. be a first-class law professor with peer-reviewed articles?

6. be a nuclear physicist?

So, what is Barry cognitively prepared to do?

1. any kind of politician
2. preacher
3. affirmative action professor
4. affirmative action lawyer
5. salesman
6. diversity pimp

LA replies:

Jim’s sample questions are good. But they don’t prove his underlying point of which he is still convinced, that Obama’s IQ is no higher than 105. The tests Jim suggests would mostly require an IQ of over 125 or 130. So let’s concede, just for the sake of discussion, that Obama could not do the things Jim lists and therefore Obama’s IQ is not over 130. But that’s not Jim’s point. Jim believes that Obama’s IQ is no higher than 105.

Stewart W. writes:

I disagree with your conclusion, and find Obama to be Smart and Energetic. There are many axes in this space, and one of them is Good and Evil. Obama is Smart, Energetic, and Evil.

It goes to the problem you have observed many times, e.g. when conservatives wondered why Bush would support open borders. His actions appeared stupid, or at best inscrutable, if you presumed that he shared your conservative beliefs. When you realize that Bush is a one-world liberal, his actions made perfect sense.

If Obama’s goals are to destabilize the existing order in America, erode confidence in our remaining historic institutions and beliefs, sow discord and strife, and destroy America’s standing in the world, then everything he has done makes perfect sense.

To achieve those evil ends, Obama doesn’t have to be a genius, he just has to be smart and energetic, and to surround himself with people who are even smarter, more energetic, and more evil where it counts. From that standpoint, I’d say he’s doing a bang-up job.

Jim C. writes:

“While I don’t know in which of James’s categories I would place Obama overall, when it comes to my three examples, I would have to agree with James and say: Stupid and Energetic.”—Lawrence

You had it right previously: Obama is intellectually lazy—that’s real laziness (who cares if he jogs and needs little sleep?). [LA replies: Yes, I misspoke when I said Energetic.] It is obvious that Barry never bothered to do any real research on healthcare-insurance reform. To Barry, healthcare-insurance reform equals redistributive justice, which equals “The right thing to do.” He is a simpleton, sort of like Huey Long (or Gumby). But Obama is definitely not stupid: his IQ is AT LEAST one third of a deviation more than the average Caucasian IQ.

All I know about Obama is this: Let him take a meeting with the caliber of people I do business with, and he will get his clock cleaned every time. After a while, he would be dismissed from the organization for mediocrity—ie, dismissed for cause.

LA replies:

I continue to say that Jim C. is greatly underestimating Obama’s intelligence. I was just listening to a bunch of Obama statements played this afternoon by Mark Levin. This is a person who has the purpose of undermining and destroying our system. He expresses himself very well and is dangerous. As for the stunning laziness he has showed in certain matters such as the stimulus and Guantanamo, here’s another theory: that Obama is like Francisco D’Anconia in Atlas Shrugged. That is, he keeps screwing up, because he doesn’t give a damn if things get fouled up or not. He’s not putting his intelligence into the system, because he doesn’t care about the system, even if his failures make him look bad as well. In other words, in some instance he causes damage deliberately, as with his healthcare plan, and in other instance he causes damage by simply not putting his mind into what he’s doing.

(This is explained in the scene in Atlas Shrugged, in the chapter called “The Climax of the D’Anconias,” in which Dagny Taggart goes to see her childhood friend and former lover Francisco, whom she has not spoken to in many years, to find out why he, a genius, spent five years and many millions of dollars developing a copper mine in Mexico which turned out to have no copper in it. She can’t understand him. He keeps dropping hints and letting her know indirectly what he’s up to, but she doesn’t get it.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 19, 2009 12:48 PM | Send

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