Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 14, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

QUOTE OF THE DAY....From Andrew Tobias, responding to Jon Stewart's characterization of George Bush as a moron:

"Bush is hardly a moron. He wanted the rich — in particular the oil guys — to do well and they have (phenomenally well). He promised to appoint more Justices like Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia and he did. He didn't want to work terribly hard and he hasn't. He wanted to show that government can't do things very well, and he has. Morons are not usually so successful in getting what they want."

Well, OK. I guess I'll have to think of something else to yell at the TV set then.

Kevin Drum 8:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (87)

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Comments

I guess we'll all have to fall back on "asshole," then.

Posted by: Chris K on May 14, 2008 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Tobias is very smart, but he's wrong here. Bush is a moron, surrounded by and string-pulled by evil but competent manipulators.

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on May 14, 2008 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

But . . . weren't all these goals moronic? Or stunted and myopic, at the very least?

Posted by: mary on May 14, 2008 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

But he also wanted to be popular. He wanted to be the war president, resplendent in his flight suit, adored by cheering crowds. He's hardly succeeded at that.

Posted by: Oregonian on May 14, 2008 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Chris K: I guess we'll all have to fall back on "asshole," then.

Too generic - I think "traitor" is better.

Posted by: alex on May 14, 2008 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

What's the problem here. Surely Bush's goals were shared by large chunks of the population, were they not?

Posted by: demisod on May 14, 2008 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Vacations are hard!! Heh. I also recall Bush saying his job was hard, very hard work.

http://www.depresident.com/bush-complains-hard-work-video.asp

Posted by: Jet on May 14, 2008 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

I fail to see how any of those "accomplishments" detracts from his moronity.

Posted by: bmaz on May 14, 2008 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Lemme put that HARD WORK in link form.

Its, wehhh, Hard, Wehh, Work!!

So, I dont know what this guy, Tobias, is talking about. Starting two wars to prove that government cant do things very well took an incredible amount of effort.

Posted by: Jet on May 14, 2008 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

He's right. The Bush regime only appears inept when cast against the expectation of it acting in the best interests of the country.

The reality is that Bush has been wildly successful at achieving his real goals.

Undermine civil rights and liberties Check.

Destroy the economy and revert to an 1880's standard of living. Check.

Roll back 50 years of gains by the working classes. Check.

Enrich his oil buddies and Halliburton beyond their wildest dreams. Check.

The list goes on and on.
The guy's a friggin genius!


Posted by: Buford on May 14, 2008 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Have ya thought about IMPEACHMENT, yet? 1-202-225-0100 DEMAND IMPEACHMENT

Posted by: Mike Meyer on May 14, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

I'd tell you what I call him, but I don't want to get banned.

Posted by: kc on May 14, 2008 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with the others. Accomplishing a handful of moronic goals while colossally fucking up a vast array of others somehow exempts you from criticism?

Posted by: junebug on May 14, 2008 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

No, the people who voted for him against their own interests are morons.

Posted by: Quinn on May 14, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

The argument falls down when you consider how much Bush tarnished the Republican brand. His future is, most likely, to be hated by his party more than his father is. I don't think that was one of his goals. He's a moron.

Posted by: Ben V-L on May 14, 2008 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty sure Stewart was talking about Bush's destroying our environmental protections, or wasting (soldiers') lives, or not going after Bin Laden and not pursuing the terrorists correctly (thereby making our country less safe), or continually disrespecting Americans and driving his own approval rating down through the ground, or something like that. All this stuff makes anything else he does (like the items Tobias lists) kind of like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

But great job making yourself look like an asshole, Tobias.

Posted by: Swan on May 14, 2008 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush isn't the President so much as he is the National Doofus.

Posted by: Swan on May 14, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Morons are not usually so successful in getting what they want.

Tobias isn't considering that morons are not usually sons of the former President of the United States. People with such connections, even morons, can often do a lot (consider some historical aristocracies).

