June 06, 2007

President Bush Tries His Hand at English

On May 29, in Glynco, Georgia, George W. Bush made the following statement, hammering hard against the opponents of his immigration bill, most of whom are on the Republican side of the aisle:

"If you want to kill the bill, if you don't want to do what's right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it, you can use it to frighten people. Or you can show leadership and solve this problem once and for all."
These words and sentences are not complicated. The inferences are pretty clear. Let's break it down:
...if you don't want to do what's right for America...
The logic: The President's way is what's right for America. If you Republicans and Democrats do not agree with the President's way, you are personally against what's right for America.

The inference: No matter who you are, Republican or Democrat, if you are against the President's way, you are against the best interests of this country (or maybe this continent). (MORE BELOW THE FOLD)

If you want to kill the bill... you can pick one little aspect out of it.
The logic: the objections raised to the bill (mostly by Republicans) relate only to "little aspects" of it.

The inference: the objections raised relate to very minor, unimportant provisions. The major provisions of the bill are "what's right for America." Those raising these "little aspects" are not arguing in good faith. They are misleading the public by omission. They are bad actors engaging in deception.

...you can use it to frighten people.
The logic: the people (again, mostly Republicans) reacting negatively to the bill are merely "frightened" about a few "little aspects" of the bill.

The inference: the mass of the Republicans who are objecting to the bill are mostly ignorant, simple-minded and easily-fooled people. Their objections are not based in reason, but only in emotion. These exploited dupes are merely victims of the anti-American villains who have gotten them "frightened" based on a very selective and misleading presentation of "little aspects" of the bill. In other words, any Republican or Democrat opposed to the bill is either a sinister villain or an ignorant, emotional dupe.

Or you can show leadership...
The obvious inference: any Republican or Democrat who opposes George W. Bush on this issue is not a "leader."

So, did I get it right? Did George W. Bush's words mean what they seem to mean? Did I get it completely wrong? If I did, I have a lot of company. The Republicans have not reacted well to Bush's comments:

[C]onservative opponents of a Senate immigration bill supported by Mr. Bush reacted furiously to the president's suggestion that they are resorting to scare tactics by using the word "amnesty" in referring to the measure that would allow millions of illegal aliens to remain in the United States.
Apparently, we all took Bush wrong. Turns out Bush meant something completely different, and never meant to attack the Republicans:
"He was surprised by the reaction," [Tony] Snow said of Mr. Bush's speech in Glynco, Ga., last week. "The speech in Georgia was, 'We've got a serious problem and we need to fix it.' It was not in any way designed to be pointed at Republicans."
Heh. Silly me. h/t: Michelle.

By Ragnar Danneskjold, Typical Bitter Gun-Clinger at 10:31 PM | Comments |