That's not really the point---there were plenty of commenters who called him a dummkopf
, even though it didn't make a good fit with whatever hard evidence was available. (Bush's and Gore's SAT scores, for example, were comparably bad.) The point is that you could tell, even in 2000
, that the budget arithmetic behind his tax reform plan was fiction. That was a specific, factual argument about him, one that didn't depend on amateur psychology about his person. Amateur psychology is notoriously easy to corrupt with partisan passion.
I am turning to the candidates' books because I'm interested in specific information on their goals, worldview, and methods. I'm not interested in marketeer-talk about Sarah Palin's soccer-mom persona, nor in cheap magic-underwear jibes about Mitt Romney. The candidates America ends up selecting matter, even if they belong to the opposite party. The way we evaluate them needs to match that.