It's no secret, I suppose, that I've never much cared for Conrad Burns. Some of the duller lights in the Montana blogosphere assume that's because he was too conservative, but that's not it. I like plenty of conservative Republicans and would be pleased to vote for quite a few. Last week I was trying to put my finger on why I felt the way I did, and I wondered if his atrocious grammar had something to do with it. Sounds petty, I know, but we form opinions about people based on all sorts of petty, irrelevant things, often without even knowing why we do it. The grammar was of a piece with what bugged me: I grew up in the country, around lots of country people, and his good ol' boy shtick just never sounded real to me (same with Bush).
Then I read this and remembered the real reason. He just always seemed too small for the job. Now that he's lost, he seems even smaller.