Seven Degrees from Normal

Two people, eighteen years of marriage, seven college degrees.

Friday, September 24, 2004

The danger of being unclearly

I'd like to spend a moment unpacking just one of the many mind-boggling things GWB produced at yesterday's press "conference":

I think the world watches America. We're an influential nation, and everybody watches what we say. And I think it's very important for the American President to mean what he says. That's why I understand that the enemy could misread what I say. That's why I try to be as clearly I can. I don't want them to be emboldened by any confusion or doubt. I don't want them to think that, well, maybe all they got to do is attack and we'll shirk our duties. See, they've been emboldened before. They have caused certain nations to withdraw from coalitions as a result of their action, such action reinforcing the ability for suiciders, for example, to effect free societies. I know that. I've seen firsthand the tactics of these killers. And so therefore, I think it's very important for all of us involved in the process not to send mixed signals.

The enemy could misread what he says? He tries to "be as clearly as he can" so the enemy won't be "emboldened by any confusion or doubt?"

I think we may have found the root of the Iraq problem here. I mean, even I can't understand this guy, and I teach freshman composition. His definition of "clarity" is as confused as his understanding of "democracy." But just for fun, let's assume he's right that the enemy needs to understand our intentions if they are to be stopped. Obviously then, his lack of clarity is the very reason for the continued attacks! The president's maladaptive syntax isn't just enraging thinking Americans who want an honest answer, it's actually emboldening the terrorists!

Watching this president speak is like watching a drunk guy try to argue his way out of a traffic ticket.


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