Some say Bush is uninformed, or even dumb. He has said his management style is to delegate to the experts in his cabinet and rely on them to inform him. He has said he's not a details person. His wife says he's not 'overly introspective.' People point out his malapropisms.
Others say his folksy malapropisms, his air of common-ness, even his Texas accent (which none of his sibs share) is as studied as a Madonna video, targeted to middle-America to make him seem like the underdog, and to make him seem like one of us.
"The soft bigotry of low expectations means Bush is seen to outperform by merely getting by. Finally, elitist condescension, however merited, helps cement Bush's bond to the masses." http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/moron051704.cfm
The recent Atlantic cover-story on the differences between Bush's and Kerry's oratory style also points out how Bush successfully used the campaign of 'low expectations' during debate preparations to win the governorship.
But, the Atlantic article wonders out loud, is his current under-performance in public speech part of this act, or is Bush in over his head? Is he flubbing on purpose, gearing up for a 'set the bar low, then we can wow 'em' victory? Is he making ignorance an ideology, as some have said? Or is this a presidency out of control? Have his cabinet and related warring departments gone amok because Bush really doesn't know what's going on?
I keep hearing about how he wasn't involved in such and such decision, how he was surprised to hear about things. His recent, weird, announcement of Tenet's resignation in the middle of a photo op is just one case in point. His insistence on meeting with Cheney during the 9/11 panel questioning. His advisors are fighting with one another, entire departments are fighting with each other and are accusing each other of all manner of nefarious deeds.
It is really starting to look like he doesn't know what the heck is going on, who's telling the truth, and is being taken by surprise by some of this stuff.
Is this all a plan? Witness:
- Perle recently stormed into Rice's office to accuse the CIA and DIA of an 'outrageous abuse of power' for raiding Chalabi's home and charging him with espionage on behalf of the Iranians.
- Bush told Rumsfeld he was 'not satisfied' with the way he learned about the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal.
- The Cato Institute has said Bush "seems out of touch with foreign realities."
- Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudia Arabia said in a newspaper interview he had to tutor Bush for several hours to 'bring him up to speed' about what was going on in the Middle East, that he was 'not fully informed about the real conditions in the region.'
- Cabinet jumpers like Paul O'Neill: "[T]he President is like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection."
What do you make of it? Calculated ignorance, crazy-like-a-fox, something else?