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Tiresome Twaddle

by muaddib at 04:01 PM on March 20, 2002

I have grown increasingly tired lately of hearing the President called a moron when it is so obviously untrue. It is, of course, an article of faith for his detractors that he's stupid - so much so that they have to contrive elaborate theories about who actually makes the decisions in the White House since they've convinced themselves he's barely capable of tying his shoes. Occam's Razor argues against such contrivances, but if you're preoccupied with recounting ballots (again!) I suppose such fine distinctions get lost in all the freshly loosened chads.

But I've resolved not to let it bug me. First off, the locus of actual stupidity is a genuine question considering such things as Bush's 1206 on the SAT. FYI: that's just 44 points short of qualifying for Mensa. Secondly, members of the left-wing opposition only do their own cause a disservice when they underestimate Dubya. He has a such long and consistent track record of rope-a-doping such unthinking opposition and turning it to his advantage, you think they'd learn. They'd be a whole lot better off assuming he's deviously brilliant and planning accordingly, but that would require abandoning the cherished principle of subnormal intelligence. Which, as a fan of the President, suits me fine, thank you.

I can easily agree that Bush is not an intellectual (in the sense that we usually use the term) and that - say - Gore certainly is. But so what? Not being bookish does not mean he can't understand the issues. It doesn't even mean he doesn't read books (he is reported to be a voracious consumer of books, actually). No-one who is actually familiar with how his Administration operates will contend that Administration policy comes from anywhere other than Bush himself. There's a huge difference between delegation and lack of comprehension. OTOH, one can be too intellectual. Gore might very well be President now but for the fact that he came across in the debates as such a condescending pedant. There's no telling how many voters decided they'd rather not be lectured by him for four years and voted accordingly.

So, yeah, it's hard sometimes to listen to the same mindless drivel, endlessly repeated. But I remind myself of something William James once said, "A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." One sees it everywhere.

comments (9)

I've got nothing to say other than that I agree, and that HAHAHHhHAHAHAHAHhAhAh, I got a higher SAT score than Dubya!

by mg at March 20, 2002 5:58 PM

As did I. It's no accident I know the score one needs to get into Mensa. :-)

by Muad'Dib at March 20, 2002 6:16 PM

Umm...couple of things...Mensa hasn't accepted the SAT's as a qualifying score since the mid 80's -- the SAT is an aptitude, not an intelligence test. They do, however, still accept the LSAT

And, the SAT has undergone multiple recentering's since i presume he took it (mid 60's?)...it's not that easy to quantify the scores.

You could examine his grades....not stellar. But then again, the standards used to be higher and a "gentleman's c" used to be the desired standard.

by tj at March 21, 2002 1:16 AM

Gore might be President now except for the fact that the Supremes appointed Bush. The fact that the political heirarchy in Florida is decidedly Republican didn't hurt, either. If Shrub had been planning to steal the election, he couldn't have picked a better place to do it.

Would Gore be a "better" (more "intellectual") President? Who knows. Obviously, he wasn't smart enough to steal an election....

by northstar at March 21, 2002 8:50 AM

I never took the SAT. I had to take the ACT. I won't mention my score because when I took the test my senior year my brother, who is 4 years younger, took it too and scored 3 points higher than me. He took it again later and scored about as high as you can. Maybe that's why he got a full ride to school and didn't. Do not underestimate the standardized test. They may be full of shit but they can get you places.

by MrBlank at March 21, 2002 12:08 PM


Bush did not "steal" any election. Say what you will about the electoral college, Bush got more votes in the state that he needed to get more votes. The last recount, performed independently by people looking to prove Gore had won, showed Bush had the votes he needed.

The Supreme Court didn't appoint anyone. See, we have this thing called a "Constitution" in this country. All the laws are based on it, and the SC's decision was based solidly on consitutional, statutory and common law. There is no arguing that.

by mg at March 21, 2002 1:39 PM

Actually, Mensa continued to accept SAT scores up until the 1993/94 changes to the exam (which, in the interests of boosting youthful self-esteem at the expense of indicating actual aptitude for college, were determined to have made the test an unreliable indicator of, you guessed it, IQ; up until then, the SAT correlated reasonably well with standard IQ tests). I was admitted in 1990 with my 1987 score.

'... blah blah blah ... the Supremes appointed Bush ... blah blah blah steal an election ...' Counting ballots must be mighty hard work - or a lot more fun than it seems - since those who insist upon engaging in the practice seem to have no time left to think about anything else. And this, too, only helps their political opposition, since the choir to whom they preach are the only ones who care.

Gore lost under the rules that existed prior to election day. He chose which recounts to ask for and, apparently, chose poorly. He chose which ballots to try to give extra asisstance to and which (i.e., military ballots) to try to quash. The Florida Supreme Court tried to game the results in his favour - over-ruling two Democrat trial judges in the process - doing so on very divided a 4-3 vote. I am shocked! shocked! to find that no ballot counters ever mention this.

In short, 4 state court judges tried to determine the results of a national election by changing the rules after the fact. This effort was only too properly rebuffed by 7 of 9 members of the US Supreme Court (two of whom disagreeing as to how to remedy the problem, but nonetheless agreeing that the principles of Equal Protection had been violated). Had you actually read the dissent from the Chief Judge of the Florida Supreme Court in that case, you'd realize that the US Sup Ct was entirely too polite about it.

by Muad'Dib at March 21, 2002 3:30 PM

In this instance, Dodd is correct. I will also go as far as to say that when you say that Gore was not smart enough to steal the election you are not correct. Gore was smart enough to do so, he just realized he could not get away with it. (The Military votes) He also realized that if there actually had been a full blown "have-a-look-see" into everything he would have been a Clinton-wanna-be with the real impeached ass that his brother Clinton should be.

People have sold President Bush short in the brain room, yet he has taken the horrid hits from many Americans (mainly media) who claimed the resession was all his fault *which it obviously was not* and has been able to do a very good job. He was called a drunk, yet I have never seen him act like a drunken ass that many of our past presidents have acted like. No, he has maintained the country in a very good way, in a time of such awfulness. It would be nice, just once, to see people who are Clinton followers to say what it was that Clinton did for this country that has impacted each one of our lives and sent ripples down to our children's childrens lives. (Note to self: Politics, never good to discuss tired or when you cannot explain yourself further.....)

by onlypristine at March 21, 2002 11:31 PM

Bush is a very smart man. A brilliant leader and delegator of authority doesn't worry about qualifying for MENSA. Being a member of MENSA doesn't mean much! That, and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee. Good article Dodd!

by Brent at March 25, 2002 1:15 AM

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