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Citations of George W. Bush as Uncurious, Explained

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2007 | Apr–Dec 2006 | Jan–Mar 2006 | 2005
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December 2006

The Blog | Bill Katovsky: Bushputin | The Huffington Post

Three months before September 11, Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin met for the first time in Crawford, Texas, an occasion noted by Dubya's often-quoted comment, "I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul."

For the non-introspective, incurious Bush this marked a telling revelation about how he judged people.

November 2006

Politics in Mudville: Bush, Putin and Toxic Drinks
Saturday, November 25, 2006

"You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed," Litvinenko wrote before his death.

Funny how folks see the same person in different ways. The incurious Bush and the Russian spy both looked into Putin's eyes and came up with different conclusions.

Rising Hegemon: Pathetic
Sunday, November 19, 2006

It is shocking the shallowness of Bush. If there's been a more incurious President in the last century I'm unaware of them.

Sunday, November 19, 2006
Incurious George visits Vietnam:

Unlike Clinton, Bush Sees Hanoi in Bit of a Hurry - New York Times
Published: November 19, 2006

President Bush likes speed golf and speed tourism — this is the man who did the treasures of Red Square in less than 20 minutes — but here in the lake-studded capital of a nation desperately eager to connect with America, he set a record.

On Saturday, Mr. Bush emerged from his hotel for only one nonofficial event, a 15-minute visit to the Joint P.O.W./M.I.A. Accounting Command, which searches for the remains of the 1,800 Americans still listed as missing in the Vietnam War.

JBHolston.com::: JBHolston.com ::: working. business. fact. fiction.
November 18, 2006
Uncurious to the end...
Posted by jbholston at 02:28 PM
Includes excerpts of New York Times article about Bush's incurious visit to Vietnam.

By The River: Bush finally goes to Vietnam
Posted by David on November 18, 2006 03:06 PM

Our most incurious President has finally landed in Vietnam, the country he was quite desperate to avoid visiting in the 1960s when the Indochina War was raging. The New York Times reports that Bush has shown little interest in meeting the Vietnamese people or in doing anything outside the script his handlers prepared for him.

Bring it On! » Blog Archive » The Downfall of Incurious George November 14th, 2006
by Tumerica @ 9:00 am
See Also Links Primates.

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. . . .

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.

Tumerica: The Downfall of Incurious George
November 3, 2006
posted by Tumerica at 4:32 PM
Includes an image of Incurious George Bush as the famous monkey, stomping on a full trash can, and an image of Chimpy McFlightsuit as Incurious George Goes to a Costume Party. Republished November 13, 2006, at BrooWaha.

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. . . .

So what is the future for Incurious George? . . . 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.

Wednesday, November 1

That brings us to the actually intended sense of Kerry's statement. It is true that if you are uncurious, if you waste your opportunity to pay attention in the classroom or fail to inquire about the world from your privileged spot on a campus (should you be lucky enough to win one), then you will be more likely to make the sorts of massive mistakes which the President has made. You will be more likely to launch preemptive and unnecessary war. Bush is notoriously uncurious about 'foreign' ways of seeing, speaking, or thinking. He doesn't challenge his own narrow perspectives or parochial suppositions. . . .

George Bush is uncurious himself, but put a very opinionated and especially arrogant man, Donald Rumsfeld, in charge of his Iraq adventure and then went back to being uncuriousness while our troops continued to die by the dozen. . . .

Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney advised George Bush to invade Iraq. Richard Clarke, Steve Simon, and Daniel Benjamin advised against this. Because Bush is uneducated, he didn't know who to trust. Because he is uncurious, he didn't investigate further before making his decision. Because he is arrogant, he marginalized and ignored the advise of the knowledgeable when he turned out to have made the wrong decision.

October 2006

Hillary Clinton's Small Ideas. - By Fred Kaplan - Slate Magazine
Posted Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006, at 6:47 PM ET

When President Bush reduces the sectarian complexities of Iraq to a struggle between the forces of terror and the ordinary people who just want a decent life, he seems utterly incurious about the composition of those people or what they might consider a decent life—and genuinely unaware of the connection between their society's upheaval and the war that he brought on.

