Ok--depending upon which of my (few) readers is doing the reading, that may not be true. If you're my cousin Cyndi or my best-ever former student Matthew, NOBODY is much smarter than you. But as the end of Bush's term winds down, I, for one, am getting a little tired of being told over and over that he is (a) stupid; (b) the WORST PRESIDENT EVER!
Let's address the "stupid" business. The guy graduated from Yale undergrad and got an MBA from Harvard. He could fly jet planes. He somehow got himself elected to two terms as governor of Texas and two terms as president of the United States. Only 16 men have EVER been elected twice as president (there are other 2-termers who succeeded to a term and then were re-elected to one more, such as Teddy Roosevelt, Coolidge, Truman, and LBJ). Look, I've got "Bush fatigue" as bad as anybody. I won't even attempt to defend all of his policies (although some have been good, and I have never once wished that we had president Gore or Kerry instead). But there have been lots of presidents who had numerous failures, and we don't call them stupid (think Carter, for example). Yet it is a common deal in the media to assume any Republican, especially one who admits to evangelical Christian faith, is a blithering idiot. They did it with Reagan. Dan Quayle was savaged. and of course, what was done to Sarah Palin during this past year was just awful. What gets me is that the liberal is ALWAYS assumed to be an intellectual. Gore got the same family nudge into school Bush did, and flunked out of divinity school... but he was OBVIOUSLY smarter than Bush. Same thing with Kerry, even after it was revealed that he made worse grades at Yale than Bush did. JFK, who got into Harvard the same way Bush got into Yale and won the Pulitzer prize for a book ghost-written by Ted Sorenson, was considered much smarter than Eisenhower, who "only" went to West Point and commanded allied troops in WWII. After a while, you start to see the pattern.
Now, of course, Barack Obama is the intellectual. And he may be. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt, which is far more than was ever given to Bush. But just imagine the media played the same game with Obama. He hasn't released his transcripts from his undergrad days at Columbia... do you suppose that's because his grades were too high? We know he was the editor of the Harvard Law Review, but there's not a single example of his legal scholarship out there. Why is it OK to say out loud that Bush would have never gotten into Yale without family connections, but inconceivable to think that a guy with the most interesting pedigree this side of Tiger Woods didn't get a few "diversity" points when he applied to Harvard? And of course, if he were a conservative, the fact that he says "um" and "uh" every time he's off the teleprompter, or that he claimed to have been to all 57 states would be "proof" that he's just as dumb as Reagan/Quayle/Bush/Palin. And that would be unfair.
How about this, for a change. Let's stipulate that if you got to be president, you're NOT STUPID. (Okay, maybe Warren G. Harding was no scholar. But that leaves 42 out of 43 occupants of the oval office who aren't dumb.) Not everybody can be a super-genius like Teddy Roosevelt or Thomas Jefferson. And some of our "best" presidents were not necessarily the ones with highest IQ's (I'll take Truman over Wilson every time). That doesn't mean we have to like the guy. Dislike Bush all you want. But enough with attacks on his intelligence--especially if you haven't accomplished a tenth of what he has.
As for the "WORST EVER" deal, that may be more than I want to write about for now. But even if you assume every bad thing ever attributed to Bush is true (which I don't, but this is for argument's sake), let me give you just a couple of folks worse: NOBODY is as incompetent as Jimmy Carter. Even if Bush "shredded the Constitution," he at least seems to have done it because he thought, even wrongly, that it was in the interest of saving American lives. But Richard Nixon did worse, and only for personal gain. And finally, two words: James Buchanan. Look him up.