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How smart do you think he is?

Smart man
9
16%
Stupid man
18
32%
Of average intelligence
21
38%
Other (?)
8
14%
 
Total votes: 56

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Postby 3.14159265... » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:19 pm UTC

George.W.Bush

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Postby zenten » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:23 pm UTC

Stupid.

And before people start accusing me of being biased based on politics, I don't like his dad's politics any better than his, but his dad was damn smart.

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Postby Brian » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:26 pm UTC

Serious Business?

I'm pretty sure no one here knows the guy on a personal level. But from what we can gather, he's at least a bit behind in his ability to project himself in an intelligible light in public settings.

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Postby iknoritesrsly » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:27 pm UTC

I know that I'll probably be almost entirely alone on this one, but despite how much I hate what he's done during his two terms, I don't believe that he is actually stupid or of lesser than average intelligence. Don't get me wrong, I don't think he's incredibly smart either, but he's far smarter than he lets on to.

Why do I think (know) this? Because he figured out that it was much easier to play up the good ole' boy from texas act and seem mildly retarded than to face up to people intelligently.

The majority of people think he's mildly (or severely) retarded, and leave it at that. He's fine with it because it means less people that he has to actually deal with. Meanwhile, he gets whatever he wants and doesn't really have to deal with as much of the consequences.

edit: NB: This is NOT asking you whether or not you like his politics or him as a person, hence I responded accordingly, though I have a feeling that most people won't. :P
Last edited by iknoritesrsly on Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:31 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby ZeroSum » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:28 pm UTC

Other: Stupid like a fox. Somehow he's been badgering people to do what he wants even though no one respects him.

I don't understand how it is that he can basically do anything he wants and receive no actual consequences. It's bizzare.

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Postby 3.14159265... » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:31 pm UTC

The majority of people think he's mildly (or severely) retarded, and leave it at that. He's fine with it because it means less people that he has to actually deal with.
Have you seen how he answers some questions that would get him in trouble? He straight up plays stupid.

I think this guy isn't an idiot, and is in fact quite smart, though he genuinely is bad at public speaking using formal language.
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Postby zenten » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:33 pm UTC

iknoritesrsly wrote:I know that I'll probably be almost entirely alone on this one, but despite how much I hate what he's done during his two terms, I don't believe that he is actually stupid or of lesser than average intelligence. Don't get me wrong, I don't think he's incredibly smart either, but he's far smarter than he lets on to.

Why do I think (know) this? Because he figured out that it was much easier to play up the good ole' boy from texas act and seem mildly retarded than to face up to people intelligently.

The majority of people think he's mildly (or severely) retarded, and leave it at that. He's fine with it because it means less people that he has to actually deal with. Meanwhile, he gets whatever he wants and doesn't really have to deal with as much of the consequences.

edit: NB: This is NOT asking you whether or not you like his politics or him as a person, hence I responded accordingly, though I have a feeling that most people won't. :P


My dog does that some times. As do a number of 2 year olds. You don't have to be "smart" to be socially adept.

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Postby Durinthal » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:35 pm UTC

Intelligent? Not necessarily.

Knows how to play the system? Yes.

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Postby Xial » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:35 pm UTC

I think that he is either stupid or of average intelligence but that the people around him (Rove, Cheney, etc) are incredibly smart. They know how to use the president's weaknesses (i.e. stupidity) as a strength ("he's just a regular guy").

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Postby Kaelri » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:35 pm UTC

For what it's worth, I've heard at least one medical expert say that he's displayed symptoms of pre-senile dementia in his public appearances. Not being a medical expert myself, I suppose I can't confirm that. I'll also say that his administration has made some pretty stupid moves, but we'll probably never know how much of it he was personally responsible for.

That said, there's no shortage of stories about the bubble that Bush lives in, isolated even from his senior staff; at one point, it was reported that the only person with whom he was in regular contact was his mother. He doesn't read newspapers. He claims he's acting on messages directly from God. Franky, I get the feeling that he's simply more ignorant than stupid.

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Postby Invisible_Insane » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:46 pm UTC

Kaelri wrote:he's simply more ignorant than stupid.
Spot on. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, and though I disagree violently with nearly everything he says, this doesn't necessarily make him stupid. Just ig'nant. And wrong.
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Postby 22/7 » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:47 pm UTC

Xial wrote:I think that he is either stupid or of average intelligence but that the people around him (Rove, Cheney, etc) are incredibly smart. They know how to use the president's weaknesses (i.e. stupidity) as a strength ("he's just a regular guy").


This reminds me of the saying that goes something like
"Judge a man's intelligence by the people with which he surrounds himself."

