Michael: Bush's appreciation"I appreciate my love for Laura." —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 20, 2005
"I appreciate the United States Congressmen who have joined us here today -- Congressman Hayworth and Shadegg and Flake." -George W. Bush, Phoenix, AZ, November 28, 2005
"I appreciate and America appreciates the sacrifices of our military families." George W. Bush, Fort Hood, TX, January 3, 2003
Ever notice how often Bush says that he 'appreciates' people and things? He says it in probably every speech. He always goes through his list of key people present, 'appreciating' them all rather non-specifically. It is his all-purpose word for feeling generally positive toward something, or feeling grateful, or just acknowledging something or someone. Why doesn't Bush have a more nuanced vocabulary of personal feeling? Can he really not verbally distinuish between his love for his wife, acknowledging that some Congressional flunkies showed up at a rubber chicken event, and honoring the heroes who give their lives for his dirty little war?
I suspect the man is so given to malappropisms that he has been coached to just say he 'appreciates' everything, rather than have to rummage through that second-rate brain for a more active or appropriate verb - and likely end up flubbing it. The man has the emotional range and vocabulary of a mackerel. It's hard to believe that so many take his forced bonhommie and inappropriately touchy-feely public personae as a sign of genuine warmth and compassion. I find the fact that he is unable to articulate emotional states with greater range and variety than a default reliance on 'appreciation' more than a little creepy. I watch Bush at public events and I get the same faintly nauseous embarrassed-for-another feeling that I get when watching the antics of the socially-inappropriate and falsely confident manner of the boss on The Office (both the British and American versions).