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GWB was once a man I could respect
saxifrage flower
I followed a link from a Slashdot post to a video. It had clips of George W. Bush speaking off-the-cuff from 10 years ago as compared to his speaking ability today. The thesis of the video is that he's suffering from pre-senile dementia. I don't know the DSM IV definition, so I can't comment on that conclusion, but there was one striking thing about the video that they didn't address.

George W. Bush, 10 years ago, was a much more likeable guy even to a liberal like myself. I couldn't agree with the substance of his Texas Governorship platform as shown in the video, but I could respect his delivery, diction, self-possesion, and the quality of his speech, and ultimately, the man himself. Today he's such a meandering, stuttering, verbally-incapable speech-maker that I have no confidence in his ability to think about concepts at a higher level of complexity than what to buy Jenna for Christmas, let alone to lead the Most Powerful Nation On EarthTM, especially while at war. (I don't mean the War on Terror, either—I mean the US-Iraq war that failed to end when it was declared over and is still going strong.)

The younger man in that video had the ability to lead a nation. Maybe not in a direction I would like, but the capacity was there. The current President has demonstrated only a marked ability to repeat himself repeatedly and repetitively, but not the clarity of thought that's necessary for the ability to lead. I would expect that ability of someone making life-or-death decisions for a few millions of people.