The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

9 February 2004

Trippingly on the tongue

Is George W. Bush inarticulate? Jane Galt responds, "What if he is?"

I watched the Bush performance [on Meet the Press] and I thought it was okay. Not inspiring, but I didn't expect it — and I'm not convinced that the measure of a president is how well he looks on television. Especially now that I've done some TV work. Verbal fluency is a good measure of how verbally fluent you are, not how smart or competent, or how well you make decisions. It is the conceit of academics and journalists that the one talent they all have in spades is the one that is absolutely necessary for any important job. And how would we feel if the NCAA started telling us you couldn't be a sports journalist unless you can run a 4-minute mile?

The best mile I've ever run is 5:53; obviously I have no business covering sports — especially now, when walking a mile will probably destroy what's left of my knee joints. (Which is probably not true, but I'm in no mood to test things, and I just popped another Bextra.)

If academics and journalists were the only ones who got to vote — a situation, I suspect, they would find most desirable — the President's halting speech might be a drawback. Personally, I like the idea that he has to think it over before he comes out with something. To me, it helps to dispel the notion that Bush is nothing more than Karl Rove's carefully-coached sock puppet; I mean, if he'd memorized all these lines, he'd have a smoother delivery, right?

Besides, however effective I may be at getting words onto the page or the screen, I fumble and hem and haw and choke whenever I'm called upon to address X+1 individuals, where X is equal to or greater than 0, so I have a certain amount of sympathy for W. I just wish he'd figure out "nuclear", if only because "nucular" reminds me of Jimmy Carter.

Posted at 2:01 PM to Political Science Fiction


Your insurance pays for Bextra?!

Posted by: Dan at 4:41 PM on 9 February 2004

Actually, this is left over from the previous insurance; I haven't had the prescription refilled since the regime change.

It says here in the book that it's a Non-Preferred Name Brand, which means that they'll spring for some of it, but the copay is stiffer than usual ($50 for 30 tabs).

Posted by: CGHill at 6:09 PM on 9 February 2004

oh, i'd have to say you get by pretty well with x=1. hope there's sun in your town, tomorrow. all we get are clouds.

Posted by: rammer at 10:20 PM on 9 February 2004

"Nucular" bothers me, as well as "physical" (instead of fiscal) and "jewlery" (as if Jews were the only ones in that business). I'm sure there are others, but they excape me at the moment. Axe me again, later.

Posted by: Steve at 11:33 PM on 9 February 2004

actually, Bush is coached on his talking points, but he frequently gets those wrong as well.

Are you saying the ability to put together a cogent arguement, even when warned ahead of time is not a useful skill in leading a nation?

Personally, I dont care if I like the president, he can be a swell guy, I think Bush would be an ok guy in person. BUT... I want our president to be the best, brightest and most competant person available. Lets judge a guy by his words, his actions and his results. A president can be a mean ass SOB but if he runs the country well I'm fine with that.

The fact that Bush is such a horrbile president policy-wise makes his bumbling speech EVEN MORE irritating! Not only is he running the country very poorly, he can't put together two words without looking like a constipated man on the toilet pushing for something to come out.

read this review of Bush's performance, its by a Bush supporter...

Posted by: bruce at 12:45 AM on 10 February 2004

"So why has the president increased discretionary spending outside of defense and homeland security by such a huge amount? Why the massive agricultural subsidies? Why the vast new Medicare entitlement? Couldn't he have said, "Look, we're at war. We cannot afford these other things right now." Did that even occur to him?" - (Andrew Sullivan, The New Republic, on Bush's apparent inabilities to speak coherently and answer a direct question).

I went to the link Bruce provided, since he seems to be so bent on demonstrating that the Bushies as well as the libs are banging on his verbal skills. Of course, needless to say, HAD he replied in said fashion, there would have been an even bigger field day with THAT response: ("Oh my GOD tell me he didn't actually just fluff these dire matters with 'ahhhhhh...we're at war' garbage AGAIN!!")

