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Anti-Intellectualism, the Ivy League, and Obama’s Cabinet

During a summer job when I was in college, I was chatting with a fellow college student.  I asked her where she went to school.

“At a school in Connecticut,” she said.

“Where at?” I asked.

“New Haven,” she said, sort of blushing.

“Oh, you go to Yale!” I said, “How cool is that?”

I wonder how many other Ivy League students out there answer the question “where do you go to school?” with such an evasive response.  Perhaps she thought that others would think she was a snob, or that they would think that she was bragging, if she answered the question directly.  I, for one, certainly didn’t think less of her, quite the opposite.

But isn’t this a shame?  On the one hand, Americans admire Ivy League educations, and because of this, the names on their transcripts can open some doors.  On the other hand, there’s a powerful undercurrent of distrust of intellectualism in America.  Whether it’s high school students mocking the smart kids, or college girls playing down their intelligence in class, or Fox News accusing Barack Obama of being an “elite” because he went to Columbia and Harvard, people are a little distrustful of those who have brains, an education, and the desire to work hard in their studies.  Read the rest of this entry »



College Records of Dick Cheney Show He Failed out of Yale

President George W. Bush’s college records have often been mocked, as Bush was a solid C student at Yale University.  However, Bush’s Yale experience went significantly better than Vice President Dick Cheney’s. Cheney actually flunked out of Yale.

In fact, young Dick Cheney had a bit of wild youth.  He was arrested twice for drunk driving charges in the early 1960s in Wyoming, where he worked as a lineman for a power company.  He did finally go back to school, although, as the New York Times has suggested, this may have had more to do with wanting to avoid getting drafted into Vietnam than it did with wanting to get an education.

In 1963, Cheney enrolled at Casper Community College in Casper, Wyoming.  Later that year, he transferred to the University of Wyoming at Laramie, where he earned a BA and an MA in political science.  He also began doctoral work in political science at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, but he did not finish.

Cheney’s grades for his undergraduate and graduate work are not available, and apparently are in an undisclosed location.



College Transcripts of George W. Bush Show C Average

George W. Bush wasn’t the best college student around.  But at least he’s been up front about his college record, unlike Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin. John McCain, on the other hand, has been quite upfront about the fact that he was ranked 894 out of 899 in the Naval Academy.

In fact, George W. Bush has openly released his Yale University undergraduate transcript.  As you can see, Bush truly was a solid C student.  He never got an A in anything the entire time that he was in college (although he never got a D or an F either).  Bush almost got As in history and anthropology, and earned a high pass in Japanese, of all things.  However, he received a 71 and a 73 respectively in his two political science and government classes.  His lowest grade was in sociology — a 70.

Bush earned a 1206 on the SATs, which is pretty good.  These days, though, a 1200 won’t get you anywhere near Yale, so I wonder how true that was back then, and how much Bush’s father’s connections had to do with getting him in.





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