...it has now become equally puzzling why [Barack Obama] has not become more sure-footed in foreign affairs. He is one of the brightest men ever to occupy the office, and yet his learning curve has been among the flattest.
It is has been my experience that young people who constantly get told that they are the brightest people in the room grow up into middle-aged people who unconsciously assume that they are the brightest people in the room, and thus have no particular reason to improve themselves. Fortunately, the universe usually deals with this by placing individuals in tough situations where they quickly learn the limits of their abilities, typically with the enthusiastic application of negative reinforcement. The trouble there, alas, is that some deeply, deeply unlucky individuals go through life continually being coddled and kept from the worst consequences of their mistakes; invariably, they eventually end up in a situation where they cannot be further protected, and the resulting meltdown is ten times worse than regular events of idiocy or incompetence.
See also: Barack Obama, Presidency of.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Contra David Gergen, Barack Obama already is a lame duck. And he will remain so until he does some very simple, very straightforward, things to maybe get his Presidency back on track again. His call: I have a plan, either way.