FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Is It Possible to Underestimate the Intelligence of George Bush?

Last weekend one of the talking heads on a popular TV talk show announced, “we underestimate Bush’s intelligence.” I heard this and got to wondering if this was an oxymoron or not. The word oxymoron is defined in the dictionary as contradiction. Is Bush’s actions and behavior a contradiction of this quality of intelligence that is being ascribed to him? I went back in my mind to some of the things said by, said of, and done by George Bush to see if we are really underestimating the man’s intelligence, or if we have a glaring oxymoron on our hands. You will be left to decide. First things first.

As the dust settles in an election less than a week ago, and the Democrats are reeling from a massive loss, Bush is being given accolades for being smart and being a good strategist for stumping in the crucial election races to put his people over the top, resulting in a resounding victory. From where I sit the Democrats lost to themselves. And I mean long before the wake for Senator Paul Wellstone. They lost when Gephardt groveled at Bush feet after endorsing the resolution authorizing him to attack Iraq, while at the same time his fellow Democrat and respected elder statesman Senator Robert Byrd was imploring his colleagues against supporting it. They lost when they refrained from attacking Bush on the sinking American economy and the loss of confidence in the U.S. stock market with the fall of Enron, WorldCom, etc., etc., and his involvement in such events. They lost when they stood idly by as one of their most vibrant and lucid colleagues, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia was attacked and robbed of her seat in the primaries. So, in all honesty, can we truly label this event a case of smarts or intelligence on Bush’s part? You decide.

A few weeks ago, while using public transportation I overheard two young men talking. Well, actually I did not overhear. They were talking so loud that I could not help hearing. One was African American and the other Hispanic. The Hispanic asks his buddy if he supports, and is pleased with how Bush is handling things. The African American response was, “Are you kidding? George Bush is nothing more than the village idiot. All he and his Republicans are good for is giving the military a big raise and ruining the economy.” I began wondering if people like this young man were consulted in national polls that report Bush’s overwhelming support among Americans. I think not. It is people like this youth and those in his community, black and young, who refrained from voting, ensuring the Democrats demise. In this case are we ascribing Bush’s intelligence to disillusioned voters?

To effect the war in Afghanistan, Bush and his Administration became cozy with Pakistan. This meant Bush, the leader of the world’s greatest democracy, embracing Pervez Musharaff, the leader of that country. The man came to power in a coup, and is a military dictator who has never allowed elections. Was this relationship a good thing? Ask India. The result of this coziness meant Musharaff asked for what he wanted and got it. Mainly money and military hardware. This no doubt alarmed New Delhi, the capital of the world’s largest democracy. The upshot was that India and Pakistan came to the point of a dangerous nuclear exchange. There was a lot of shuttle diplomacy with Rumsfeld, and various international officials rushing to the region to restore calm. Did the American strategist and leaders, including Bush, not realize that this crisis was bound to happen with such behavior towards Pakistan? Was this a display of intelligence?

Some time ago Bush announced that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea constituted the axis of evil. He further stated that these nations were “run by unelected leaders.” This created an uproar among friends and enemies abroad. South Korea was alarmed. It had made a lot of headway in dealing with its neighbor North Korea, and felt that Bush was bungling things. They demanded an explanation. North Korea retorted that Bush was a buffoon who knew nothing of the world. One retort from abroad was that Bush himself was unelected, but court appointed. I remember wondering about the wisdom of Bush accusation of unelected leaders, while he was like two peas in a pod with Pakistan’s Pervez Musharaff, an unelected military leader. Was this a display of intelligence on Bush’s part?

Right after September 11 Bush urged America to go about its business as usual and to “take trips” and “buy stocks.” Those were his words. I was puzzled by this strange advice. Shortly thereafter the American stock market tumbled as Enron, Arthur Anderson, WorldCom, Global Crossing etc., etc., disintegrated. Now George Bush has a masters degree in accounting. What am I to make of someone, a specialist in the field of finances, advising on the value of stock purchases, only to see the stock market evaporate within weeks of his advice. When asked about the market dive and Enron, Bush countered, “I too have been affected by the stock market plunge because my mother-in-law lost money.” What? What does this detrimental advice by Bush say about his intelligence?

