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Bush the Dolt

Buzz takes issue with my previous mention of Shrub*, calling it a "withering assault."

Frankly, I thought it was rather glib for a quickie post, and anyone who knows me understands that I care very little for most politicians (or politics). Would Al Gore have made a better President? I don't know. That's neither here nor there.

However, I am quite sure that Al Gore wouldn't have come off as such an idiot as Bush. Buzz points out that rhetoric (speaking) is not necessarily an indication of someone's IQ - and I realize that it's not. However, being able to answer questions in a press conference is indicative of someone's ability to think on his feet, and the few times I've seen Bush take questions he's floundered worse than the pimply kid trying to ask out the head cheerleader.

Intelligent people learn to speak well. Bush couldn't name five foreign heads of state before taking office - that has nothing to do with his office. He continues to say "nuc-u-lar" - a pet peeve I admit, but also an indication of a lack of attention to details and enunciation.

As Buzz states:

Fair or not, the world forms its opinion of Bush based on his presentation, and his lack of rhetorical polish is definitely one of his most important liabilities.

The American education system already ranks poorly, and now we have this guy - our "leader" - speaking as though he didn't get more than an 8th grade education. It represents poorly on us as citizens of this country. Can I speak better than him? Yeah. Can a million other people in this country? Yeah.

However, I think it is important to note that a person's lack of grace with words does not make him, ipso facto, an idiot.

It may not make him an idiot, but it sure is a big ol' telling sign. Buzz wants something other than an ad hominem attack? Fine: Bush represents our country poorly through his inability to speak properly and he comes off as an idiot.

I don't care enough - Buzz - to criticize a specific policy of the President's, nor have I the time to research it. I do, however, have to face several foreign friends making fun of us silly, stupid citizens of the United States of America because our "elected" leader can't seem to talk properly.

It makes me look bad - kinda like that kid in every group project who didn't do the work and would try his best to bring the group's grade down.

For not learning to speak properly and to more respectfully represent this country, Bush is an idiot.

P.S. I seem to lean towards Republican, though I prefer not to label myself as anything. I vote Republican and in the last election - the one that Gore won or didn't - I voted for myself for President because I wasn't thrilled with either candidate (or any of the others).

P.P.S. I really don't want to kick off a debate here, so don't be surprised by the brevity of this post, and don't be surprised when I fail to respond with further posts or comments.

9 Responses to "Bush the Dolt"

  1. For all of Clinton's character flaws, he was always as sharp as a tack when it came to delivering verbally, whether giving speeches, responding to questions, or explaining a controversial bit of policy. I miss that.

  2. A shrubbery!

  3. Nee!

  4. Eric,

    Fair enough--I'll definitely admit Bush is no intellectual, and that his speech doesn't exactly betray "deep thoughts" in his head :-). There is certainly never an excuse to say "nu-cu-lar" (you'd think people would have learned by now!). I also know that this is not a "political" blog, per-se, and that you're merely expressing your frustration with the President. I probably overreacted, as you suggested.

    The only thing I do want to say in response is that I think that the qualities that make a good leader and the qualities that characterize and intellectual are not necessarily the same. This is not to say that we should tolerate stupid leaders--only that a person does not have to have a genius level IQ to be a solid leader.

  5. I don't recall where I read it. However, someone once indicated that Bush does the nu-cu-lar thing on purpose. It turns out that, much to my disgust, more people say nu-cu-lar. It is a much more common combination of sounds. Cochlear is the only other word that sounds like nuclear. The article/person/log also indicated that when referring to power plants Bush pronounces it correctly. With all that said, it drives me NUTS!

  6. I don't necessarily agree with the political stances of those taken on the West Wing, and I completely realize it's a television show, but part of me longs for the day when we might elect a President as smart as the President on that show.

  7. For what it's worth, "nu-cu-lar" is a common pronunciation of "nuclear" in the South. That's probably how he learned to speak it. I may criticize him for other things (and I do), but I won't criticize him for speaking the language the way he learned it.

  8. Re: The West Wing President:

    I've never actually seen that show, but I have heard about it (the "Why Do People Hate America" book that I'm reading right now actually does an extensive analysis of a particular episode) and I would imagine I agree with you. Deep thinking intellectual figures like John Kerry and Daniel Patrick Moynihan probably should be our Presidents. Unfortunately, with a few exceptions (Woodrow Wilson comes to mind), intellectuals have proven unelectable.

    I do want to also mention that, while I think Bush is certainly intelligent enough to be President, there are things about him that concern me. For one, I think that he and his advisors would do well to gain a better understanding and awareness of what happens in the rest of the world. But, then, that's a criticism I think could be made of a lot of Americans :-)!

  9. Come now, Eric, we know you better than that.

    You certainly will (and absolutely should be willing to) criticize people for speaking language the way they learned it, if that way is wrong. Hell, if he was up there saying "no-kill-ar" or something else that's less common than "nu-cu-lar", you'd totally be criticizing him. And really, how is the former any more wrong than the latter? You know what somebody means in both cases, but they're both pronounced incorrectly.

    --Nick


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