What happens when the smartest man who has ever lived becomes president

The first of the Trump anti-Hillary ads and it’s on foreign policy where a very large part of the battle for the presidency will be fought. After the last seven years and by then it will be eight, it will undoubtedly be time for a change, and Obama’s former Secretary of State, the woman who oversaw the disaster in Libya and much else, will definitely not bring that change.

It’s hard to imagine how bad Obama’s foreign policy has been. Here in this article by Niall Ferguson we get some of it but hardly the full horror of its incompetence and arrogant stupidity. It’s from The Atlantic and titled, Barack Obama’s Revolution in Foreign Policy. The first para sets the scene:

It is a criticism I have heard from more than one person who has worked with President Obama: that he regards himself as the smartest person in the room—any room. Jeffrey Goldberg’s fascinating article reveals that this is a considerable understatement. The president seems to think he is the smartest person in the world, perhaps ever.

And after traipsing through Obama’s deep thoughts on foreign policy, this is where we end.

If you think you are smarter than every foreign-policy expert in the room, any room, then it is tempting to make up your own grand strategy. That is what Obama has done, to an extent that even his critics underestimate. There is no “Obama doctrine”; rather, we see here a full-blown revolution in American foreign policy. And this revolution can be summed up as follows: The foes shall become friends, and the friends foes. . . .

If the arc of history is in fact bending toward Islamic extremism, sectarian conflict, networks of terrorism, and regional nuclear-arms races, then the 44th president will turn out to have been rather less smart than the foreign-policy establishment he so loftily disdains.

A lot of people will die as these forces work themselves out and none of us will be unaffected. Some new balance will eventually be established, but the likelihood that it will be anything like what the rest of us would have wished is very unlikely indeed.

This entry was posted in American politics, International. Bookmark the permalink.

57 Responses to What happens when the smartest man who has ever lived becomes president

  1. Roger

    The first of the Trump anti-Hillary ads and it’s on foreign policy where a very large part of the battle for the presidency will be fought.

    After viewing the ad, words fail me.

    This is what passes for political debate in the US?

    We’re doomed.

  2. Tiny Dancer

    He’s not as smart as Monty

  3. Ant

    This is what passes for political debate in the US?

    No, but this is.

  4. Docket62

    Ant… And the problem with that clip?

    I’d trade all our halfwit, gutless, spineless moronic politicians here for one trump.

    Bring. It. On.

  5. JC

    Is that bullshit or was Hillary really barking? Surely not?

  6. .

    Smoot-Hawley increased US tariffs by almost half of what they were in 1929.

    Trump’s trade policies would increase the US general tariff rate to China by 3000%.

    Be careful of what you wish for.

  7. Ant

    I’d trade all our halfwit, gutless, spineless moronic politicians here for one trump.

    Trump: Hang on while I consult myself on that one….Yes, I agree with me, and for backup I’ve consulted myself and it’s unanimous: We all agree I have a good brain and I’m right. Again.

  8. politichix

    Ant
    #1978997, posted on March 17, 2016 at 10:55 pm
    Trump: Hang on while I consult myself on that one….Yes, I agree with me, and for backup I’ve consulted myself and it’s unanimous: We all agree I have a good brain and I’m right. Again.

    Serious request – can you do that for all the potential nominees (all sides)?

  9. Roger

    Ant, what happened to your avatar?

    Has the flame of liberty been snuffed out?

  10. Entropy

    You gotta admit that’s pretty funny Ant. You can almost slice the contempt he put into it.p, it’s so thick.
    A great entertainer.

  11. Sounds like Rudd, except without his modicum of actual intelligence to back it up.

    I’ve met one deeply intelligent politician. That’s it so far. The others have all been serviceable to competent.

    That said, my sample isn’t huge.

  12. Roger

    Trump’s trade policies would increase the US general tariff rate to China by 3000%.

    Be careful of what you wish for.

    The great depression, redivivus.

    It appears that Steve is willing to risk that in exchange for the prospect of an attack on political correctness… by Donald “Everything is Negotiable” Trump.

    That’s some stake.

  13. MsDolittle

    Be careful of what you wish for.

    Yes, there’s that too.

  14. politichix

    Roger
    #1979018, posted on March 17, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    The great depression, redivivus.

    It appears that Steve is willing to risk that in exchange for the prospect of an attack on political correctness… by Donald “Everything is Negotiable” Trump.

    That’s some stake.

    On current trajectory a Great Depression is inevitable. A “trump” may be a game changer with a side benefit of pepper and salt on pc. Minimal stake, neglible risk.

