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The Banality Of Normalcy

It's always struck me as weird that Warren Harding's concept of "normalcy" is one of Bush's favorite words, given that W's presidency has been one of the least normal, something he concurrently seems to take pride in. (It's no accident his fundraisers are called "pioneers" and "mavericks".) He's deployed "normalcy" often throughout his presidency, most recently just yesterday:

"Normalcy," President Bush said, "is returning back to Iraq." ... Bush pointed to the proliferation of soccer games, community organizations and a five-kilometer race along once-perilous streets in Anbar province as signs that "normalcy" is returning.

Here was Bush on June 28, 2007

General Petraeus recently described what he called 'astonishing signs of normalcy.' He said that about Baghdad. He talks about professional soccer leagues, and amusement parks, and vibrant markets.

On December 3, 2006:

There's a kind of normalcy of life outside of Baghdad.

... and so on. But what is "normalcy"? I suppose it's such a useful piece of rhetoric because it conveys so much generally while hinging on so few specific definitions.

Bush's use of the word does give us a hint, though: Apparently it could have something to do with the incidence of soccer games.

--Eve Fairbanks