MercuryNews.com | 10/22/2006 | Rocker's muse journeys to theater stage
San Jose Mercury News
Posted on Sun, Oct. 22, 2006
By Karen D'Souza

No less august a figure than the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, inspired the rock musical ``Passing Strange,'' which will have its world premiere at Berkeley Rep this week.

When Mark ``Stew'' Stewart learned that the leader of the free world was not exactly well-traveled, that his trips abroad had been rather limited before he entered the Oval Office, it sparked his imagination like a bolt of lightning.

``Come on now, you come from an oil family. You own airplanes, you know what I mean? You own this world, and you've never even seen it!'' exclaims the singer-songwriter whose provocative band is called the Negro Problem. ``That was really the light bulb for me about this whole incurious, closed-minded attitude.

Lexington | Cross-eyed and clueless | Economist.com
Oct 5th 2006
From The Economist print edition
A new book lays the administration's weaknesses bare
Also appeared in the Hamilton Spectator (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) October 7, 2006, as All the President's Blunders.

Woodward's central argument will be familiar to Bush haters the world over. The 43rd president is a lightweight who relies on gut instinct, not reason, and prefers feel-good rhetoric to serious analysis. He is incurious to the point of doltishness. David Kay, America's top weapons inspector at the time, was shocked by how little he asked him about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

He is also optimistic to the point of delusion. When he was giving his second inaugural lecture on bringing the gift of liberty to the Middle East, his officials were calling Iraq a failed state.

Bush rules over a dysfunctional court, a place where everything is subordinated to keeping the president happy and the political base jazzed up. Bush's advisers suppress the bad news about Iraq for fear of upsetting their boss and swallow their doubts about Iraq for fear of being accused of not being team players.

Woodward's book damns Bush team - World - smh.com.au
Sydney Morning Herald
Woodward's book damns Bush team
Michael Gawenda
October 2, 2006

THE White House is bracing for a week of damage control in the wake of the publication of a new book by the Watergate journalist Bob Woodward in which the Bush Administration is described as dysfunctional and faction-ridden, and President George Bush as "intellectually incurious". . . .

Several recent books have revealed how the White House has ignored advice from senior military officers and State Department officials that more troops were needed to defeat the growing insurgency in Iraq, warnings that came within weeks of Mr Bush declaring victory.

State of Denial confirms all of this and goes further, revealing how Mr Bush has never sought to question virtually any of the officials who had issued these warnings, instead relying on advice from senior commanders in the military who were loath to tell the President hard truths. Mr Bush emerges from the book as a man of little self-doubt, who constantly tells his aides that as commander-in-chief, his job is to exude confidence in his decisions. . . .

Woodward suggests that President Bush never asked his father for advice about whether going to war in Iraq was a good idea, and has not talked to him at any great length about Iraq since the war started. . . .

At one stage, according to Woodward, the Republican Party presidential hopeful John McCain was asked whether President Bush had ever asked him for his views on Iraq.

"No, no, he hasn't," Mr McCain says. "As a matter of fact, he's not intellectually curious.

The Woodward War - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com
The Woodward War
Another book, another political blow. How the Bush team is handling the rain of bad news on Iraq, and what it means for Secretary Rumsfeld's future.
By Evan Thomas and Richard Wolffe
With John Barry
Issue date: October 9, 2006
Posted October 1, 2006

The president is folksy and jocular, but incurious to the point of cluelessness. . . .

The administration was not just unlucky. It was almost willfully blind to the risks entailed in invading and occupying a large, traumatized and deeply riven Arab country.

September 2006

'NYT' Rushes Book Review of Woodward's 'Denial'
Editor & Publisher
By E&P Staff
Published: September 30, 2006
Also appeared in the International Herald Tribune September 30, 2006, as Book Review: A portrait of Bush as the victim of his own certitude.

Although it is not yet published, a full review of the upcoming Bob Woodward book, "State of Denial," appears in The New York Times today, veteran by Michiko Kakutani.

In the book, she writes, "President Bush emerges as a passive, impatient, sophomoric and intellectually incurious leader, presiding over a grossly dysfunctional war cabinet and given to an almost religious certainty that makes him disinclined to rethink or re-evaluate decisions he has made about the war. . . .