Remember that prior to September 11, many leading analysts and critics here in America thought Bush was inept, underexposed, and an embarrassment to the presidency. They said so regularly. Abroad, the Europeans, including the British, couldn”t wait for him to cross the pond to attack him on issues ranging from trade to his penchant for the death penalty. They did not think much of his smarts and ability. Has Bush proven all of his detractors wrong, or is it an oxymoron to use the name George W. Bush and intelligence in the same sentence? You decide.

BEN ROBERTS is a newsletter editor and freelance writer. He can be contacted by email at: grandt730@aol.com

 

More articles by:

February 21, 2019
Nick Pemberton
Israel, Venezuela and Nationalism In The Neoliberal Era
Chris Orlet
The Bill and Melinda Gates’ Fair Taxation Scaremongering Tour
Bruce E. Levine
“Heavy Drinking” and the NYT’s Offensive Obit on Herbert Fingarette
Lisi Krall
This Historical Moment Demands Transformation of Our Institutions. The Green New Deal Won’t Do That
Stephanie Savell
Mapping the American War on Terror: Now in 80 Countries
Daniel Warner
New York, New York: a Resounding Victory for New York Over Amazon
Russell Mokhiber
With Monsanto and Glyphosate on the Run AAAS Revokes Award to Scientists Whose Studies Led to Ban on Weedkiller in Sri Lanka and Other Countries
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Fake National Emergency Moves America Closer to an Autocracy
Alex Campbell
Tracing the Threads in Venezuela: Humanitarian Aid
Jonah Raskin
Mitchel Cohen Takes on Global and Local Goliaths: Profile of a Lifelong Multi-Movement Organizer
Binoy Kampmark
Size Matters: the Demise of the Airbus A380
Elliot Sperber
For Your Children (or: Dead Ahead)
February 20, 2019
Anthony DiMaggio
Withdrawal Pains and Syrian Civil War: An Analysis of U.S. Media Discourse
Charles Pierson
When Saudi Arabia Gets the Bomb
Doug Johnson Hatlem
“Electability” is Real (Unless Married with the Junk Science of Ideological Spectrum Analysis)
Kenneth Surin
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Another Boondoggle in Virginia
John Feffer
The Psychology of the Wall
Dean Baker
Modern Monetary Theory and Taxing the Rich
Russell Mokhiber
Citizens Arrested Calling Out Manchin on Rockwool
George Ochenski
Unconstitutional Power Grabs
Michael T. Klare
War With China? It’s Already Under Way
Thomas Knapp
The Real Emergency Isn’t About the Wall, It’s About the Separation of Powers
Manuel García, Jr.
Two Worlds
Daniel Warner
The Martin Ennals and Victorian Prize Winners Contrast with Australia’s Policies against Human Dignity
Norman Solomon
What the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Means for Progressives
Dan Corjescu
2020 Vision: A Strategy of Courage
Matthew Johnson
Why Protest Trump When We Can Impeach Him?
William A. Cohn
Something New and Something Old: a Story Still Being Told
Bill Martin
The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall
February 19, 2019
Richard Falk – Daniel Falcone
Troublesome Possibilities: The Left and Tulsi Gabbard
Patrick Cockburn
She Didn’t Start the Fire: Why Attack the ISIS Bride?
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Literature and Theater During War: Why Euripides Still Matters
Maximilian Werner
The Night of Terror: Wyoming Game and Fish’s Latest Attempt to Close the Book on the Mark Uptain Tragedy
Conn Hallinan
Erdogan is Destined for Another Rebuke in Turkey
Nyla Ali Khan
Politics of Jammu and Kashmir: The Only Viable Way is Forward
Mark Ashwill
On the Outside Looking In: an American in Vietnam
Joyce Nelson
Sir Richard Branson’s Venezuelan-Border PR Stunt
Ron Jacobs
Day of Remembrance and the Music of Anthony Brown        
Cesar Chelala
Women’s Critical Role in Saving the Environment
February 18, 2019
Paul Street
31 Actual National Emergencies
Robert Fisk
What Happened to the Remains of Khashoggi’s Predecessor?
David Mattson
When Grizzly Bears Go Bad: Constructions of Victimhood and Blame
Julian Vigo
USMCA’s Outsourcing of Free Speech to Big Tech
George Wuerthner
How the BLM Serves the West’s Welfare Ranchers
Christopher Fons
The Crimes of Elliot Abrams
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail