Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bush Was No Lincoln

From Lincoln was a virtuoso with a pen by Fred Kaplan:

Our most recent previous president obviously had inferior speechwriters. George W. Bush had little facility as an editor, and his command of language often veered into ungrammatical at best and incoherent at worst. Not even his political partisans would make a case for him as a role model for teaching young students respect for our language. Sometimes the problem was what he said; it was always how he said it.

As a Republican, his model should have been Abraham Lincoln, the most gifted writer of all American presidents, who wrote every word published over his name. Ironically, the modern president who has fully embraced Lincoln as his role model is a Democrat, Barack Obama.

Why that difference? Part of it is temperament. Stubborn and opinionated, Bush limited his counsel to those who agreed with him. He had little regard for rational and deliberate formulation of public policy, the very opposite of Lincoln. One reason for this is that Bush as president had no talent for, and little respect for, language.

0 comments - Post a comment :

Post a Comment