I'll not do it justice.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:55 pm UTC

zenten wrote:Stupid.

And before people start accusing me of being biased based on politics, I don't like his dad's politics any better than his, but his dad was damn smart.

Bush Senior only lasted one term. Bush Junior lasted TWO terms, while simultaneously convincing people he was the worst guy for the job. TELL me that doesn't require brains...

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Postby iknoritesrsly » Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:57 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
zenten wrote:Stupid.

And before people start accusing me of being biased based on politics, I don't like his dad's politics any better than his, but his dad was damn smart.

Bush Senior only lasted one term. Bush Junior lasted TWO terms, while simultaneously convincing people he was the worst guy for the job. TELL me that doesn't require brains...


This most probably because he kept the nation in war the entire time. I think there's only been one? president in the history of the United States to lose a second term if they've got the nation into a war.

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Postby une see » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:00 pm UTC

I voted that he was of average intelligence, although he is probably slightly smarter than that. Still not smart enough to be "smart" though.

He isn't a complete dumbass, although his public persona appears to be that of an idiot. If he were truly as stupid as he makes himself out to be, I highly doubt he would have been able to become president, no matter how poorly he has done while in office.
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Postby zenten » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:01 pm UTC

iknoritesrsly wrote:
zenten wrote:My dog does that some times. As do a number of 2 year olds. You don't have to be "smart" to be socially adept.


Your dog isn't in control of one of the most powerful nations on earth--neither are 2 year olds.


And so you're saying one can only do so if one was smart? Shouldn't that be the argument then, any President is automatically smart, because if they wouldn't, they couldn't have been President?

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
zenten wrote:Stupid.

And before people start accusing me of being biased based on politics, I don't like his dad's politics any better than his, but his dad was damn smart.

Bush Senior only lasted one term. Bush Junior lasted TWO terms, while simultaneously convincing people he was the worst guy for the job. TELL me that doesn't require brains...


Oh, it requires *something* all right, just I don't think it's brains.

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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:06 pm UTC

Vicious animal cunning?

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Postby 3.14159265... » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:07 pm UTC

I am actually quite happy with the poll results, usually when I ask this question I unanimously get "He is an idiot".

People here DO think more :)
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Postby ehiunno » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:08 pm UTC

I read somewhere that his IQ is 121. Which puts him about 1.5 standard deviations above average iirc. making him bright, but nothing special. iirc the same source put Kerry at 120.

as someone else said, the brain behind the operation lies in those he has around him. They are crafty and clever.

But really, having problems public speaking and refusing to believe facts doesn't make you stupid, it just makes you socially inept and ignorant. IMO, the ignorant part probably makes you worse off than a well informed person with an IQ of 100, especially if you have the ability to surround yourself with creative, intelligent people.

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Postby solarchem » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:09 pm UTC

I don't know what is IQ is, and don't particularly care.

Intelligence is more than an IQ score.

As I see it, he is extremely stubborn and unwilling to listen to any point of view that does not match up with his preconceived ideas. Any person who is incapable of entertaining other possibilities and thinking through potential consequences is a moron in my book.
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Postby iknoritesrsly » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:09 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:Vicious animal cunning?


[sorry for the offtopic comment]

I lol'd a lot. XD

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Postby Invisible_Insane » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:10 pm UTC

3.14159265... wrote:I am actually quite happy with the poll results, usually when I ask this question I unanimously get "He is an idiot".

People here DO think more :)
Yeah, but that doesn't really make W any less a fuckwit. We're just willing to concede that this fuck-wittedness might not be innate.

BTW, 'fuckwit'. Great word, which I learned on these here forums. Primarily from Belial. Thanks.
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Postby ehiunno » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:26 pm UTC

Invisible_Insane wrote:
3.14159265... wrote:I am actually quite happy with the poll results, usually when I ask this question I unanimously get "He is an idiot".

People here DO think more :)
Yeah, but that doesn't really make W any less a fuckwit. We're just willing to concede that this fuck-wittedness might not be innate.

BTW, 'fuckwit'. Great word, which I learned on these here forums. Primarily from Belial. Thanks.

agreed

and also, I'll agree with what Solarchem said as well. I wasn't trying to say that theres anything to it, more or less the opposite. He may have inherently slightly better than average intelligence, but when it comes to real world performance...

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Postby frezik » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:36 pm UTC

3.14159265... wrote:
The majority of people think he's mildly (or severely) retarded, and leave it at that. He's fine with it because it means less people that he has to actually deal with.
Have you seen how he answers some questions that would get him in trouble? He straight up plays stupid.

I think this guy isn't an idiot, and is in fact quite smart, though he genuinely is bad at public speaking using formal language.


