E. J. Dionne is a normally bright WaPo columnist, but this column is from outer space.
President Bush's critics have him all wrong. They think of him as an anti-intellectual, opposed to theory and disdainful of grand ideas.An ideologue, or in thrall to ideologues, yes - an intellectual never. As the economist J M Keynes wrote:
To the contrary. George W. Bush's spring of discontent arises from a fact that no one dares to notice: George W. Bush is an egghead.
The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.I believe Bush is more correctly described by the final sentence than as an intellectual.