Friday, March 27, 2015

Why does everyone think Ted Cruz is so smart?

It seems like the prevailing wisdom among the bobbleheads is that Ted Cruz is a smart man. That seems to come up again and again when I read about him. Why does he have that reputation? Is it just because he went to Princeton and Harvard Law?

There are a lot of different ways that a person can be smart. But I think the record is clear that Cruz is pretty stupid when it comes to long-term strategic thinking. Since he entered the Senate, virtually every time that the Republicans have gotten themselves into a ridiculous showdown with the President that they had no hope of winning and then were forced to back down, Cruz was out there leading the charge off the idiotic precipice. (e.g. the government shutdown and all the other threatened shutdowns or partial shutdowns, as well as all the threats to default rather than raise the debt ceiling)

Again, there are a lot of different kinds of intelligence. A person can be bad at strategic planning, but good at other things. I'm just not sure what the evidence is that he is good at any of those other things that we tend to group as "intelligence." Maybe he has a good memory?