"As this new book’s title indicates, Mr. Woodward now sees Mr. Bush as a president who lives in a state of willful denial about the worsening situation in Iraq.... [ellipsis in E&P original]"

But she adds: "Startlingly little of this overall picture is new, of course. Mr. Woodward’s portrait of Mr. Bush as a prisoner of his own certitude owes a serious debt to a 2004 article in The New York Times Magazine by the veteran reporter Ron Suskind. . . .

A Portrait of Bush as a Victim of His Own Certitude - New York Times
Books of The Times
Published: September 30, 2006

In Bob Woodward’s highly anticipated new book, “State of Denial,” President Bush emerges as a passive, impatient, sophomoric and intellectually incurious leader, presiding over a grossly dysfunctional war cabinet and given to an almost religious certainty that makes him disinclined to rethink or re-evaluate decisions he has made about the war. . . .

As this new book’s title indicates, Mr. Woodward now sees Mr. Bush as a president who lives in a state of willful denial about the worsening situation in Iraq . . 

As depicted by Mr. Woodward, this is an administration in which virtually no one will speak truth to power, an administration in which the traditional policy-making process involving methodical analysis and debate is routinely subverted. He notes that experts — who recommended higher troop levels in Iraq, warned about the consequences of disbanding the Iraqi Army or worried about the lack of postwar planning— were continually ignored by the White House and Pentagon leadership, or themselves failed, out of cowardice or blind loyalty, to press insistently their case for an altered course in the war. . . 

Mr. Woodward’s portrait of Mr. Bush as a prisoner of his own certitude owes a serious debt to a 2004 article in The New York Times Magazine by the veteran reporter Ron Suskind. . . 

Mr. Woodward writes: ’It was only one example of a visitor to the Oval Office not telling the president the whole story or the truth. Likewise, in these moments where Bush had someone from the field there in the chair beside him, he did not press, did not try to open the door himself and ask what the visitor had seen and thought. . . .” . . .

There’s the president, who once said, “I don’t have the foggiest idea about what I think about international, foreign policy,“ deciding that he’s going to remake the Middle East and alter the course of American foreign policy.

JS Online:In order to win the Iraq fight, Pentagon needs fresh leadership
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
In order to win the Iraq fight, Pentagon needs fresh leadership
Posted: Sept. 30, 2006 Newspaper date: October 1, 2006
Michael Ruby is a former Journal Sentinel editorial page editor. He lives in Arizona.

In 1999 and 2000, during the presidential campaign, George W. Bush, then the governor of Texas, was suspect even among some Republicans. The candidate, from a weak-governor state, was said to be incurious and ill-informed about national public policy in general and about foreign policy in particular.

New Woodward Book Says Bush Ignored Urgent Warning on Iraq - New York Times
Published: September 29, 2006

After General Garner finished his PowerPoint presentation — which included his plan to use up to 300,000 troops of the Iraqi Army to help secure postwar Iraq, the book says — there were no questions from anyone in the situation room, and the president gave him a rousing sendoff.

But it was General Garner who was soon removed, in favor of Mr. Bremer. . . . [The New York Times article does not say so here, but according to other sources, this was punishment for Garner's calling for a higher number of troops than the Uncurious George Bush administration believed was necessary.]

Bush's Once and Future Radicalism | TPMCafe
TPMCafe Book Club
Bush's Once and Future Radicalism
By David Greenberg
Sep 15, 2006
Here, Sid is Sidney Blumenthal, and the bracketed text and ellipsis are in the original. Here we have Republican meta-incuriosity: The author suggests that Republicans incuriously believe that lack of curiosity is strength rather than weakness.

And I agree with Sid in his last post that “Bush’s temperament is an essential part of the dynamics ... [including] [h]is stubbornness, lack of curiosity, shallow reservoir of knowledge, Manichean division of the world, and contempt for ‘nuance.’” But I’m also starting to think that there’s something in the Republican party that instinctively seeks out and elects men who share these and kindred traits. GOP voters, in the main, see the stubbornness as machismo; the lack of curiosity as lack of pretense; the shallow reservoir of knowledge as a deserved rebuke to elites and experts; and the Manichean division of the world and the contempt for nuance as “moral clarity.” Republicans not only like these qualities in Bush, as they did in Ronald Reagan; they also can depend, fairly reliably, on slim majorities of Americans cottoning to these qualities as well come election time—at least until the baleful consequences of these traits reveal themselves in practice, as they’re now doing.

