Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I couldn't make this up...
An anti-Bush genius speaks: "'I don't like Bush,' said Lee Bondurant, a political independent who was laid off from his job at Boeing in 2002 and now teaches computer-aided drafting to college students. 'Because he ain't got no smarts. Just listen to the way he speaks. He's damaging our country's image in the world. I think he was put in office by his father.'"

UPDATE [7/13/2004 - 19:42]: Since I've been called out by Jake in the comments section, I'll clarify my point. No, I'm not making a slam at people without an Ivy League education (coming from a graduate of Stanford, that criticism is interesting). I'm simply pointing out the irony of a person who says someone else "ain't got no smarts. Just listen to the way he speaks." It implies that he has no frame of reference to make that judgement, since he clearly speaks no better. Following this with a tasty bit of propaganda like "he was put in office by his father" also implies that this guy has no idea what he's talking about, and he's simply repeating what he's heard others say. A more acceptable, and logical, charge would have been that his daddy carried him for years and then he had others carry him into the presidency. No one who knows anything about the circumstances of the 2000 election has ever claimed that 41 was involved.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since your post is bereft of commentary, I'm assuming you mean that you think Mr. Bondurant is an idiot because he says "he ain't got no smarts" in one sentence and "listen to the way he speaks" in the next.

While Mr. Bondurant certainly doesn't speak like a man with a Yale education, I'm really not sure how you get from his use of the "ain't got no" construction to maligning his views and tarring the intelligence of people who question Bush's qualifications and effects on America.

It is also worth noting that of the people quoted in the article, Mr. Bondurant is the only person not professionally involved in politics. There is no pro-Bush layman demonstrating the (inferred) intellectual superiority of holders of the conservative viewpoint.

Would you care to elaborate what point you're actually trying to make here, or is it just a cheap slam at non-Ivy League grammar?

-Jake

Anonymous said...

Brian, you claim that:

[Mr. Bondurant can't] make that judgement, since he clearly speaks no better.There are three key problems with that claim.

- The "ain't got no" construction is not ungrammatical: it is a violation of prescriptive style. As such, it says quite a bit about a person's cultural and economic background, but not their intelligence.

- "the way he speaks" may properly refer to either the syntax or the content of a person's speech, depending on context.

- Even if we assume Mr. Bondurant is as uncouth as you'd like him to be, that doesn't prevent him from being able to reasonably make a judgement of Bush's intelligence. Or may one only be judged by one's peers and 'betters'?

Yes, it sounds funny to a Yale student, and but isn't that partly an effect of the filtered academic bubble in which you live? Continuing on:

his daddy carried him for years and then he had others carry him into the presidencyIndeed, the quoted ordinary voter on the street isn't as nuanced in his use of language as you are. In his position you would have carefully noted that his father's patronage only carried him to a position where others would carry him further, rather than the more simple causal analysis contained in the statement that Mr. Bondurant made.

I would contend that, on the surface at least, you appear to be guilty of the same degree of nuance and elitism that you would charge Mr. Kerry with. Now, while it's true that you aren't running for the presidency, neither is Mr. Bondurant.

-Jake

Anonymous said...

..ah..youse guys is all wet! I be voting for Jon Kary.