Keep Picking on Bush for His Bushisms ... His Handlers Love It





Mr. Bray is a graduate student in history at UCLA.

“Bushisms,” those much-discussed cultural artifacts that demonstrate the apparent stupidity of our poorly spoken president, really are pretty revealing. They’re also likely to backfire horribly. A couple of examples will illustrate the problem.

Ben Tillman wasn’t an ordinary farmer, but his political opponents helped him to become one. As the South Carolina politician waged a vaguely populist battle to seize control of his state’s Democratic Party through the mid-1880s and into the next decade, the well-to-do merchants and professionals who ran the party lashed out in disgust. Tillman, they noted, was boorish and without nuance, an inelegant speaker with a habit of mangling the English language.

Newspapers joined in the refrain. The Charleston News and Courier argued that Tillman’s crude politics were aimed at stirring “the passions and prejudices of the ignorant.” Responding to Tillman’s charge that an aristocracy ran the state, the newspaper petulantly agreed; it was, the paper shot back, “an aristocracy of brains and character.”

And so Tillman, who owned over 1,700 acres of farmland – far more than any struggling yeoman farmer of the day – became an ordinary guy, who didn’t talk like the overeducated aristocrats. The voting majority, who noticed that they had been repeatedly described by the reigning political elites as “ignorant,” gave their loyalty to “Pitchfork” Tillman, the plainspoken farmer. In a remarkable biography of Tillman, from which this account has been taken, the historian Stephen Kantrowitz notes one of the central ironies of his rise to power: “When his adversaries used his behavior and his followers as proof of Tillman’s demagoguery and disreputability, they revealed their own profoundly elitist notions of citizenship and leadership.”

The Kerry campaign – and everyone else in politics, while we’re at it – should paint that cogent sentence on the wall of their headquarters, in foot-high letters. George W. Bush’s politics are obviously very different than Tillman’s, in more ways than one, but the point is more personal than that: call someone stupid or unsophisticated, and you have to say why. That’s where things get tricky, for pretty obvious reasons.

Similar examples pop up throughout American history, reflecting a dynamic that has benefited candidates all across the political spectrum. In 1840, a Democratic reporter sneered that William Henry Harrison, the not-terribly-distinguished Whig candidate for president, would be perfectly happy to spend the rest of his days sitting around in a log cabin with a jug of hard cider. Harrison took that image to the bank, cheerfully (and falsely) agreeing that he was an ordinary man who felt plenty comfortable with simple shelter and drink; his supporters marched in parades behind mocked-up log cabins. Harrison won the election handily.

Ignoring American political history, Bush’s most virulent opposition is engaged in a staggeringly obtuse cultural offensive that defines most of the country outside their circle. Attacking his instances of inelegant speech, people who loudly and publicly hate George Bush attack the inelegant. Anyone who has spent some time around the humanities division will recall the comfortable claim that most highly educated people live on the political left. Granting that self-aggrandizing and highly debatable point for the sake of argument, we might stop to note that one American in four graduates from college – from any college, all grade-point-averages included. That’s a pretty narrow path to political success, folks. Most people can smell contempt.

So rant on, and take careful note of every stupid-sounding thing that the president says. But remember what the horrified New York Times Book Review had to say about Huey Long, the wildly successful governor and senator from Louisiana, when he published his autobiography in 1933: “There is hardly a law of English usage or a rule of English grammar that its author does not break somewhere.”

And remember one other thing: Nineteen thirty-four was a very good year for Senator Huey Long.



