Time for a “Gee, aren’t Republicans dumb” meme

posted at 10:05 am on August 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

It’s like clockwork.  As soon as a Republican primary season starts to heat up, the national media likes to uncase its three narratives about presidential contenders.  They’re either weird (Romney), scary (Bachmann), or idiots.  Guess who gets the idiot treatment this time?

Another Texas governor who drops his “g’s” and scorns elites is running for president and the whispers are the same: Lightweight, incurious, instinctual.

Strip away the euphemisms, and Rick Perry is confronting an unavoidable question: is he dumb – or just misunderestimated?

Doubts about Perry’s intellect have hounded him since he was first elected as a state legislator nearly three decades ago. In Austin, he’s been derided as a right-place, right-time pol who looks the part but isn’t so deep – “Gov. Goodhair.” Now, with the chatter picking back up among his enemies and taking flight in elite Republican circles, the rap threatens to follow him to the national stage.

“He’s like Bush only without the brains,” cracked one former Republican governor who knows Perry, repeating a joke that has made the rounds.

Yeah, except that wasn’t Bush ridiculed for not being terribly smart in both of his election cycles?  The same media that seems to think that Barack Obama’s college transcripts are irrelevant perused Bush’s with a singular intensity.  And while his grades weren’t exactly inspired, he managed to get a baccalaureate from Yale and an MBA from Harvard.

And similarly, we heard endlessly about the “amiable dunce” Ronald Reagan both during and after his presidency.  He was treated as though he had stumbled into and out of office as California’s governor, then lucked into two terms as President.  Like Perry (and Romney), the press seemed more interested in talking about his hair than his clearly-articulated political philosophies.  Even to this day, some people — many fewer than before, but still a significant number — claim he was just lucky to be in office when the Soviet Union started its final collapse.  It took the late release of Reagan’s writings to remind people of the intellectual approach he took to politics and his fervent anti-communist philosophies.

Even George H. W. Bush wasn’t immune from the treatment.  While no one questioned his education and intellect per se, the media made a big deal about Bush’s questions about a grocery scanner during a visit to a market.  Snopes has a good analysis of this 1988 incident, where the New York Times essentially concocted the notion that Bush knew nothing about grocery scanners and that he was clueless about everyday America.  Andrew Rosenthal’s article was dripping with class-warfare imagery and scorn:

Today, for instance, [Bush] emerged from 11 years in Washington’s choicest executive mansions to confront the modern supermarket.

The catch?  Rosenthal hadn’t even been at the event.  Bush wasn’t amazed at the scanner — he was “amazed” at the new scanning technology that could read damaged bar codes.  But the New York Times had decided on its narrative, and stuck to it.

So now Perry gets the amiable-dunce treatment, although the press will probably leave the “amiable” part out.  Perry has been governor for three terms and the latter part of Bush’s interrupted second term, more than 11 years in a high-profile office.  That leaves plenty of room to debate his record, but his rumored lack of brainpower has mysteriously not kept him from successfully running one of the largest, most populous, and most visible states in the Union.  Perry went through a high-profile primary fight in 2010 against US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison without the press discovering this supposed intellectual defect, but now that he’s running for President, we are supposed to believe that Perry has lost 30 IQ points?

Notice that these memes never get applied on the other side of the aisle, either.  Did any media question Obama’s intelligence when during the campaign when he made these whoppers?

No, they didn’t.  Why?  Because the media only uses the weird, scary, and idiot memes for Republican candidates, that’s why.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Well, that certainly defines the problem. They are exactly right.

I don’t discount fraud at various State levels tho. I hope that has been corrected.

bluefox on August 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 2:24 PM

this isn’t anything “new” this is how politics ar eplayed at the highes tlevels. People run for reasons not having anything to do with winning the POTUS. runnign as a stalking horse gives them money to fund their future campaigns, gets their names out, gives them contacts with the press and with party members and give them access and an owed favor or two to the eventual nominee and potus if they person they are working for wins.

failure to understand these things makes you unable to see why people act and say what they do. when Bachmann withdraws and endorses Mitt as the “true conservative” I hope not too many people are surprised.

unseen on August 29, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Well that tears it. Perry needs to just get out now so a real candidate can get the attention.

Until we can compare Obama’s transcripts to Gov. Perry’s, I think this discussion is a waste of time.

n0doz on August 29, 2011 at 2:00 PM

You think that will stop the Perry haters from doing team Obama’s work for them?

cozmo on August 29, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Sept 7th debate will be fun to watch.

unseen on August 29, 2011 at 1:54 PM
It’s the first one I am looking forward to.

