September 22, 2011
You are what you DO
Charlene recommends this piece by Richard Fernandez, Bayes and Nice People:
...Peretz, Brooks, and Noonan are intelligent, well-educated people. Nobody has seriously suggested they are either perverse or evil. Now they see the truth. But once upon a time they didn’t have a clue. So the disturbing question is: how did they get it wrong? Setting aside for a moment the fact that someone slipped past, the most pressing problem is to determine why the system failed. Because as someone at Andrew Klavan’s blog said, “the republic can survive a Barack Obama; it is far less likely to survive the multitude of fools who made him president.”
The fact they are now getting it right is a good thing. John Maynard Keynes once wrote, “when the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?” But Keynes was not not quite correct. What he should have said was that “when new information comes to light, I change my opinion about what I saw. What do you do, sir?”
The first person to rigorously understand how this process worked was Thomas Bayes....
Fernandez thinks that people like Brooks were fooled by Obama, and Edwards, because they are "nice" people who don't come into contact with con-men and sharps. That's probably a lot of it. Charlene, for instance, deals with plaintiff's lawyers every day. She was totally not taken in by that slime-animal Edwards. She's seen those pretty boys a thousand times.
I was armored against the wiles of Obama in various other ways. One of them is the old battles I had concerning President Bush. So much of what was said about him was simply stupid, and I kept butting my head against the wall trying to explain it. The principle is very simple. You are what you DO. Not what you say, or hope, or aspire to, or dress like. (Bush, for instance, acted as president almost exactly as he did as governor of Texas. And his Texas business life was much of a piece with that. So the people who said that he was a preppy Ivy-Leaguer type were being brain-dead stupid.)
My dad, who was a very smart guy about life and people, once said to me when I was young, "By the time a man is 40, he is where he wants to be in life." It seemed like an odd and severe judgement to me at the time, but I haven't encountered any exceptions.
I remember telling people, "Obama has never accomplished anything. He's not going to change at his age." I was right.
I'll give you my piece of sage advice—take it, you're welcome, no extra charge—which I took from NRO's Jay Nordlinger: "You pretty much know all you need to know about a person if you know their positions on abortion and Israel."
Oh, and here's another guy who was right...
Posted by John Weidner at September 22, 2011 8:12 AM