  15. Infidel Tiger

    America to file Chapter 11 in 2017.

  16. Roger

    I’ve met one deeply intelligent politician. That’s it so far.

    You met Enoch Powell?

    Seriously, though much maligned(even Michael Foot acknowledged that the ‘rivers of blood’ quote was taken out of context), he is one of the most deeply intelligent politicians to have served in the Anglosphere.

  17. Ant

    Serious request – can you do that for all the potential nominees (all sides)?

    Yes, you could. But only one would be clueless enough to actually do it, then revel in it and have an army of fanbots cheering his genius.

  18. .

    On current trajectory a Great Depression is inevitable.

    Trump’s trade policies are like saying fire is hot, so adding nitroglycerin can’t do any harm.

  19. Roger

    On current trajectory a Great Depression is inevitable. A “trump” may be a game changer with a side benefit of pepper and salt on pc. Minimal stake, neglible risk.

    Maximum stake in terms of human misery and therefore considerable risk, I would have thought.

    A global depression is not inevitable, it is thoroughly avoidable, and if it occurs it will be attributable to the poor decisions of politicians taken in the face of a massive record of empirical economic evidence contradicting the conventional wisdom of their advisers. Or in Trump’s case, himself.

  20. There is in fact an Obama doctrine: don’t do stupid shit. The last seven years of mostly non-stupid non-shit have been very refreshing compared to the stupid shitshow beforehand.

    Compared to Niall Ferguson, yes, Obama does look like the smartest man in the room. Compared to Steve Kates, he is the smartest man in history.

  21. On current trajectory a Great Depression is inevitable. A “trump” may be a game changer with a side benefit of pepper and salt on pc. Minimal stake, neglible risk.

    Too much Zero Hedge rots your brain. Sell your gold and eat your stored kibble rations, people, you’ve been had.

  22. .

    Compared to Niall Ferguson, yes, Obama does look like the smartest man in the room.

    You swooning schoolgirl.

  23. It’s more of a function of how dumb Niall is.

  24. JC

    Monster

    You failed first year Monash economics. Niall went through oxford and now teaches at Harvard. You should really STFU calling people dumb, you asshat.

  25. Plenty of highly educated people haven’t got a brain worth a damn. Look at Abbott.

  26. Token

    After viewing the ad, words fail me.

    This is what passes for political debate in the US?

    We’re doomed.

    Smart, pandering to the worst prejudices of your base while reinforcing strong negatives is smart?

    I can’t believe intelligent people wouldn’t see Trump’s abuse is exactly what Hillary and her super packs and the media (I know I repeat myself)* want.

    *H/t Marco Rubio

  27. Token

    M0nty is close to some classic wrongology here, please keep posting – sleep is the enemy of your genius.

  28. Robber Baron

    Smartest man to become President was Thomas Jefferson. He did really really really well for America.

    Now, that Obama guy, well, he sure did some damage to the world.

  29. feelthebern

    Sinc, can we organize a debate between monty & fergsuson.
    I’m sure all Cats would contribute to see the doughnut puncher get schooled.

  30. srr

    https://theconservativetreehouse.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/uniparty.jpg?w=372&h=372

    So it is those, “Prosperity NOW!”, Take Over The 7 Areas of Influence/Great March to “Take The World’s Wealth and Give it to The Anointed Priests and Kings/Cruz“, ‘christianity‘ MOBS, that those non-Catholic ‘christians‘ here back.
    Good to get that out of the way.

    And gee, umm, OBAMA, The Worst President EVER!
    The, ‘The World Will Bow Down and Kiss Islam’s Ring and Christianity Is Over/Boo God‘, President, well, we’ll just keep ignoring That Thread Topic, and invent childish bullshit about Trump, to scare people with.

    The Cat Is Dead. No need to open the box.

    Fortunately Australia isn’t dead and neither is America and gee, it’s good to know Our Allies, and Our Enemies Within.

    … anyway … YES, Hillary really did bark like a dog (and we know you that coz, gee, you all laughed about it at the time), at one of her rallies, as part of her story explaining how much contempt she has for everyone who won’t vote for her.
    Yeah, she’s that smart.
    Let her do another Benghazi, with the whole world, with nukes.

    That is your choice – Trump or Hillary.
    There is no other.
    Trump Builds Up, Hillary Blows Up.

