July 6, 2003

Time's Up for Slate's "Bushisms"

A joke that's tight and right the first time, gains a paunch and loses its punch on the 200th telling. It loses more if it begins to beg for a laugh. This has been the case for some time with Bushism of the Day By Jacob Weisberg at Slate , but, like a wretched old hound gone in the teeth, it is an impossible feature to put down. The most recent example thuds down onto the screen from the MSN servers:

Bushism of the DayBy Jacob Weisberg
Posted Thursday, July 3, 2003, at 7:20 AM PT
"My answer is bring them on." - On Iraqi militants attacking U.S. forces, Washington, D.C.

As with many Bushisms over the past couple of years, this one is taken wildly out of context and is, in effect, striving for an impression that misleads the reader. ( Eugene Volkoh is quite lucid about this in this comment. )

It may have been the case that the verbal entanglements of Bush were once amusing to those who believe his intelligence is far below theirs -- although why he is President and they are still stuck in their day jobs at the Latte Lenya Espresso and Opinions Bar is less clear. Now, however, there are fewer and fewer gut-busting gaffs available to Weisberg and company. Hence, the strained and stretching tone of many of the latest entries.

An astute editor, if Slate had one, would be looking to retire this aging chestnut for something a bit fresher. Alas, he could not do it. This feature has already spawned two booklets on the Amazon must-miss list and a host of frustrated liberals who log in only for their small bite of Bush bitters. So, on it will go... sort of like a newspaper being forced to run "Doonesbury" for decades after its initial force was spent.

"Bushisms" - Slate's monument to when, once upon a time, Bush seemed funny to the Democrats.

Posted by Vanderleun at July 6, 2003 6:53 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

As a liberal Democrat, I can assure you, George
Bush's verbal abilities are still as funny as
ever to Democrats.

It's his policies that scare the hell out
of anybody sane.

Posted by: John Heckenlively at August 20, 2003 8:07 PM

So many out of work writers... We'll just have to put up with reading the Queen's English being butchered by Bush.

Maybe if he had something to say, he'd say it better theory? Its not an attack on the man's intelligence or his lack of it. Its a comment on people judging other people, especially political figures, and the source of both negative and positive opinion.

Makes as much sense as selling fresh chestnuts but not walnuts.

If Dan Quayle had said these things versus Bill Clinton versus the Pope...

Posted by: Mike Parker at October 16, 2003 9:18 AM