Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Bushism Is Back

DANA MILBANK, WASHINGTON POST - Earlier this month, President Bush was almost done with a speech to a group of minority journalists when he dropped a rather startling proposal. "We actually misnamed the war on terror," he said. "It ought to be the Struggle Against Ideological Extremists Who Do Not Believe in Free Societies Who Happen to Use Terror as a Weapon to Try to Shake the Conscience of the Free World." ...

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bushism has returned. The malapropisms that adorned Bush's 2000 campaign before going into remission during much of his presidency have reemerged to garnish his reelection bid...

He summed up his candidacy the previous day in Davenport, Iowa: "We stand for things." ...

There was this discussion of Iran policy last week: "As you know, we don't have relationships with Iran," Bush said. "I mean, that's -- ever since the late '70s, we have no contacts with them, and we've totally sanctioned them. In other words, there's no sanctions -- you can't -- we're out of sanctions."

In that same session, Bush might have listeners worried about their civil liberties when he ran into plural trouble. "Let me put it to you bluntly," he ventured. "In a changing world, we want more people to have control over your own life."

This year's standard for Bushisms was the Aug. 6 meeting of minority journalists, where Bush offered a range of creative phrases.

Taxes? "I cut the taxes on everybody. I didn't cut them. The Congress cut them. I asked them to cut them."

Discrimination? "I knew this was going to be an issue in our country, that there would be people that say, 'There goes a Muslim-looking person.' "

Immigration reform? "I have talked about it lately. I talked about it this winter."

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