Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

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Thursday, October 26, 2006
Bush League. Alex Bensky writes, quoting this post:
"Those who think that a clueless idiot can get and keep the office of President of the United States may well be good children or pleasant neighbours but there is no need to take anything they say about politics seriously."

You know, Natalie, I am not an admirer of George Bush. I didn't vote for him either time and I guess I probably still wouldn't if I could do it over again. (I used to call myself a member of the Joe Lieberman wing of the Democratic Party. Now what?) But I never cease to be irked by the liberal trope that Bush is an idiot.

There are two widely taken standardized tests in the US that are relevant--the SAT or Scholastic Aptitude Test that until recently was taken by most university-bound high school students (it's still administered widely it's not the sole such national test anymore) and the Graduate Record Exam, required for graduate school applications in most situations. They are both considered rough-and-ready IQ tests, too. Bush slightly outscored John Kerry on both. They went to the same universities and although I can't find the references on the internet, I think their grades were roughly similar.

One of the many, many reasons I am a disaffected and former liberal is the widespread idea that those who oppose liberals are either stupid or evil. I don't know; I live in the city of Detroit and all around me, although not in my immediate neighborhood, are some indications that liberal social policy wasn't entirely effective. There are plenty of reasons to oppose Bush and his policies, but the smug and self-satisfied "he's an idiot" seems to be enough for a lot of people and pointing out, as I have done, that Bush's IQ is probably a tad above Kerry's generally does not provoke a thoughtful or reasoned response.

Well, as I get older I begin to think there was something in what someone told me long ago: "Politics is like baseball. They're both very complicated. You have to be smart enough to understand them, and dumb enough to think they're important." I am a baseball fan, by the way.