LA Times and Bad Timing [James Fulford] - 10/24/04 Ariel Dorfman, who thirty years ago was rioting on behalf of Chilean Marxist strongman, Salvador Allende, did a major Kerry suck-up story called Brainy Candidates Need Not Apply, [LA Times, October 22, 2004] asking
Is John Kerry too intelligent to be president of the United States?
It was what I felt instinctively the first and only time I met him, at a lunch at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 1998. He was subtle, full of cultural and historical references, elaborating each fine argument at length, with perception and nuance. I commented to one of his aides afterward that I regrettably thought his brains could turn out to be the biggest impediment to a man like him ever occupying the White House.
Actually, if Kerry loses, it will be because he has too many Marxist friends. But even before Sailer's revelations, there was no particular reason to believe that Kerry was even as bright as Rhodes Scholar Bill Clinton, who served two terms.
Steve Sailer's piece on Kerry's IQ has generated a lot of interest. Old Media: The New York Times's John Tierney mentions it, and us, in a story called Secret Weapon for Bush?, October 24, 2004. New Media: #28 on the Daytop Top 40, with links around the blogosphere. (Two Blowhards, Roger Schlafly, Pajama Journal, John Ray, Wizbang)
Colby Cosh: "His finding? You guessed it—the Republican dummy is the smart one."
The Mighty Barrister: "here's an intelligent and comprehensive analysis of the similar tests taken by the two men, compiled by Steve Sailer."
Matt Welch writes on Reason.com: Do You Care About the Candidates' IQs? Me neither. But for those who take nourishment from detailed political irrelevance, this Steve Sailer column is positively swimming in intelligence-test minutiae.
With all due respect to Welch, who can be a fairly bright guy, everyone is interested in Bush's alleged stupidity, and Kerry's alleged brightness, including the readers of Reason.Com's Hit and Run blog.
For instance, "It better trouble us that the ELCA is still 94 percent descendants of European immigrants in this wonderfully rich and pluralistic country." Bearing the cross of Scandinavian or German ancestry is not easy. The ELCA leadership suffers from a deep sense of guilt about being noninclusive in a wondrously inclusive culture. Guilt about being noninclusive is joined to the galling realization that there are not a lot of people interested in being included in the ELCA. To paraphrase a Pauline passage so important to Luther, "Who will deliver the ELCA from this body of demographic sin?"
Since it is improbable that millions of blacks, Latinos, or Filipinos are going to join up any time soon, it seems that, for the members of the ELCA, salvation must be by faith alone, combined with profound contrition for being who they are. As it happens, there are many very nice people and devout Christians in the ELCA. I used to be one myself. (Not unusually nice or devout, but I was in the ELCA.) They and their church would, I expect, be more generally appreciated were they not so touchingly eager to catch up with the cutting edge of a culture to which the community of faith is to be not a mirror but a contrast. As for "troubling" aspects of the gospel, being descended from European immigrants doesn't even make the list, except by conveniently eliminating the real sins for which Lutherans, along with the rest of us, must plead forgiveness.