Top 50 Bush-isms

While these lists are hardly rare, About.com lists The 50 Dumbest Things George W. Bush Has Ever Said.  The title might be a bit misleading.  As long as this guy can still talk, it’s quite likely that the list will need revisions.  Still, it gives us a good idea of how (or whether) the highest-ranking public official in the United States has the ability to think clearly.  Here are some examples from the list:

45. “I couldn’t imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah.” –at a White House menorah lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2001 (Listen to audio clip)

43. “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th.” –Washington, D.C., July 12, 2007
42. “I’m the commander — see, I don’t need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being president.” –as quoted in Bob Woodward’s Bush at War

36. “Do you have blacks, too?” –to Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso, Washington, D.C., Nov. 8, 2001

34. “We need an energy bill that encourages consumption.” –Trenton, N.J., Sept. 23, 2002
33. “My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we’re going to run out of debt to retire.” –radio address, Feb. 24, 2001

32. “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” –on “Good Morning America,” Sept. 1, 2005, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina

26. “This is an impressive crowd — the haves and the have mores. Some people call you the elite — I call you my base.”

21. “I wish you’d have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it…I’m sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn’t yet…I don’t want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I’m confident I have. I just haven’t — you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I’m not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.” –after being asked to name the biggest mistake he had made, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2004

18. “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” –State of the Union Address, Jan. 28, 2003, making a claim that administration officials knew at the time to be false

15. “Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?” –Florence, South Carolina, Jan. 11, 2000

11. “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.” –speaking underneath a “Mission Accomplished” banner aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, May 1, 2003

8. “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” –Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000 (Listen to audio clip)

5. “Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” –Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004 (Watch video clip)

4. “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” –Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004 (Watch video clip)
3. “You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.” –to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005 (Listen to audio clip)
2. “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.” –to FEMA director Michael Brown, who resigned 10 days later amid criticism over his handling of the Hurricane Katrina debacle, Mobile, Ala., Sept. 2, 2005 (Listen to audio clip; watch video clip)
1. “My answer is bring them on.” –on Iraqi insurgents attacking U.S. forces, Washington, D.C., July 3, 2003

Lest you think that this is just “liberal propaganda” (a seemingly popular term for facts these days), you can hear the audio clips yourself.  Of course, everyone’s entitled to making mistakes.  But this is a repeated pattern of a heinously distorted ability to communicate.

I’ll bet that I’m not alone in wanting a return to a time when leaders could speak clearly and in complete sentences.  Remember past American presidents that were quoted for their eloquence?  The worst part, perhaps, is that American votes knew all this about Dubya before he was elected the first time.  Americans seem to be quite resistant to intellectualism, but this is going way too far.

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1 Comment

  1. Mark Garratt said,

    July 8, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    “The worst part, perhaps, is that American VOTES knew all this about Dubya before he was elected the first time.”

    While I agree with your criticisms of Bush, the typo was an unfortunate inclusion in a paragraph about eloquence!


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