Of all the stupid labels that the mainstream media tags politicians with, the stupidest one has to be “too smart.” Apparently when someone shows remarkable foresight and substantive knowledge on major policy issues, that’s supposed to be a bad thing.
Note that near the end of the column, Milbank even goes so far as to refer to his subject as “Professor Gore.” Get it? Because he’s a geek! Everyone knows that cowboy beats professor.
This isn’t an isolated occurrence, either. David Brooks’ most recent column goes after Gore for being too rational, suggesting that the new anti-Gore meme is that he’s an intelligent, logical problem-solver. Like some kind of evil robot.
But to my mind, Milbank’s column is far more pernicious because while Brooks is pretty forthright about his intentions, Milbank cloaks his completely illegitimate criticism in faux-concern over Gore’s image, as if this perception of Gore is something completely beyond his control. In reality, public perception doesn’t have to be that Gore is “too smart” for it to become conventional wisdom in DC – all that needs to happen is for someone like Milbank to write a column about it being true, and then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as the concern trolls lay siege to Gore’s image on the 24-hour news networks and national papers.
The real story here isn’t that Al Gore is the kind of geek that John McCain used to stuff into lockers. The real story is that Dana Milbank thinks you’re so stupid that voting for someone who actually knows what he’s talking about scares the crap out of you.