Instapundit recently wondered at the Democrat assumption that John Kerry is more intelligent than Bush.
I don't know what evidence they have for this but whatever it is, it will have to be pretty strong evidence to counter this amazing fact: John Kerry fragged himself with a grenade, not once but twice. This folks, doesn't strike me as a sign of genius.
I'm no expert --I've fired a grenade launcher a grand total of one time-- but they really aren't that complicated. You set the range indicator, you aim, you pull the trigger -- pop ... BOOM. Good fun is had by all (except those at the BOOM end). Very importantly, if it's dark and you don't know how far away the target is, and there is no emergency, don't shoot at it. Kerry seems to have failed to grasp this important rule.
As for hand grenades, I've also tossed a total of one (not counting trainers). The sequence for proper grenade chucking goes like this: (1) get behind something that will protect you. (2) pull the pin and throw the grenade. Kerry got the steps backwards. Just to be clear: the correct order is 1, 2. Kerry did 2, 1. Unfortunately he was not quite able to complete 1 before the grenade went off. It is this very potential that makes 1, 2 the proper order. There are plenty of men of below-genius caliber who have been able to grasp the significance of this order of grenade operation. Kerry's failure to do so does not speak well of his intelligence.
I imagine that in combat situations it's easy to aim wrong or panic and throw a grenade first, then look for cover (sometimes that's even a good idea). But Kerry didn't frag himself under emergency conditions. The first time he wounded himself with his own grenade he was blasting some suspicious rocks. The second time he was destroying a threatening rice bin.
That's not all, of course. Ann Althouse points out that Kerry couldn't get into Yale or Harvard (search for "YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Instapundit") even with some of the most remarkable political credentials ever for a man of that age. Until he releases his grades and test scores, we have to assume they were pretty dismal.
And let's not forget his political acumen during that time. By all accounts he was extremely ambitious, even from that time planning to be president some day. And he thought abusing and slandering American military forces was a good move? How dumb is that? Sure, he was surrounded by military-haters and this would color his opinion, but a smart guy would have been able to think a little outside the box. A smart guy would think about the effect on his national popularity when he accused hundreds of thousands of young American men of being brigands, rapists, and murderers.
Of course, all of that was a long time ago. Maybe he used to be dumb but he got smart from all that time he spent in the Senate and in the social circles of New York looking to bag a rich wife. What smooth moves has he made lately?
Well, he started his presidential campaign by slandering his fellow vets again. Some of whom had supported him in the past. This time he attacked them in a more personal way, accusing individual commanders by name of being savages. Is that the action of a smart guy?
He's been a prick to random citizens. Is that smart for any politician? Who knows when one of your victims may be a humor columnist?
He made American dependence on foreign oil a campaign theme while owning a collection of gas-guzzlers. Is that smart?
He wanted to run for president yet apparently didn't even try do anything about the fact that he
1. was a senator (most recent presidents have been former governors, not senators)
2. was from a small state
3. was from a state known for its extremists
4. had no executive experience
These are all bad points for a presidential candidate, and he did nothing to try to alleviate any of them.
And what do his fellow Democrat Senators think of him? We have a clue from the fact that they haven't given him any important leadership roles even though he has seniority and he's a perfect team player. The only explanation I can think of is that they don't want to give him any responsibility because they think he's an idiot.
Finally, he apparently thought that Democrat control of the media would let him ride out the Sift Boat issue (see the quote from WaPo). Sure, the reaction of the mainstream press showed that he would have been right if not for talk radio, cable news, and the Internet, but if he hasn't caught on to the existence of these news sources yet, how smart can he be?
So, OK. What evidence do we have for his brilliance that can overcome all this evidence to the contrary?