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More than one kind of smart

November 5, 2010

Everything about this Slate article is disturbing  

  • The big picture isn’t about winning or keeping power. It’s about using it…..
  • Most bills aren’t more important than elections. This one [Obamacare] was
  • Politicians have tried and failed for decades to enact universal health care. This time, they succeeded. In 2008, Democrats won the presidency and both houses of Congress, and by the thinnest of margins, they rammed a bill through. … It cost them their majority, and it was worth it.

Notice there is utterly NO mention of voters, or politicians being representatives of voters, granted power only by the voters they forgot to mention?

Now from Politico – “The Ego factor”

A recent poll by POLITICO and George Washington University found 62 percent of independent voters had an unfavorable view of health care.

One Democratic operative active in the health care debate said Obama never wavered — but also seemed not to care — when lawmakers expressed their concern to him about the political hazards of the measure. “The do-the-right-thing is, in itself, arrogant,” this Democrat said. “He thinks of it as noble, as rising above. But the underlying assumption is that you are an unprincipled jerk. And all the people around him have drunk that Kool-Aid.”

Michelle Malkin notes how much introspection is going on around what Obama’s job actually is. Governing according to the will of the people doesn’t seem to be on the list.

Contrast that with this Hot Air article

Bush tells Winfrey that he refrains from opining on Barack Obama’s performance because he wants to treat the current President the way he wished other former Presidents had treated him. 

I was not a fan of the prior administration (I’m on of those “irrational” independents who leans more libertarian). But honestly – I much prefer class that might comes from a relatively priviledged life to the snark and lecture coming from the perpetual underdog who constantly plays the “I’m smarter than you are” nonsense.

Politico again:

The question is, does Obama have the suppleness of mind, the flexibility, the self-confidence to question basic premises?” the Democrat asked. “And does he have the intuition to know when to take half a loaf and when to stand firm? They don’t teach that at Harvard Law, you know.”

There’s more than one kind of smarts – refering quickly to just one theory about smarts outside “book smarts” –  Emotional Intelligence : “EI, and one’s “EIQ,” can be an explanation of why some “average” people are incredibly successful, while “geniuses” sometimes fail to live up to their promise.”

emotional intelligence emerges as a much stronger predictor of who will be most successful, because it is how we handle ourselves in our relationships that determines how well we do once we are in a given jobDaniel Goleman

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2010 2:18 pm

    What they described in the passage you cited seemed to be emotional intelligence characteristics (to me). Knowing when to fall back a bit in order to score a smaller win while maintaining a relationship, listening skills, empathy skills…

    Interestingly, the EIQ principle is that brilliant people without the emotional smarts are generally hired for a job – but not very successful in the jobs they do relative to people who aren’t as book smart but have better people-awareness & EIQ.

    My gut feel? Obama got hired because the media admired his intellect & poise. Ever have an employee who interviewed exceptionally well & turned out to have the personality of a box of 60-grit sandpaper? That’s what I think we’re seeing.

  2. November 6, 2010 11:33 am

    How do they posit questions like: “Does he have the suppleness of mind, the flexibility, the self-confidence to question basic premises?” with a straight face?

    When has this President ever demonstrated even the slightest bit of intuition, nuance, or flexibility? He is so relentlessly rigid in his dogmas, his goals, and his views of the other political party (enemies!). His “Dreams from My Father” book, whether intentionally or not, paints him as a man with serious self-doubts, who is not even sure “who he is.” Based on that book, I would find him a sympathetic character. Except for the fact he’s now President and doing untold damage to our country. . . .

    Great post.

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