Bush's Radical Consistency | TPMCafe
TPM Cafe Book Club
Bush's Radical Consistency
By Sidney Blumenthal
Sep 14, 2006

Bush has a radical temperament that is apparent in his willful refusal to assess objective evidence that might upset his ideological preconceptions and harsh rejection of pragmatic adjustments. He has an extraordinarily self-defensive resistance to acknowledge error or responsibility. His inability to accept the notion of accountability, indeed, his denial of it, is profoundly rooted and runs through his policies, permeating to the core of his presidency.

. . . His stubbornness, lack of curiosity, shallow reservoir of knowledge, Manichean division of the world, and contempt for “nuance” are parts of a personality that key members of his administration play upon to get their ways. They carefully restrict the flow of information to him and flatter him as a great historical figure misunderstood by the mere mortals of his age. . . .

Bush presented himself as devout, principled and unyielding. He declared that he is not about to change his radicalism one iota. “Let me just first tell you that I’ve never been more convinced that the decisions I made are the right decisions,” he said. I firmly believe — I’m oftentimes asked about, well, you’re stubborn and all this. If you believe in a strategy, in Washington, D.C. you’ve got to stick to that strategy, see.” Bush offered himself as a man of the people in his black-and-white view of his “war on terror.” “A lot of people in America see this as a confrontation between good and evil, including me,” he said.

When questioned about any failures, he retreats into fantasy. “I’m often asked what’s the difference between Iran and Iraq,” he said. “We tried all diplomatic means in Iraq.” But, of course, he forced out the United Nations weapons inspectors before they completed their mission of searching for Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Bush had announced his intention to topple Saddam long before the inspectors even began their arduous task. He was too impatient to get on with shock and awe to let them find out whether the WMDs were actually there. Now he insists he did allow them to do so. Is this an example of his principles or his cynicism? Is it real or is it Memorex? Does Bush himself know the difference? It should go without saying that he's "never been more convinced..."

How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime | TPMCafe
TPM Book Club
By Sidney Blumenthal
Sep 12, 2006
Author's review and excerpts of his own book published by Princeton University Press August 10, 2006

Bush was unusually incurious and passive in seeking facts. He never demanded worst-case scenarios. His circle of advisers was tightly restricted. Only a select few of the White House staff were permitted to see him, much less interact with him. He made no effort to establish independent sources of information. He never circulated to his staff articles that sparked a policy interest in him. When his support in public opinion declined, he soaked up the flattery of his aides that the people had momentarily lapsed in their appreciation of his heroic strength and vision. . . .

Bush’s presidency was uniquely radical in its elevation of absolute executive power, dismissal of the other branches of government, contempt for law, dominant power of the vice president, networks of ideological cadres, principle of unaccountability, stifling of internal debate, reliance on one party rule, and overtly political use of war. Never before had a president shown disdain for science and sought to batter down the wall of separation between church and state. None of it seemed in the offing upon Bush’s inauguration in 2001. Yet these actions were not sudden impulses, spontaneous reactions or accidental gestures. They were based on deliberate decisions intended to change the presidency and government fundamentally and forever.

The Crisis Papers: Twenty Things We Now Know Five Years After 9/11
August 29, 2006
by Bernard Weiner, Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers
Bernard Weiner, Ph.D. in government & international relations, has taught at Western Washington and San Diego State Universities, worked as a writer-editor with the San Francisco Chronicle for 19 years, and currently co-edits The Crisis Papers.
Also published at OpEdNews and Democratic Underground the same day. See also 25 Things We Now Know by the same author, August 30, 2004.


1. . . . Indeed, when the CIA sent a briefer to Crawford, Texas, to go over the ominously-titled August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." -- which talked about N.Y. buildings being cased, preparations for hijacking of planes, terrorists in the U.S. with explosives, etc. -- Bush barely listened and then insultingly dismissed the briefer, saying "All right. You've covered your ass, now." . . .

