Bush's dumb chic

By Jake Tapper

By Letters to the Editor

Published November 4, 2000 8:22AM (EST)

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There is no evidence that Al Gore is any smarter than George Bush, other than Al Gore's assertions. When you compare undergraduate transcripts, SAT scores and graduate transcripts they are very similar. When you weigh that against Gore's flunking out of divinity school (My God, how do you do that?) and dropping out of law school because of poor grades, I think the scale tilts in W's favor. If you can read "Earth in the Balance" and conclude that Gore is anything other than a faux intellectual poseur ...

Very few American presidents would make it into the genius category. And I defy anyone, Tapper and Hitchens included, to show any general correlation between intelligence and accomplishment, in any field. They may be surprised, but hard work and focus count. And W. has exhibited, by Tapper's own admission, that he has that talent.

-- Bill Crews

Perhaps before printing an article on Bush and labeling him a "maroon" you ought to spell check your work, lest you be referred to as a moron.

-- Chip Shilling

Editor's note: Many readers were confused by this reference -- a common epithet in "Bugs Bunny" cartoons. It is also an entry in the Cassell Dictionary of Slang, which says the word dates from the 1940s and means "a stupid person."

I have been bewildered about Bush's lack of command of even his own positions, his stumbling diction, evasive answers and seeming disregard of facts. I am even more bewildered that the media seems not to think these characteristics are material to the issue of Bush's competence to be president.

But I now think that most Americans identify with someone like Bush. It's about identifying with someone who gets called on in class and doesn't know the answer. Moreover, most Americans seem to identify Gore with either the teacher who asks the question or the "smart kid" who chimes in with the answer without raising his hand.

It's odd, too, that Bush is running on his record on education, which he seems not really to have much respect for.

This is sad, but I suppose typically American. We trust the dumb kid. But should the dumb kid be president?

-- Richard Katz

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George W. Bush