The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, August 07, 2006

G-Dub's summer reading list

I don't recall news stories regularly emerging about other presidential reading lists, but it's become the norm with Bush. It could just be me, but the AP story also sounds strangely fawning, from the laughable headline ("Want to read like President Bush?") to its "Gee whiz, a thousand pages in ten days" suggestion that we're dealing with an intellectual heavyweight.

What the article doesn't do is compare the current list with previous selections-- and how frequently they're more about Bush himself than any sort of intellectual curiosity. Back in 2000, when conservatives were actually trying to convince the public that Bush wasn't an idiot, I remember him reading about John and John Quincy Adams, the father and son presidents. It was later reported that he was keen on Roosevelt and Truman. The former supported getting into World War II long before the public, the latter a then-unpopular president now considered to be a great man. Now he's reading about Lincoln-- another president controversial during his day for making unpopular decisions but later considered one of the greatest leaders in the nation's history.

You'd hope that Bush would spend his week learning a little something about the modern history of the Middle East. Instead, I suspect he's just indulging himself in personal delusions of being a misunderstood genius.