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andy mahan - 9/19/2006

The proof is anywhere from a 4-13 point advantage for GWB, (depending on who's poll you follow). One article I read said 1 point=1.3 million votes. There IS an elephant in the room.


andy mahan - 9/19/2006

To contend that most of the 300 million people in America favorably identify with blocking traffic with bicycles, standing nude chanting, or rumbling with the cops, or simply find it to be of no consequence is not reasonable. Of the approximate 20 million additional voters that see Bush as the better choice since the Republican convention, I don't think it unreasonable for Thomas to impute tens of thousands to the outragous behavior of the far left. Really, the RNC benefitted from the comparative incivility of the protesters at the expense of the DNC. Now that deduction may not be fairly made against the Democrats because many of the wack jobs are not Democrat but unfortunately for the DNC the perception is that anything anti Bush is Democrat.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Oscar Chamberlain is absolutely correct to note that Chris Bray's assessment is absolutely correct.

There are windbags who complain that Geo. W. isn't a real Texan and he's being dishonest to claim to be one. But the Texas voter thinks otherwise. He elected Geo. W. as governor twice in a row in a predominantly Democratic state, the land of LBJ, Sam Rayburn, John Connelly, et al.

Granted, Bush was educated at Andover & Harvard, but he successfully remolded himself into a Texas Good Old Boy, a sort understood & to identified with by the vast majority of Southwesterners, Southerners & rural & small-town dwellers across the nation. Self-proclaimed defenders of polite society mock his speech, mores and religious faith, but as Chris Bray said, they thereby strenghten the bond between Bush and the American NASCAR fan, the country music fan & the working classes generally. Bush has good reason to be grateful to his snobbish critics, they've done far more than most Rerpublican operatives to ensure the G.O.P. into becoming a big tent party at the very moment that the Democratic Party via the arrogance of its far-Left leadership is presiding over the demise of their party as a viable alternative to the G.O.P.

We here today should feel privilged to witness the suicide of a major political party rather than merely reading of it in the past tense. Likewise, of course, we, those of us old enough to have done so, were privileged from a scholarly standpoint to have witnessed the implosion of the Soviet empire and to have witnessed the demise of International Communism as the powerful, albeit shallow, creed it was.


Dave Livingston - 1/7/2005

Adam Moshe,

There you go again. Kerry has no military exploits about which to brag. For one thing, he was a sailor, not a soldier & consequently his duties were Naval, not Military. It would behoove folks posting here to get some of their terms correct. Carelessness of expression isn't conducive to clear communications, nor to reasonable debate.

For another, the sissie, Kerry, was in Viet-Nam but 4 1/2 months and fully a quarter of that mere third of a normal year-long tour of duty in 'Nam, was spent in a rear echelon training environment.

And please don't mention his Purple Owies. Nor his other unearned decorations. The chicken cut & ran from 'Nam as quickly as he could pull the right strings & manipulate the system to permit him to run away.

Of course, we very recently passed through a watershed in our history, from a (unnatural in American history)phase of comparative peace into (a more normal)an era of war. Consequently, for many people, as is shown time after time in the news media, with ignorant journalists referring to APCs or self-propelled artillery pieces as tanks, John McCain as a former Air Force pilot. Examples abound of both journalistic and academic unawareness of even the most basic facets of military & naval affairs, of amazing ignorance of our armed forces and the people who compose them.

But as this war against militant Islamism drags on even feather merchants in journalism & in the academy will perforce absorb some understanding of the language, mores, values and concepts inherent to our armed forces.


Stephen Thomas - 10/29/2004

I am not a Republican, nor a Rush Limbaugh partisan. I doubt that I have listened to Mr. Limbaugh for more than 30 minutes in my life. My take on him is that he is an entertainer, and he seems to be quite good at that.

I'm not much in favor of making the Vietnam War the central focus of this election. I think that Mr. Kerry contributed greatly to his own demise by insisting on doing so. Mr. Bush has not, to my knowledge, tried to convince people that they should vote for him based on his military record. Mr. Kerry has. I think that that was a fatal mistake. Mr. Kerry's anti-war activism does not play well outside of Massachusetts, New York City and college campuses. Those who choose to remember will remember that the American electorate overwhelmingly supported the Vietnam War in election after election.