19. It's Greed for Money, Control, Power. We know from "insider" memoirs and reports by former Bush Administration officials -- Joseph DeIulio, Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, et al. -- that the public interest plays little role in the formulation of policy inside the Bush Administration. The motivating factors are mainly greed and ideological control and remaining in political power. Further, they say, there is little or no curiosity in this Administration to think outside the political box, or even to hear other opinions.

20. It's Faith Over Science, Myth Over Reality. We know that this attitude -- "my mind is made up, don't bother me with the facts" -- shows up most openly in how science is disregarded by the Bush Administration (good example: global warming) in favor of faith-based thinking. Some of this non-curiosity about reality may be based in fundamentalist religious, even Apocalyptic, beliefs. Much of Bush's bashing of science is designed as payback to his fundamentalist base, but the scary part is that a good share of the time he actually seems to believe what he's saying, about evolution vs. intelligent-design, stem-cell research, abstinence education, censoring the rewriting of government scientific reports that differ from the Bush party line, cutbacks in research&development grants for the National Science Foundation, etc., ad nauseum. This closed-mind attitude helps explain, on a deeper level, why things aren't working out in Iraq, or anywhere else for that matter. . . .

Cheney is acknowledged as the true power behind the throne, and Bush is seen for what he is: an insecure, uncurious, arrogant, dangerous, dry-drunk bully who is endangering U.S. national interests abroad with his reckless and incompetently-managed wars, his wrecking of the U.S. economy at home, and with his over-reaching in all areas.

August 2006

Counterinsurgency, by the Book - New York Times
Op-Ed Contributor
Published: August 7, 2006
Here, the American military, not just Commander-in-Chief Bush, is uncurious.

Unfortunately, well into 2005, the American military . . . didn’t imagine or prepare for the possibility that former regime members had their own “day-after” plan to fight on even if they lost the conventional battle.

It didn’t imagine that Iraq would become a magnet for international jihadists, so it failed to seal the borders. It didn’t imagine the Sunni tribal militias would react with such violence to the American presence, so it failed to take the pre-emptive economic and political steps to address their grievances.

July 2006

Weathering the storm - Newsday.com
Weathering the storm
July 30, 2006
Originally published in the Chicago Tribune July 9, 2006.

How could the country that put men on the moon fail to rescue flood survivors in the Superdome? That question haunts countless people, including Tulane University history professor Douglas Brinkley. His book "The Great Deluge" is a 700-page reach for an epic. With an army of interviews done at herculean speed, Brinkley tracks the first week of the disaster in gripping episodes: people trapped in attics and on rooftops; others looting; police, politicians, first responders and journalists plunged into a mammoth crisis.

The book has some stunning set pieces, and insights that sparkle: "As FEMA sputtered, Wal-Mart filled the void, offering provisions to officials, giving cash advances to employees forced to relocate from the Gulf Coast and even guaranteeing employees jobs." Brinkley scorns the failure of public officials, from President George W. Bush to Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Mayor Nagin, treating them as a row of fallen dominoes. Bush was by far the most irresponsible, detached and incurious, with incompetent cronies at the helm of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

The Debate Link: President Bush Doesn't Care About Black People
Thursday, July 20, 2006
posted by David Schraub at 4:21 PM

But I do think the President has not even a vague grasp of what issues and policies are important to the Black community, and displays very little curiosity in finding them out. . . .

Portsmouth Herald Local News: Global warming problem is real, must be stopped
Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald
July 18, 2006
Global warming problem is real, must be stopped
President Bush is incurious about global warming.

But unlike the incurious President Bush, who has mostly dismissed the issue as a minor annoyance and set a tone of inaction for the federal government, Gore has at least studied and considered the potential consequences if we continue to act as if global warming is a problem that can be passed to the next generation.

Jonathan Chait: Is Bush Still Too Dumb to Be President?
Los Angeles Times
Jonathan Chait: Is Bush Still Too Dumb to Be President?
You can't run a country on horse sense.
July 16, 2006
Also appeared in The New Republic Online, July 17, 2006, as BUSH'S DANGEROUS ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM

Yet it is now increasingly clear that Bush's status as non-rocket scientist is a serious problem. The problem is not his habit — savored by late-night comedians — of stumbling over multisyllabic words. It is his shocking lack of intellectual curiosity.

