Jeb Bush reads Charles Murray

You know how presidential candidates need to pretend that they’re smart. They take on ghost writers and foreign policy mavens. They consult with academics and speech writers, they confab with number crunchers. They will even – as happens in the sadder cases, like with the Texas governor – start walking around with thick black-rimmed glasses on their faces. It’s pathetic. But it’s understood that feigned intelligence is a sign of political ambition, and this somehow means something to the electorate.

From the campaign trail:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) declared himself to be a fan of controversial social scientist Charles Murray’s books at a forum Thursday in Washington…

“I like Charles Murray books to be honest with you, which means I’m a total nerd I guess,” Bush said.

Charles Murray. The Nazi? Ahem:

Try to imagine a GOP presidential candidate saying in front of the cameras “One reason that we still have poverty in the United States is that a lot of poor people are born lazy.” You cannot imagine it because that kind of thing cannot be said. …when we know the complete genetic story, it will turn out that the population below the poverty line in the United States has a configuration of the relevant genetic makeup that is significantly different from the configuration of the population above the poverty line.”

I get that he writes big books and everything, but he’s also the face of academic racism in the country. If anybody can be called a brainy white supremacist, it’s Murray. There are many far more appealing intellectuals to hitch your political wagon to.

Lowry asked Bush, “… is there any policy or anything public officials can do to help turn back what has been a rising tide of family breakdown crossing decades now?”

“Absolutely, there is,” Bush, a likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, said. “It’s not exactly the core. My views on this were shaped a lot on this by Charles Murray’s book, except I was reading the book and I was waiting for the last chapter with the really cool solutions — didn’t quite get there.”

Cool solutions you say? That’s right up Murray’s alley:

The technically precise description of America’s fertility policy is that it subsidizes births among poor women, who are also disproportionately at the low end of the intelligence distribution. We urge generally that these policies, represented by the extensive network of cash and services for low-income women who have babies, be ended.

Cut off “cash and services” to America’s poor mothers. No more Medicaid for the coloreds and their children. After all, what’s the point of helping these people when they’re just stupid? This is your GOP frontrunner’s favorite social science thinker.