    As to the brilliance of that 15 second ad, well, I also posted on that before, and unable to argue, you cruz/HILLARY Boosters (yeah, Cruz is a spoiler, never meant to be POTUS. You Know That to), ignored it with another breakout of TDS. So here it is in this thread, specifically on the topic, for lurking readers who give a shit about the real state of the real world –

    Donald Trump’s Brilliant Barking Hillary -vs- Putin Ad…

    The most jaw-dropping part of the story that accompanies this ad is the fact the media seem oblivious to what the message is.

    Having watched the news cycle today there’s not a single pundit who has identified the intensely brilliant messaging within the 15 second video:

    This ad was not just targeted to domestic consumption. This ad was directly distancing Donald Trump from Clinton’s failed and massively botched “Russian Reset“. The message was more for Putin to see than for U.S. media to discuss.

    Read The Art of The Deal. This is Brilliant !

    You’ll note the Clinton campaign cannot respond to it. Team Clinton have to remain silent about it because if they start to talk it brings focus on the “Russian Reset“.

    As soon as they respond, they have walked into Trump’s designed battle space. This is intensely sharp political campaigning at the highest operative level imaginable.

    [oh, and do read the comments where you will find yet more cutting political insight into why The Losers Only have Cheating (on the grandest scale), left in their arsenal]
    http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/03/16/donald-trumps-brilliant-barking-hillary-vs-putin-ad/#more-113938

  31. We the People

    There is nothing special about being the smartest guy in the room, when your seated and have your pants are at your ankles,
    Of course, it must be a humbling experience, if you have relieved the taxpayers of billions of dollars simply to be re-elected.

  32. cynical1

    That’s some stake.

    So is the Muslim invasion of Europe.

    It’s all tied together in the total shambles that is the current Western World.

    EG: Importing Muslims by the bushell, while teaching our boys that it’s OK to believe
    you are really a girl.

    Boys can use the girl’s toilets, but bacon is off the menu.

    How long before Europe has it’s own version of Trump?

    It’s a reaction to the actions of the career Politicians, it may not make it right,
    but the West has a circuit breaker coming due to it’s own negligence.

  33. Tekweni

    My two sons, engineers both, opine that 80% of people are stupid. Comes from their university days doing maths and science and working on numerous mining projects. They would put Monty in that 80%.

  34. Tel

    You’ll note the Clinton campaign cannot respond to it. Team Clinton have to remain silent about it because if they start to talk it brings focus on the “Russian Reset“.

    As soon as they respond, they have walked into Trump’s designed battle space. This is intensely sharp political campaigning at the highest operative level imaginable.

    You must admit that for the last few years, Putin has run rings around the US foreign policy and military machine. Putin came out nice and safe in the Crimea, he has stabilized his border with the Ukraine (and that’s the only thing that matters to him in that area). He is finding more markets for his military hardware, got plenty of chances to show it off in Syria recently.

    The USA farted around shadow boxing with Daesh while not so secretly arming the rebels against Assad. Putin stepped up to stand by his allies, organized a very successful Assad comeback, gave Daesh a good whacking, secured himself a nice naval base, and probably going to keep a nearby airforce base to go with it. Meanwhile Turkey gets caught out buying stolen oil and supporting some of the worst of the worst terrorists on Earth. All done in less than six months.

    You may not like Putin’s methods, you may not like the people he teams up with… but he sure gets the job done.

  35. Toiling Mass

    I don’t think Obama actually had much of a foreign policy.

    All the change he wanted to see in the world was in the US.

    His foreign policy was basically to knuckle under to the people considered enemies and the whole ‘foreign’ distraction would disappear.

    If that means shitting on your allies, then so be it – you won’t need them as allies if everyone loves you.

    He had absolutely no idea that foreigners might have their own imperatives, intentions and agenda which they would follow in America’s absence. Anymore than he thought Americans themselves had any existence except as tools for his policies.

  36. outsider

    Obama – cut the poor guy some slack as he is fighting a rearguard action to retain even a few shreds of his legacy. He may need ‘assistance’ before DJT is through with the Dems. What a dummy, Trump’s audiences have to make do with quips about his gassy golf flights to Hawaii right after a Climate Change conference, but he gets the biggest laughs in a target rich environment, the cavalcade of fools that run the West. The Left are apoplectic, but this time it’s defensive, not confected for the optics or an advantage. The labour unionists are deserting in droves. Trump owns the middle.

    Fergo is wrong on Trump and has a boxcar of company, but he does see BHO pretty well. It’s the extra push required of the intellect that will take him time, and DJT’s Islam stance cuts close to home. Obama begat Trump so convincingly, and even that is not a full explanation, as this is primarily about how the GOP handles its schism. Hillary is desert to the Donald. It won’t even be close, especially after the riots that will plague the next six months. Baby does not like the dummy falling out of the pram.