Since I live and work in overwhelmingly liberal enclaves -- New York City, the legal profession and academia -- I hear a litany of wild Bush hatred daily. I do, however, travel extensively in redneck country. I do not hear that demented ravings against Kerry that I hear in relationship to Bush.


Stephen Thomas - 10/29/2004

The demonstrations at the RNC last week cost Kerry tens of thousands of votes. The demonstrations had only one message that I could garner: Republicans don't have the right to exist.

The constant sneering at Prez Bush is costing the Democrats big time.

The vogue among academics of labelling those who disagree with them "stupid" is very stupid indeed. The stupidity of the left, as revealed in these pages, is deep and sordid.

Prez Bush is the intellectual better of every person who writes or posts on this site. You folks need to choke down the arrogance. You can't carry Prez Bush's brief case.


Stephen Thomas - 10/29/2004

I am, believe it or not, neither Republican nor Democrat. I've voted for candidates from both parties during my life.

I live in NYC and I've both witnessed many of the demonstrations and I know many people who participated in them.

The belief is, indeed, strong here in NYC that Republicans simply don't have the right to exist. In some ways I can understand that the usual suspects... gays, blacks and women might find greater support with the Dems. The belief among the majority of Dems in NYC, as far as I can tell is that the other side (straights, whites and men) simply don't deserve to be represented. The fact that the other side has representation is thought to be proof of homophobia, misogyny and racism.

I spend my non-working life outside Manhattan, in the much more working class boroughs. The constant sneering at normal, middle-class Christian people is hated and resented in the boroughs. It is costing the Dems big time. Why do you think Rudi Giuliani was elected?

I would never speak disrespectfully of John Kerry in the manner that is so common in references to George Bush.

And, yes, the leftists who engage in the constant screaming of "stupid" at Bush are just helping him to get re-elected.

I am a believe in pragmatic intelligence. I do not believe that the ability to posit great, fancy ideals is (usually) a sign of intelligence. In fact, it is usually a sign of childishness. Mr. Bush is President of the United States, quite a remarkably achievement in this world, no matter his origins.

Treat him with respect. If you want to defeat him, you'll find that this tactic will work better. When you engage in the name calling and sneering, you only encourage more people to vote for Mr. Bush.


David C Battle - 9/12/2004

Chris Bray is right on target.

Let's be honest. The things enlightened Lefties say about "Bush" aren't anything they haven't said or thought about yokels generally in fly-over country for decades. Heck, as a Lib, I had nothing but utter contempt for "southerners" and "rednecks". It’s classic Liberal arrogance and cultural elitism. And the yokels know it. I know better now of course, and embrace that which I once despised.

So a word to the wise. This election isn’t only about policy, but who we want to see on our tv sets every night. It’s boiling down to a struggle between the two coasts vs the heartland; between "nuance" vs common sense; between internationalism vs patriotism; between Kerry’s lock-jawed nuance vs Bush’s homespun plain talk.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/11/2004

"...the very moment that the Democratic Party via the arrogance of its far-Left leadership is presiding over the demise of their party as a viable alternative to the G.O.P."

I hate to shatter any idea, but more people in this country identify themselves as Democrat than as Republican, and have for many, many years. Although Republicans are catching up after 9/11, Democrats still lead. This is nothing new. It is only because Republicans vote more than Democrats that they have been so successful in the polls. This success may be finished in November, or it may last far longer, but either way, the Democratic party still commands more loyalists than its opposition and thus it is a bit premature ti talk about its demise.

Sources:
http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=212
http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?PageID=750


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/11/2004

Just so I do not leave anyone with the wrong impression with the last part of my prior post, I am not voting for Kerry because of his Vietnam war record (which is impressive by all accounts), nor am I opposing Bush because of his record. If I agreed with Bush's policies, then I would vote for him regardless of what he did in the Guard, and oppose Kerry regardless of what he did in Vietnam.