Posted by: RSA on May 14, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a proctor for Mensa (the "high IQ" society, but IQ at least 132 is about half of all PhD holders.) I have studied the correlates, and George Bush's SAT of 1206 corresponds to about IQ 121. Well, "what happened"?! Actually, like lots of folks (but you don't hear it seriously discussed), I think something literally happened to GWB. I read an interview with Bush in Wired or similar from late 1999 and he sounded rather intelligent (albeit transcript and not live, but still ...) But then there's how he sounds since the 2000 Election or so. Some sober folks think Bush had a little or not so little TIA or etc. and took a hit up there. I think that's credible, not just a Capitolhillblue type conceit. (And remember the "back bulge" controversy? BTW I helped get the initial reports spread around the blogs etc.) Any thoughts on that?

BTW, you folks will find the grades and scores of Bush, Gore, and Kerry at this link. Note Gore's SAT of 1355, good enough for Mensa and typ. correlate to about IQ 137. His grades were also not too bad, pace standard conservative mythology. Kerry's grades were lousy, all of their grades were kinda lousy - what's with future politicians?

Posted by: Neil B. on May 14, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Did Fratboy actually have a goal other than playing president. He was picked by the rich guys, manipulated to appear affable, given the agenda, and handled to suit the big money interests.

No intelligence required!

Posted by: capitalistpig on May 14, 2008 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Did Fratboy actually have a goal other than playing president. He was picked by the rich guys, manipulated to appear affable, given the agenda, and handled to suit the big money interests.

No intelligence required!

Posted by: capitalistpig on May 14, 2008 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

how does, " pompous sanctimonious twit " fit?

Posted by: On the Fence on May 14, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Not being able to get what you want is not the distinguishing feature of a moron. Wanting stupid things, whether you get them or not, is what makes the moron.

Andrew Tobias is a moron.

George Bush is a powerful moron. He can do stupidity on a grand scale. He is the Commodus of our time.

Posted by: Paul Camp on May 14, 2008 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

No.

He is a moron. His goals were achievable as a moron. He set the goals of a moron. If he had set other goals he would have failed.

Posted by: ropty on May 14, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

In future generations, the expletive will be "bush".

Like quisling, you know.
Or judas.

An archetype for a particular kind of fascism.

Posted by: joel hanes on May 14, 2008 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, arguing over what adjectives accurately describe George Bush is both important and timely.

I guess nothing else important is going on in political news today.

Posted by: Augustus on May 14, 2008 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

But great job making yourself look like an asshole
Posted by: Swan on May 14, 2008 at 9:21 PM
looked in the mirror lately?

I'd tell you what I call him, but I don't want to get banned.
Posted by: kc on May 14, 2008

Jeepers! What do you have to call the prez to get banned around here? George W. Swan?

Posted by: stupid white bird on May 14, 2008 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's possible for GW Bush to be a moron and for his administration to be rather sharp about pushing right wing agendas. One only has to look at the way Vice President Cheney is at the center of middle-East policy, or his involvement in the war on whales, or how the push against Valerie Plame came out of the VP's office. Meanwhile you have Karl Rove in the WH surrounding himself with like-minded hatch-men. Bush is the figurehead for a very well oiled politcal machine. He's not smart, but the machine is.

Posted by: beb on May 14, 2008 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

By any standard Bush is a first-class moron. Ignorant, aloof, arrogant, dismissive, dumb.

If most of us acted like him or made the same types of incompetent dipshit choices - without interest or accountability - we would be reprimanded, fired, ridiculed or maybe even severely beaten.

For instance, I just asked my boss if he thought he was capable of rustlin' up some cheeseburgers for lunch and he looked at me all funny and said he'd like to meet with me privately. Hmph.

Posted by: The Lucky Sea Men on May 14, 2008 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

A little OT. It just hit me that George is like the real Fucked-Up and Doped-Up lead singer of a band and Jeb is the bass player.

