A few days ago I noted an Op-Ed piece from The Wall Street Journal which was so goofy in its admiration for Bush that I suspected it was a hoax. But no, it was dead serious. A sample paragraph, in case you missed it.
The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.
Irony enough that such a piece was published — even by WSJ — with a perfectly straight editorial face. On top of that came the latest CNN poll, showing eighty-three percent of Americans think things are going badly, and seventy-six percent disapprove of Bush. That makes him the most unpopular President in the sixty-plus years that such polls have been taken.
So President-elect Obama comes to office at maybe the toughest time in memory, toughest time for a new administration. That eighty-three percent who think we’re in the toilet will be watching Obama carefully, critically. One who will be watching critically, and who is not part of the seventy-six percent anti-Bush cohort, is John Hinderaker, a Major Force in right-wing bloggery. He suggests — and this ties back in to the Bush mash note above — that Obama is… well, read it yourself.
Obama thinks he is a good talker, but he is often undisciplined when he speaks. He needs to understand that as President, his words will be scrutinized and will have impact whether he intends it or not. In this regard, President Bush is an excellent model; Obama should take a lesson from his example. Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly. He chooses his words with care and precision, which is why his style sometimes seems halting. In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed. If Obama doesn’t raise his standards, he will exceed Bush’s total before he is inaugurated.
Got that? Obama need to take lessons from Bush in how to talk. Boys and girls, we are back in the land of Extremely Heavy Inadvertent Irony.