Nevertheless,there are many people (mostly from the right) that seem to believe that Vietnam service is THE voting point, and thus they must trash Kerry's record regardless of truth or evidence. I say that Vietnam is THE voting point only because I rarely hear Republicans talk about much else.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/11/2004

1) “Kerry has no military exploits about which to brag. For one thing, he was a sailor, not a soldier & consequently his duties were Naval, not Military.”

Dave, the Navy is a branch of the United States military, indeed for many centuries it was considered THE essential characteristic of military power. To suggest that Kerry was not a soldier is to suggest that a chemist is not a scientist. Certainly, few would argue that the Pacific fleet of WWII or the Great White fleet of TR’s were for mere fishing, or that John Paul Jones was not a soldier. Before suggesting that Naval officer is not a soldier, I would recommend virtually any book on the Pacific theater of WWII.

2) “For another, the sissie, Kerry, was in Viet-Nam but 4 1/2 months and fully a quarter of that mere third of a normal year-long tour of duty in 'Nam, was spent in a rear echelon training environment.”

In 1968, John Kerry began his second tour of duty, and volunteered to serve on a Swift Boat, one of the most dangerous assignments of the war. Almost 60,000 American soldiers lost their lives in Vietnam, many of them you would call “sissies” (as many were drafted, unlike Kerry, and served similar tours before either awards, or wounds, or death sent them home). You may call all soldiers in American conflicts “sissies” if you like, but that does not change what Kerry, and many other brave Americans, did and what this government gave them in recognition of their service.

3) “And please don't mention his Purple Owies. Nor his other unearned decorations. The chicken cut & ran from 'Nam as quickly as he could pull the right strings & manipulate the system to permit him to run away.”

You do, of course, have some evidence to back up your claim, as both Kerry, his crew, and official military (or Navy, if you are uncomfortable with the term) records say that you are wrong?
One example of why:
John Kerry was awarded a Bronze Star for rescuing a Green Beret, who had gone overboard during a mission. According to his Bronze Star citation,
"Lt. Kerry directed his gunners to provide suppressing fire, while from an exposed position on the bow, his arm bleeding and in pain, with disregard for his personal safety, he pulled the man aboard. Lt. Kerry's calmness, professionalism, and great personal courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the US Naval Service."

Citations for the rest of his awards can be found here:
http://www.johnkerry.com/about/john_kerry/military_records.html

I assume you have explanations for all of them, given your comments?

I must also assume, based on your post, that you cannot possibility supporting Kerry’s opponent, George W. Bush, who used family connections to get him into the National Guard (which I assume you do not consider a part of the military), and then did not even finish his tour of duty, indeed perhaps did not even finish his partial tour. It is a pity that between John Kerry, who I know you do not support, and George Bush, who you cannot possibly support (given your vitriol towards Kerry’s service), you are left with little hopes this November.
“Mr. Bush was saved from active duty, and perhaps Vietnam, only after the speaker of the Texas House intervened for him because of his family's influence.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/28/politics/campaign/28barnes.html?ex=1094961600&;en=dd3d3df3b4a890dd&ei=5070
“Mr. Bush signed up in May 1968 for a six-year commitment, justifying the $1 million investment in training him as a pilot. But after less than two years, Mr. Bush abruptly stopped flying, didn't show up for his physical and asked to transfer to Alabama. He never again flew a military plane.
Mr. Bush insists that after moving to Alabama in 1972, he served out his obligation at Dannelly Air National Guard Base in Montgomery (although he says he doesn't remember what he did there). The only officer there who recalls Mr. Bush was produced by the White House - he remembers Mr. Bush vividly, but at times when even Mr. Bush acknowledges he wasn't there.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/08/opinion/08kristof.html?hp

See also:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-09-07-new-bush-records_x.htm
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/09/08/bush_fell_short_on_duty_at_guard?mode=PF
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/09/02/allison/index_np.html
And many, many more articles, if you are interested.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/9/2004

I agree with you, I too do not favor making Vietnam the central focus, but I think you and I differ in opinion as to who made it the central issue. Certainly, John Kerry has consistently highlighted his military career, as did Bob Dole, John Kennedy, and all other politicians who saw combat. This is certainly nothing new, especially for a candidate desperate to shed an image as a soft liberal. However, Kerry’s military exploits has always been background, used to boost his credibility when talking about national security, never the sole issue he discussed.

