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« Bibi tries again and again... "to make it clear to the world" | Main | Obama's just the coolest president ever... regardless »

Wednesday, 09 January 2013

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Mannie Sherberg
I'd say that smart, arrogant people with terrible ideas are far more dangerous than stupid, arrogant people with terrible ideas. The worst disasters in modern history involved smart people: Rousseau, Robespierre, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler (I know too little about Mao or Pol Pot to include them) were all brainy people. But they were insufferably self-righteous and impervious to argument -- and they all had terrible ideas. The results: the most blood-drenched episodes in all of history. Of course, there've been plenty of examples of stupid people with terrible ideas who caused plenty of disasters: virtually all the leaders of major European countries and all the generals of major European armies in 1914 come immediately to mind. They were -- almost to a man -- a stupid lot, and they did plenty of damage. But in any final accounting, the horrors of modern history are mainly attributable to smart people -- not stupid ones. The current president of the United States -- whatever else he may be -- is not stupid.
Tom Glennon
I agree, Mannie. Obama is certainly not stupid. However, unlike the adoring media, I do not think he is exceptionally smart. Like all products of my home town political system, he is shrewd, cunning, adept and resourceful; but not the smartest guy in the room. And like all true believers of the left, he has many blind spots. I can only hope that one of those causes him to overstep even beyond the standards of the media.
bunuel
How about those expressions?!
Mannie Sherberg
Right you are, Tom. These guys always -- sooner or later -- overstep. I think that's because they're so arrogant, so self-assured, so lacking in simple humility that they never engage in real introspection; they just charge ahead. Hitler -- who was, from everything we know about him -- highly intelligent, offers a perfect example: His original plan was to invade Russia in May, 1941, but, at the last minute, he decided to come to Mussolini's aid in Greece, thereby delaying the invasion of Russia by two months. Those two months were crucial; they pushed the Russian campaign into the winter -- and that, of course, was when the weather proved stronger than the Wermacht -- and Hitler suffered one of history's most historic defeats. Had Hitler stayed out of Greece -- a needless diversion on his part -- and stuck with his original invasion schedule, World War II might have turned out very differently. Arrogance -- and Hitler was supremely arrogant -- breeds rashness, and rashness all too often breeds disaster. Obama's arrogance may yet spell his undoing.

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