Posted by: R.L. on May 14, 2008 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Bush isn't just a moron. He is an antisocial moron to even want those things he has enacted. But he was a moron who was placed there to do that, and those who placed him there accomplished the work. They probably told him what to want.

All Bush had to do was nod his head. Like a moron.

Posted by: Rick B on May 14, 2008 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

The reason Bush comes off as moronic is that the arguments he uses to support his policy choices could only be believed by a moron. Even if he doesn't believe his own tripe, he considers it credible enough for others to believe it.

His administration is basically just about stealing as much as possible for his cronies, with a dollop of clumsy grasping for empire done as a sop to his authoritarian followers and to his own vanity.

Historians will find it remarkable that in eight years this administration managed to not accomplish a single constructive thing, while causing immense damage to everything it touched.

Posted by: jimBOB on May 14, 2008 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

history's take on George will dismay you, methinks. Like Ronny, who was pissed on by the likes of you in his time.

http://baghdadbureau.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/13/a-new-basra-something-like-the-old-one/

Posted by: neill on May 14, 2008 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

To go from a mid-life crisis at forty to President of the United States. Even if he was a f*ck-up...he really lucked out.

It's not fair.

Posted by: Boorring on May 14, 2008 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

To go from a mid-life crisis at forty to President of the United States.

The man was picked as the figurehead for a well-financed initiative to seize political power on behalf of moneyed elites, in no small part because he had a convenient name. If he'd been born George W. Thripshaw we would never have heard of him.

history's take on George will dismay you, methinks.

People who do history professionally have already started to weigh in on this.

Asked to rank the presidency of George W. Bush in comparison to those of the other 41 American presidents, more than 61 percent of the historians concluded that the current presidency is the worst in the nation’s history. Another 35 percent of the historians surveyed rated the Bush presidency in the 31st to 41st category, while only four of the 109 respondents ranked the current presidency as even among the top two-thirds of American administrations.
Posted by: jimBOB on May 14, 2008 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

I recently read an interview from several years ago with Gary Trudeau, who was a classmate of GW's at Yale. He said Bush was your basic mean frat boy who delighted in little humiliations of lesser people.

George Bush--
Like a rock.
Only dumber.

Posted by: anandine on May 14, 2008 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

The only people dumber than Bush are the people who are lying, breaking a lot of rules, or doing a lot work to prop him up and to try to make him popular, but who aren't pulling his strings.

The guy made our country weak and vulnerable. He sat on his ass cowering after Al Qaeda attacked us, and since then people have had to teach him to look like he has chops.

Posted by: Swan on May 15, 2008 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

If China thought they were facing an inevitable conventional war with us, and wanted to strike our military to try to cripple it when it was likley to be at its weakest-- so as to make sure they'd have dominance over the world's dwindling resources-- now would be the time to do it, and we have George W. Bush to thank for it.

Probably all that's preventing them from doing it is a lack of nerve.

Posted by: Swan on May 15, 2008 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

If I was our president, we'd do everything from a position of strength. We wouldn't lead with our chin. All the people who are supporting Bush have no idea what they're doing, and that's demonstrated by how absolutely bad his judgment is.

Posted by: Swan on May 15, 2008 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

Whoa. Tobias was engaging in a little bit of snark, and quite funny at that. I can't believe some of the responses here.

Posted by: bk on May 15, 2008 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

Make it a lucky moron.

And an unlucky country.

Posted by: Miss Otis on May 15, 2008 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

neill,

You compare Bush to Reagan, a man whose brain was well on its way to being swiss cheese because of Alzheimer's when he took office. 0 = 0! Yes, this is true!

Reagan proved that image was more important than competence when it came to being elected and set the stage for the Shrub. Be careful what you pray for God may give it to you.

If you have any doubts, read what God told Samuel when the Israelites told him to ask God to provide them with a king.

