For someone universally accepted as an intelligent man who has surrounded himself with intelligent people, the Barack Obama sure does a lot of stupid stuff. Not just things that can be reasonably debated by reasonable people; I'm talking serious dumbass.
This week's example is the forced resignation of Shirley Sherrod from USDA, after conservative muckraker Andrew Brietbart made public a video of her stating that, in her pre-USDA days, she had denied white farmers assistance because they were white. Such shameful behavior, even years ago, would certainly disqualify Ms. Sherrod from government service.
If it were true.
Turns out Breitbart cherry-picked a couple of key sentences from a speech Sherrod gave to make it sound like that's all we needed to know. Fox News picked it up and ran with it like a hyena with an antelope leg. (It should also be noted the esteemed Washington Post was happy to report this early version of the story on its web site, as well.)
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack immediately demanded Sherrod's resignation, apparently prompted by the president himself.; Sherrod complied. Then, in the immortal words of the late Paul Harvey, came the rest of the story.
The true facts came out within twenty-four hours, leaving the Obama Administration looking like idiots. Upon viewing the entire speech, Sherrod was describing something that crossed her mind in this instance twenty years ago, and rejected it. The white family not only got their help, but they credit her with saving the farm. Breitbart and Fox left those parts out (as did the Post, originally, nice work MSM), and the Obamites swallowed it hook, lie, and stinker. Vilsack apologized and offered Sherrod a new gig; she has yet to decide whether to take it. (Leaving him to twist in the wind is appropriate, according to the Book of Passive Aggression, Chapter 6, Verses 11-14.)
I wonder what kind of stimulus, health care, and financial regulation laws we might have now if Obama had been as willing to get out in front of the curve on those as he was to put his foot in it here? On legislation he waits until Congress does the heavy lifting and saves himself for a few key comments to push it over the edge so he can claim this was what he wanted all along; on something like this, he can't wait to run into the brier patch. For such a smart guy, he sure does a lot of dumb shit.
The Post's Greg Sargent wonders if Breitbart has damaged his credibility by his handling of this affair, and whether the media should take his assertions with a little less credulity. He might want to start by looking into the fact checking policies of his own paper. It's Breitbart who comes out of this smelling like a rose. His credibility has always been primarily on the right; anyone to the left of Lindsay Graham has had good reason to be skeptical. He punked the Obama Administration and make their reaction to his childish prank the story for several days. Who's the smart one here?