A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!
I don't tell many people this, but I was once a Goldwater Girl, and I belonged to Young Americans for Freedom. Which was, or is, a sort of proto-neo-conservative training ground for eager young folks who then considered themselves to be Republican. This was back when Republican wasn't a bad word, and conservative was just an adjective to describe their philosophy.
I did this mainly to meet boys, especially smart boys. What I learned there I have not had cause to reconsider much: in politics, ruthless trumps smart most every time. This applies to both parties.
When conservatives want to show they are smart and serious, they invoke the name of Thomas Jefferson, as Governor Bob McDonnell did last night in the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union Address.
But when they want to provoke the nation's inner excitable middle schoolers' nahnah nahna boo boo-ishness, they invoke Karl Rove.
Mr. Rove is currently entertaining the kids in the club with his accounting practices. Apparently, the President's speech included 132 instances of the word "I." That seems like a good thing for someone who's being held accountable for his actions and leadership. But to Rove and the gang, it's a sign of overweening presumption and ego.
And who would know better about that? But I digress.
Anyway, I know that you can't look at numbers like that without a context, so I did what curious citizens with time on their hands do when it's simple enough: the math.
Using a complicated method of random selection (the first one that popped up on a Google search), I selected a State of the Union address by an earlier president: George Herbert Walker Bush. It was his last one in 1992.
I then counted all the times he used the personal pronoun "I", copied the text into a Word document, and did a word count. In a 5,082 word speech, President Bush the Elder used "I" 93 times.
Then I did the same with President Barack Hussein Obama's speech. Only I took Mr. Rove's word for the 132 uses of "I". A windy guy, President Obama used 7,149 words to make his points.
When you calculate the percentage of "I" use, it's 1.8 for Obama and. . . 1.8 for George HW Bush.
Coincidence? Or is something deeper going on? Is George HW Bush, who hired Karl Rove, really Barack Obama's speech writer? And is Rove raving about this because the senior Bush later fired him for planting negative (the political word for "false") stories?
Um. Of course not. Don't be silly. . .