Thursday, February 28, 2008

Boom to Robust (Redux)


Well, no one can argue that he isn't consistent.

This morning during a White House news conference, President Bush once again unleashed a hefty load of his special brand of deluded gibberish -- the kind of charmingly pathetic saber-rattling which would seem to indicate that he truly believes anyone still gives a shit what he has to say about anything.

I'll avoid getting into the pro-war, congress-hectoring, anti-Constitutional, spying-on-everyone-to-protect-America, September-the-11th-changed-things rhetoric because, really, why bother at this point? What I will mention though is that he managed find an excuse to throw out one of his favorite adjectives; it's a word he's slipped into conversation so many times over the past few years that, well, read the quote below from this morning, and then read the full post I wrote back in August of last year.

February 28th, 2008

From the AP: "President Bush said Thursday that the country is not headed into a recession and, despite expressing concern about slowing economic growth, rejected for now any additional stimulus efforts. 'We've acted robustly,' he said."

August 3rd, 2007

"As a nation, we've become so used to the dangerous, blithering idiocy of George W. Bush that his monumental offenses barely even faze us anymore. Lies, corruption, fear-mongering, war-mongering, general sociopathy, blatant disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law -- we're inundated with these crimes so regularly that they no longer hold any power to provoke outrage.

I imagine it's because of this that the tiniest, seemingly most innocuous of Bush's offenses -- like, say, his butchery of the English language -- now ironically manage to work their way deep under the skin of the otherwise anesthetized.

Originally, his insistence on mispronouncing "nuclear" was little more than a decent punchline, but these days -- after all the havoc he's wreaked around the world -- the knowledge that he's not even bright enough to get a simple word right is the equivalent of a pebble in a one-legged man's shoe. It's just fucking infuriating.

Or how about this one: his almost autistically-induced repetition of the word "robust."

If you're lucky enough to have not been paying attention, that particular adjective is one of our president's favorite words; over the past few years, he's used it to describe everything from his tax relief proposal and the economy in general (5/03), to his administration's brand of worldwide diplomacy (5/06) -- and in much the same way that the emperor's lackeys once stripped off all vocabulist clothing to hide their leader's nudity by purposely saying "NOO-KYU-LAR" as often as possible in mixed company, those close to the president have recently adopted the rather unusual word (I mean seriously, how often do you use "robust" in everyday conversation?) as part of their lexicon (10/06) just to make it seem, well, normal.

Now though, one of the most noticeable "Bushisms" has reared its head yet again.

This time, the president is using "robust" to describe the kind of federal response that Minneapolis can expect in the wake of Wednesday's catastrophic bridge collapse.

For the record, Webster's Dictionary defines "robust" as "having or showing strength or vigor."

In other words, it technically isn't being used incorrectly by Bush, which is in no way meant to imply that it's being used correctly. In fact, you have to wonder if the president has any idea what the word actually means or if he just ripped it off a Word-a-Day calendar four years ago and has since forced us all to suffer through his various -- dare I say liberal -- uses of it.

The point is, there are words that would fit infinitely better in any of the contexts in which our Commander-in-Chimp insists on using "robust" -- a word that's likely only popular with Bush because he enjoys the way it sounds when it aptly describes the flavor of his favorite steak sauce.

Regardless, the good people of Minneapolis had now better prepare themselves -- something robust this way comes."


Now before the bullshit flamewar even begins to light up my e-mail inbox, let me get something off my chest. I realize that more than a few people read my castigation of George Bush as proof that I'm some whiny liberal who's been driven mad by Bush's seemingly supernatural political survival skills. That's crap -- although you're certainly welcome to believe it if it somehow makes it easier to dismiss a contradictory opinion and hang on to whatever lie you're telling yourself about the Bush Administration's tenure in office. I'm not a liberal, just like I'm not a conservative. These days especially, doing anything other than evaluating each issue on its own merits isn't just intellectually dishonest, it's dangerous. You can't approach an argument with the end result already in mind -- put there by whichever side of the aisle you happen to align yourself with -- then work your way back to make the facts fit that intransigent belief. That's the kind of non-thinking that got us into this mess to begin with.

