The great, now late, Art Linkletter was widely appreciated for the humor he saw, as catalogued in, for instance, his book "Kids Say the Darnedest Things."
So do grown-ups -- particularly if they hang out in the fever swamps of the left.
Today's Exhibit A is Barack ("The Fault Finder") Obama -- that contemporary Diogenes ever seeking (in his oh-so-presidential phrase) an "ass to kick." Think BP, Chrysler's bondholders, and "fat-cat bankers." Think Republicans. Think maligned physicians and health insurers. Think Arizonans who dare to believe immigrants there should be legal. Think Israelis defending themselves against jihadist blockade-runners.
In the vein of "let's you and him fight," Obama now is setting up doctors and Republicans to go for each other's jugulars. Early in the dubious battle for ObamaCare, Obama won the support of the American Medical Association with promises to fix a scheduled 21 percent cut in payments to doctors participating in Medicare (about 97 percent of all practicing physicians.) He rammed through ObamaCare with no Republican support in the deciding votes -- and with, of course, no pledged fix of diminished Medicare payments to doctors.
Now Obama is saying (as he did in his weekly June 12 radio address) that Republicans had better help Democrats (holding majorities in both houses) reverse the scheduled Medicare cuts or otherwise he will disparage them as "willing to walk away from the needs of our doctors and our seniors."
IT'S ALL bilgewater. And so is so much else from the mouths not of children but of adult lefties who should know better.
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, billed by her supporters as a moderate consensus-builder, opposed allowing ROTC recruiters on Harvard's campus and defended Bill Clinton against charges of sexual harassment against Paula Jones - in a case that later triggered his impeachment.
Obama's nominee to run Medicare and Medicaid -- Dr. Donald Berwick -- is an unabashed fan of Britain's crushing National Health Service and of its rationing board, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (known by its big-brotherish acronym, NICE). Says the good doctor: "The more I have studied it, the more I believe that less discretion for doctors would improve patient safety." And: "NICE is an extremely effective and a conscientious, valuable, and -- importantly -- knowledge-building system."
Obama's National Security Adviser parrots the president's view that we shouldn't "describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community." Never mind that key tenets of the terror war -- tenets sanctioning vicious violence against non-believers -- are uniquely Islamist.
WHOSE fault is, well, you know, everything? In the eyes of mainline mediaists -- George W. Bush. The break-up of the Gore marriage? CBS Evening News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson finds a likely cause in Al Gore "winning the popular vote for president but losing the electoral vote."
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter lodges the blanket charge: "The oil spill is the perfect metaphor for Obama's presidency so far. It's been cleaning up a lot of the messes left to him by his predecessors, whether it was bank bailouts, auto bailouts, Afghanistan -- which turned out to be a much bigger mess than anybody anticipated -- preventing a depression that, you know, began to happen on George Bush's watch. So this is more of the same."
Grown-ups are defending or excusing the leftist rhetorical outrages of Helen Thomas -- implying (in the words of ABC's Dan Harris) she "deserves a break, given her status as a journalistic giant and a trailblazer for women, and given her age (90)."
Finally, there's Joe McGinniss, who rented the house next door to Sarah Palin while writing a book about her -- responding to NBC's Matt Lauer about death threats directed at McGinniss:
"I think (the alleged death threats are) probably a lesson for the American people of the power Palin has to incite hatred and her willingness and readiness to do it. She has pushed a button and unleashed the Hounds of Hell, and now they're out there slavering and barking and growling. And that's the same kind of tactic -- and I'm not calling her a Nazi -- but that's the same kind of tactic that the Nazi troopers used in Germany in the Thirties."
Those quotes contain the darnedest thinking -- and the darnedest implications. Heaven help us.
Gallup finds that in an hour of popular slide in his poll ratings, among Obama's most devoted approvers are not the poorest among us or those with the least education -- but those possessing graduate degrees: 57 percent still give the president positive job approval. Which may suggest the darnedest conclusion....
That the more educated you are the dumber you are, or the more leftist, or the more gullible -- or the less likely you are to be ideologically bright.