Dr Evil on August 29, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Jim DeMint is having the Palmetto Freedom Forum on Sept 5, 2011 in Columbia S.C.

Romney has declined to attend.

Link: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=45702

bluefox on August 29, 2011 at 2:34 PM

when Bachmann withdraws and endorses Mitt as the “true conservative” I hope not too many people are surprised.

unseen on August 29, 2011 at 2:31 PM

I won’t be surprised. I’ll just consider her an incompatible fool/pretender at that point, from the vantage point of all she claimed to be Tea Party-related.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Why should Romney attack Perry directly when the Democrats, the liberal media and Michele Bachmann will do it for him? Romney’s strategists note that Perry will have to survive five debates in six weeks — ample opportunity for Bachmann to “rip his eyes out” (as she did to Tim Pawlenty) or for Perry to blow himself up

If Perry fails to implode and continues to surge in the polls, Romney eventually will have to go on the attack — an assault his advisers say will commence “at a time of our choosing.” Romney strategists are quick to note that in his book, “Fed Up!,” Perry writes that “By any measure, Social Security is a failure” and calls the program “something we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now” that was created “at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/romneys-plan-to-beat-perry/2011/08/29/gIQAKbaRnJ_story.html?wprss=rss_opinions

in other words. Mitt intends to allow bachmann to soften up Perry then go in for the kill after that.

unseen on August 29, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Washington (CNN) – A new national survey is further proof that Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entrance earlier this month into the race for the White House has dramatically altered the battle for the Republican presidential nomination.

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll of Republicans and independent voters who lean towards the GOP, Perry now sits atop the list of Republican presidential candidates, with strong support from most demographic groups.

Romney absent from TP events, new thread, s/b good.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM

in other words. Mitt intends to allow bachmann to soften up Perry then go in for the kill after that.

unseen on August 29, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Perry grinned. unseen, I know him in person. He doesn’t worry about Romney or the left, or anyone. He cares only for the land. He didn’t want to run.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Bachmann was done the day the Iowa polls came out.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 2:49 PM

I won’t be surprised. I’ll just consider her an incompatible fool/pretender at that point, from the vantage point of all she claimed to be Tea Party-related.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I’ve read quite a bit about Bachmann and found her to be all about Bachmann. A lot of talk, but not much walk. She copies a lot of Sarah’s statements. I don’t like the fact that she set up the Tea Party Caucus and named herself Chairperson. After I found out she invited the Tea Party Patriot Organization to have input to the TP Caucus and have them either present in a closed door meeting or a conference call, that did it for me. Many in the Tea Party Caucus are hot happy with her heavy hand on trying to tell them how to vote. Only a few followed her instructions. She couldn’t even get 100% of the 49 TP Caucus members to vote as she instructed. The Country? Not qualified at all. If it weren’t for the Tea Party movement, no one would know she existed other than her District.

I cannot abide a fake/pretender/hypocrit. We have one in office now.

bluefox on August 29, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Perry grinned. unseen, I know him in person. He doesn’t worry about Romney or the left, or anyone. He cares only for the land. He didn’t want to run.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

let’s hope you are correct.

unseen on August 29, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Also, to his credit, Perry earned his AF commission on his own. Unlike, say, John McCain, who also had a lousy academic record, but whose daddy was an admiral.

AZCoyote on August 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

You cannot possibly compare the academic records of Academy graduates and civilian university graduates on a straight-line basis. Every Academy attendee graduates with about 25% more credits than their civilian counterparts, and every grad no matter what their major qualifies for a Bachelor of Science degree. The core courses include Electrical, Mechanical, Aeronautical, Astronautical (yes, it IS rocket science), and Applied Engineering.

Toss in the high-stress nature of the place and the grade point averages don’t compare at all. I don’t defend McCain personally, but for the most part you can’t get into the place or get through it without being smart. A C- average at one of the Academies is about the same as a B elsewhere.

James on August 29, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Not qualified at all. If it weren’t for the Tea Party movement, no one would know she existed other than her District.bluefox on August 29, 2011 at 2:49 PM

The liberal media likes Bachmann, they think they can elevate her through exposure, than leverage her to block other republican candidates from getting any oxygen. Bill O’Reilly is right the MSM is big, dumb and lazy. What they don’t know about average Americans is really mind boggling.