What's laughable is the nitpicking going on now on this topic, while those same Clinton supporters bashed Repubs for "picking on Bill for lying about sex". And if anybody comes back with how the two have absolutely no bearing upon each other, I'd rather have a President who has difficulty speaking the truth due to his fluency issues rather than due to his amoral, lying issues.

Posted by: Vickie at 5:06 AM on 10 February 2004

And timing is everything: "They (Democrats) really, really don't care who the nominee is--they just want to beat President Bush this November." - (Chris Mathews, host of Hardball, interviewed on the Today Show, 2/10/04, 7:10 am).

And that pretty much sums it up.

Posted by: Vickie at 6:15 AM on 10 February 2004

you're right war == sex.

Never mind. I've been nitpicking. I bet the dems are sad that the indipendednt council is gone because that means that cant open an investigation about REAL ESTATE DEALINGS and then ask him about HIS SEX LIFE!!!

While I'm not a Clinton supporter and any attempts to say well "you should shut up because democrats blah blah blah" usually mark you as a partisan hack I will make the case that during the Clinton witchhunt numerous accusations were made that were 100% false only to get Clinton into an investigation where they could ask him embarrading questions.

Was Clinton's behavior immoral, yes. Did he lie about AFFAIRS OF STATE.. no. You make the case that one is just as bad as the other. The you supply the proof that Clinton ever lied to the American people about matters of state.

Bush just said his budget will cut deficit in half in five years: you answer this... is he just delusional or is he lying. You pick, cuz its one or the other.

At this point I would donate to a fund to get Bush a BJ in the Oval Oriface if it would make him start telling the truth about his policies!!!

The president having sex DOES NOT AFFECT me... the president spending out both ends WILL.

got that?

Posted by: bruce at 12:49 PM on 10 February 2004

For the record. I think Bush is amoral.

Posted by: bruce at 1:00 PM on 10 February 2004

bruce, maybe you should release that record on CD. I think the vinyl is a little scratched.

Posted by: McGehee at 1:57 PM on 10 February 2004

Well, Bruce, you make some rather unemotional and rational points (not).

Allow me to address a couple:

a) I never said war = sex. (Actually, the lack of sex does equal war around my house, but that's another talk show.) I said there was nitpicking going on regarding both issues: "Clinton lied about sex" (that's not what Republicans are upset about anyway) and picking on Bush's tongue-tripping.

b)Actually, once again, it's the Bush-bangers who constantly think the issue was lying about sex. See, if you'd get your head out of the fluff occasionally, you might comprehend that nobody, but nobody, really does give a damn about who or what Clinton decided to stick his boner into. The mere fact that he could lie like he did about what he did IN A FEDERAL OFFICE WHILE PERFORMING THE DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DOES affect me and should affect you too because if he'll lie about that, he will lie about anything. You continue to defend the man as though he were an average joe getting BJ's on the side whenever the urge struck him. Bullshit. He was NOT an average joe; the man was an amoral and practiced liar representing the office of the President and representing ME. Because Bush is not as eloquent with the gift of verbal fluency, Clinton got away with more lies than Bush has.

c) Telling me you think Bush is amoral resounds quite ironically of a pot screaming at the proverbial kettle. Claims that lies about sex "do not affect you" but other lies do scream of hypocrisy and a resounding amoral constitution in and of themselves. They reflect a disingenuous and egotistical personality that obviously is a major component of what is wrong with our society today--"If it doesn't affect me, I don't wanna know about it, nor do I give a shit about it either."

I don't give a rat's ass about our Governor Rowland's deals to get free work done on his summer cottage. The fact that he lied about it consciously over and over again DOES affect me and my beliefs in his ability to govern honestly and effectively. Did Bush LIE about WMDs? Show me the proof of conscious and purposeful lying. I can point you to several sites where Clinton said the VERY SAME THINGS Bush has said about needing to find the WMD's during his tenure.

Posted by: Vickie at 3:37 PM on 10 February 2004

Oh, and for the record, too, Bruce, Rowland is a Republican.

Posted by: Vickie at 3:39 PM on 10 February 2004