Normally when I hear George W. Bush’s voice on the radio I just turn it off, on the assumption that whatever he says is either going to be (a) hyperpatriotic mush or (b) patently untrue. This morning, however, I was in the process of dressing and couldn’t get to the snooze button in time to avoid hearing him announce Samuel Alito as his latest Supreme Court nomination.
The fact that some people are calling Alito “Scalia Lite” is probably enough reason to devote an essay to him, but that’s not the topic here. What I want to discuss is what Bush said at the end of his speech this morning. He turned to Alito and said “Congratulations on your nomination.”
And I thought: “Did this dumbass forget he was the one who nominated him?”
You don’t congratulate someone for something that wouldn’t have happened to him if you hadn’t made it happen. Other people can come up to Alito and congratulate him on his nomination, but it makes absolutely no sense for Bush to do it. Bush can congratulate himself if he wants to.
This would be like a baseball player hitting a grand slam and then congratulating the runners who were on base: “Way to go, guys—way to score those runs!”
You know, it’s not that hard to use the language in a thoughtful, logical way. The alternative is to do what Bush does and repeat stuff he’s overheard in other conversations and hope it’s appropriate.
And by the way, how would you like to be the second choice behind Harriet Miers?