His public speaking ability is probably due to a deliberate attempt to portray a southern good 'ol boy image. You can dig up some of his public appearances as Texas governor. He seemed quite articulate back then. In general, the election process makes it hard for someone who is really bad at public speaking to make it even as a mayor of a small town.

I won't rule out a recent onset of dementia, either.

Personally, I think he actually is quite smart, it's just that his public reasons for doing things aren't his actual reasons. His actual reasons are too self-serving for the public to accept them.

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Postby 22/7 » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:43 pm UTC

solarchem wrote:I don't know what is IQ is, and don't particularly care.

Intelligence is more than an IQ score.

As I see it, he is extremely stubborn and unwilling to listen to any point of view that does not match up with his preconceived ideas. Any person who is incapable of entertaining other possibilities and thinking through potential consequences is a moron in my book.


I disagree with the intent more than the actual wording. I believe that an IQ test is indeed a fairly good indicator of raw intelligence, which is what this thread is about, no? That said, there is certainly a lot more to life, dealing with people, running a country, etc. than simply intelligence.

Also (to be fair) we don't actually know how often or how much he "incapable of entertaining other possibilities and thinking through potential consequences." At least I presume none of us here are in his cabinet?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Postby solarchem » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:01 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Also (to be fair) we don't actually know how often or how much he "incapable of entertaining other possibilities and thinking through potential consequences." At least I presume none of us here are in his cabinet?


Well, we do know that several people have been dismissed who disagreed with his positions. We also know that there were a lot of experts who predicted what would happen in Iraq. I don't see that their opinion was factored in when the administration claimed we would greeted as liberators.

We know that the energy policy was crafted behind closed doors and largely by big oil interests.

He may not be incapable of entertaining other possibilities, but he certainly hasn't sought them out.
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Postby 22/7 » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:06 pm UTC

solarchem wrote:I don't see that their opinion was factored in when the administration claimed we would greeted as liberators.


Just because you can't/don't see it...

solarchem wrote:He may not be incapable of entertaining other possibilities, but he certainly hasn't sought them out.


Again, we don't really know what he has sought out.
And does this mean you don't think he's a moron?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Postby Invisible_Insane » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:20 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:
solarchem wrote:I don't see that their opinion was factored in when the administration claimed we would greeted as liberators.


Just because you can't/don't see it...
Don't be ridiculous. solarchem is (correctly) suggesting that if Bush had factored that in, he would have made a different decision.

22/7 wrote:
solarchem wrote:He may not be incapable of entertaining other possibilities, but he certainly hasn't sought them out.


Again, we don't really know what he has sought out.
And does this mean you don't think he's a moron?
A moron?
Dictionary.com wrote:Moron: a person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment.
I'll take it.
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Postby 22/7 » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:26 pm UTC

Invisible_Insane wrote:
22/7 wrote:
solarchem wrote:I don't see that their opinion was factored in when the administration claimed we would greeted as liberators.


Just because you can't/don't see it...
Don't be ridiculous. solarchem is (correctly) suggesting that if Bush had factored that in, he would have made a different decision.

Again, in the realm of "to be fair," that's not a legitimate statement.

Invisible_Insane wrote:
22/7 wrote:
solarchem wrote:He may not be incapable of entertaining other possibilities, but he certainly hasn't sought them out.


Again, we don't really know what he has sought out.
And does this mean you don't think he's a moron?
A moron?
Dictionary.com wrote:Moron: a person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment.
I'll take it.


The definition of moron is not what I asked for. I asked if, since he had just admitted that Bush is not "incapable" of entertaining other ideas, he was also not a moron? Of course, that's assuming that he (or you, if you're jumping in) can entertain the idea that he's not...
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Postby Invisible_Insane » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:39 pm UTC

How is it not a legitimate statement? Weigh the costs of invasion against the repercussions of pursuing other courses of action. If the detriment of one greatly outweighs that of the other, and you choose the worse of the two, you are completely irrational, or you have not weighed your options properly.

There is a clinical definition of moron (which I excluded in trying to be witty), which specifies a range of IQ between 50 and 69. President Bush is not a moron. But he has made some fantastically poor decisions during his tenure. This is not necessarily an indication of his intelligence (or lack thereof). What I'm saying (and what I think solarchem is saying) is that entertaining an idea and acting on it are two extremely different things. He may have entertained the idea that he was wrong about Iraq, but his refusal to act on it does not speak well of him.
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Postby tessuraea » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:47 pm UTC

I make jokes about him being stupid, but I don't think he really is. He's inarticulate to a degree that is seriously absurd, and his policies range, in my opinion, from boneheaded to cruel. But I don't think he's actually got a particularly low IQ. Just not a particularly high one, either.

