Thursday, May 24, 2012

Snobby misdirection

Leftist elites are quite snobbish about education. Their cohorts can be miserable failures in a given endeavor but somehow they're supposed to be given a pass because of their hoity toity Ivy League education (of course, that courtesy was not extended to Harvard grad George W. Bush, the only President to ever receive an MBA).

I point that out as I refer you to the Star Tribune's "Letter of the Day" Tuesday.

State Rep. Kurt Bills, newly endorsed by the Republican Party in the U.S. Senate race, is quoted as saying "we sent a lawyer, a community organizer and a comedian to Washington, D.C., and we get an economy that looks like it does today."

The line is cute, "quippy" and closely follows the Republican playbook established years ago by Karl Rove. In football, it is called a misdirection play. In politics, it says that when your qualifications are nowhere near those of your opponent, go personal and cute while avoiding actual résumé or accomplishment comparisons.

The avoidance/misdirection here is the omission of the qualifications of that lawyer (Sen. Amy Klobuchar), community organizer (President Obama, who's actually a lawyer, too) and comedian (Sen. Al Franken).

The three possess undergraduate degrees, respectively, from Yale, Columbia and Harvard. Klobuchar's and Obama's law degrees come from the University of Chicago and Harvard, respectively. And none of these individuals received a legacy admission.

Depending on the source, the lowest-ranked of those five degrees is Harvard Law, at No. 5 nationally. Franken, with his undergraduate degree from the No. 2 undergraduate university in the United States (No. 2 in the world) is really pulling down the average here.

Bills' alma mater, Winona State University, is a nice local school that doesn't attract the same caliber of student and whose graduates would be better served not denigrating people whose academic accomplishments dwarf their own.

ed.- I'm calling "fake name"), MINNEAPOLIS

The letter writer offered up a stunning display of irony here when he called Bills' attack a "misdirection play." Notice he does not refute Bills' assertion of the lefty triumvirate's dismal performance in handling the economy but instead diverts attention to the three's allegedly superior educational background.

The writer also goes on to make a definitive statement when saying a small school like Winona State doesn't attract the "same caliber of students" as an Ivy League school. To me, that's irrelevant. It's what a college graduate makes of his/her post-education life regardless of which college he/she attends. Ah, but in the writer's world, it's an empirical fact that someone who graduates from Harvard at, say, age 20 is somehow superior to a person who graduates from tiny Eureka College in central Illinois. With that in mind, the writer's logic would have you believe that "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski's accomplishments dwarf those of Ronald Reagan.


1 comment:

Mr. D said...

Good post, Brad. I've met people who attended Harvard who couldn't think their way out of a paper bag. Meanwhile, my last few bosses attended schools such as UW-River Falls, UW-Whitewater, Oklahoma State and St. Mary's in Winona. Not an elite school in the bunch, but four outstanding people.