Sunday, May 01, 2005

George W. Bush, egghead

E.J. Dionne, Jr.
Washington Post Writers Group
George W. Bush, egghead
Devotion to unproven theoretical notions is hallmark of Bush presidency
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's critics have him all wrong. They think of him as an anti-intellectual, opposed to theory and disdainful of grand ideas.

To the contrary. George W. Bush's spring of discontent arises from a fact that no one dares to notice: George W. Bush is an egghead....

The notion of Bush as an egghead no doubt appalls conservatives, too. People on the right have long savored attacking their opponents as "pointy-headed intellectuals" -- the late George Wallace's phrase was widely popular. Spiro T. Agnew, Richard Nixon's vice president, had perfect right-wing pitch when he assailed his boss' opponents as an "effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals." That dismissive phrase -- "who characterize themselves as intellectuals" -- was nothing short of brilliant.

But with apologies to both sides, the case for Bush as an egghead is overwhelming. One of the central characteristics of the Bush presidency is a profound commitment to theoretical notions, nurtured in think tanks and ideological magazines, and a relentless -- yes, even principled -- commitment to pushing them regardless of the facts or the consequences.....