Posted by: Stuart on May 15, 2008 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

neill,

You compare Bush to Reagan, a man whose brain was well on its way to being swiss cheese because of Alzheimer's when he took office. 0 = 0! Yes, this is true!

Reagan proved that image was more important than competence when it came to being elected and set the stage for the Shrub. Be careful what you pray for God may give it to you.

If you have any doubts, read what God told Samuel when the Israelites told him to ask God to provide them with a king.

Posted by: on May 15, 2008 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

With friends like Tobias, who needs enamas?

Posted by: majarosh on May 15, 2008 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

Um, that's quite a bit of revisionist history there, and I think you just inadvertently strengthened the point that Reagan was all show and no policy.

* Reagan did not compete on economics with the Soviet Union. There are no economic policies from his administration to support this. Even defence spending was not intended to bankrupt the USSR, but was increased because "Soviet experts" like Condoleeza Rice wildly overestimated Soviet military capacity. Remember the bomb scare, and how the scary Russians supposedly outnumbered and outgunned us?

* Reagan talked a lot about slashing taxes, but he oversaw both one of the largest tax hikes and also an explosion in the deficit, Economic growth under Reagan was mediocre at best, though the Eighties did give us the "greed is good" mentality.

* "Star Wars" has been a money pit ever since it was conceived. Tonnes of money poured into a defence programme that is useless against terrorists. What's worse, the threat it was designed to defend against doesn't exist any more, as there are no hordes of ICBM missiles pointed at the USA any more. For all we know, the "Star Wars" system was merely an "Emperor's new clothes" scam that made a bunch of contractors rich.

Posted by: Saint Fnordius on May 15, 2008 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

Tobias has a point - I think Bush is clever in some ways. He certainly duped the American people into thinking he was a "moral man". He also duped them into a war that should never have been fought, although he had plenty of help with that.

I like to say that there are lots of smart people in this world, even maybe Bush and some of his cronies. Even Norman Rogers. However, there are very few wise ones. Wisdom is what we need to look for in others and strive for in ourselves.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 15, 2008 at 5:43 AM | PERMALINK

Jon Stewart earlier said something along the lines of "Bush isn't stupid. He thinks we are stupid. That's why he talks to us that way."

He set the goals of a moron. If he had set other goals he would have failed.

This is a compelling line of reasoning, as well.

Bush's thoughts, statements, and actions are indistinguishable from that of a stupid person. It bears little importance to worry about whether he is actually, technically stupid. Arguing he is intelligent is like arguing that a used car salesman is intelligent: sure, he's better at finding and berating customers into accepting poor quality cars on unfair terms while threatening the stability of the business, and does it better than I could, but is that really the sort of person you want running the country?

Posted by: Tyro on May 15, 2008 at 6:39 AM | PERMALINK

If a moron just wants an ice cream sandwich and gets it, it doesn't change the fact that he's a moron.

Posted by: TR on May 15, 2008 at 6:58 AM | PERMALINK

I agree completely with Tobias. the "Bush is a moron" theme was an enormous gift -- perhaps the biggest one -- that "progressives" and right thinking people provided to the GOP and the administration. It played into their hands in so many ways, and exemplified a smug, self regarding and shallow approach to politics. A good rule of thumb might be that descriptions that work as laugh lines on comedy shows may not work so well as substantive political statements. I think Stewart is very funny, but I never turn to him, or rely on him, for political analysis.

Posted by: DB on May 15, 2008 at 7:32 AM | PERMALINK

From Wikipedia...

"Moron was originally an English scientific term, coined in 1910 by psychologist Henry H. Goddard from the Greek word moros, which meant "dull" (as opposed to "sharp"), and used to describe a person with a mental age located between 8 and 12 on the Binet scale. It was once applied to people with an IQ of 51-70, being superior in one degree to "imbecile" (IQ of 26-50) and superior in two degrees to "idiot" (IQ of 0-25). The word moron, along with others including "retarded", "idiotic", "imbecilic", "stupid", and "feeble-minded", was formerly considered a valid descriptor in the psychological community, though these words have all now passed into common slang use, exclusively in a derogatory context."

