Not Smart Enough. Really?

Sunday on Fox News Sunday White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders told Chris Wallace the following as part of a discussion about the release of Donald Trump’s taxes. “Frankly, Chris, I don’t think Congress- particularly not this group of congressmen and women – are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume President Trump’s taxes will be.” Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying that anyone else isn’t smart enough; now that is rich! Let’s explore.

I make no secret of the fact that I find Sarah particularly annoying. The primary reason is that she acts so condescending when she is far from the smartest person in the room. When I think of words to describe her somehow intelligent never comes up. I distinctly remember when she mocked a reporter who correctly used the word “ignorant” to accurately describe himself on a specific topic. I’m sure that played well with Bubba, but it simply illustrated that Sander’s didn’t know the definition of the word she seized on.

Intelligence is the ability to process information which people like Sander’s call smart. Knowledgeable is knowledge of a specific topic. The opposite of knowledgeable is ignorant. Even the most intelligent people are ignorant on a plethora of topics. That is why the answer, “I don’t know” is a valid and often intelligent one. Of course, in the Donald Dome you never admit you don’t know or admit an error.

Trump is simply playing a delay game with his taxes. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal has Trump dead to rights. The applicable law is crystal clear in that it says the IRS shall turn over the tax returns to him. Sanders simply joined Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and whatever he is this week Mick Mulvaney in being a minion for Trump. Based on history their day in the trash heap will come. We’ll read of their resignation on Twitter like so many before them. Lying for yourself is both despicable and a bad policy; lying for someone else is just plain stupid. (There is a good example of someone being stupid for you Sarah. I bet Fox can supply you with a tape of your appearance for self-examination.)

Sarah does a good job of playing to Bubba. It did not escape my notice that she wove in a thinly veiled attack on the female freshman members of the House who are villains in contemporary right wing mythology. An intelligent woman who is unafraid to speak is unacceptable to today’s GOP.

There is a good reason Trump was the first major candidate for president since Richard Nixon not to release his taxes. He is hiding something(s). When the current occupant of the White House can’t even meet Nixon’s standard of honesty and transparency we know we have a problem.

Knowledge is specific expertise and familiarity with a specific topic. Intelligence is the ability to process information and reach a reasonable conclusion. One of the most credible measures of intelligence is the SAT test. On it you are given points for each question you answer correctly, you lose points for each incorrect answer and you lose (fewer points) for any unanswered questions. (In full disclosure I scored in the 97th percentile on the SAT; in the 99th on the less punitive ACT.)

One of the things I learned in management school is that there are many topics where you are ignorant and often the most expedient course of actions is to contract or employ someone with specific knowledge of that topic. In the vernacular you could call that smart. Sarah is neither intelligent nor knowledgeable. Come to think of it she fits right into Trump world. Organizations are often “extensions” of the boss.

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One thought on “Not Smart Enough. Really?”

  1. This could take years. Trump is no dummy. He knows how to stall. And it will probably take a Supreme Court decision to get his taxes. I’m not holding my breath.

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