Dr Evil on August 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM

in other words. Mitt intends to allow bachmann to soften up Perry then go in for the kill after that.

unseen on August 29, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Perry grinned. unseen, I know him in person. He doesn’t worry about Romney or the left, or anyone. He cares only for the land. He didn’t want to run.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

If he really loved this country he would have backed Palin
because her record of reform indicates that she is the best
person to be the president for the good of the country.

Amjean on August 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM

James on August 29, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Thanks James, something else the MSM won’t bother to research or report.

I am not sure exactly how much the current MSM understands about the U.S. military.

There are also war colleges Officers have to attend. They also work towards many college degrees. My brother in law who is active Army attended Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. It’s really stupid for the progressive’s proxies to attack U.S. military veterans in comparrison highlighting Obama’s lack of military service. But they don’t know any better, they have to follow their playbook – one size fits all.

Rick Perry, One size does not fit all, unless you’re talking tube socks. GRIN.

Dr Evil on August 29, 2011 at 3:06 PM

“I don’t know how much God has to do t”o get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?”

Dumb?

YES.

Dave Rywall on August 29, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Amjean on August 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM

I feel your pain but that’s about it. Nothing other can be done for you. When she enters the race, they’ll work it out. The two are together, no matter what happens. This much you can take to the bank.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Dumb?

YES.

Dave Rywall on August 29, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Sending you ‘love’. It will be a very painful run for you, DR.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Mr. Øbama, show us the transcripts.

petefrt on August 29, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Heck, Palin and Perry will work it out even if she doesn’t enter the race.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 3:21 PM

The liberal media likes Bachmann, they think they can elevate her through exposure, than leverage her to block other republican candidates from getting any oxygen. Bill O’Reilly is right the MSM is big, dumb and lazy. What they don’t know about average Americans is really mind boggling.

Dr Evil on August 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Yes, I agree about the MSM & Bachmann. I’ve noticed that they aren’t attacking her nor Romney or Huntsman:-) They are so transparent.

Her latest great comment of today is that we need to drill for our own oil. Wow, you think? SP said that 2 years ago or so. Have no idea who she was talking to. Like B.O., she has no plan either. Telling us something we already know isn’t a plan.

bluefox on August 29, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Dr Evil on August 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Governor Palin makes sense and doesn’t buy the main B. S.

Don’t blame the ivy league. The thrust is a whole torrent of crap from liberal gutters of education that start under the watchful eye of NEA thugs. They are very important. The One is selling out black youth for their support.

IlikedAUH2O on August 29, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Jim DeMint is having the Palmetto Freedom Forum on Sept 5, 2011 in Columbia S.C.

Link: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=45702

bluefox on August 29, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Romney turned down a chance to speak in front of South Carolinians?

I really don’t get the Romney’s strategy. H came in second in New Hampshire straw poll. Ron Paul won, Romney came in 2nd, McCotter 3rd, but he almost tied Romney.

That’s just not an impressive showing in a state he’s supposed to have locked up.

Dr Evil on August 29, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Amjean on August 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM

I feel your pain but that’s about it. Nothing other can be done for you. When she enters the race, they’ll work it out. The two are together, no matter what happens. This much you can take to the bank.

Schadenfreude on August 29, 2011 at 3:19 PM

I don’t feel any “pain” in this game; I just worry about the
country. Perry’s record of croney capitalism, Gardisal mandate,
his lobbying for billions of stimulus dollars, “creation of the
Texas Enterprise Fund which gave him power to give corporate handouts bypassing the legislature, creating Texas Emerging Tech
Fund making his government a venture capital fund” (of which some of the money went to his campaign donors – i.e. David Nance, Convergen LifeSciences, which received $4.5 million donated over
a few year time span $75,000 to Perry; Joe Sanderson, a poultry magnate gave Perry’s campaign $165,000 and received $500,000.00) ,his very poor record on illegal immigration, giving in state tuition rates to
illegals (I don’t care what his excuse is), the Texas trans-corridor which was a power grab of land adjacent to other perfectly
usable highways, giving a company in Spain control over
the highway,
his alliance with Aga Khan a religious Islamic leader which resulted in whitewashed Islam history and culture curricula being taught in Texas schools, more than likely competing with the teaching of American history (lol – happening everywhere), along
with his record of spending, and on and on……..does not make
me comfortable with the thought of him as president.

Palin, however, fought corruption and made executive decisions
for her state and its residents which lowered spending and
increased the state’s savings (for a rainy day – per our grandmothers!).

