Nov 3, 2006

The Downfall of Incurious George

When I started considering writing about "Incurious George," the thought of doing the background research was too depressing: Bush was incurious about the findings of the 9/11 Commission; Bush was incurious about what the generals really thought when the troops first forced their way into Baghdad; Bush was incurious about the effects of disbanding the mostly Sunni-led army and firing those 50,000 Sunni bureaucrats who are now a big part of the insurgence; Bush was incurious about Katrina when he refused to listen to Brownie's warnings—the list is seemingly endless.

And I have to chuckle to myself every time there is some scuttlebutt about what book he's currently reading--usually heavy intellectual tomes or biographies of historical leaders. Since when has any president in history made news for what he was reading? Seems like these bits are leaked in an attempt to make Bush seem less of a mental buffoon and they come off as sounding insincere . . .

The president, who has often been ridiculed for his occasional mangling of the English language, has gone out of his way to let people know he does read books and newspapers.

But that has not stopped some advisers from highlighting his literary deficiencies. He is "often incurious and as a result ill-informed", his former speechwriter David Frum wrote in his memoir, adding that "conspicuous intelligence seemed actively unwelcome in the Bush White House".

Earlier this year his wife, Laura, told the White House Correspondents Association dinner: "George and I were just meant to be ... I was the librarian who spent 12 hours a day in the library, yet somehow I met George."

Even the word "incurious," which admittedly is a weird and awkward one, has suddenly come to vogue because, guess why—Bush-the champion of the gleefully uninformed and uninterested.

So what is the future for Incurious George? Maybe a nursery rhyme? Maybe a few pages in childrens' history books about the most damaging president in U.S. history? Maybe impeachment. Maybe arrest—if more comes out about the machinations behind 9/11—the rest of the story, that is. (You know in your heart there is much not revealed—just do a search by "9/11 questions" and you'll get an eyeful). One thing is certain. Incuriosity is a poor way to lead. Let's encourage our children's naturally curious nature. And thanks to everyone who voted against the party of the incurious.

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