IBD Editorial: Is Gov. Perry Smart?

Politics: Liberals and their water-carriers in the media are trying mightily to characterize Republican front-runner Rick Perry as less intelligent than the president they're bent on re-electing. But who are the dumb ones here?

Denigrating an opponent's intelligence is one way progressives like to work as they follow the "Rules for Radicals" that Saul Alinsky set out for those who wish to seize power on behalf of the left. Followers of the Chicago Marxist include President Obama.

One rules says: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It's hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage."

This is precisely what the left has done with Perry, questioning his mental ability while holding up the president as a paragon of intelligence. Such ridicule, they hope, will goad Perry and those who support him into saying something stupid or regrettable.

Unfortunately for the left, Perry's no dummy. And Americans, increasingly, are looking at the record of our sitting president and wondering how he could go from failure to failure and not alter course — a mark of someone — dare we say it? — who isn't very smart.

How intelligent was it, for example, for Obama early in his term to make a deal with Russia giving up our planned missile defense in Eastern Europe in exchange for help with Iran (which never came)?
What was the president thinking when he signed ObamaCare into law, even though surveys showed 89% of Americans said they were satisfied with their current health care plan? A costly, care-rationing program that Americans want repealed will cost well over $1 trillion over 10 years.

Cash for Clunkers ran out of money its first week, and GM recently announced that taxpayers won't ever get their money back. A huge waste of money that didn't revive car sales. A smart move in retrospect?
Then there was the brilliant $839 billion stimulus, which so far this year has resulted in an economy growing at a near-recessionary 0.7% while unemployment remains stuck above 9%. And the big thinkers at the White House would like to do it all over again!

Didn't the cerebral Obama think twice before running up $4 trillion in debts in less than three years, pushing America's total indebtedness above $14.5 trillion, or 100% of GDP, and bringing about the first-ever downgrade of the nation's credit rating?

What brainiac decided to walk away from longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, so that the fundamentalist, America-hating Muslim Brotherhood can write a new constitution and take power?
What was the president thinking when he backed a rebel insurgency in Libya without knowing who will take power once Moammar Gadhafi is gone? Meanwhile, we've largely abandoned our best, and only, democratic friend in the region, Israel, which appears on the verge of war with the Palestinians and possibly Iran and Egypt. Has this been intelligent?

Not only is this partial record abysmal, but Obama seems dead-set on repeating the same errors — seeking more stimulus, pushing more targeted tax breaks for favored industries and perpetuating the absurd myth that we can recover by creating "green" jobs.

Perry? The knock on him is that he's a Texan with a Texan's drawl. For elitist liberals, a southern accent is akin to a mental disability.

He's also a graduate of Texas A&M, not some fancy Ivy League school, like Obama and most of his aides and Cabinet. Enemies deride him by calling him "Gov. Goodhair." But let's look at the record.
Perry served his country as pilot of C-130 transport planes — huge, $130 million aircraft that carry very important cargo, including troops and equipment. Does anyone believe the U.S. Air Force would entrust such a responsibility to someone of limited intelligence?

It also takes more than a little savvy to win every political office you've sought. And so far, Perry's eight for eight. He's been governor of the nation's fastest-growing, most business-savvy state for 10 years.
Since June 2009, Texas has produced nearly 40% of all net new U.S. jobs. He talks about small, manageable government, and delivers. Every one of his budgets — every one — has been balanced, and his state has a $6 billion "rainy day fund."

Remember in August, when S&P downgraded U.S. debt from AAA to AA+? In 2009, S&P upgraded Texas' rating from AA to AA+. If only we had such a dunce in the White House now.
To recast a quote from Forrest Gump, "intelligent is as intelligent does." Perry seems to do lots of smart things, despite lacking the elitist credentials of the so-called leaders in today's dysfunctional, hyper-incompetent Washington.

But this is an old slur. Whenever the left doesn't like someone, they resort to ridicule. That happened with Harry S Truman, who didn't even go to college but who as president made courageous and often unpopular decisions — such as resisting Soviet expansionism — that later turned out to be right.
Likewise, President Reagan was the butt of leftist jokes for his alleged lack of intelligence. "An amiable dunce," they called him. They also looked down on his humble education — he attended tiny Eureka College in Illinois.

But Reagan not only knew more about economics than his supposed intellectual betters — having been educated in the pre-Keynesian, 19th-century tradition of economic thought. He had character, courage, conviction and communication skills that made him the greatest president of the 20th century.
Now they're giving Gov. Perry the same treatment. Good luck. By his lead in the polls, it looks like Americans, rather than dwelling on his transcripts, are cottoning to his common sense and sound policy ideas.
Source:  Investors Business Daily, September 1 2011