And, probably more importantly, no work ethic, no respect for people who actually *are* intelligent, and no desire to learn.

I dislike that the American political system makes it hard for anyone to be elected president who didn't grow up in the lap of luxury. In general, I would prefer that anyone we elected had worked hard in school and pursued some sort of career. It would be even better if they had to work for a living for a while, or figure out how to pay off their student loans, but I'd settle for someone with a demonstrated work ethic and desire to learn new things.

Hint: reading regularly is a good start for the learning part.
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Postby solarchem » Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:40 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:
The definition of moron is not what I asked for. I asked if, since he had just admitted that Bush is not "incapable" of entertaining other ideas, he was also not a moron? Of course, that's assuming that he (or you, if you're jumping in) can entertain the idea that he's not...


What exactly did you ask for? The poll asked if we thought W was intelligent. I simply stated that it depends on how you define intelligence - is it determined by a number, a potential, or one's actions? By my standard he's a moron.
Now, if you choose to pretend that Bush did indeed seek other opinions, I can play that game too. The decisions he has made regarding energy, the environment, personnel, or foreign policy have consistently been misguided or bad. So, if he is not soliciting opposing views: his bad. If he is seeking other opinions but consistently listening to the wrong ones: also his bad. Either way he's a moron.
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Postby Thematic-Device » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:50 pm UTC

He's not bright enough that when thrust into a situation where he is over his head, to do his best to make informed decisions and to surround himself with competent people. Instead Bush has ignored the JCS numerous times, surrounded himself with incompetence, and actively sought to remain ignorant.

I believe that the average person if thrust into the position of PotUS would have the common sense to seek people who knew more then them, Bush has not, so in all I believe he must be stupider the common man.

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Postby Phenriz » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:53 pm UTC

morally/economically: moron

He's only "above average intelligence" when it comes to his self interests, which makes him no different than any other politician. He is just a terrible liar, which makes him different than most of the others of his type.

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Postby Dibley » Wed Aug 01, 2007 2:08 am UTC

iknoritesrsly wrote:I know that I'll probably be almost entirely alone on this one, but despite how much I hate what he's done during his two terms, I don't believe that he is actually stupid or of lesser than average intelligence. Don't get me wrong, I don't think he's incredibly smart either, but he's far smarter than he lets on to.

Why do I think (know) this? Because he figured out that it was much easier to play up the good ole' boy from texas act and seem mildly retarded than to face up to people intelligently.

The majority of people think he's mildly (or severely) retarded, and leave it at that. He's fine with it because it means less people that he has to actually deal with. Meanwhile, he gets whatever he wants and doesn't really have to deal with as much of the consequences.

edit: NB: This is NOT asking you whether or not you like his politics or him as a person, hence I responded accordingly, though I have a feeling that most people won't. :P

ZeroSum wrote:Other: Stupid like a fox. Somehow he's been badgering people to do what he wants even though no one respects him.

I don't understand how it is that he can basically do anything he wants and receive no actual consequences. It's bizzare.


I think he is fairly smart, though a complete jackass. It is interesting how his more private correspondence is very well written, bordering eloquent, while he can't manage a public comment without making a fool of himself. Despite all of his blundering and blustering he is, from a purely selfish standpoint, immensely successful. Doesn't mean he's been good for us though.

And Pesh, have you seriously not noticed that before? It's been around for a long while. Besides, its a man (I think, on bottom) being kissed by a woman.

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Postby NightStar » Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:07 am UTC

First of all, I was entirely not surprised to find that this thread had been started by 3.14.

He's of average intelligence. There's no cunning mind or unusual gifts that have enabled him to reach the office of president, it's just a result of the family he was born into and the connections he was able to make. You can thank the American two-party political juggernaut for that.

Might I remind you that public speaking ability has never been a prerequisite for being President--ever heard of "Silent Cal"? It's just that people find it easier to get behind an eloquent leader. That's just human nature.

However, eloquent leaders do not necessarily make better leaders. In fact, it's a wonder that people still judge politicians by their words at all. Think of all the political speeches and debates you've seen (PLEASE tell me you've watched at least a few...). How much was rhetoric, and how much was a promise to act? Of those promises, how many was the candidate actually able to follow through on? "I'll lower taxes." actually means "I'll recommend to Congress that they lower taxes as long as it doesn't step on the toes of my allies or spend too much of my political capital."
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Postby TheTankengine » Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:54 pm UTC

This is going under mod review for an indeterminate amount of time.

Lock'd for now.
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