Obama epitomizes what our educational system produces today. To understand him you have to understand places like Columbia and Harvard. They are in a parallel universe with only a tangential connection with the real world. The fact Obama seems at least superficially "educated" is why many, especially media, are so infatuated with him. Although for someone who is supposedly educated he makes a remarkable number of factually erroneous statements (not talking about lies - there are plenty of those as well) which go totally unremarked on by the media. Could be because the media, many of whom went to elite colleges as well, are as clueless as he is.
I ran across something a while back about Keynes that had an analysis of the liberal mindset, which I can't locate now. It explains that the liberal wants to pursue policies that seem counterintuitive because it makes them feel sophisticated. It included the notion that punishment doesn't deter crime as one of several examples. This kind of "thinking" ultimately destroys a country.