It was only after the so-called Swift boat Veterans for Truth began airing their commercials (with tremendous success, I might add) did Vietnam suddenly become THE campaign issue for both candidates.

As for your travels, I certainly do not dispute that your experience has been nothing but bad from liberals and good from conservatives. However, my own experiences have been very different.

AM radio commands top personalities (some of which have their own TV shows on the national news channels) who spew vitriol of the worst kind towards all liberals and virtually all Democrats, with Bill Clinton as the proverbial devil, and John Kerry almost as bad (no doubt worse if he actually wins). Liberals can indeed be just as bad yet they do not have the access or the platform to spread their disdain as conservatives do. Left-wing radicals may be put in the same group as mainstream Democrats by conservative pundits and partisans, but both the radicals and the Democrats would agree that they share much in common.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/9/2004

Mr. Thomas,
Thank you for your post.
1) “The belief among the majority of Dems in NYC, as far as I can tell is that the other side (straights, whites and men) simply don't deserve to be represented. The fact that the other side has representation is thought to be proof of homophobia, misogyny and racism.”

This may be very true in NYC, as I do not live there. What I can say pretty authoritatively, is that this does not represent the view of many Democrats in this country (I would be curious to see what Republicans living in Texas feel about Democrats, but I doubt that is totally reflective of the Republican party either).

2) “I would never speak disrespectfully of John Kerry in the manner that is so common in references to George Bush.”

I appreciate your civility, but as can be observed at the RNC, as well as various posters on this web-site, there are many who do not share your concern for civil discourse towards the other side of the political spectrum.

3) “I am a believe in pragmatic intelligence. I do not believe that the ability to posit great, fancy ideals is (usually) a sign of intelligence. In fact, it is usually a sign of childishness. Mr. Bush is President of the United States, quite a remarkably achievement in this world, no matter his origins.”

A fair statement, although I would disagree with it. To me, it is the ability to articulate great ideas that is one of the markers of intelligence, especially for a leader. I certainly cannot agree that visionary ideas and great ideals is usually childish. Frankly, I am at a loss to think of any great leader in history (that is to say, a person who is almost universally recognized as being great) without great ideals.

4) “Treat him with respect. If you want to defeat him, you'll find that this tactic will work better. When you engage in the name calling and sneering, you only encourage more people to vote for Mr. Bush.”

Mr. Thomas, if more people felt as you do, politics in this country would be far more civil and representative in this country for everyone. Unfortunately, negative ads and name calling work.

I have seen no adverse effects on Republicans, for example, from the unproven allegations that John Kerry, his crewmen, and the United States Navy all lied and that Kerry was really nothing more than a crybaby. I have seen no negative poll numbers resulting from Cheney’s allegation that a vote for Kerry essentially is a vote for another terrorist attack. I have seen no adverse effect on Republicans that the keynote speaker at the RNC challenged Kerry’s commitment to the military.

Liberals do play dirty, but your observations are rather selective if you believe that conservatives, with their 24 hour talk radio stations, magazines, and think tanks, do not. Indeed, in order to even be a liberal, according to Rush Limbagh, you have to hate America and hate the military. This is not civility. It also, sadly, does nothing but help Republicans.

