The immense national controversy over Barack Obama’s college records has heated up to almost lukewarm with today’s breathless Daily Caller story about an anonymous Columbia University alum who says that an unnamed official at Columbia told him that Obama’s GPA at the school was 2.6. This unimpeachable (get it?) info-bombshell, coming in the wake of Donald Trump’s game-changing offer to give money to charity in exchange for the release of Obama’s college transcripts, somehow merits four pages of excited speculation, including but not limited to the ritual sacrifice of a chicken and the subsequent examination of its entrails.
But really, this is serious journalism that raises serious questions!
In 2004, after Obama’s successful speech at that year’s Democratic convention, a Columbia University official told him Barack Obama’s GPA, he explained to TheDC.
“This person told me that he [Obama] was a pre-law, poli-sci major, had a lot of incompletes, and as best could be determined after sorting through the incompletes, had a GPA of 2.6,” said the businessman, a former Marine Corps combat veteran.
See? And he’s a Marine, so to question this report is to Hate the Troops! It also makes perfect sense that a Columbia official would have looked up Obama’s records, calculated his GPA (adjusting it downward by “sorting through the incompletes”), and then tell an acquaintance about it, because the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 totally has an exception for really good gossip. Also, we hate to be all math-y, but if you reach a cumulative GPA of 2.6 after “a lot of incompletes,” doesn’t that mean that you kind of had a pretty high number to start with? But, hey, either way plays into delightful stereotypes: He’s either pretty dumb, or he’s so lazy he didn’t bother to finish his classes!
Still, the Daily Caller asks a very important question: “Is [the] search for grades a distraction?” Clearly, when talking about someone who has been the nation’s chief executive for four years, it’s actually kind of silly to obsess over his grades in college, right? However amusing it was to think about George Bush’s amusingly mediocre grades, they were a sideshow to his tragically mediocre performance as President, after all. Thank goodness, the Daily Caller agrees that Obama’s GPA is indeed not all that relevant:
It would be better to find and highlight the topics that Obama chose to study, and to identify the teachers he choose to learn from, said one conservative researcher-author who has spent time pursuing information about the president’s academic history. Grades are a poor guide to character or ideology, he said, partly because they were so routinely inflated in the early 1980s.
If we are to ever understand the enigma (get it?) who occupies the Oval Office, we need to get the details of that paper Barry wrote on “The Lottery” as an indictment of middle-class complacency.
The piece also calls attention to the shocking double standards of those in the media:
Trump’s call for Obama to release his college records has prompted scorn from various media figures who would otherwise tend to support transparency in government.
Yes, that is hypocrisy of the worst sort, because when people call for transparency in government, they totally mean “office-holders’ college records,” not dumb stuff like “where did all that campaign money come from?” because asking questions about money Hurts Free Speech.