It's a bit lazy, I think, simply to dismiss the Current Occupant as box-of-rocks dumb. The stumbling, clumsy language, the frat-boy snigger, the nauseating, phony folksiness -- these traits disarm, they disguise, they even excuse the frightful moral defects that the man possesses. One's reminded how Ronald Reagan's lumbering, bovine stupidity was explained away by his apologists as a Management Style: Sure, he's as thick as an oak plank, but he hires the right people, don't you know, lets them do their jobs. Doesn't interfere. Gotta admire a good manager.
So when fresh evidence of the man's appalling intellectual shortcomings comes to light, a kind of conflict is set up in the head. You remember how comedic ridicule of his casual inarticulacy serves to call attention away from the frank evil that he commits: In many minds, the Little Stupid of "I'm the Decider" serves to overshadow the Big Stupid of the occupation of Iraq. It's when Big Stupid and Little Stupid declare themselves simultaneously that it becomes horrifyingly clear just how deep is the shit we're in.
Here's the exchange that triggers this thought:
Franken: I want to get to this story that you tell. Why don't you tell it? It's three Iraqi Americans [visiting the White House in January 2003] -- are they all exiles...?OK, let's unpack that, as they say. The son of George Herbert Walker Bush -- who encouraged the Shi'ite uprising against Saddam in 1991 following the first Gulf War and who stood idly by as that uprising was brutally crushed by Saddam (a Sunni), resulting in the deaths of literally hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shi'ites, men, women and children as our troops were ordered to stand by within earshot of the slaughter -- was so intellectually disengaged at this crucial turning point in his country's history as to be utterly ignorant of the recent bloody history of a country that he intended to unilaterally invade six weeks thence, unable to discern between -- no, unable to even identify -- two of the three primary religio-ethnic groups that made up that country.
Galbraith: They are all exiles, and they include Hatam Muqlis [sp?], who's a lawyer from Indianapolis, it includes Kanan Makiya, a terrific guy who wrote one of the very first exposés of the crimes of the Saddam Hussein regime, called The Republic of Fear, and Rend Rahim Francke, who later became the first Iraqi ambassador -- or, technically, representative -- to the United States after Saddam was overthrown.
Anyhow, they're gathered in the White House in January of 2003 [...] and Bush has asked them to tell their stories, and they do, and then what begins is a discussion of what is Iraq going to be like after Saddam is overthrown. And they start talking as anybody would, about the Sunnis and the Shi'ites. And it becomes clear to them that Bush has no clue what they're talking about, and eventually he says, at least according to one of them, "Sunnis? Shi'ites? I thought the Iraqis were Muslims."
His own father. He couldn't even be bothered to read the newspaper during the presidency of his own goddamned father.
Little Stupid, meet Big Stupid.
Lazy-rich-guy-who-finds-homework-beneath-him, meet Worst President in the History of the United States of America.