-Caveat Lector-

More reference links included at bottom of article...

> "I call him the feel bad president, because he's all about punishment and
> death," he said. "It would be a grave mistake to just play him for laughs."
> Bush anything but
> moronic, according to author
> Dark overtones in his malapropisms
> When Mark Crispin Miller first set out to write Dyslexicon: Observations on a
> National Disorder, about the ever-growing catalogue of President George W.
> Bush's verbal gaffes, he meant it for a laugh. But what he came to realize
> wasn't entirely amusing.
> Since the 2000 presidential campaign, Miller has been compiling his own
> collection of Bush-isms, which have revealed, he says, a disquieting truth about
> what lurks behind the cock-eyed leer of the leader of the free world. He's not a
> moron at all — on that point, Miller and Prime Minister Jean Chrétien agree.
> But according to Miller, he's no friend.
> "I did initially intend it to be a funny book. But that was before I had a
> chance to read through all the transcripts," Miller, an American author and a
> professor of culture and communication at New York University, said recently in
> Toronto.
> "Bush is not an imbecile. He's not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic
> personality. I think he's incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of
> his own entitlement, and he's a very skilled manipulator. And in all the
> snickering about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss."
> Miller's judgment, that the president might suffer from a bona fide personality
> disorder, almost makes one long for the less menacing notion currently making
> the rounds: that the White House's current occupant is, in fact, simply an
> idiot.
> If only. Miller's rendering of the president is bleaker than that. In studying
> Bush's various adventures in oration, he started to see a pattern emerging.
> "He has no trouble speaking off the cuff when he's speaking punitively, when
> he's talking about violence, when he's talking about revenge.
> "When he struts and thumps his chest, his syntax and grammar are fine," Miller
> said.
> "It's only when he leaps into the wild blue yonder of compassion, or idealism,
> or altruism, that he makes these hilarious mistakes."
> While Miller's book has been praised for its "eloquence" and "playful use of
> language," it has enraged Bush supporters.
> Bush's ascent in the eyes of many Americans — his approval rating hovers at near
> 80 percent — was the direct result of tough talk following the Sept. 11
> terrorist attacks. In those speeches, Bush stumbled not at all; his language of
> retribution was clear.
> It was a sharp contrast to the pre-9/11 George W. Bush. Even before the Supreme
> Court in 2001 had to intervene and rule on recounts in Florida after a
> contentious presidential election, a corps of journalists were salivating at the
> prospect: a bafflingly inarticulate man in a position of power not seen since
> vice-president Dan Quayle rode shotgun on George H.W. Bush's one term in office.
> But equating Bush's malapropisms with Quayle's inability to spell "potato" is a
> dangerous assumption, Miller says.
> At a public address in Nashville, Tenn., in September, Bush provided one of his
> most memorable stumbles. Trying to give strength to his case that Saddam Hussein
> had already deceived the West concerning his store of weapons, Bush was scripted
> to offer an old saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
> What came out was the following:
> "Fool me once, shame ... shame on ... you." Long, uncomfortable pause. "Fool me
> — can't get fooled again!"
> Played for laughs everywhere, Miller saw a darkness underlying the gaffe.
> "There's an episode of Happy Days, where The Fonz has to say, `I'm sorry' and
> can't do it. Same thing," Miller said.
> "What's revealing about this is that Bush could not say, `Shame on me' to save
> his life. That's a completely alien idea to him. This is a guy who is absolutely
> proud of his own inflexibility and rectitude."
> If what Miller says is true — and it would take more than just observations to
> prove it — then Bush has achieved an astounding goal.
> By stumbling blithely along, he has been able to push his image as "just folks"
> — a normal guy who screws up just like the rest of us.
> This, in fact, is a central cog in his image-making machine, Miller says:
> Portraying the wealthy scion of one of America's most powerful families as a
> regular, imperfect Joe.
> But the depiction, Miller says, is also remarkable for what it hides —
> imperfect, yes, but also detached, wealthy and unable to identify with the
> "folks" he's been designed to appeal to.
> An example, Miller says, surfaced early in his presidential tenure.
> "I know how hard it is to put food on your family," Bush was quoted as saying.
> "That wasn't because he's so stupid that he doesn't know how to say, `Put food
> on your family's table' — it's because he doesn't care about people who can't
> put food on the table," Miller says.
> So, when Bush is envisioning "a foreign-handed foreign policy," or observes on
> some point that "it's not the way that America is all about," Miller contends
> it's because he can't keep his focus on things that mean nothing to him.
> "When he tries to talk about what this country stands for, or about democracy,
> he can't do it," he said.
> This, then, is why he's so closely watched by his handlers, Miller says — not
> because he'll say something stupid, but because he'll overindulge in the
> language of violence and punishment at which he excels.
> "He's a very angry guy, a hostile guy. He's much like Nixon. So they're very,
> very careful to choreograph every move he makes. They don't want him anywhere
> near protestors, because he would lose his temper."
> Miller, without question, is a man with a mission — and laughter isn't it.
> "I call him the feel bad president, because he's all about punishment and
> death," he said. "It would be a grave mistake to just play him for laughs."

The Democratic Underground forum interviews Mark Crispin Miller:

>From ATlantic Unbound:  The Bumbling Communicator:

Wanna learn more about our "resident"?  "Fortunate Son":

Bushisms (so you can review them for yourself):
http://politicalhumor.about.com/cs/bushspeak/  (this one is a compendium of links on 
the topic)

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