With respect,
Adam


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/9/2004

David,
An interesting and intelligent post. You may be right on that count. In any event, it does seem that compared to the post WWII era, campaigning has become a contest in which the winner is able to throw more mud than his opponent.


david little - 9/8/2004

Negative campaigning works. It's human nature. I disagree with your assertion that the "system [...] gets lower by the year," though. I think that maybe the last 16 elections (back to 1940, I think) were an aberration, because the issues facing the country were much more serious than "politics as usual". First, we had to deal with the Axis, then the Cold War, both of which forced more comity on the candidates. Politics now seems to be returning to the "norm", although I think that Bush (of whom I'm a supporter) would really like to equate the terrorists with the Soviets and the Cold War, but that view is, in my opinion, at best shaky. In any case, though, elections of the 19th century were even worse. Grover Cleveland defeated his opponent with a slogan of (because of some Enron-like railroad business deals) "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine. The Continental Liar from the State of Maine." Blaine countered with (referring to Cleveland's alleged out-of-wedlock child) "Ma, Ma, where's my Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha".

There's a very good book on "politics as usual" called "See How They Ran" which chronicles Presidential elections since Washington -- who incidentally, was the only one without significant opposition. All the rest have been blamed, slandered, and libeled. It's just the way it works. You try to get the public to form a negative character of your opponent while giving yourself a positive characterization, and your opponent does the same. Whoever does it better wins.

Regards,

- David Little
- Houston, Texas


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/8/2004

Sadly, I don't really see what choice Kerry has. Attack politics works and get lots of free media coverage, while issues and debate simply do not get covered, and thus go unnoticed.

Republicans have done a wonderful job making John Kerry out to be a liar, a fake, a traitor, a flip-flopper, an opportunist, and many more. The more outrageous the accusation, the more the media pick it up. John Kerry is a typical politician and contrary to what his fans say, so is Bush. All candidates must work within a system that gets lower by the year.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/8/2004

1) “To contend that most of the 300 million people in America favorably identify with blocking traffic with bicycles, standing nude chanting, or rumbling with the cops, or simply find it to be of no consequence is not reasonable.”

You have misunderstood my posts. Never did I make such a contention, nor did I imply it, nor did I intend to make the suggestion. What I am disputing is that (a) people knew fully about the protests (other than their actual existence), (b) people identified them with John Kerry, and (c) people have changed their preference based on the above information.

Personally, as someone who actually follows the news, I was not aware of incidents of “blocking traffic with bicycles, standing nude chanting, or rumbling with the cops.” That is not to suggest they did not happen, I have no doubt that they did, but the news media certainly did not highlight them in any significant way.

2) “Of the approximate 20 million additional voters that see Bush as the better choice since the Republican convention, I don't think it unreasonable for Thomas to impute tens of thousands to the outragous behavior of the far left.”

That is a fair opinion, but I do not agree with it in any way. The idea that people would identify the protesters with Kerry makes little sense to me, and further would have been counter-balanced with the protests of the right, since many of the people protesting were members of right-wing anti-government groups.

3) “…unfortunately for the DNC the perception is that anything anti Bush is Democrat.”

I disagree that this is the perception but if it is, you are correct, it is unfortunate for the DNC, as it is in my view, for the faith and competence in American intelligence.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/8/2004

1) “To contend that most of the 300 million people in America favorably identify with blocking traffic with bicycles, standing nude chanting, or rumbling with the cops, or simply find it to be of no consequence is not reasonable.”

You have misunderstood my posts. Never did I make such a contention, nor did I imply it, nor did I intend to make the suggestion. What I am disputing is that (a) people knew fully about the protests (other than their actual existence), (b) people identified them with John Kerry, and (c) people have changed their preference based on the above information.

Personally, as someone who actually follows the news, I was not aware of incidents of “blocking traffic with bicycles, standing nude chanting, or rumbling with the cops.” That is not to suggest they did not happen, I have no doubt that they did, but the news media certainly did not highlight them in any significant way.

2) “Of the approximate 20 million additional voters that see Bush as the better choice since the Republican convention, I don't think it unreasonable for Thomas to impute tens of thousands to the outragous behavior of the far left.”