Since it pisses me off the way Republicans devalue our language by using it carelessly (liberal, terrorist, etc) I thought I'd try and add a little context to this thread. In one sense moron does fit Bush. That is, derogatory-- only other members of his administration deserve it more. In the other earlier scientific sense Bush is probably more of an imbecile than moron, though I place his emotional age at about 15.

Neil B. has an excellent point. All the evidence points to Bush being severely brain-damaged, probably from drug abuse.

Posted by: dennisS on May 15, 2008 at 7:53 AM | PERMALINK

Self-deluded asshole?

I'm not sure it's worth this many synaptic transmissions just to be more precise with our derogatory exclamations.

Posted by: B on May 15, 2008 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

Tyro: Bush's thoughts, statements, and actions are indistinguishable from that of a stupid person.

His own special Turing test.

Posted by: anandine on May 15, 2008 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

bk at 12:30AM, I don't see how it's snark.

Posted by: Swan on May 15, 2008 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps this is begging the question (god forbid I use that phrase incorrectly) but those imputed goals of Bush's sound pretty moronic to me. Even not working hard. If you don't like hard work, you're a moron to run for preznit.

Posted by: jussumbody on May 15, 2008 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

dennisS"Since it pisses me off the way Republicans devalue our language by using it carelessly (liberal, terrorist, etc)"

Thanks to dennisS for checking with the dictionary.

But during the Bush years, so many things have been damaged or changed that perhaps the word, "moron" should be expanded to mean "mean-spirited, ill-informed, incurious, smug, cunning, destructive, deceitful, manipulative, competitive, authoritarian, unethical, short-sighted, selfish, posturing, vain, indifferent to the suffering of others"...the list goes on and on. A word with that meaning would be very useful. It could be used as a synonym for anyone who acts like George Bush or an admirer of George Bush.

By that new definition Bush totally is a moron. It's a tautology. Bush is a moron. A moron is Bush.

We could also start exclaiming, by simple substitution, when someone does something particularly heinous and lacking in good judgment, (eyes rolling) "O, Gawd, he is such a Bush!"

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 15, 2008 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

#1: "Please, don't kill me."
#2: Trying to give Angela Merkel a neck massage.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on May 15, 2008 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Morons are not usually so successful in getting what they want.

As a Wall Street lawyer who routinely encounters people in the upper strata of the financial world I must strongly strongly disagree. Morons are often quite successful in getting what they want -- not through intelligence, for sure, but through other means, such as cruelty, bullying, pig-headedness, paranoia, lack of empathy, rage, low animal cunning, monomania, etc. You'd be shocked at how many outright stupid people you will find in high positions in companies across this country.

Posted by: Stefan on May 15, 2008 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

I keep trying to tell the Republicans who are unhappy with Bush, why are you complaining?
You got exactly what you voted for.

If you elect a Texas oil man for President what do you expect the price of oil to do?

The problem is not Bush, he did exactly what Republican economic theory called for. Rather, the problem is Republican economic theory.

Guess what, Bush demonstrated that trickle down economics, renamed supply-side economics for propaganda purposes, does not work.

Posted by: spencer on May 15, 2008 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with Tobias. Moron is too blunt an epithet and doesn't adequately describe Bush. I prefer lying, selfish, SOB, as it is an insult to the mentally disabled to ascribe Bush's moral failings solely to a lack of intelligence.

Posted by: AK Liberal on May 15, 2008 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

"Stop waving that in my face. It's just a god--am piece of paper."

"Don't misunderestimate me."

"Good job Brownie."

"How much is a brazillian?"

"Is our children learning?"

