Many Americans believe George W. Bush is uninformed, simpleminded and, in a single word, stupid. But there is a different way to look at the evidence and conclude that while Bush may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, it is he who thinks the American people are the real dullards.
After all, Bush is the one who explains the "facts" about current events as if he's speaking to people with the mental capacity of a five-year-old. He also assumes - with some justification - that his listeners don't mind being misled and lied to, as long as he gives them some bromides that make them feel good.
Regarding the Iraq War and the War on Terror, Bush has mastered a few talking points that sound pleasing but are essentially nonsense - and he then repeats them endlessly to appreciative audiences as he did on Jan. 11 in Louisville, Kentucky.
For instance, Bush served up the old canard about how before Sept. 11, 2001, Americans felt they were protected by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but afterwards they realized they faced a unique danger that required sacrifice of civil liberties at home and "preemptive" wars against potential enemies abroad.
"You know, when I was growing up, or other Baby Boomers here were growing up, we felt safe because we had these vast oceans that could protect us from harm's way," Bush told the "town hall" participants in Louisville.
"September the 11th changed all that. And so I vowed that we would take threats seriously. If we saw a threat, we would take threats seriously before they fully materialized. And I saw a threat in Saddam Hussein."