From Thomas Sowell:
Like other truly talented phonies, Barack Obama concentrates his skills on the effect of his words on other people. Whether what he says bears any relationship to the facts is politically irrelevant.
Many years ago, I was a member of a committee that was recommending to whom grant money should be awarded. Since I knew one of the applicants, I asked if this meant that I should recuse myself from voting on his application.
“No,” the chairman said. “I know him too — and he is one of the truly great phonies of our time.”
The man was indeed a very talented phony. He could convince almost anybody of almost anything — provided that they were not already knowledgeable about the subject.
He had once spoken to me very authoritatively about Marxian economics, apparently unaware that I was one of the few people who had read all three volumes of Marx’s “Capital,” and had published articles on Marxian economics in scholarly journals.
What our glib talker was saying might have seemed impressive to someone who had never read “Capital,” as most people have not. But it was complete nonsense to me.
Incidentally, he did not get the grant he applied for.
This episode came back to me recently, as I read an incisive column by Charles Krauthammer, citing some of the many gaffes in public statements by the President of the United States.