Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Is Bush a Moron?

Jacob Weisberg posted an intensely interesting essay in Slate magazine last Friday in which he explores the intelligence of George W. Bush. His conclusion: El Presidente ain't stupid, but because of who his father was, George Junior essentially adopted stupidity -- that is, a general lack of thoughtfulness about the ramifications of his actions -- as a form of rebellion.

His father was an honor student at Andover Academy and Phi Beta Kappa at Yale. George Junior became in response a C student who liked to brag about not reading books.

"Some are born stupid, and some achieve their stupidity."

"The most obvious expression of Bush's choice of ignorance is that, at the age of 57, he knows nothing about policy or history .... Consider the testimony of several who know him well:

Richard Perle, foreign policy adviser: "The first time I met Bush 43 -- two things became clear. One, he didn't know very much. The other was that he had the confidence to ask questions that revealed he didn't know very much."

David Frum, former speechwriter: "Bush had a poor memory for facts and figures .... Fire a question at him about the specifics of his administration's policies, and he often appeared uncertain. Nobody would ever enroll him in a quiz show."

Laura Bush, spouse: "George is not an overly introspective person. He has good instincts, and he goes with them. He doesn't need to evaluate and reevaluate a decision. He doesn't try to overthink. He likes action."

Paul O'Neill, former treasury secretary: "The only way I can describe it is that, well, the President is like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection."

"A second, more damning aspect of Bush's mind-set is that he doesn't want to know anything in detail, however important .... Closely related to this aggressive ignorance is a third feature of Bush's mentality: laziness .... The president can't tolerate debate about issues. Offered an option, he makes up his mind quickly and never reconsiders .... By leaping to conclusions based on what he 'believes,' Bush avoids contemplating even the most obvious basic contradictions: between his policy of tax cuts and reducing the deficit; between his call for a humble foreign policy based on alliances and his unilateral assertion of American power; between his support for in-vitro fertilization (which destroys embryos) and his opposition to fetal stem-cell research (because it destroys embryos)."

Har-har-hardee-har-har, America! The yolk's on you!

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