To make matters worse, the "dumb president" falsehood is starting to creep into popular literature. A favorite writer of mine for his books that make for fast, run reads is Stuart Woods. In his most recent book, Fresh Disasters, the main character, Stone Barrington, is talking with his cop friend, Dino Bachetti, about a young ne'er do well who apparently has passed the bar exam. Stone remarks that someone must have taken the exam for him, to which Dino replies, "Probably the same guy who took G. W. Bush's exams at Yale and Harvard".
There's also a subliminal negative reference to Halliburton later in the book, which leads me to believe that this was more than just an attempt at humor in the context of current events.
This isn't so bad because it swings readers' opinions one way or another today, but because it becomes part of the "historical" record. Not that I think too many people will be reading Stuart Woods as classic early 21st century literature a hundred years from now, but hey, it's out there and it's not the only such example.
The irony is that most of the people perpetuating the meme haven't accomplished much themselves, while they sneer and snicker over the "lack of intelligence" of a man who:
- Received an undergraduate degree from Yale
- Received an MBA from Harvard
- Was commissioned a US Air Force officer
- Was selected for fighter pilot training by the Air Force
- Flew hundreds of hours in the F-102 Delta Dagger