'/> Uncommon Hours: And now for something lighter?
Blogging on culture, politics, and the environment since 2008.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

And now for something lighter?

When did Bushisms stop being funny? Seems like we haven’t had a good one in a while.

Fortunately, Jacob Weisberg at Slate keeps track of them. Here’s the latest entry:

"Yesterday, you made note of my—the lack of my talent when it came to dancing. But nevertheless, I want you to know I danced with joy. And no question Liberia has gone through very difficult times." (Speaking with the president of Liberia, Washington, D.C., Oct. 22, 2008)

Pretty lame, isn’t it? Just doesn’t seem as funny as some of the great classics, like

"The true strength of America happens when a neighbor loves a neighbor just like they'd like to be loved themselves." (Elizabeth, N.J., June 16, 2003)

and

"All I can tell you is when the governor calls, I answer his phone." (San Diego, Calif., Oct. 25, 2007)

and

“I know something about being a government. And you've got a good one." (Stumping for Gov. Mike Huckabee, Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 4, 2002)

But setting aside the fact that Bush has been in deep cover while the global economy melted and John McCain tried once more for the White House (who even heard about that meeting with the Liberian president?), the lameness in Bush’s Bushisms comes from just that—lameness.

In recent months, we’ve sampled—indeed, we’ve gorged on—the English language once more. We’ve chosen a leader who speaks it, thinks it, celebrates it with every word, every phrase, and every sentence. And lest we forget, Bush’s closest relative on the evolutionary chart of language development, Sarah Palin, was there in a big way to remind us of the horrors of mangled language that we'd already experienced, and what might lay ahead.

No, no! we said. No more!

No more convoluted syntax! No more whacky word substitutions! No more haywire logic! No more of the sound of talking but only drivel and foam coming out. We like this…this…new thing, this old thing—our language. We almost forgot about it. It’s great. It’s beautiful once more. Yes, this is what we want. Barack Obama speaks English—in sentences, in complete thoughts! Subjects, verbs—the whole nine yards. Whoa!

Bush just isn’t funny any more. And laugh was all we could do as his misassembled brain drooled noises that resembled words and sentences because flowing in the drooly foam were disasters, tragedies.

And now, in the clarion tones of our language we hear hope, and change—we hear the truth!

But we should have known better. After all, Bush warned us.

“I'm the master of low expectations," he said. (Aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003)

Still, for old time’s sake, as we enter the holiday season like Bob Crachet, with many worries upon us, let’s have one more zinger, a chaser for the road:

“And so during these holiday seasons, we thank our blessings. ... " (Fort Belvoir, Va., Dec. 10, 2004)

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