Never has there been a public official more unequipped to be President of the United States of America than George W. Bush. The man is simply not up to the job. Even if he really wanted to be or cared to be an effective president, he ... could ... not ... do ... it.
He can't do it on a boat, he can't do it with a (pet) goat. He can't do it in the Green Zone, he can't do it back at home. This man cannot be a good president, Sam-I-Am.
He flat out does not have the intellectual capacity to carry out the requirements of the job. This is not some mean-spirited speculation as to the level of his intelligence. The facts are in. There is nothing left to speculate on. And today we have yet another example of his sheer inability to form a cognitive thought.
Lawrence Eagleburger is a Republican. He was the Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush and was a prominent figure in the Reagan administration. He is a party stalwart and one of the bastions of the Republican establishment. This man obviously wants George W. Bush to succeed. When he met with President Bush, along with all of the members of the Iraq Study Group, he said that after they presented their findings - Bush asked no questions.
Eagleburger remarked, "I don't recall, seriously, that he asked any questions."
Stop. Think about that for a second. There are 79 recommendations made by the group. They took nine months and talked to everyone involved about the situation in Iraq. They have interesting, sometimes controversial positions, some of which Bush theoretically agrees and disagrees with - and he asked absolutely no questions. Not one.
That is beyond unbelievable. You would have to be stupendously stupid, mentally stultified and intellectually inoperative not to be able to come up with one question to this group who has presented the most important report of your presidency to you.
No one can be that callous. Forget his legacy, there are people dying on the ground every day. Even if you don't care at all about your own presidency and you don't care about the thousands of Iraqis dying every month, you have to care about the American servicemen and women you sent in to die in Iraq. You'd have to be inhuman not to care about that. No one could be callous enough to receive incredibly important recommendations on how to rescue this mission and not ask a single question.
You know why he didn't ask anything? Because he's stupid. He is afraid that he is going to ask a dumb question, or it's possible that he doesn't even have the capacity to formulate one in his tiny, little mind. So, instead he sits there like a bump on a log. The ISG members must have been at a loss for what to do. I can't imagine any of them anticipated that there would be no interaction with the president. That he would just sit there with a dumb look on his face and not make one comment or have one question.
That might explain some of their harsh comments about the president afterward. Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson intimated that Bush is so stubborn that he stinks of it. The dude is clearly aggravated.
Later Bush actually bragged about reading the report. He said that most reports don't get read by anyone in Washington, but that he went through the trouble of reading this one. Would you like cracker, Mr. President?
Bush often brags about doing the simplest things related to his job, like meeting with the commanders. He is often fond of saying that he has met with his commanders and his advisers. Of course!!! That's what you're supposed to do. Everyone, except you apparently, already knew that. That is the beginning of the job, not the end.
If this was just one incident, you could rightfully say I might be blowing it out of proportion, but this is part of a very clear pattern in most of the important moments in George Bush's presidency.
Remember the famous meeting before Hurricane Katrina where federal officials warned that the levees might not hold. His response? Not one question.
Remember what Paul O'Neill, the former Treasury Secretary, said about him during their first one-on-one meeting. After O'Neill spoke for an hour about all of the important budgetary and domestic issues in the country, he turned to the president. His response? Not one question.
Remember when he received the Presidential Daily Briefing warning "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." His response? Not one question. But in this case, to rub salt into the wounds, he added to the CIA official giving the dire warnings, "All right. You've covered your ass, now."
His contempt for and ignorance of the necessities of the job are stunning. At first when Michael Moore made a big deal about how President Bush read "My Pet Goat" for seven minutes after he was told the nation was under attack, I thought he was being a bit unfair.
I thought at the time that Bush was thinking about what to do and didn't want to freak out the kids by rushing out of the room. But now the weight of experience leads me to realize that it was no such thing. The tiny wheels inside that vacuous mind were turning and churning, and in the end he had nothing to show for it. Zip. He had no idea what to do.
He didn't ask Andy Card who attacked us? What hit the buildings? What precautions we should take? What actions and reactions we should engage in immediately? How do we go about defending ourselves? What's happening on the ground in New York?
When he was told we were under attack on 9/11, what was his response? Not one question.