In my book, only a moron would utter such drivel.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on May 15, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Tyro on May 15, 2008 at 6:39 AM:

Arguing he is intelligent is like arguing that a used car salesman is intelligent: sure, he's better at finding and berating customers into accepting poor quality cars on unfair terms while threatening the stability of the business, and does it better than I could, but is that really the sort of person you want running the country?

Err ... we tried that in 1968

Posted by: G.Kerby on May 15, 2008 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

You can argue that GWB only got into Yale because he was a legacy, but I don't think they let morons into Skull & Bones.

No, what I think is closer to the truth is that the GOP leadership needed somebody who could convincingly play a moron, somebody the rubes who the Republicans have come increasingly to rely on for votes could look at and say "Yeah, he's one of us!" I assure you that Bush doesn't talk like that in a corporate boardroom, and the CEO's figured out a long time back that their money wasn't enough to get the kind of people they want into office.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on May 15, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Tobias makes the error of attributing to George W. Bush the "accomplishments" of the Bush administration.

The role of George W. Bush within the Bush administration is that of a glad-handing, back-slapping, smirking, teleprompter-reading, scripted-talking-point-reciting front man. His role is to deliver a bad, frat-party-drunkard impression of Ronald Reagan playing the role of John Wayne playing the role of president.

He is not a "leader" or a "decider". He doesn't set policy. He doesn't make decisions. He says whatever he is told to say, whenever he is told to say it, and he neither knows nor cares whether any of it is true.

He is an empty-suit shill for America's Ultra-Rich Ruling Class, Inc. and the cartel of career corporate criminals and war profiteers led by Dick Cheney, who seized power under Bush's name in the bloodless coup of 2000.

Whether Bush meets the technical definition of a "moron" I cannot say. He does appear to be a psychopath who, like psychopathic serial killers, is almost completely devoid of empathy for other human beings.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on May 15, 2008 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

You can argue that GWB only got into Yale because he was a legacy, but I don't think they let morons into Skull & Bones.

Sir, you are incorrect.

Posted by: Stefan on May 15, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Neil B: Actually, like lots of folks (but you don't hear it seriously discussed), I think something literally happened to GWB. I read an interview with Bush in Wired or similar from late 1999 and he sounded rather intelligent (albeit transcript and not live, but still ...) But then there's how he sounds since the 2000 Election or so. Some sober folks think Bush had a little or not so little TIA or etc. and took a hit up there.

Maybe that TIA (or an additional TIA) was passed off as the pretzel incident.

Bush on fainting episode

Posted by: cowalker on May 15, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

"How much is a brazillian?"

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on May 15, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

He said that? Was he asking for himself or Laura? Or maybe for Jeff Gannon/Guckert?

Posted by: jussumbody on May 15, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

try yelling "fucking asshole!"

then get a bumper sticker that reads:

IMPEACH. DETAIN. RENDER. INTERROGATE. PROSECUTE. CONVICT. IMPRISON.

Works for me.

Posted by: on May 15, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

It does not appear to me that Bush is actually stupid. Although he is far from the brightest fellow in the room, the person who actually gets elected rarely is, compared to the experts and advisers. Still, his problem is not lack of sheer intellectual horsepower. His horsepower is probably adequate, if not especially impressive.(Am I showing my age? Is the better analogy these days RAM and chip speed?) Bush simply refuses to use the horsepower, or RAM and chip speed, that he has. He is lazy, incurious, smug, arrogant, unaware of or unconcerned with his lack of knowledge, and distrustful of both people who have knowledge and knowledge itself. Low horsepower is a failing of capacity. Being lazy, incurious, smug, arrogant, etc., is worse, it's a failing of character.

Posted by: CJColucci on May 15, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

I've never understood why people complain about George and his cronies being incompetent. Just think how much more damage they would have done this great nation if they'd only known how.

