Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What the President Knows

Via the Washington Post:

Here are Bush's remarks while visiting with residents in Poplarville, Mississippi: "I understand. I understand the damage. I understand the devastation. I understand the destruction. I understand how long it's going to take. And we're with you. That's what I want you to know," he told the residents of Poplarville.

One of Bush's most annoying verbal tics is his habit of declaring "I know" or "I understand" when describing things that he clearly does not know or understand. It comes across (quite accurately) as defensive, since he generally employs this construction in an attempt to fend off criticism about his obliviousness: "I understand the economy isn't perfect," "I know people are suffering," "I know that building a democracy is hard work," etc. etc.

I would love to see the Democratic Party, MoveOn, or some other organization put together an ad consisting of a montage of clips of Bush acknowledging one disastrous problem after another--"I know," "I understand," "I know"--gradually fading into silence, to be replaced by an announcer's voice: "The president says he knows how bad things are. So when will he and his party do something about it?" On-screen: "PRESIDENT BUSH: A FAILURE TO LEAD."

If nothing else, such an ad might at least prevent Bush from ever using the "I know" defense again--thereby throwing him and Karl Rove another five per cent off their (already shaky) game.
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