  37. Rabz

    This is what I find concerning about the seemingly inexorable rise of the Trump. The man is utterly preposterous, yet I continually find myself thinking how on earth could he be any worse as president than Obama, Shrillary or Colonel Sanders?

    The entire interminable goat rodeo is a seriously damning indictment of US politics and the monstrously incompetent, corrupt totalitarian morons its seems to attract and reward.

  38. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    It’s a very clever ad. It made me laugh. Hillary hasn’t got a clue and the ad shows that.
    Political ads aren’t policy debates. They are emotional rapier thrusts.

  39. fhb5

    Maolcolm has obviously copied the Donald.

    “The Secret of Trump – Agility”

  40. outsider

    If the Democratic Party seems to be a populist party and becomes a populist party, Trump will get crushed,” Cohen added. “Unions, regardless of who the nominee is, need to quickly become a vehicle for reform inside and outside the Democratic Party, or they’re going to lose significant numbers of their own members this election.”

    One simple lesson directly from the mouths of these unionists..here is your problem guys:

    ‘If’, ‘seems’, ‘becomes’, ‘become’. You are a key part of the establishment and it’s too late to ‘become’ anything else, anything you are not and have never been in your time in power.

    Delicious to see so many people struggling to catch up when events are unfolding with metronomic precision. The American people are leagues ahead of their ‘masters’, their ‘elites’. The smart guys..the guys in the know.

    Democracy can be a b!tch, and the people have your number. Trump is merely the catalyst, a guy best described as a blue collar billionaire, a guy who shares their values and their passions. How long before the globalists work that one out? Next up, attacking Trump is attacking the vast majority of the US citizenry..who would have realised that Trump did not exist in a vacuum? Why do his numbers keep rising? lol. Remember these are the smart people we are talking about.

  41. Sean

    Trump aims to:

    Lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to unleash American ingenuity here at home and make us more globally competitive. This tax cut puts our rate 10 percentage points below China and 20 points below our current burdensome rate that pushes companies and jobs offshore.

    I’m sure most of trump supporters don’t even know this is his plan. For a man who will:

    -balance the books
    -impose tariffs on ‘Chia-na’, who are wonderful people I must say, I like Chia’na
    -tax cuts
    -Increase military spending
    -Increase spending on veterans
    .
    So unlikely you would have to be S Kates to believe it.

  42. tgs

    -balance the books
    -impose tariffs on ‘Chia-na’, who are wonderful people I must say, I like Chia’na
    -tax cuts
    -Increase military spending
    -Increase spending on veterans

    Don’t forget not touch any entitlements.

    He’s a lying fraudster. But people who support him honestly couldn’t care less.

  43. Driftforge

    You met Enoch Powell?

    No. Seems to have been quite the chap though.

  44. Infidel Tiger

    It’s not worth arguing about.

    The people supporting Trump don’t give a shit about that stuff. Depressing.

    They still claim he’s good at business!

  45. .

    Democracy can be a b!tch, and the people have your number. Trump is merely the catalyst, a guy best described as a blue collar billionaire, a guy who shares their values and their passions. How long before the globalists work that one out?

    Globalists! Those nasty people demanding the US can invest in Mexico or Israel and insisting the poor can buy modern phones to enable communications for work and leisure, not subject to a ludicrous 45% tax?

  46. stackja

    USA has elected Presidents since 1789.

    First was held from Monday, December 15, 1788 to Saturday, January 10, 1789.
    United States presidential election, 1788–89
    From Wikipedia

    Historical rankings of Presidents of the United States
    From Wikipedia
    Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington are consistently ranked at the top of the lists.

    New ranking of U.S. presidents puts Lincoln at No. 1, Obama at 18; Kennedy judged most overrated
    washingtonpost.com
    February 16, 2015

    Who were the worst presidents? James Buchanan was the lowest ranked, and was joined at the bottom by Warren Harding, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce and William Harrison.

    The most underrated? Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush and Truman.

    While another says:

    Shattering the Icon of Abraham Lincoln

    The proper place of Abraham Lincoln in American history is as part of the liberal trinity of F.D.R., Wilson and Lincoln.

  47. Ant

    But people who support him honestly couldn’t care less.

    Correct. Sadly they have confirmed once and for all that it’s not only the left who are into the cultish hero-worshipping Obamabottery stuff.