Posted by: Mandy Cat on May 15, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Well, he isn't a moron. He is a sociopathic, incurious asshole, deeply ignorant in many areas (as are the vast majority of Americans). I agree with Tobias - he has accomplished his goals. You must understand that he doesn't really give a rats ass for the grunts on the ground. He is simply interested in consolidating the corporate and personal power of America's richest 0.1%. And Kevin Phillips has validated that he has been hugely successful in this. He has put all of America's resources into the military, believing that even without physical production, we can dominate the wealth of the rest of the world through military threat and action, as did the British at the height of their empire. America as a mafia Don - Scalia can relate to that. He and his buddies look with lust on Russia's vast natural resources, and are trying to encircle her militarily in order to expropriate them. They look with contempt at Clinton during the Yeltsin years, that our multinationals allowed the Russian oligarchs to keep control of these resources. For details about this, google F. William Engdahl, a man worthy of the title genius.

In summary, el Chimpo is a sociopath with limited cognitive skills for the office he purportedly occupies, but he has accomplished his goals and certainly is not a moron. In fact regarding him as a moron is vastly counterproductive, as it induces one to lose sight of his agenda.

Posted by: el_Pollo on May 15, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

I'd like to nominate "GWB" as the lowest form of derogatory name calling (implying the list of traits PTate enumerated above), rather than the term "Bush."
Because of the fact that "he's such a bush" could be interpreted in many ways, I think it's more concise and specific to say GWB. Plus, it has the acronym thing going for it, which is nice.
Try it out:
"McCain is acting like such a GWB these days."
or
"If only my brother-in-law wasn't such a GWB, I could probably get along with him."

Posted by: Govt Skeptic on May 15, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Well, ok, if he is not a moron then that implies that he knew what he was doing, and he purposefully decided to undermine our country to enrich his crime family. So that makes him at best a sociopath and a liar, and at worst a criminal and a traitor...impeachment anyone?

Posted by: Bob on May 15, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Stupidity can be a real benefit amongst the rich and powerful. Why? Because they have no insight and no self-doubt. Their world view is clear as a bell, unlimited by the doubts and gray areas the rest of us routinely have. It is this clear, unfettered vision of their own rightness that makes them formidable. Don't underestimate the stupid - respect them. Respect your enemies or you're likely to underestimate them.

Posted by: ExBrit on May 15, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, W. Bush is no Franz Joseph.

Posted by: Brojo on May 15, 2008 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

I've always been fond of "Brutally Incompetent Mouthbreathing Fuckwit." "BIMF."

And I remain ashamed of not marching through the White House door holding a pitchfork and/or torch.

Posted by: cazart on May 15, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

The thing is, if he's a moron, that's kind of giving him a pass for all the disaster he's wreaked. So, no, he's an evil bastard, but not a moron.

Posted by: Wendy on May 15, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Bush may or may not be a moron. But, the #1 absolute 100% foolproof moron indicator I find is the "W04" bumper sticker still plastered in a car's back window or bumper. The only thing more revealing is the "W04" sticker which shows attempts at peeling off but the owner didn't have the gumption to pull out the goo-gone and/or rotary disk sander needed to take it off completely.

Unfortunately, the "moron" makes up 52% of the American public. Frickin' unwitting dupes, every last one.

IMHO, the only acceptable penance for that brain fart in 2004 is a lifetime of shunning the Republican party. Get on it, folks. I'm pulling for your eternal souls!

Posted by: Tom Dibble on May 15, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

As president, Bush has the White House Chef at his beck and call. He can order literally anything he feels like for lunch. And what is Bush’s favorite lunch? Kraft Singlets on commercial white bread. No lye.

Posted by: fafner 1 on May 15, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, he's not a moron, in fact, his mission is accomplished. Iraq's oil is now ours. and in spite of all the happy news that we're leaving soon, or in 2013--the truth of the matter is that we're leaving when the oil runs dry. Mission Accomplished.

