The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, March 03, 2006

Why Intelligence is important

Recently, we had a discussion on the need for intelligence in leadership.

I suspect that after the next Presidential election, especially if the Republicans prevail, a LOT of folks on the right will come forward and confess misgivings about Bush that they cannot express now, lest they weaken their party at a moment that the Democrats are gaining steam.

I pray so.  The recent revelations of tapes concerning a briefing in which Bush was warned very clearly that an emergency was on its way, that the levees could be flooded and breeched, seem to contradict quite clearly his statement three days later that “no one could have anticipated” such a thing.
Either he is lying, or grossly incompetent at his job.  I cannot imagine a competent chief executive misinterpreting was he was being told.  What lack of imagination does that require?  I can’t imagine Nixon, or Bush Sr. making that mistake.  Intelligence includes the ability to extrapolate, to infer, to synthesize data, to visualize potential situations, to have original thought.  None of these things seem to have been in play.  If he is telling the truth, it is very very difficult to imagine anyone with the intelligence to manage, say, a Wal-Mart not grasping the danger.  THIS is the danger of someone who governs by instinct, with “a good heart” or whatever.  That’s not enough.

But if he is lying...then did he not care?  The implications are so evil that I can't really go there.  I have to believe that he is simply overwhelmed by the job, and thought that someone else would connect the dots and do what was necessary.  For the sake of his sould, I hope that it's just that Bush is an incompetent Prince pushed into the limelight by history.  The Republicans surely have far more able candidates to support in the future.  But for me to trust them, I need to hear some honesty.

Help me here.  Is there something I’m not seeing?  Americans died because warnings were given and unheeded up and down the line.  Does the buck stop anywhere at all?

Or is “a good heart” enough?


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