For 10 minutes, the talk show host grilled his guests about whether "George Bush's mental weakness is damaging America's credibility at home and abroad." For 10 minutes, the caption across the bottom of the television screen read, "IS BUSH AN 'IDIOT'?"Now I may disagree with Joe on most things but I don't think that he is an idiot. I think that he and the other right wing pundits knew from the start that Dubya was an idiot. What they didn't realize was that Bush's answer to Rasputin, Dick Cheney, and Cheney's loyal sidekick, Donald Rumsfeld, were so delusionally mad and incompetent. They knew that George wasn't going to be calling the shots but what they didn't realize was that Shooter and Rummy would be so off the mark. Perhaps they also didn't realize how badly Bush would mangle the words that were put into his mouth.
But the host was no liberal media elitist. It was Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman turned MSNBC political pundit. And his answer to the captioned question was hardly "no." While other presidents have been called stupid, Scarborough said: "I think George Bush is in a league by himself. I don't think he has the intellectual depth as these other people."
Bush aides were bothered by a George F. Will column [George Will - Kerry was right!] last week mocking neoconservative desires to transform the Middle East: "Foreign policy 'realists' considered Middle East stability the goal. The realists' critics, who regard realism as reprehensibly unambitious, considered stability the problem. That problem has been solved."And Buckley Too
The White House responded with a 2,432-word rebuttal -- three times as long as the column -- e-mailed to supporters and journalists. "Mr. Will's kind of 'stability' and 'realism' -- a kind of world-weary belief that nothing can be done and so nothing should be tried -- would eventually lead to death and destruction on a scale that is almost unimaginable," wrote White House strategic initiatives director Peter H. Wehner.
William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of the National Review and an icon of the Ronald Reagan-era conservative movement, caused a stir earlier this year when he wrote that "our mission has failed" in Iraq -- just a few months after Bush hosted a White House tribute to Buckley's 80th birthday and the magazine's 50th anniversary.So what are these attacks on Bush all about? They are about trying to salvage the failed neocon ideology - they are about trying to convince people that It's not the ideology but the execution.