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Topics: Veterans Affairs

Obama's being pretty stupid for a smart guy

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Opinion,Noemie Emery,Columnists,Barack Obama,Veterans Affairs,IRS,Veterans,Bowe Bergdahl

President Obama has an IQ "off the charts," as Michael Beschloss told Don Imus in November 2008, in the first fine flush of Obama-mania.

Unfortunately, he didn’t specify which end of the chart it was off of, but at the moment it doesn’t look high.

It takes one to know one, and sure enough, the "smartest guy to ever become president" pulled off perhaps the dumbest ploy in recent American history when he posed in the Rose Garden with the parents of the disturbed young man and possible Army deserter for whose sake he had freed five of the planet's most dangerous people, while the boy's father, a "Duck Dynasty" beard on the front of his face and a ponytail dangling from its posterior aspect, touchingly spoke in Pashto.

Not present were the friends and relations of the six or eight servicemen who may well have died while looking for him after he walked away from his unit, but they quickly made their presence and their hard feelings felt. And from then on, life, which had been hard enough on our genius-turned-president, what with the Benghazi and Veterans Affairs and Internal Revenue Service scandals, became a rapidly unfolding hell.

Planned to distract from all these embarrassments, this uproar subsumed all these previous scandals, and gave them new leases on life. Like Benghazi, it had Susan Rice on the talk shows, giving totally false information. Like Benghazi, it had bereaved parents saying the administration had shown scant regard for the lives of their children. And with the complaints of squalor and fatal neglect in the Veterans Affairs Department, it made a trifecta of disregard for the armed forces, the one institution still viewed with respect by many Americans. And so the president wanted to do something nice for a veteran; the problem was that he picked one whose platoon-mates had said had made their war harder.

Surely someone as bright as our president might have noticed the problem with that.

"Don't do stupid s---" is the president's formula for avoiding foreign entanglements, but "stupid" has been the byword of his administration thus far. It was stupid to push health care through Congress on a party-line vote and a loophole in the teeth of fierce public resistance, stupid to announce a surge in Afghanistan and then say he'd be leaving, stupid to leave Iraq without an American presence, stupid to draw a red line and let Syrian President Bashar Assad cross it, stupid to blunder into and then out of Libya, and stupid to pull missiles out of Eastern Europe just as Russia, in spite of his "reset," was beginning to stir.

It was stupid to push mandates and job-killing measures in the face of serious underemployment. The one thing he’s done that showed any brains was to time the most odious parts of his health care fiasco to detonate after he won re-election. In fact, it’s hard to think of anything he’s done that hasn’t been stupid — except, of course, run his campaigns.

And now, in what was once his patented realm of pure theatre, he’s turned out to be stupid, too.

Was he too bright to realize we might react differently to a man who was captured in battle, and one who walked off on his own for still unknown reasons, that we might be moved by the fact that his colleagues despised him, or that honor might count to a number of people, though he was too bright to feel it himself?

But perhaps he's too brilliant to function as president. Might Beschloss consider this, too?

Noemie Emery, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of "Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families."
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