The Poetry of George W. Bush
January 12, 2009 Leave a comment
C. Dave sent us a link to a wonderful piece in SLATE: the top 25 Bushisms of all time.
Jacob Weisberg, the chief collector of these nuggets, prefaces them with some thoughts:
People often assume that because I’ve spent the past nine years collecting Bushisms, I must despise George W. Bush. To the contrary, Bushisms fill me with affection for the man—and not just because of the income stream they’ve generated. I find the Bush who flails with words, unlike the Bush who flails with policy, to be an endearing character. Instead of a villain, he makes himself into an irresistible buffoon, like Mrs. Malaprop, Archie Bunker, or Homer Simpson. Bush treats words the way he treated recalcitrant European leaders: When they won’t do what he wants them to, he tries to bully them into submission. Through his willful, improvisational, and incompetent use of language, he tempers (very slightly) his willful, improvisational, and incompetent use of government. You can’t, in the end, despise someone who regrets that, because of the rising cost of malpractice insurance, “[t]oo many OB/GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across the country.”
Being able to laugh at yourself is a rare quality in a leader. It’s one thing George W. Bush can do that Bill Clinton couldn’t. Unfortunately, as we bid farewell to Bushisms, we must conclude that the joke was mainly on us.
Some of the quotations are familiar, but here are five we hadn’t heard that are pure gold:
“See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”
—Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005
“It’s important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It’s not only life of babies, but it’s life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet.”
—Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000
“People say, ‘How can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil?’ You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in’s house and say I love you.”
—Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002
“I think it’s really important for this great state of baseball to reach out to people of all walks of life to make sure that the sport is inclusive. The best way to do it is to convince little kids how to—the beauty of playing baseball.”
—Washington, D.C., Feb. 13, 2006
“Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.”
—LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000
It’s almost over, kids!!
Enjoy these classic Bushisms while they remain relevant and tragically hilarious.