Bush Dangerously Dumb?
Steve Benen uses a meandering answer to a question at a press conference to argue that President Bush is, as his post title puts it, “dangerously dumb.”
The problem here is confusing verbal skill and intelligence. It’s probably true that most people who are glib and able to think quickly on their feet are bright. Plenty of highly intelligent people, though, lack that facility.
That Bush has above average IQ is well documented. His SAT score of 1206 put him well above the 90th percentile and ahead of his 2004 rival John Kerry (although behind 2000 opponent Al Gore). He graduated from Yale. Made it through flight school. Got his MBA from Harvard. Has a legendary memory for personal details and baseball stats. He’s not, by any means, a dumb guy.
What he seems to lack is a strong intellectual curiosity. He lacks both a wonk’s passion for policy details and an ideologue’s passion for debating ideas. He’s also too resistant, for my taste anyway, to ideas that challenge his preconceptions.