Thursday, August 17, 2006

"Cameras Aren't Allowed Inside the Courtroom, So We'll Have To Be Very Quiet...."

Thanks to this incredibly important breaking story, the cable news networks are going to be absolutely unwatchable for the next 3-5 days. (Case in point: I just saw a former neighbor of the killer on CNN, talking about how he was such a wonderfully nice guy. "He'd always buy the most wrapping paper when I was selling it at Christmas, and he always bought lots and lots of Girl Scout cookies from me too!" Gee, doesn't sound like a creepy pedophile on the prowl at all. Nope.)

Anyway, since there's no new news worth watching, you might want to grab your passport and head for Scarborough Country. This segment, titled "Is Bush an Idiot?," is just a thing of beauty.


Noah said...

One of my favorite quotes: Geoge Bush wakes up every morning and arm-wrestles the English language. Sometimes he loses.

Then the real gist of the matter comes out in this one: It seems he's overmathced by the job. It looks like he's overwhelmed by it...and it...and just out of his league.

It brought to mind how Newsweek's "Conventional Wisdom" section described Cheney this week: Queeg-like. Ha!! The comment was made in response to Cheney's comment that voting against Lieberman, and Lieberman's loss, gave "comfort to the Al-Queda types." Jeebus.

Otto Man said...

I loved watching John Fund try to argue that, sure, the president is a moron, but it's not that big a deal.

I guess if you don't have any faith in government to begin with, you don't really worry about how smart or competent the people in charge are.

They see it like a car with no engine or wheels, so who cares if the idiot neighbor kid wants to drive?

Tokyo Joe said...

this argument always drives me crazy. the whole concept that Bush is some sort of barely literate moron who just snoozes through the day is more than a bit absurd.

If nothing else the man graduated from both Harvard and Yale and while you can claim that his family connections got him in, he still graduated from both of what many consider the best universities in the country.

I'm not a huge fan of his policies, but just because I don't agree with his policies and plans doesn't mean he's an idiot. It's very easy to say someone is stupid if they don't agree with you because to you the right answer is so obvious that anyone who disagrees must be dumb. But sometimes they just see things differently or weigh the factors another way. I'm always saying that all of my bosses are dumb, but it usually turns out that they either have more information than I have or are working at another (usually broader) goal. So it's fair to say he's evil or morally bankrupt or just palin wrong, but stupid or an idiot is just name calling.

teh l4m3 said...

Um, yeah, sure: an F in Economics and an A in remedial grammar equals a C-average. Okay.

Tokyo Joe said...

okay, so here's some more info on Bush's college record and some other politicians. While no one's stating that he was an academic superstar, he didn't do that bad.

Check it out

Otto Man said...

Sorry, but Dubya's college scores do absolutely nothing to impress me. In fact, they only underscore the point.

Back in the late '60s and early '70s when he was in school, the Ivy League schools were notorious for what was politely called the Gentleman's C. This is back when the schools were old-boy networks (literally, no women at either Yale or Harvard then) and a failing grade simply wasn't given. Maybe a "withdrawal" in the worst cases, but the F was never handed down. Crappy students were given a nominal pass and a score in the low 70s.

But, whatever. College was college, and I'm not basing the idea that Bush is an idiot on his transcript. I'm not even basing it on his horrible grasp of the English language, the way he sounds out multisyllabic words like he's never said them before, etc.

The man is clearly, as an anonymous Republican put it, the most incurious and simple-minded person out there. He doesn't just shrug off complexities; he sneers at people who try to take them on. Science, international relations, the law, civil rights, etc., are complex issues and he clearly doesn't have the capability to grasp them. It's just evildoers and snowflake babies and "I am the Decider."

You want to make a case that he's smart? Feel free to trot out some evidence. I've been watching the guy attempt to handle speeches, debates, and press conferences for six years now, and all I see is dumb.

Otto Man said...

And I'm not equating disagreement with dumb. I don't agree with Bill Kristol or William F. Buckley on a whole lot, but I certainly respect their intellect and the arguments they craft. Sorry, that's a straw man here.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Otto.

Not to mention, among the various ways to judge intelligence, you may want to look at his "success." Despite having every advantage possible, the man's been a miserable failure at nearly every endeavor.

I'm also confident history will view his Presidency as a failure. I also agree that he's not the retard we love to paint him as, but he's never shown one iota of what you'd call above-average intelligence.


* * *

Now enuff a' this politicin an stuff. Where's that Friday Random Ten?

Anonymous said...

Now enuff a' this politicin an stuff. Where's that Friday Random Ten?

I speak, and voila!

Now that's service, boys. These LLPON fellas really know how to treat their audience.

