program took a dramatic turn this afternoon. It started out as a review of the debate of the Democrat candidates on Saturday, but toward the end of the second hour, a caller named Jacob made a remark about how dim a bulb George W. Bush is. As Hewitt challenged him with the response of the crew of the Lincoln last week, he made a remark about how people in the armed forces are notably non-intellectual. Hewitt dropped everything, and had the guy stay on the air to respond to his listeners who called in to talk to him.
It was galvanizing. Caller after caller came on and listed their academic attainments together with their service in the military. Jacob stood his ground, indicating that he had a degree from Northridge and is a novellist, and maintained that Bush supporters lack critical thinking skills. Of course, pretty much all of his evidence had to do with Bush's awkwardness in speaking off the cuff.
It reminded me of a piece in the Weekly Standard from 2000 which pointed out that Bush's degree in management is a rare thing in a president, whereas writers like Jacob who judge people based on their verbal skills don't seem able to recognize that there is any other kind of intelligence. Kind of odd for people who defend quotas in higher education and criicize the SAT, half of which is based on verbal skills.
It also reminded me of how strange it seemed to me when I perused the list of signatories to the "Not In Our Name" website against Bush last year. An awful lot of them were artists, poets, writers, etc. with a high number who apparently thought it meant something to describe themselves as "citizens of the world," or "member of humanity." I was so impressed. Not one had admitted to being a smug self-righteous twit, as one might have expected from the nature of the list.
One person called in to agree with Jacob who seemed delighted that someone else thought Bush to be a moron. Of course, it didn't matter in the least that there are a large number of military types who are well read, and loaded with critical thinking skills, his critical thinking skills didn't extend to thinking that such a thing might be possible.