I believe that W was keenly disinterested in the world around him and felt his understanding of the world was adequate for policymaking. He was a "shoot from the hip" president whose hip was a bad place to shoot from.
One congressman -- the Hungarian-born Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California and the only Holocaust survivor in Congress -- mentioned that the Scandinavian countries were viewed more positively. Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall.
''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said. ''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''
Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply: ''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.
Bush held to his view. ''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''
The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.
A few weeks later, members of Congress and their spouses gathered with administration officials and other dignitaries for the White House Christmas party. The president saw Lantos and grabbed him by the shoulder. ''You were right,'' he said, with bonhomie. ''Sweden does have an army.''
New York Times Magazine 10/17/2004
Cheney, I feel, operates out of a place of deep cynicism. He was in the Nixon white house when Democrats dismantled it. He was in Congress when Clinton's CIA missed the bus on pretty much everything Iraq did have going on. I do not believe he views democrats, minorities, foreigners or the poor as human, but within the framework of those he does view as worthwhile, I believe he legitimately operates for their best interests.