More self-evident stupidity — Steven G. Calabresi, McCain supporter and co-founder of the Federalist Society, argues that Barack Obama is too young to be president.

The Constitution says a person must be at least 35 years old to be POTUS, and Obama is in his late 40s. However, Calabresi argues that since life expectancy is longer now, “35” should be adjusted up.

In 1789, the average life expectancy of a newborn was about 40 years, compared with about 78 today. A lot of this was because of infant mortality, but in 1789, even the average life expectancy of every man who reached age 18 was only about 47. This suggests that at best a 35-year-old age limit in 1789 might have functioned then about the way a 55- or 60-year-old age qualification would function today. On this account Obama may be old enough to drive and buy a glass of white wine, but he has a way to go before he can run for president.

But the possible human life span hasn’t changed much. Our second POTUS, John Adams, was about 91 when he died. That made him only a teenager in dog years, btw. Next?

Others on the legal left, such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, argue that in choosing between different interpretations of the Constitution, we should select the one that will produce the best consequences. This method too suggests that Obama should be understood to be constitutionally barred from serving as president by reason of his age.

Here comes my favorite part.

We have had three presidents out of 43 who were younger when they took office than Obama would be on Jan. 20, 2009: Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt.

This is bad? Are we making sense yet?

All of them committed serious rookie blunders because they were too young.

As opposed to older guys who screwed up their entire administrations.

I don’t know how old Calabresi is, but I say he’s too stupid to be writing op eds. Or to be left alone for more than ten minutes at a time, for that matter.

17 thoughts on “Huh?

  1. Yeah, I considered posting something about this, but I read it as snark about us evil liberals and our allegedly non-literal readings of the Constitution, and I figured it wasn’t worth it.

  2. I’ve never been worried about McCain’s age, to be honest. It’s a red herring. I’m more worried about his insanity and his boneheadedness, and the similar traits in his followers.

    After all, age and maturity do not go hand in hand, as your links show. I can’t believe the world’s oldest spoiled teenager is, in Earth years, 62 now.

  3. So, is this all they’ve got? Really? ‘Cause I don’t think it’s going to work. Anyone who looks at Obama without redstate-tinted glasses sees a man in his prime, not some pimply-faced kid. This is bordering on comic.

    I really hope the Democrats don’t make a big deal about McCain’s age. They don’t need to. The debates will make the differences all too clear.

  4. Assuming that Calabresi is a McCain supporter, I will also assume that the McCain candidacy is in deep kaka if it must resort to the likes of Calabresi’s argument in the hope that it, finally, will swing voters to the candidate.

    Speaking of McCain, has anyone noticed that his latest personna seems to be how-tiresome-it-is-to-have-to-explain-to-my-opponent-all-this-stuff? I can’t figure out if it’s a case of lordly disdain or whether he’s close to physical collapse.

  5. “Anyone who looks at Obama without redstate-tinted glasses sees a man in his prime, not some pimply-faced kid.”

    You know, sometimes, when I don’t have anything more important to think about, I wonder if there are any people in their midlife crisis around who have gotten some consolation recently from the way parts of the media treated a man their age or older as if he was some kind of kid.

  6. this is truly amazing…how can this country survive if it produces (and rewards) such stupidity?

  7. Felicity, I’m pretty sure Calabresi is a McCain supporter. The article mentions at the end that Calabresi is a McCain advisor and has worked for presidents Reagan and Bush.

    I’m sure that article raised my blood pressure at least 10 points.

  8. …it’s hard to decide which way to go with Calabresi’s little rant. It looks, as Steve M. says, like the ‘Constitution’ stuff is just snark, although it appears to me to be a vehicle for keeping the poop-flinging themes (which is the only thing Huggy Bear’s campaign has left going for it) out there: inexperienced/Rev. Wright and Rev. Pfleger,/Rezko/campaign finance “flipflop”…

    It is a bit amusing to see him disparage Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency, on the other hand, just days after the Ol’ Maverick declared his own self to be the very spitting image of that very president…

  9. Calabresi’s piece is up there with the wingnuts who are trying to prove Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud. Clearly people with too much time on their hands. These people truly have their heads up their asses.

    A little more relevant is the wingnut claim that Obama has no business experience. Well, we saw how well the MBA president worked out, didn’t we?

  10. Mmm. Average life expectancy is not the same as an actual life span, even adjusting for infant mortality. My eighteenth century relatives lived into their seventies and eighties and they weren’t anomalies. More to the point, just check the ages of our presidents from that century and the next. And Teddy Roosevelt and John Kennedy were in their early 40’s. Sheesh – do your homework, Mr.Calabresi!

  11. Give them a break. They had an entire gamp plan – but it was written on the assumption they would be Swiftboatin’ Hillary.

  12. Is this the best they can do? I’m trying to remember just when they came out with the swift boat thing back in 2004, I seem to remember seeing a NYTimes Magazine piece on it in the summer & C-Span put on Kerry’s Senate “how can you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” hearing, but it was not until September that they put ads on tv right? Anyway, the more I think about it the more I must conclude McCain is a straw man candidate. The Republicans are bracing for a big loss and we are going to have a real change in 6 months! 6 months! Why does it have to take so long?

  13. Um, but, like, if we’re going to adjust for 18th century standards, then shouldn’t we disallow McCain from office, on account of his being already dead? Adams may have lived to 91, but he didn’t have melanoma.

    When I was little, I dreamed of being an astronaut and rocketing to strange and fantastical worlds. Now I can have that experience just by visiting the ideas inside the heads of wingnuts.

  14. Federalist Society. Why are all these things such self contained gems of irony and self explanatory as to their lunacy? Why do they persist in making arguments as if they were 6yr olds?

  15. OK. The Idiocracy is in full swing, no surprises there; but with all respect you left out the most blatantly age befuddled presidents in, I believe, the history of the republic: Ronald Reagan. Total Disaster, whatever the revisionist wingnuts claim. And yes, though I was only a young adult in the eighties, I was capable of recognizing gross but self serving incompetence when confronted with it. For only one of countless examples, see:

  16. Calabresi’s not stupid at all. I had him for two courses in law school, so I think I’d know. He is, however, a good illustration of the acrobatics that intelligent people must engage in now if they wish to remain conservatives.

  17. Someone remind him not to run with scissors in his hand. Or walk barefoot on broken glass.

Comments are closed.