Now how bout a whore and some blow?

Otto Man said...

Not to mention, among the various ways to judge intelligence, you may want to look at his "success."

True, although brainacs aren't always the best ones in the White House. I'd argue that the two smartest presidents of the 20th century were also two of the worst in office -- Hoover and Carter.

Now how bout a whore and some blow?

Sorry, but my shift just ended.

Tokyo Joe said...

I don't think any one has ever accused Bush of being a genius (except for the rapid die hard reps, but who really takes them seriously), but there's a big difference between not being smart and being an idiot.

And I think OM is spot-on with the idea that he dimisses complex issues and those associated with them, but that doesn't make him stupid in and of itself. In fact, there's something to be said for his ability to give the American people a very simple view of these issues (whether the view is wrong or right is another matter). I'm not saying that americans have short attention spans are are unwilling to delve into complex issues, but somehow Bush & Co. have convinced a lot of them that he's the man for the job and having simple and easy to understand platforms might have something to do with that.

Now I really don't believe that Bush intentionally acts dumb in public to seem more accessable to Joe Sixpack, but I can see where he would stop using big words and not want to get mixed up in the stickier issues (even though that's his job) since they might make him look bad.

Otto Man said...

Well, we might just have to agree to disagree on this one. I agree that Bush's simple act works well in the reddest areas of the country, but I just don't think it's an act.

You can't fake this: "You know, when you have resentment and anger, that breeds hatred; that breeds recruiting grounds for people to become a suicider. Imagine the mentality of somebody willing to kill for an ideology that just doesn't -- is not hopeful, and yet I believe a lot of it has to do with the fact that parts of the world breed resentment."

You also can't diagram it.

Anonymous said...

Some people might say this is a phrase of pure genius:

breeds recruiting grounds for people to become a suicider

I'm not one of those people, but I'll admit it makes me smile.

Otto Man said...

You know the saying about how a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters could eventually write Shakespeare?

One monkey could pull off a Bush speech on the first try.

Otto Man said...

I'm watching a Bush press conference right now.

Sorry, Joe, he's a fucking idiot.

Thrillhous said...

Dang, I missed out again!

My 2 cents. Despite all the bad Bush behavior we hear about, W still manages to inspire fierce loyalty in his followers and even many of his peers. His greatest attributes have little to do with booksmarts. Whatever it is he has, it doesn't work on me, but it obviously works on a whole lot of people, enough to get elected president at least once. He's had every advantage, but so have lots of the uber-rich. None of them became president. I think it's got something to do with what TJ was talking about, the way W can simplify things, even if he does usually way, way oversimplify things.

I can't get enough of "Bush is dumb" jokes, I admit. However, they really turn off those who like W or who at least respect him (I don't mean you, TJ, I'm reporting what I've experienced w/ my republican friends). My sense is that W fans feel personally offended by "dumb W" jokes; it's like you're saying they're dumb for supporting him, from their point of view. So I generally try not to attribute Bush's incredibly stupid policies to his own intellect (or lack thereof).

Anonymous said...

For the record, Dwight Eisenhower wasn't commonly the butt of jokes about being dumb. There just wasn't much to hang them on. He came to the presidency with the most impressive credentials of anyone to hold the office. On that score, he overmatches every president to this day.

Anyone who doubts Ike's intellectual depth and gifts need only read a volume of "Crusade in Europe" or better yet, his farewell address.

Gerald Ford possessed the same kind of regular-folks likeability that made Jimmy Stewart so well liked. He was the butt of a lot of jokes because of several incidents of clumsiness — tripping, slipping and even falling down.

For all of that, Ford was not the least bit lacking in intelligence and savvy, especially about domestic politics. He was relatively weak in foreign affairs, largely because he had been V.P., and odd man out, in an administration where Nixon and Kissinger so thoroughly dominated foreign policy.

Anonymous said...

thrillhouse notes an interesting wrinkle: Despite everything, Bush inspires intense loyalty in some people.

I've long believed a strong contingent of Bush's core supporters only like him better and bind more closely to him, the more the rest of us criticize his folly, intellectual shallowness, laziness and smirking dishonesty. They consider him a sharp stick in the eye of a whole lot of people they consider not just political opponents but enemies. The more irate Bush makes us, the better they like it, and love him.

Others, I think, exhibit Americans' natural tendency to cheer for the underdog. They see the piling on as meanness beyond anything the man deserves.

Never mind that Bush has benefited from having his party control Congress. Never mind that Bush has benefited from unprecedented support by the big, well-funded right-wing noise machine ever since he agreed to run for president, no matter how asinine they had to look and sound defending and spinning his nonsense.

Loyalty obviously works in strange ways.