One of the great insights into the state of modern politics can be gleaned every time Slate updates its celebrated Bushisms column. Last Friday, came the first Bushism of 2007:

“The best way to defeat the totalitarian of hate is with an ideology of hope — an ideology of hate — excuse me — with an ideology of hope.” — Fort Benning, Ga., Jan. 11, 2007

Which inspired us to look through Slate’s Bushisms of 2006 and nominate this assortment as the best of breed:

“Because of your work, children who once wanted to die are now preparing to live.” — speaking at the White House summit on malaria, Dec. 14

“This morning my administration released the budget numbers for fiscal 2006. These budget numbers are not just estimates; these are the actual results for the fiscal year that ended February the 30th.”— referring to the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, Washington, D.C., Oct. 11,

“You’re one of the outstanding leaders in a very important part of the world. I want to thank you for strategizing our discussions.” — Meeting with the prime minister of Malaysia, New York, Sept. 18

“You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.” — Interview with CBS News, Washington D.C., Sept. 6

“I think—tide turning—see, as I remember—I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of—it’s easy to see a tide turn—did I say those words?” —Washington, D.C., June 14

“I was not pleased that Hamas has refused to announce its desire to destroy Israel.” — Washington, D.C., May 4

“You never know what your history is going to be like until long after you’re gone.” — Washington, D.C., May 5

“That’s George Washington, the first president, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three—three or four books about him last year. Isn’t that interesting?” — Showing German newspaper reporter Kai Diekmann the Oval Office, Washington, D.C., May 5

“I aim to be a competitive nation.”—San Jose, Calif., April 21

“No question that the enemy has tried to spread sectarian violence. They use violence as a tool to do that.” — Washington, D.C., March 22

“I’ll be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven’t seen the movie. I’ve heard about it. I hope you go—you know—I hope you go back to the ranch and the farm is what I’m about to say.” — Explaining that he hasn’t yet seen Brokeback Mountain, Manhattan, Kan., Jan. 23

“You took an oath to defend our flag and our freedom, and you kept that oath underseas and under fire.” — Addressing war veterans, Washington, D.C., Jan. 10

Peter Fray

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