That is a fair opinion, but I do not agree with it in any way. The idea that people would identify the protesters with Kerry makes little sense to me, and further would have been counter-balanced with the protests of the right, since many of the people protesting were members of right-wing anti-government groups.

3) “…unfortunately for the DNC the perception is that anything anti Bush is Democrat.”

I disagree that this is the perception but if it is, you are correct, it is unfortunate for the DNC, as it is in my view, for the faith and competence in American intelligence.


david little - 9/8/2004

JFK has not learned this lesson. Today is "Dump of GWB" day for the Dems, disparaging GWB in the National Guard. I fail to see how this strategy is supposed to do anything but impugn the many who received deferments or served in the Guard "back in the day". Certainly not something you'd want to do on purpose. I've been thinking he had "Dukasis'd", but now I'll just say he's been "Tillman'd" and force people to do some research.

This is a good article, BTW...

Regards,

- David Little
- Houston, TX


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/8/2004

Mr. Mahan,
I assume then, that you believe that Bush's post-convention bounce was due, not from Bush's speech, any of the speakers, or anything about the event itself, but the public's reaction to the protesters, of which virtually no media outlet even showed?

If that is a position you are endorcing, I truely hope that you and Mr. Thomas are correct, and that is the protesters that turned people off on Democrats and not the president turning people on to the Republicans. Sadly however, I believe you are mistaken.


Marc "Adam Moshe" Bacharach - 9/7/2004

1) “The demonstrations at the RNC last week cost Kerry tens of thousands of votes. The demonstrations had only one message that I could garner: Republicans don't have the right to exist.”

Do you have any empirical proof of this? Furthermore, do you believe that the demonstrations at the DNC cost Bush “tens of thousands of votes,” and if not, why not? If the only message that you could glean was the Republicans do not have the right to exist, then I must conclude that you did not actually watch any of them, nor are you at all familiar with who they were.

2) “The constant sneering at Prez Bush is costing the Democrats big time.”

Again, do you have any proof? If so, how do you explain the personal attacks on Kerry’s war record, his voting record, his patriotism, his honesty, and his integrity? Do you believe that these are costing the Republicans “big time”?

3) “The vogue among academics of labelling those who disagree with them "stupid" is very stupid indeed. The stupidity of the left, as revealed in these pages, is deep and sordid.”

Rather hypocritical sentences. You decry those who label opponents stupid in the very same sentence that you call them stupid for doing so. You then proceed to call everyone on the left (whom I can infer includes everyone you disagree with) as “stupid,” the very term you lament academics use in describing people they do not agree with!

4) “Prez Bush is the intellectual better of every person who writes or posts on this site.”

Since I can only speak for myself and no one else, all I can say in reaction is that I disagree and believe that I have read many articles and many posts that are far more intelligent in almost every way from President Bush.

5) “You folks need to choke down the arrogance. You can't carry Prez Bush's brief case.”

Again, the hypocrisy. You lament the arrogance of “you folks” (whoever that means) and then claim that President Bush is so far above “us,” we are not worthy to carry his briefcase. Does that claim not suffer from the same arrogance us “folks” posses?


Oscar Chamberlain - 9/7/2004

Then why has Bush never put sufficient troops into Iraq to protect US supporters there?


Oscar Chamberlain - 8/30/2004

Chris Bray is absolutely correct. Faulting Bush for his grammar and his imprecise language is largely counter-productive. Most people see such mistakes as human and his grammatical and syntactical detractors as being from the land of overtight sphincters.

The rare case where it can help to point out a mistake in language--for example, his use of the term "Crusade"--it is because Bush is clearly violating common sense.

Pointing out that sort of mistake can hurt Bush. But even then, you don't do it with a contemptuous professorial laugh. You do it by making that an example of botching the War on Terror and adding to the coffins coming home.

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