So, hail to George Bush! Low approval ratings, the world hates us, Stalinist kill rates and he's off to Crawford. But I tell you one thing--he must have a lot of friends in high places and I don't see his horrendous legacy being rolled back.

Posted by: Dr Wu, I'm just an ordinary guy on May 15, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has screwed up everything he ever did in his life, and then he became president and screwed up the entire planet. He is in fact an asshole and a moron. I don't see anything innaccurate about these assesments. It's just that the chattering class has so much crap in their closets they won't speak honestly about Bush or his family.

Posted by: rbe1 on May 15, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think Bush the Lesser is a moron (tho I often call him The Little Idiot), I just think he's incredibly lazy and incurious. I think there's also something of the dry drunk about him, seeing things in black and white, which really stunts his ability to analyze issues (if he wanted to in the first place, which I don't think he does).

Remember, he's a spoiled rich boy who never accomplished anything on his own. He's been handed every job he ever got, and he's screwed up each one.

Posted by: Cal Gal on May 15, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

On the subject of whether the new epithet for people who are moronic, lazy, and immoral should be either "Bush" or "GWB" I vote neither. Dubyuh rolls off the tongue easier, sounds like a cousin language variant of doofus, can be modified in a number of ways to add emphasis, dubyutz, which rhymes with numbnuts and all these words apply equally well to every top member of the most immoral and incompentent administration of all time. Also, nobody in my 50+ years has deserved our outrage more than these dubyuhs and it's impossible to spend too much time calling them names.

Posted by: dennisS on May 15, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Chris K called it!

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on May 15, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

I love the epithet, "dubyuh!" Very, very useful.
--I'm think that McCain may be a dubyuh as well.
--Hillary Clinton annoys me, but she's no dubyuh.

etc.

Posted by: PTate in MN on May 15, 2008 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

-- Morons are not usually so successful in getting what they want.--

As a Wall Street lawyer who routinely encounters people in the upper strata of the financial world I must strongly strongly disagree. Morons are often quite successful in getting what they want -- not through intelligence, for sure, but through other means, such as cruelty, bullying, pig-headedness, paranoia, lack of empathy, rage, low animal cunning, monomania, etc. You'd be shocked at how many outright stupid people you will find in high positions in companies across this country.

Stefan, that totally made my day. I'm laughing here, though I bet it isn't always funny to you.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on May 16, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone's always underestimated G-Dub. As your post points out, he always gets what he wants and gets it for free, essentially, if being accountable for the results is considered. He's never been held accountable.

Watch his speech patterns. He's very articulate about certain things: death, war, executions as Governor of Texas, assassination by drones, profits for big corporations, his opponents' weaknesses. Where he bumbles is where he talks abut things that have no interest for him: life, environment, people with incomes outside the top 1%, integrity, dignity, the Constitution, our 3 branches of government, balance of power, democracy, individual rights, Bill of Rights, global warming and its causes...

Posted by: Zane Safrit on May 16, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

What a shame that I found this post too late to join in the discussion. I think Stefan, commenting at 10:10 AM on 5/15, had the most useful and sobering contribution to the subject of George W. Bush's alleged morony. I'm a poor man, but I'll give $15 and a copy of the document I included it in to the first person who can guess what book the quotation below is from. (Offer not open to employees of The Washington Monthly.) Kevin Drum has my address.

“Here the folkish state must proceed from the assumption that a man of little scientific education but physically healthy, with a good, firm character, imbued with the joy of determination and will-power, is more valuable for the national community than a clever weakling. A people of scholars, if they are physically degenerate, weak-willed and cowardly pacifists, will not storm the heavens, indeed they will not even be able to safeguard their existence on this earth. In the hard struggle of destiny the man who knows least seldom succumbs, but always he who from his knowledge draws the weakest consequences and is most lamentable in transforming them into action.”

Brett Landgraf, The Pink Nigger

Posted by: on May 18, 2008 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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