Thursday, January 25, 2007

You keep using that word "discussion " ...

In the comments section back here, Toronto Tory William E. Demers gets all bent out of shape, wondering why we insist on making fun of him, challenging us thusly:

You guys need to grow up. Rather than calling me names, why don't you come discuss your opinions with me?

Now, given that this is the same William E. Demers who opined:

I happen to think Mr. Bush is a great orator ...

one is justifiably left to wonder -- what the hell exactly would we be discussing?

In a general sense, how is it that the wingnut Right expects us to engage them in intellectual discussion, when what they offer us as grist for the conversation are opinions so idiotic, so inane and so divorced from reality that the only proper response is slack-jawed disbelief that anyone could be so freakin' dense?

William is apparently impressed with the oratorical talents of George W. Bush. This is, of course, the same George Bush whose name has become synonymous with mangling the English language; the same George Bush whose verbal malapropisms have inspired entire books and web pages; the same George Bush whose fundamental political philosophy consists of spouting vacuous tautologies. Yet this is the man who William admires for his oratorical skill, which again leads us to ask: What is there to discuss?

How do you respond when the wingnuts offer up such absurdities as "George Bush is a great orator" or "Gay marriage will threaten the sanctity of traditional marriage" or "There's no evidence for evolution" or "If we leave Iraq, the terrorists will follow us home." What do you say? What is there to say?

If you're feeling ambitious, you can try desperately to find some common ground but, really, is there any point? When someone can, in all seriousness, praise the linguistic talents of someone as howlingly inept as George W. Bush, well, I'm fairly sure that that is going to be one fruitless conversation.


Ti-Guy said...

The sensible Right (whoever they are these days) really should have dealt decisively with the Ann Coulters, Michelle Malkins, the Ezra Levants and the whole of FoxNews a long time ago (by at least admitting that these people know nothing about the issues they opine on), before letting this ill-will build up to the point that it has now.

I'd probably have engaged in discussion with more conservative bloggers if their commenters hadn't usually consisted of so many appalling, brain-dead wingnuts. I usually couldn't cinch up my gorge tight enough to endure a comment thread at a typical conservative blog.

As it stands, I don't think I'll take a conservative seriously ever again.

catnip said...

Yes, "Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?"

Eiredrake said...

To respond I did something that no right wingnut would ever do: I did a little research before making a claim.

After looking up the definition of an orator I have to conclude that Bush is in fact a great orator ( if you choose the right definition ). I went to Dictionary.Com which brings up definitions from several different dictionaries.

or·a·tor (ôr'ə-tər, ŏr'-)

1. One who delivers an oration.
2. An eloquent and skilled public speaker.

So perhaps your buddy Demers is merely referring to the first definition and not the second.

If his only criterion for being an orator is the ability to speak then he's correct. By that definition a 'speak n spell' would also be a great orator.

As an American I agree with CNN's assessment of Bush from right after Katrina hit: Worst Disaster Ever to hit the US

Niles said...

Power is still the greatest aphrodisiac.

Invest someone with social power and there will be no shortage of uncritical butt kissing. Just ask any bully boy about his hangers on.

Conflating the protagonist of a story with the mantle of a hero because the story is told from the biased pov of him/her is far far too common among readers.

And that's the portion of the populace that actually reads.

Simon said...

Eiredrake, sorry to take the fun out of your post, but once you apply the adjective "great" to "orator", even to the first definition of "orator", it completely disqualifies the application of the phrase to Bush. Unless you use one of the twenty-three definitions of 'great' that does not have anything to do with being "very good" at something (like say, "great with child" or "one generation more remote from the family relative specified" instead).

Bush may be an orator, but by nobody's standard should he be considered a "great orator"!

Anonymous said...



adj. + n. = legit.

go back to grade school, guys

M@ said...

Sorry, Anonymous, your point is elusive yet again. Are you saying that this adjective-noun combination is grammatically valid, or are you saying the George Bush is actually a great orator?