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Sunday Smiles – HotAir

One of my favorite descriptive terms is “midwits.”

Midwits, as you likely have figured out, are intellectuals who are neither halfwits nor geniuses. They have very high opinions of themselves and spend much time telling you how much smarter they are than everyone else. They are slightly above average in intelligence but think they are far higher up the intellectual ladder.

You find a lot of midwits in journalism and politics–people who look down their noses at others without having the goods to back up their towering self-esteem.

John Kerry is your classic midwit. Joe Biden, when he was at his intellectual height, could aspire to be a midwit, although I am not sure he ever was even slightly above average in intelligence.

The New Republic pulled off your classic midwit move this week: deriding the intelligence and accomplishment of a person they cannot understand.

Elon Musk is hardly a perfect man, and I can see how a liberal might find him to be a bad man. I don’t share that assessment, but I understand how someone might arrive at it.

But small? Not good at anything? Only a midwit could arrive at that conclusion. Deride PayPal–fine. Downplay his role at Tesla–not fair, but there is some evidence you could marshal to claim he rode on the back of a tiger and accidentally built a successful new car company. That’s an exaggerated claim by a mile, but you could make the claim.

But SpaceX? That is all Elon Musk. Not in the sense that he designs everything and builds it although he is reputedly an amazing engineer. But nobody with the slightest knowledge of SpaceX can deny that he is the driving force for the success of the company. He built a team, pointed it in a direction, kept it together as the money was running out, and the results are stunning.

NASA depends on SpaceX to reach the ISS. The military depends on SpaceX to get cargo into space and to communicate with troops. This year, about 90% of all cargo going to orbit will be launched by SpaceX. And nobody–nobody with a brain–could argue that Elon Musk hasn’t been the key to SpaceX’s success.

When you put between 8 and 9 times more payload into orbit than the rest of the world combined, it’s hard to call that accomplishment “meh.”

Lest you think SpaceX’s success is the result of the application of gobs of money to a problem, consider these facts:

  • Jeff Bezos started Blue Origin before Musk started SpaceX, and it has yet to reach orbit. Not a kilo of payload yet.
  • Musk put everything he had into SpaceX and almost lost it all.
  • Boeing got far more money to build its human-rated capsule to go to the ISS, and it hasn’t even flown with a crew yet.
  • SpaceX, on the other hand, started flying to the ISS in 2020, and if Boeing ever gets flying, it will cost at least twice as much per astronaut. Boeing may never even fulfill its original contract, and if it does, it will be losing billions of dollars to do so.
  • SpaceX will fly 2 1/2 times as many flights as originally contracted.
  • Within a few years, Starlink will provide not just internet services but also cell phone connections.

There is much more. SpaceX will be Musk’s legacy. Tesla, not so much.

Elon Musk was celebrated by the midwits when he was Mr. EV and solar power; now that Twitter is his highest-profile product, he is suddenly a third-rater. Not good at anything. A small man.

In other words, the hatred for Musk has nothing to do with whether he is smart, a good businessman, or an engineer; it is about his entry into politics on the “wrong” side. Midwits.

Musk even predicted this–proving once again that he is no midwit.

There are many things you could criticize Musk for–he has a unique sense of time, dubbed “Elon time”–but to say he is not very good at anything makes you look like a midwit.


































































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