Over the course of the past year-and-a-half, this site has taken aim at both Republicans and Democrats -- from Bush to Ted Kennedy -- and has done so with equal fury and disregard of status or sanctimony. I've bashed the 109th GOP-led Congress -- the filthiest in American history -- while also tearing apart spineless bullshit-artists like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. I've advocated environmental issues while also advocating ethnic profiling at airports. I think Al Sharpton is a worthless attention-whore who needs to lighten the hell up. A friend of mine recently said about this site: "Your best quality and your worst is that nobody's safe with you."

Oddly, that's kind of a compliment.

As far as George Bush goes, I don't believe that disliking or distrusting him and his ilk has anything to do with being a liberal or conservative anymore -- it just has to do with having a pair of working eyes, a brain, and a healthy amount of common sense.

25 comments:

Nancy said...

Waiting for your outrage over Nader, already.

n, np

jen said...

which begs the question: will it change? this year's elections hold the promise to be the most exciting in awhile and, one hopes, one of high involvement from the public. the country is ready for a change, and the candidates swear they will make it so, but is the political machine too heavy to move (regardless of what "side" the votes land on)?

Jake said...

The only way this country will change is when people get over their attitudes of entitlement. Elections are won based on promising to give people things, whether it be help for the needy to bringing relatives home from abroad. When Americans can get over that and elect people who will lead this country instead of people who they think will cater to their wants and wishes, we might be able to turn things around.

and on an side note, Bush's pronunciation of nuclear is one of the acceptable forms of pronunciation.
Pronunciation:
\ˈnü-klē-ər, ˈnyü-, ÷-kyə-lər\
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nuclear

Chez said...

Acceptable and correct aren't the same thing -- one means you've just said the hell with it and given in.

Just because a metric ton of people mispronounce it -- and we live in Wiki-Nation -- doesn't make it right.

jen said...

jake, you are certainly asking too much. ;) entitlement is what america was built on (i keep thinking about the cunning use of flags)! i totally agree with you though. which is why i am so very interested for next year - how will the public react when whomever is elected doesn't live up to expectations (simply because they CAN'T)?

jen said...

i'm behind chez on the pronunciation of nuclear issue. it's like people who use the word "irregardless". that's not a word, and it doesn't mean what you think it means. and just because someone said it doesn't mean it is now a word. if that is the rule, then webster's better call me, because my 4 month old has created a LOT of new words.

Ward said...

"As far as George Bush goes, I don't believe that disliking or distrusting him and his ilk has anything to do with being a liberal or conservative anymore -- it just has to do with having a pair of working eyes, a brain, and a healthy amount of common sense."

But, but ... If you're not with us, you're against us ... or something.

The "conservative" POV (lately) has been that it's unwise to understand anything too much. It distracts from the mindless obedience that is necessary for a well-functioning nation ...

Nathan said...

We were just having a discussion on another site I visit about how "liberal" and "conservative" have become useless, except as pejoratives meant to end the conversation and lump you in with the looniest of the folks on your side of the aisle.

And I'm with you on the Nookyular thing, (although it pissed me off even more coming from Jimmy Carter, who had a degree in nookyular engineering).

Calitri said...

You flaming liberal hippy! I know you love Dub-ya as much as the rest of us. He's like the kind-looking, little old man that flicks off the high school kids then take a dump on your front lawn. What he's doing may not be "right", but damn if he isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen.

So let's drop the facade, take off the mask and be honest with ourselves here. You love George and would, at the drop of a hat, marry him and have like 10 million of his babies. I saw that "Fuck the constitution, give him another 4" bumper sticker on your car.

