Sunday, February 1, 2009
The Big Picture: Why Are You Even Talking?
Here at the Strike we try to emulate our President and stay forward-looking rather than counterproductively dwell on the national disgrace that was the Bush Presidency. But sometimes that becomes all but impossible when Bush's top puppet-masters refuse to fade away, and indeed have the chutzpah to engage in unfathomably smug criticism of how Obama does his business. The vast majority of the American people have long strongly disapproved of how Bush and his team operated - recoiling from their pettiness, small-mindedness, and vindictiveness; repelled by their inability and unwillingness to consider other points of view and anticipate the realistic consequences of their actions; disgusted by their refusal to ever re-examine their decisions and admit that they needed to change course; and repulsed above all by the mind-numbing consistency they displayed in always putting self-aggrandizement and self-preservation above the truth and the common good. And now the vast majority of Americans strongly support Obama and his team, most of all because people see the new Administration as embodying the exact opposite of these qualities. Nevertheless, top Bush hacks apparently do not feel sufficient shame to keep them from running their mouths. In fact, they seem to have, somehow, become even more smug and self-righteous since they left power and retreated into what we all hoped would be eternal obscurity.
After Obama's remarkably restrained Inaugural Address:
"There were a few sharp elbows that really rankled and I felt were not as magnanimous as the occassion called for," Karen Hughes, a longtime Bush confidante, said in an interview. "He really missed an opportunity to be as big as the occasion was and, frankly, as gracious as President Bush as he left office."
Dan Bartlett, another top adviser, used similar language. "It was a missed opportunity to bring some of the president's loyal supporters into the fold," he said. Marc A. Thiessen, the chief White House speechwriter until this week, added: "It was an ungracious inaugural. It was pretty clear he was taking shots."
And now this, from Bush Chief of Staff Andy Card:
"I found that Ronald Reagan and both President Bushes treated the Oval Office with tremendous respect. They treated the Office of the Presidency with tremendous respect. And some of that respect was reflected in how they expected people to behave, how they expected them to dress when they walked into the symbol of freedom for the world, the Oval Office. And yes, I'm disappointed to see the casual, laissez faire, short sleeves, no shirt and tie, no jacket, kind of locker room experience that seems to be taking place in this White House and the Oval Office."
And from the boy-genius himself, the Architect of a permanent majority for the OPPOSING party, Karl Rove:
Rove mocked the Obama team in the Wall Street Journal for putting four people in his office, and predicted that Obama is "likely to create a more centralized and possibly incoherent policy process."
It would take 10 posts a day for the next year to even scratch the surface of the possible responses to these comments, but we will restrain ourselves. We will give the Obama team, who apparently could not resist the temptation to step out of character and stoop to the level of their predecessors, the last word: "Obama's advisers scoffed at Mr. Rove, saying they do not want the results produced by Mr. Bush's policy process."