Ron Suskind's new book, "The One Percent Doctrine," paints a harrowing picture of Bush's intellectual limits. Bush, writes Suskind, "is not much of a reader." He prefers verbal briefings and often makes a horse-sense judgment based on how confident his briefer seems in what he's saying. In August 2001, the CIA was in a panic about an upcoming terrorist attack and drafted a report with the title, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." When a CIA staffer summed up the memo's contents in a face-to-face meeting with Bush, the president found the briefer insufficiently confident and dismissed him by saying, "All right, you've covered your ass, now," according to Suskind. That turned out to be a fairly disastrous judgment.

Bush loyalists like to dismiss Suskind's reporting, but it jibes with the picture that has emerged from other sources. L. Paul Bremer III's account of his tenure as head of Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority depicts Bush as uninterested in the central questions of rebuilding and occupying the country.

Video of a presidential meeting that came to light this year showed Bush being briefed on the incipient Hurricane Katrina. His subordinates come off as deeply concerned about a potential catastrophe, but Bush appears blase, declining to ask a single question. . . .

But the more we learn about how Bush operates, the more we can see we were right from the beginning. It matters that the president values his gut reaction and disdains book learnin'. It's not just a question of cultural style. The president's narrow intellectual horizons have real consequences, sometimes cataclysmic ones.

It's true that presidents can succeed without being intellectuals themselves. The trouble is that Bush isn't just a nonintellectual, he viscerally disdains intellectuals. "What angered me was the way such people at Yale felt so intellectually superior and so righteous," he told a Texas Monthly reporter in 1994.

June 2006

May 2006

NPR: Al Gore Screens His Global Warming Message
Fresh Air with Terry Gross
May 30, 2006
Transcript courtesy Duncan Black. Picked up June 3, 2006, as The Raw Story | Gore curious about Bush's incuriosity.

GROSS: You got to see George W. Bush close-up when he was your opponent for the presidency. What surprises you most about how the Bush presidency has turned out?

Vice Pres. GORE: I guess what surprises me most is his incuriosity. That's a real mystery to me because he's clearly a smart man. He has a different kind of intelligence, as everybody does. There's so many varieties of intelligence. He's clearly a smart man, but it is a puzzle that he would ask no questions about important matters. When his first secretary of the Treasury came in for their first meeting and spoke for an hour about economic policies of the new administration, he asked not a single question. When he received the briefing in August of 2001 that Osama bin Laden was planning a major attack soon, you know, on the United States, he did not ask a single question. When he was briefed several days before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the weather service people were saying it may mark a return to medieval conditions, he asked not a single question. And that same incuriosity seems to be a factor when he just accepts hook, line and sinker the ExxonMobil view that global warming is not a problem, in no way related to the massive volumes of pollution we're putting into the Earth's atmosphere every hour of every day.

When they tell him that the scientific community is wrong and that they're just lying because they're greedy for more research dollars, he doesn't apparently look under the rug. He doesn't ask questions. And in the American system, the president of the United States is the only person who is charged with representing all of the people in every state in every district and looking after the welfare of the people as a whole. And if the special interest has one view, at least you should ask questions about how the public interest is affected, and I really do not know why he is so incurious.

Chron.com | Tulane historian finds a deluge of heroism after Katrina
Houston Chronicle
May 12, 2006
A deluge of heroism
After surviving one of America's worst tragedies, Tulane historian Douglas Brinkley found despair but also hope

President Bush also does not escape condemnation. Brinkley criticizes him for a lack of curiosity about Katrina as it headed toward New Orleans and an inability to express compassion as people suffered and died.

April 2006

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Political Psychology: The Bush Bubble Myth
April 25, 2006
By Stanley Renshon
Stanley Renshon is a professor of Political Science at the City University of New York Graduate Center and a psychoanalyst.
Also published at Yahoo! News. Renshon cites others' work suggesting that Bush is in a bubble, and then writes desperately to try to convince the reader that it's not so.

The latest trend in Bush Administration criticism is the reemergence of the Bush bubble myth. This myth, originating in the earliest stereotypes of Mr. Bush, views the president passing his days in a comfortable womb of like-minded people cut off from and uninterested in the world at large, going about his imperious ways with no clue or concern with the suffering his policies are causing.

Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, "We have seen this phenomenon before - a cloistered president, fixed in his views and averse to compromise, often at odds with political reality." Evan Thomas and Richard Wolfe write in Newsweek that "Bush may be the most isolated president in modern history, at least since the late-stage Richard Nixon." David Ignatius bluntly asserts, "Bush and Cheney are in the bunker." . . .

Tellingly, Bush critics point to different evidence as proof of the bubble. Some evidence put forward in defense of this argument is simply silly. The normally sensible Fareed Zakaria was moved to write of an "Imperial Presidency." Why? Because, "Bush's travel schedule seems calculated to involve as little contact as possible with the country he is in." Presumably, if Mr. Bush spends more time on touring and less on substantive discussions his presidency will revert to acceptable size. [Size? Size is the problem of Bush's presidency? What about incuriosity, arrogance, blundering, and illegitimacy?]

A possible more serious and widespread criticism is raised by Ruth Marcus writing in the Washington Post who says "the notion that this is an insular White House headed by an incurious president isn't exactly administration-bites-dog news." Her view, seconded by many critics, is that in the Bush administration there is too much agreement and too little debate, a recipe for groupthink.

Lewis Laphan Interview | The Progressive
By Ruth Conniff
May 2006 Issue
Ruth Conniff is the political editor of The Progressive.
First observed by uncuriousgeorge.org April 25, 2006

Lapham: . . . You see that in the Bush Administration. This is a form of magical thinking: the idea that you can transform the Middle East and make the deserts of Iraq bloom with small New England towns built on the model of Greenwich, Connecticut. Anyone with a sense of history knows that was unlikely.

Q: We on the left have been admonished that Bush is not stupid, just intellectually incurious.

Lapham: Bush is clever, I assume, in a somewhat limited way. I mean he’s incompetent in a way that a lot of corporate CEOs are incompetent. You could put him in a class with Bernie Evers or Ken Lay. But he makes a virtue of his ignorance: Don’t confuse me with qualms or history; I have the will to change the world.

CounterPunch: "America's Best Political Newsletter"
April 11, 2006
The Bush Administration's Final Surprise?

The forty-third president was the only [president to] be judged intellectually incurious but strong-willed, and highly religious in his bullet points. The History Channel profile reasonably left open the defining themes of president George W. Bush, since his term is not over. Here is a prediction; the Bush theme will be that of a President who was constantly surprised by entirely predictable challenges, most of his own making.

Bush will be remembered as the president who was hand-delivered presidential briefs warning of impending attack by al Qaeda, but who chose not to act until it was too late. He is the president of the administration that was unwilling to budget reinforcement of levies against the destructive power of entirely predictable hurricanes, a mistake that contributed to the destruction of much of New Orleans.

Times Argus: Vermont News & Information
The Barre Montpelier Times Argus
Reader Roundtable
What is there to like?
April 4, 2006
Rama Schneider

According to Richard Clark, the man responsible for the initial reaction to the 911 attacks, people were running around with "their hair on fire" all that summer because of the alerts coming out of the intelligence community. But Bush wasn't hot at all ... he went on vacation that August as did most of his administration. . . .

While Katrina was battering its way inland Bush talked with Homeland Security boss Chertoff about immigration and then headed off to Arizona and a birthday cake with Senator McCain. . . . We've since found out from Newsweek that it wasn't until Thursday evening, three full days after Katrina's land fall, that Bush was finally filled in on the Gulf Coast's reality.. . . .

Despite UN weapons inspectors Blix and ElBaredei stating in the run up to Bush's Iraqi invasion they could find no evidence that Iraq had any existing WMD programs or stocks Bush never once had a sit down with them. Not once did Bush bother to ask those on the ground in Iraq why their investigation was coming to conclusions directly opposite to what he was being told by Cheney, Rumsfeld and others. Bush is negligently incurious ... actually if you or I paid such little heed to our surroundings we'd be found criminally negligent for any harm that came from such a situation. Bush could have read the newspapers to find out about Katrina. . . .

Republicans have shown an absolute lack of concern about the damage they and their leader are doing this nation.

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