    I’ve heard someone (Andrew Klavan, I think) say that Trump has managed, by being a hollow shape-shifting vessel having no firm position on anything, to cast himself as a kind of blank canvas onto which the disgruntled and disillusioned are able to project the individual personal leadership qualities they desire in a POTUS.

    Anti-establishment: He says America is run by stupid people.
    Pro-establishment: He’s always speaking to very senior establishment figures.
    Anti-free market: He supports Ethanol subsidies.
    Pro-free market: He opposes government interfering with private enterprises.
    Anti-abortion: He says he opposes it.
    Pro-abortion: He formerly said he supports it “in every respect” so he doesn’t really mean he opposes it.
    Anti-high taxes: He’s slashing taxes.
    Pro-high taxes: But he’s not cutting entitlements but cutting the debt.
    Anti-immigration: Has anyone been firmer?
    Pro-immigration: Has anyone been wishy-washier?
    Anti-single payer HC: He wants a market based system.
    Pro-single payer: He can’t distinguish himself from Bernie Sanders.
    Etc.

  48. alexnoaholdmate

    Niall Ferguson – an Oxford graduate who holds a distinguished Chair at Harvard and is almost singlehandedly responsible for reinvigorating popular interest in history and economics in the modern era – is dumber than Barack Obama.

    Barack Obama. The man who once referred to the Falklands as the Maldives and believes the US has 57 states.

    Dumber than Monty, too, as Monty is obviously clever enough to pontificate on the man’s intellectual credentials.

    Gosh, who knew?

  49. Alex Pundit

    This is Geert Wilders.
    Geert Wilders has hair like Trump.
    Geert Wilders says things like Trump.
    Geert Wilders says things like Trump only on a magnitude of about 100 times higher.
    Geert Wilders’ party has seats in the Dutch parliament.
    Geert Wilders’ party has seats in the European Union.
    Geert Wilders is popular.
    Geert Wilders must remain in seclusion due to daily death threats due to hurting certain people’s feelings.
    Geert is courageous, be like Geert.
    Just lock your doors at night.

    http://youtu.be/rfS7neKzh4Y

  50. Tim Neilson

    m0nty
    #1979057, posted on March 17, 2016 at 11:54 pm
    There is in fact an Obama doctrine: don’t do stupid shit. The last seven years of mostly non-stupid non-shit have been very refreshing compared to the stupid shitshow beforehand.
    This is absolutely correct. Bombing Gaddafi while the CIA were still trying to work out who the rebels were has worked brilliantly. Pulling out all troops from Iraq and proclaiming victory was a masterstroke, as is evidenced by the current situation there. Telling Assad that chemical warfare was a “red line” and then doing nothing when Assad crossed it was sheer genius. Sneering at Romney for saying Russia was a strategic threat has been vindicated in spades. Nixing the Keystone Pipeline so Canada will export the oil to China is visionary. Selling 20% of America’s uranium reserves to a company controlled by Putin – well, what could possibly go wrong? And his handling of Iran has been masterly.
    Have I left any of the big highlights out Monty?

  51. .

    Watching monty getting smashed is like the Cat’s immoral equivalent to enjoying cock fighting or bear baiting.

    I must say I’m addicted to such a degenerate game. Well done chaps.

  52. Gab

    Have I left any of the big highlights out Monty?

    Benghazi, Obamacare, Fast & Furious.

  53. Have I left any of the big highlights out Monty?

    Your detailing of the continued failures of the CIA was flawless. They really are incompetent, aren’t they?

    You lot should be lauding Obama for following in Reagan’s footsteps in using economic levers rather than the military to deal with Russia. Putin’s broke, he overextended himself with military spending like the USSR did in the 80s. Obama gets the last laugh there.

    As for Iran, recent elections saw big gains for moderates and the political solution is working, so yes, I’d say Obama’s handling of the heretofore unsolvable problem of Iran has been relatively masterly. It’s a damn sight better than the insanities of the Republican position.

    Libya was some stupid shit, no doubt. Unfortunately, Obama let Clinton talk him into it. That’s a mistake he’d like to have over again. Hopefully Clinton learned her lesson for her impending Presidency.

  54. Tailgunner

    individual personal leadership qualities they desire in a POTUS.

    Got it Ant!
    The American people want a LEADER.
    A leader who is a patriotic fighter.
    Who will secure the borders.
    Americans are rather a patriotic bunch. Trump is hitting all the right notes.
    You’re stuck on the policy angle.
    All the others are playing checkers, Trump plays chess.
    Believe it.

Comments are closed.