"intellectually Engaged"

by The New Republic | October 31, 2007

As Mike notes over at the Stump, Rudy Giuliani's spokeswoman has declared him an "intellectually engaged human being." The evidence: He read an article published by one of his own advisers in the conservative City Journal, claiming that the five-year survival rate for prostate cancer (of which Giuliani is himself a survivor) is just 44 percent in England, compared to 82 percent in the United States. For the moment, let's grant that reading conservative talking points written by your own adviser in an ideologically sympathetic publication constitutes "intellectual engagement"--even when said adviser admits his data is "crude" and out-of-date, the people he got the data from say he has misapplied it, and the Office for National Statistics in Britain says he's off by a whopping 30 percentage points.

Even if we ignore all these caveats and agree that Giuliani is "intellectually engaged," it really just begs the questions: How long before he's conducting intellectual affairs? How ugly will the intellectual divorce be? Will he require an intellectual annulment? Sure, at some later point he'll probably be intellectually engaged again, but it could be a bumpy road between here and there.

 --Christopher Orr

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