In their quest to widen the low-road and increase its rider-ship, the liberal Washington, D.C-based website Politico just offered up this hackneyed but oh so predictable headline: “Is Rick Perry Dumb?”

Really? While it’s no surprise to conservatives and independents that the liberal mainstream media would pull out the old “attack Ronald Reagan” hand-book, dust it off, and use its previously discredited assaults to go after the surging Perry, a better question to be asked is: “What are they all so afraid of?”

First of all, something which must be highlighted and stressed by all who care about fairness and accuracy is that Texas Gov. Rick Perry not only honorably served in our military but that he was a decorated Air Force pilot.

At about the same age that President Obama (by his own admission) was trying to find himself and experimenting with drugs, Perry was strapping himself into the cockpit of multi-million dollar Air Force aircraft.

For those on the left who may not understand as many look down upon our military and mock its very existence, getting through flight training and becoming a pilot in the United States Air Force is a very exacting process which actually does take a high degree of intelligence, skill, judgment, and even courage.

Between Obama and the front-runners now seeking the GOP nomination, only Perry served in our military and only Perry was an Air Force officer and pilot. Should that service make a difference?

Absolutely. As terrorism grows and our borders weaken, every president for the foreseeable future will be a “war-time” president. A candidate with military service brings a unique and needed perspective into the Oval Office.

Beyond that obvious truth, another interesting question for the compromised liberal mainstream media to ask would be: “Would Obama have been intelligent enough to get through flight school and become an Air Force pilot?”

Some on the left already have serious buyer’s remorse and admit they should have been asking tougher questions about Obama in 2007. One such liberal being Drew Westen.

In a piece for the liberal New York Times, this far-left professor lamented:

“Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted ‘present’ (instead of ‘yea’ or ‘nay’) 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues.”

Remember, this is a previously strong supporter of Obama saying this. Not only is he now questioning the “disquieting aspects” of the president’s biography, but he is also calling into question the accepted myth of Obama’s “brilliance.”

Maybe now more on the left and more in the liberal mainstream media will ask by what criterion did they elevate Obama to the level of “brilliant?” As Westen points out, beyond Obama’s “singularly unremarkable career as a law professor” -- or anything for that matter -- is the very question of his actual competence.

Beyond the mandates of political correctness, how is a man who refuses to release the results of his SAT scores, his I.Q. test, or his transcripts from Occidental college deemed “brilliant?”

As the left and some in the liberal mainstream media seem more open to asking that very legitimate question, maybe they can also take a field trip to an Air Force base and observe the rigid screening process, dedication, and yes, high degree of intelligence needed to become an Air Force pilot.

It will be an eye-opening education for them. Especially those who avoided asking Obama the proper questions in 2007 and are now desperately trying to manufacture discredited attacks against Perry.

As the American people watch our nation spiral further and further into chaos under the “leadership” of Obama, they are onto this smear game and recognize the real-deal when they see it.

They are going to hear Perry out. Period.

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the forthcoming memoir entitled “Rolling Pennies In The Dark.” This piece originally appeared in The Washington Examiner on August 31.