Let’s compare Palin and Perry’s records on growth of total debt outstanding and total liabilities both on an actual and per capita basis:

Palin: Perry
debt outstanding increased 4.2% per year 20.5%
Per capita debt outstanding increased 2.5% per year 15.6%
Total liabilities DECREASED 11.5% per year INCREASED 6.7%
Total liabilities DECREASED 12.6% per year INCREASED 4.0%

Palin also refused to spend every dime on frivolous projects the
legislature wanted her to throw money at; she left with I believe
$12 billion in the kitty. She also did not allow lobbyists in
her office. Palin had 24,000 emails that didn’t have one item
of dirt in them. I challenge you to look at other candidate’s emails when they were in office and find the same.

And on and on and on……

If you want my sources, they are “WSJ”, National Journal,
IBD, Time, The Washington Examiner, You can find the links to
the articles yourself.

Amjean on August 29, 2011 at 4:27 PM

The above didn’t print out exactly right -

Palin is the first percentage and Perry is the second.

Amjean on August 29, 2011 at 4:29 PM

If he really loved this country he would have backed Palin
because her record of reform indicates that she is the best
person to be the president for the good of the country.

Amjean on August 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Remember the comment I made to you a few weeks back-the one where you returned fire by mocking where I work-well it still stands.
Pull your head out and allow the oxygen to return to your brain.
Step away from the Kool Aide as well.
Palin is a good conservative-who bravely turned her tail and fled(to swipe from ‘Spamalot’) her ONLY term as governor when things got tough during her ONLY term as governor.
Resigning her office proved that she is NOT presidential material.
Perry is a straight talker w/proven XO experience who has NEVER lost an election.
Mrs Undefeated HAS been defeated.

If Palin really cared about this nation she’d pull her camera-loving self away from the microphone to back Perry…for the good of the country.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 29, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Romney turned down a chance to speak in front of South Carolinians?

Dr Evil on August 29, 2011 at 3:58 PM

I was surprised too. The only thing I can think of is he wants to see what the competition says, especially Perry. Strategy?

I’m hoping Bachmann gets questioned on her some of her statements.

bluefox on August 29, 2011 at 5:14 PM

If Sarah doesn’t get in, we are so screwed. The field doesn’t look all that good to me.

Mirimichi on August 29, 2011 at 5:26 PM

As far as “dumb” goes, I’d like to let Obama know that “Austrian” is NOT a language…

cnredd
Political Wrinkles
http://politicalwrinkles.com

cnredd on August 29, 2011 at 6:44 PM

If he really loved this country he would have backed Palin
because her record of reform indicates that she is the best
person to be the president for the good of the country.

Amjean on August 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Remember the comment I made to you a few weeks back-the one where you returned fire by mocking where I work-well it still stands.
Pull your head out and allow the oxygen to return to your brain.
Step away from the Kool Aide as well.
Palin is a good conservative-who bravely turned her tail and fled(to swipe from ‘Spamalot’) her ONLY term as governor when things got tough during her ONLY term as governor.
Resigning her office proved that she is NOT presidential material.
Perry is a straight talker w/proven XO experience who has NEVER lost an election.
Mrs Undefeated HAS been defeated.

If Palin really cared about this nation she’d pull her camera-loving self away from the microphone to back Perry…for the good of the country.

annoyinglittletwerp on August 29, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Words of wisdom from Walmart girl – yeah, don’t hold your
breath while I take your advice.

Amjean on August 29, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Considering liberal beliefs are demonstrably false–having always failed when tried–, can we say “Projection”?

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on August 29, 2011 at 10:29 PM

So when does Politico run the blog post “Is Obama Dumb” just saying, no one has seen his GPA or transcripts or any of his thesis. When will politico look into vetting intelligence? Why should politicians be able to seal pertinent records from the public? Someone needs to file a freedom of information for his sealed records. Obama is a public servant, he should deliver on the transparency he promised.

Where is wikileaks when you need them LOL!

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 9:55 AM

I am not sure exactly how much the current MSM understands about the U.S. military.

Dr Evil on August 29, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Of course you know: They understand precisely nothing.

DrMagnolias on August 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Well, they usually study “journalism” and most of them claim that they want to help to “change the world.”

That course of study usually has limited courses in math or science (the hard ones) and maximum exposure to liberal arts, “social sciences” and left-wing activist professors.

shorebird on August 30, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Lest we forget…

“Corpse Men”

And there was the mention of needing more female doctors during the health care debate – especially, “obie-guy-ans”. (Otherwise known as OBGYN’s.)

keyboarddude on August 31, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3