Not long ago, I thought it might be a good idea go after Slate’s “Bushisms” column written by editor Jacob Weisberg. While these verbal slips are often entertaining, it seems clear to me that Weisberg thinks these errors indicate that President Bush is less than intelligent.
Such a notion is troublesome because it springs directly from cultural elitism of a kind that should make liberals cringe. If Bush is stupid because he can’t speak so-called correct English, then what are the speakers of other dialects of English? If one is less than intelligent then so is the other. I don’t think Weisberg wants to go there, but his underlying premise certainly suggests it.
My effort made no splash (so I quickly tired of it). Perhaps Brendan Nyhan at Spinsanity will have better luck. In this column, he correctly points out that some of Weisberg’s Bushisms are taken out of context.