Monday, September 21, 2009

Being Boorish

Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for President Reagan, columnist with the Wall Street Journal and political pundit on various media outlets, called President Obama "boorish" for appearing often on television to push health care reform.

Merriam-Webster OnLine

Main Entry: boor•ish
Pronunciation: \ˈbu̇r-ish\
Function: adjective
Date: 1562

resembling or befitting a boor (as in crude insensitivity)
— boor•ish•ly adverb
— boor•ish•ness noun

Synonyms: BOORISH, CHURLISH, LOUTISH, CLOWNISH mean an uncouth in manners or appearance. Boorish implies rudeness of manner due to insensitiveness to others' feelings and unwillingness to be agreeable (a drunk's boorish behavior). CHURLISH suggests surliness, unresponsiveness, and ungraciousness (churlish remakrs). LOUTISH implies bodily awkwardness together with stupidity (a loutish oaf). CLOWNISH suggests ill-bred awkwardness, ignorance or stupidity, ungainliness, and often a propensity for absurd antics (an adolescent's clownish conduct).Now, without having seen President Obama on any of the Sunday shows, as I didn't even turn on my television yesterday, listening to Peggy Noonan here she sounds pretty boorish to me.

The problem with many political pundits is that their exalted self-importance often comes crashing down on their own heads. Noonan falls into this category regularly with her forever feigned lilted pseduo-intellectual effacement which is so unattractive.

Listen to her tone and word choices; she always comes across to me as slightly bitchy, a bit snooty, and often subtly demeaning. Her seeemingly male counterparts, let's say a George Will or William F. Buckley, are rarely--if ever--amiss on meaning.

It is clear that Ms. Noonan, the great former speech writer, doesn't know the meaning of boorish. Surely, it couldn't possibly apply to the rather serious very thoughtful current president no matter how you feel about his policies.

Methinks Peggy Noonan is boorish.


rebecca said...

I think she falls into the category of those that don't like Obama and has a platform on which to give 'opinion' about it. Boorish is not a word I would use for the president. Far from it.

Judith Ellis said...

I think you're right, Rebecca. She also seems a bit too full of herself too. When have "legitimate" journalists given their opinions? From what I've read this is precisely what the President Obama was addressing yesterday when he talked about the intrusion of the blogosphere on journalism. This is probably also the reason why he's doing these shows.

By going to the people directlly President Obama cuts down on the untruthful biased opinions of the media. Hmm? Maybe this is why Noonan said what she said. She would understand well that when President Obama speaks directly to the people they listen and respond.

I think I got it now; the comment seems like an effort to muzzle President Obama's voice and allow for the noise and the shaping of his words as opposed to his direct words to the people.

zorro said...

How many times did President Bush do Meet the Press and the other Sunday shows? One maybe two times.
Why? Because each time he came off as an idiot.
We have real problmes in this country and the president is attempting to do something about them. That's why he is on TV - he wants to fix things. People like Noonan just don't care - how could they - when they come up with trivial things to say like calling Obama boorish because he is trying to get the country to understand what he wants to do and why (provide affordable health care to its citizens), its like she is totally unaware of what went on during the past eight years under Bush.

Judith Ellis said...

Right on, Zorro! Right on! Although, I have to object to anyone who calls President Bush an idoit. But I would also agree that he did not come off very well at all on those shows. And, yeah, where were all the pseudo political intellectuals then?

zorro said...

In the early 1980's, on the ABC Sunday show, George Will praised one of Reagans speeches - a speech he had a hand in writing -
but did not let on that he played a part in writing the speech.

septembermom said...

One could never call President Obama boorish. His eloquence and thoughtfulness are evident in every speech. I think many of these political pundits are just jealous of his natural ability to articulate his passion, opinion and determination for a better America. Throwing terms like boorish around makes me think of immature name calling on the playground.

Judith Ellis said...

Zorro - So, it seems that such has been going on for some time now, eh? Early this morning at around 3:30 am I heard a debate at Oxford between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley that put Buckley to shame.

Baldwin simply eviscerates Buckley. His intellectualism was reduced to cheap laughs and snide name calling; he made a few point. His crudeness was evident, though disguised as brilliance. There is something more beyond intellectualism.

Baldwin got a very long standing ovation from both sides of the House. You must have time to listen to the whole debate. One student in particular was pretty sharp too. I'd be interested to hear which one you think the better and why.

The debate's about 40 minutes or so. Here it is: Baldwin and Buckley Oxford Debate 1965. It's a great one!

Judith Ellis said...

Oh, so true, Kelly! So very true!

Judith Ellis said...

Baldwin and Buckley Oxford Debate, 1965

Pamela said...

It is so apparent that the Republicans are shaking in their shoes about 2010 and 2012. They have never stopped campaigning against President Obama. I can not recall seeing commercials so against a President who was in office as I have seen over the last past nine months. From the arms debate to healthcare, to bailing out the banks to cash for clunkers and now calling him "boorish". President Obama and the First Lady posses the decorum of which we as Americans should be proud of. Our President can speak on the world's stage and not be criticized for his poor diction and etiquette. Maybe someone should inform the Republicans that the election is over!

The sad part is the Republicans are fueling the fire for those who are full of hatred against our President and are providing them a platform. This is very dangerous!

For those who are smart enough to recognize the smoke screen/the bs would like to say, enough already!

Judith Ellis said...

Pam - I'm with you completely here. We have to do our part and apply pressure to our elected officials. We must make our voices heard about a host of issues, foreign and domestic.