by Mark Crispin
Miller, Author of "The Bush Dyslexicon"
September 20, 2002
RE: Bush speaking
in Tennessee this past week (unedited): http://www.mwo1.com/fooledme.ram
Sure, it's funny, even the toadies of the TV news were chuckling over it. But let's not laugh so long and hard that we don't notice what that moment really tells us. That gaffe did NOT reveal that Bush is simply stupid. In fact, it tells us something much more worrisome.
What was it that the president just could not bring himself to say? "Shame on me." The president could not say "Shame on me," not if his life depended on it -- an inability that's perfectly in character. Search all throughout the mammoth archive of his off-the-cuff remarks (and his scripted statements, too), and you won't find a single moment of self-criticism, self-doubt, ambivalence, or even open-mindedness or simple curiosity. You'll find a lot of pseudo-Christian boilerplate, but not a hint of genuine contrition. Hence, Bush's tongue went AWOL at the prospect of admitting error, weakness, or shame -- and so he had to quote The Who instead.
That bias is very telling: Bush actually believes that he can do no wrong. This fixed conviction of his own infallibility has come out often, in remarks not laughably sub-literate or confused. He's boasted that he knows what he believes, and that he never changes his position, or his mind, and that he sees the world in black and white, and so on. He's made it clear repeatedly: George W. Bush is always right, George W. Bush can do no wrong. And now he's accidentally made the point again, by showing himself incapable -- psychologically, and therefore physically -- of saying "Shame on me."
It's time to see the man for who he is, and to pay close attention to his moves, and to the moves of his cabal. While Bush's grandiosity -- and shamelessness -- have been apparent all along, since 9/11 he's been acting on them big-time. This so-called "conservative" wants absolute and total power to fight whatever war he wants, and in whatever way he wants, and for as long as he may want. That way, he won't be the only one incapable of shaming him -- for everybody else will be too scared to speak the truth. And so it really isn't very funny after all.
Unless he's speaking from a script, Bush is at grave verbal risk whenever he must feign emotions that he doesn't really feel.
You can read more about Bush's verbal proclivities in Mark Crispin Miller's "The Bush Dyslexicon": http://www.buzzflash.com/premiums/Bush_Dyslexicon.html
See The Daily Show's take on Bush's verbal juggling: