Donald Trump claims to be a very smart man who attended the best of schools. Considering the amount of money he has earned in a myriad of businesses he has created, lost and re-created, I can't dispute that.
Plus, he appears to be a genius in the way he is dangling a potential presidential candidacy before the American media, getting us to follow his every move like hyenas following red meat.
To make sure we follow him he has latched onto a lingering bit of stupidity, along with a fringe element in this country, about President Barack Obama's legitimate right to be president.
I have little doubt that the brilliant Trump joined the birther movement to bring publicity to his Celebrity Apprentice reality show. The more viewers he rings in, the more money he places in his considerably large wallet.
But that's fine. He's the newest P.T. Barnum and we, the media and the members of the birther movement who think he is one of them, are the recently born suckers.
Which brings me to this: I never thought I would be on the same side of an issue with Karl Rove, but here we stand.
Rove said Trump once had a legitimate chance to be a integral part of the Republican Party and its efforts to defeat Obama in the 2012 elections. Not now.
"His full embrace of the birth issue means he is off there in the nutty right," Rove said on Fox TV. "I'm shocked. The guy is smarter than this... Now he is a joke candidate."
Trump would never be hired by the American people or even Republicans during the primaries, Rove said.
"He has embraced full throated the nuttiness that somehow or other Obama was born in Kenya," Rove said, "and that his parents and grandparents arranged to have birth notices printed the next day in Honolulu newspapers so that 40 some odd years later he would be eligible to run for president."
Rove and I on the same side? Scary.
Read more of Merlene's column at Kentucky.com