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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Was Dubya dumb?

Dubya's search for rehabilitation has led Paul Krugman and other writers to pen reminders of why the Bush presidency was a disaster zone. Much of the debate concerns Bush's basic intelligence: Was he smart enough for the job?

That question isn't easy to answer. In terms of IQ points -- if that measurement means anything -- he probably has the necessary brainpower. What bothers me is the lack of intellectual curiosity. He seems willing to learn only what he absolutely needs to learn to accomplish a goal, and any unit of knowledge beyond that point is just annoying. To Dubya, education is like a fingernail: Trimmer is better.

For me, the most telling revelation came from Peter Galbraith, an ambassador to Croatia, who disclosed that President Bush did not know the difference between the Shi'ite and Sunni sects of Islam until a mere two months before the invasion of Iraq.
Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, "I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!"
I never doubted the veracity of this anecdote, astounding as it is. To the best of my knowledge, neither Bush nor his official defenders ever called Galbraith a liar.

Younger readers may not understand the implications. The Iranian revolution of 1979 and the hostage crisis of 1980 received massive news coverage in this country. Throughout those two years, numerous news articles and television programs provided detailed background briefings on the Ayatollah Khomeini and his religious tradition. Any American who paid any attention to the news learned about the two main Islamic sects. Even louts in bars knew that the Ayatollah was a "Shi'ite-head" and thus not at all like the Saudis or the Egyptians. (At the time, Saudis and Egyptians were considered "good" Muslims.)

George W. Bush was 33 years old in 1979. Think of it: A man of his years, born into a political family and traveling in powerful circles, who somehow managed to avoid all exposure to Time, Newsweek or any major newspaper. If he turned on the teevee, he must have flipped channels until he spotted Gilligan and the Skipper. It took continual effort to remain so stupefyingly oblivious to the major story of that two-year period.

Is Bush a dummy? No, not in the Forrest Gump sense of the word. He's more like the rich kid in The Emperor's Club: He'll learn exactly as much as he needs to, and only when compelled. Beyond that point lies the land of "Who gives a damn?"

Such a person should never be president. I would say the same even if he belonged to my party and gave lip service to causes I favor.
Comments:
I didn't know Shit from Sunni, either, but that has more to do with knowledge, not intelligence. I think he has slightly higher than avg. intellect, but as you say he lacked a fundamental curiosity. He seemed bored with the details, and saw himself as a 'Big Idea' guy. Let the peons do the real work. Like Reagan, he liked to delegate; IOW, dump on others, to free his mind up for whatever was more important to him. All tolled, I wouldn't let Dubya manage my KFC franchise.

Ben
 
I think the man was intelligent enough for the job. All a person really needs for that job is common sense and good advisors. The problem I think is that he was exceptionally dishonest being motivated by revenge and ideology rather than goodwill towards his fellow citizens.

Probably the only reason he wanted to be President was so that he could invade Iraq, kill Saddam and have his oil crones plunder the Iraqi reserves. Everything else was just window dressing. I've often thought that their is a very good chance that both Bush and Chaney had up to date intelligence concerning the terror plot and just ignored it either out of arrogance or so they could use it as justification for war.

What I think is that both Bush and Chaney clearly didn't understand was the sheer magnitude and abilities of our enemies even though Clinton had warned them in person. They probably didn't have a clue that a hijacker could crash a plane into a skyscraper even though it was even on a video game.

In essence it doesn't really matter whether or not Bush and Chaney had information or not on a terror plot prior to September 11th. Intentional or not what the real problem with both those morons is that they were both stupid and arrogant. Which to me is the hallmark of a special brand of person.

We run into stupid people every day and we run into arrogant people every day but when you are so arrogant that you don't know you are stupid then, well we've got real problems and a recipe for real disaster. Frankly, I think it is going to take decades for this country to recover from those two. But you know who really is to blame? All of those brainiacs who not only voted for them the first time around but voted for them the 2nd time around. Couldn't be any more foolish than that. Honestly, we got everything that we deserved.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
gp, I wouldn't go blaming the American people for Bush and Cheney. Both of them are deep-seated criminals and Cheney had decades of Machiavellian activities behind him. He was always running an extremely sophisticated political agenda quite outside any publicly stated policies and usually at deep odds with them.

Both the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections were stolen.

http://www.hermes-press.com/criminal_vote.htm
http://www.hermes-press.com/criminal_vote2.htm
 
Such a person should never be president ESPECIALLY if he belonged to my party and gave lip service to causes I favor!

Stupidity was Bush's pre-emptive defense to the 9/11 attacks and to war crimes trials. Who, me? I'm too stupid to let 9/11 happen on purpose! I'm too stupid to commit war crimes or lie on purpose!
 
Gavin, while I tend to agree that election fraud was a culprit along with a Supreme Court full of bought and paid for nitwits I have to say that enough people actually voted for the guy to make election fraud possible. Everybody should have seen through that guys bull crap but either they didn't or they willingly turned a blind eye. Then again, the exit poll data showed Gore winning convincingly and the disparity between that and the results is quite disturbing.
 
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