Equal Opportunity Ridicule

Ever since George W. Bush first came onto the national scene during his first presidential campaign, I’ve always been able to enjoy a good Bushism. I think it’s important that we not take ourselves (or others) so seriously that we can’t laugh when they accidentally say something funny (and in that spirit, here’s a list of some of Bush’s best.).

That being said, I don’t like how people often judge Bush to be a complete moron solely on the basis of his misstatements. My opinion on that is basically that anyone who speaks on record as often as the President of the United States does is going to mess up a bunch and say a lot of stupid things (I know that I would).

And Barack Obama, who during the primary some pundits claimed was so intelligent, so cerebral that he wouldn’t be able to connect to voters, has been doing his best over the last few days to prove my point, repeatedly making dunce-like statements.

Although he likely won’t get lampooned in the national media like Bush would if he had made similar statements, consider the following gems:

  • “…Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran.” That statement makes since, until you realize that Obama isn’t even a member of the Banking Committee, so it’s not exactly “his.”
  • Tuesday, while speaking in Jordan, Obama said (emphasis mine), “You know, it’s always a bad practice to say ‘always’ or ‘never.’”
  • In another speech on his tour of the Middle East, Obama proclaimed that “Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s.” In the context of the speech, it was clear that he meant that America is a strong friend of Israel’s, but seriously, if Bush had said this, there would be no end to the ridicule he would receive.
So I think the moral of the story is that by all means, let’s be good-natured enough to laugh at our national leaders (and ourselves for that matter) when they accidentally say foolish and stupid things.

Let’s just not assume that they are foolish or stupid for saying them.


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