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June 11, 2006


Bush: Addicted to Words

Addicted to Words

The BBC News published an interesting article today. The extract below describes the unsettling disconnect between what Bush says, versus what he actually manages to do:

As I listened to him I suddenly had my own revelation.

George Bush's principal problem is not that he can't articulate what's on his mind. It's that he sometimes says it all too well. (I can only remember one line from that world-class word schmoozer Bill Clinton and it was a disclaimer about Miss Lewinsky which the former president probably wished no one had remembered!)

President Bush leaves after delivering remarks on the Marriage Protection Act in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Bush: Man of Words, Not Much Action

But vintage Bush lines like "axis of evil", "our mission is to end tyranny in our world", "America is addicted to oil", and "We are in a conflict between good and evil and America will call evil by its name!" do stick in my mind.

They are pithy phrases written for a transformational president, who underpins his policies with his faith.

They are crafted by a brilliant team of speech-writers, inspired by the Bible and meticulously approved by the man who has to deliver them. And because they can be remembered they hold up all too well to scrutiny or derision.

The "axis of evil" has been turned by the Economist into the "axis of feeble".

If America calls evil by its name, what does it call Abu Ghraib or Haditha? If it is addicted to oil what is the addict-in-chief doing to give his voters the cold turkey of recovery?

If it is committed to ending tyranny, why is America making friends with Colonel Gaddafi or allowing Egypt to get away with oppression?

And if President Bush is committed to defending "marriage as the most important institution in the history of mankind", what is he doing to lower the divorce rate or, for that matter, to bring about a constitutional amendment?

In his second term, the Decider (as he recently referred to himself) looks as if he's addicted to words. Not the kind of thing you'd expect from a swashbuckling Texan!

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