[Thanks to Selkie for correcting me on the Fox/MSNBC thing. Silly — the WaPo article clearly says "MSNBC", but I somehow had Fox in my mind anyway.]
This blog has always had the utmost disrespect for the Chimp in Chief. Still, even when I saw the
Fox NewsMSNBC video on crooksandliars.com last week, I decided not to talk about it here. That is, until it was picked up by the WaPo. A segment on Joe Scarborough's show on FoxMSNBC last week was titled, "Is Bush an Idiot?", and featured two commentators in addition to Mr Scarborough — one saying that yes, he is an idiot, the other saying that he's inarticulate, but not actually an idiot.
The distinction's a fine line, in any case, and both commentators agreed that he comes across as an idiot, whether or not he actually is one. And, of course, we're talking "idiot" colloquially, here; there've been "official" definitions of idiocy over the years, covering levels of mental retardation, and I don't think anyone's suggesting that George actually qualifies there. He's just a dope.
That this aired on
Fox NewsMSNBC is telling, and fits with British MP John Prescott's characterization of Bush's policies as "crap". There's not only an erosion of support from all quarters, but an erosion of respect — even from his islands of support, such as Fox NewsMSNBC. It's a well deserved erosion, I dare say, but it's interesting to follow: many have said that regardless of the person in the office, the office of the presidency commands respect, per se. And yet even many who once said that are now acknowledging how hard it is to hold respect for... an idiot.
Read the article, find the video on the Internet. Here's a search to get you started.
Meanwhile, I want to digress for a moment to talk about the word "idiot", because I think it's interesting. It comes from Greek root "idios", which means "private", and the original sense of "idiot" was of a selfish person. It took some time for the meaning to shift from selfishness to stupidity and foolishness.
When I was on Santorini a few years ago, I came across a hand-lettered sign hung from a rope across a small parking area. The sign said (transliterated into English letters here):
Idiotikos xoros! Men parakete sten eisodo! Meze.I'd picked up a few words of Greek by then, and figured out that it basically said, "Don't park in the entrance! Thanks." But I didn't know what "xoros" meant, and wondered whom they were calling "idiotic". "Idiotic foreigner," maybe? "Idiotic driver"?
When I got back to the US, I asked a Greek colleague at work, "What does 'xoros' mean?" "Area," he said. Well, that didn't make sense, "idiotic area". I told him the whole thing, and he said, "Sure, that makes sense. 'Private area.'" Well, of course; I'd assumed that "idiotikos" meant "idiotic", but I'd failed to go back to the linguistic root.
Doh! I'm such an idiot!