Skip to comments.Bush criticized for calling Obama articulate: Demonstration of correct-speak gone mad
Posted on 02/08/2007 11:38:28 AM PST by Daniel T. Zanoza
For the last forty years, political correctness has become a scourge on free speech in America. However, in recent days, correct speak has been elevated to new heights of pure absurdity.
In an interview on the FOX News Network's "Your World with Neil Cavuto," the program's host asked President Bush what he thought of Illinois' junior Senator Barack Obama. Bush replied by saying, "He hasn't gotten elected yet. He hasn't even gotten the party's nomination. He's an attractive guy. He's articulate."
Bush's comments drew a firestorm of criticism from African-American leaders, including Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Bush's remarks come on the heels of some inappropriate statements made by U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware. Biden's comments deserved the fire he received because one of the terms he used to describe Obama included the word "clean." Biden said Obama is, the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." His words are self-indicting.
One can understand why African-Americans--and indeed all Americans--were offended by Biden's inappropriate remarks. It would be akin to saying someone like my wife, who is of Irish descent, was a good woman and sober to boot. The implication is clear. By referring to Obama as clean, Biden infers other blacks are not. But Biden's calling Obama, "the first mainstream African-American" with such positive attributes should have raised a red flag. What did Biden think of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and other African-Americans who have served their country with great distinction?
But the criticism of Bush by African-Americans is totally without merit. To begin, an individual can be intelligent, but not articulate. You can be articulate, but lack common sense. Bush obviously was giving Obama a compliment, but, in this age of political correctness, every word spoken in public, seemingly, is subject to ridiculous scrutiny and there may have been a political case of tit for tat here. Democratic operatives may have seen Bush's innocent comments as a way to deflect criticism away from Biden.
Of course Bush did not mean to say other African-Americans are not articulate, even though some are not. Many whites are not articulate either, and the same goes for people of any color or ethnic origin. Since the flap over Obama began, his polling numbers have dropped by nearly 20 percentage points. Some have speculated Americans are not willing--or, indeed, may be afraid--to play this game of correct speak when it comes to an African-American who may or may not be well-qualified to seek their nation's highest office.
The truth is Barack Obama, essentially, was not seriously challenged when he won his Senate seat in Illinois. Few Americans know where he stands on the important issues of the day. But the national media has clearly demonstrated they have a love affair with the soon-to-announce presidential candidate that is not founded in fact due to his lack of a substantial political track record.
Obama cannot be blamed for the attack on Bush by the p.c. police in the African-American community. However, Obama may be the recipient of the negative fallout from what can only be called political correctness gone amok.
Not only did he not MEAN to say it, he did NOT say it. Obama can be articulate without the rest of african americans being inarticulate. It's not like we are only able to have one articulate black person in the world at a time.
I'm more worried about Bush calling him "attractive". :-)
Note that the problem with Biden wasn't that he called Obama a nice-looking guy, or articulate, or really even clean (that was just a distraction) -- it's that he said he was the FIRST African-American to exhibit those qualities.
Obama is not so much articulate as having good articulation.
And his circulocution is above reproach!
I have not heard about this. I guess the firestorm just isn't happening.
Was it Biden's people who started this?
People see and hear what they want to. Especially the likes of Al Sharkton and Jesse Jacksome. Hey, I like those names!
I've often been amused by people's proclivity to hear what they want and ignore the rest.
For years we all heard how Micael Jordan was so smart (and he is) and "articulate" (but he isn't). I always wondered why no one was offended by this statement of articulateness, but this mindset is all over the sports world.
For example, when announcers say that a basketball player has a high b-ball IQ but isn't a great athelete what they are refering to is his skin color---he's a slow white guy that makes up for being slow of foot by being "smart."
Conversely, the "exceptional athelete" moniker is now reserved ONLY for black guys in sports.
It is stereotypical racism either way, imo.
I guess these black leaders would prefer Prez Bush to call Obama an uneducated cretin.
If Bush says Obama is articulate people get upset. If he says Obama is inarticulate, people get upset. So I ask why do we even have the words "articulate" and "inarticulate" in the English language anymore? Should such words be labeled as hate speech?
Should the words "hate speech" be labeled as hate speech?
Indeed, President Bush might sometimes self-effacingly put himself into that category.
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