Your readers, myself included, deserve some measure of truth in your writing not just a company-line, demo-centric mantra that reads like the center paragraph of a "Vote 4 Hillary" pamphlet. Let's say all the things we never said. Think about it robustly, ok?

Glenn said...

W is above the law, grammatical rules, rules in general, so that he "exists" in his own little universe, manipulated by rove/cheney/norquist into whatever, and no matter, as long as the Constitution, Democracy, and anything of value left in this country is being decimated, he's happy.

VOTAR said...

I dunno, some people just have words they like to say a lot. Like schadenfreude. Or solipsism. Or facetious. Or tachyon. Or fiduciary.

Stephen said...

From merriam-webster:

"irregardless

Main Entry: ir·re·gard·less
Pronunciation: \ˌir-i-ˈgärd-ləs\
Function: adverb
Etymology: probably blend of irrespective and regardless
Date: circa 1912
nonstandard : regardless
usage Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose."

Nuclear, nucular, tomato, tomahto....all are acceptable irregardless of how you pronounce them!

Jayne said...

Well, I don't find any of them "acceptable" at all. I suppose it's all about standards, isn't it?

:)

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm just to sick of Bush and all the B.S.
I mean truly SICK!!!!!!!!!!

I am even more disgusted with the dam debates. All promise change.

Yea, Bush promised change and see how much he changed things?? Things are so screwed up thanks to him that I honestly feel sorry for ever the poor fool is who has to go in there and ATTEMPT to fix it.
Whoever get's voted into power is going to eventually be blamed for not doing his or her job because there is just toooo much damage to undo.
CHANGE????? I'll believe it when I see it. Let's hope it happens in my lifetime.

VOTAR said...

Everyone hates a know-it-all.






Trust me.

kanye said...

This pic pretty much says it all.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, they're acceptable. And people probably accept the fact that those who say them sound like uneducated rednecks, but you're right, they're acceptable.

Stephen said...

On a blog like this you'd think people would appreciate sarcasm...albeit poorly spelled.
Don't take yourselves too seriously lest you turn into the subject of that which you harangue.
I had to look up how to spell that on account of my redneckedness.
Irregardless of what y'all think, I'm fixin' to take me a robust walk and round up some road varmint for supper.
:-p~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anonymous said...

If W wasn't so damned hysterical he would be frightening!

Anonymous said...

It's not he that is frightening, true... It's the power that we've given him that is. Very much so.

Anonymous said...

You can't approach an argument with the end result already in mind -- put there by whichever side of the aisle you happen to align yourself with -- then work your way back to make the facts fit that intransigent belief.

There is a name for this type of error in thinking. Its called 'confirmation bias', also known as Tolstoy syndrome.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias
Our Commander in Chief has lived his whole life not knowing this.

Nightmare said...

Votar- I prefer Sexual Intellectual to "Know it all"


It just makes it a "Fucking Know it all"


Jeeze I crack myself up!

Gunny Geek said...

I'm not a liberal, just like I'm not a conservative. These days especially, doing anything other than evaluating each issue on its own merits isn't just intellectually dishonest, it's dangerous. You can't approach an argument with the end result already in mind -- put there by whichever side of the aisle you happen to align yourself with -- then work your way back to make the facts fit that intransigent belief. That's the kind of non-thinking that got us into this mess to begin with.

This says it all, what's wrong with the way a lot of people think today....

Diana said...

Your closing comments are certainly excellent, and my inner word-geek got a good robust chuckle out of G-dub's pet word--but his verbal idiocy is significantly less infuriating than...well, all his other idiocies.

I think his dumbness (and I mean this last word in an unusually literal sense) is actually a slight, grim blessing. It's bad enough he's wreaked havoc on the world, as you say; at least we're still able to make fun of him. Because honestly, what else should we do for the next year? Cry?

Anonymous said...

The way Bush pronounces nuclear is acceptable in the same way that kids who fail in school get moved up to the next grade anyways. Their behavior needs to be fixed, but to do so might offend them, and god forbid anyone be offended!