Last week, in a post I eventually deleted ("Project Big Rock Candy Mountain"), I weighed in on how ridiculous and cruel the world of partisan politics can be to a sitting president. I chose irony as my primary method of expression. On many levels, the piece failed.

ANOTHER TRY: hard, cold and incontrovertible facts as to why much of the criticism leveled at President Bush is the product of political myopia, partisanship and flat-out disingenuousness.

1. George Bush is not dumb. He is one of the best-educated men to hold the office of President of the United States. Every objective measure indicates that he is a man of well-above-average intelligence. Moreover, he is surrounded by the best and the brightest advisors our nation has to offer.

An aside: it should go without saying, of course, that brilliant men often conjure up plans that are not fool proof. And no one will deny that brilliant men are capable of making dumb mistakes. When this happens we should hold our leaders and decision makers accountable.

However, there is a notion that slinks around in these discussions that smart people (Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore for example) could easily solve the dilemmas that the President faces. This is a ridiculous and insidious political conceit. Those who contribute to or condone this destructive calumny should be ashamed.

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