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New levels of presidential disrespect?

In his column today, my Post colleague Dana Milbank tries to link Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s comments about President Obama to recent Republican criticism of the president, declaring “Republicans… have reached new levels of presidential disrespect.” His evidence? Comments Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) made defending BP, which were roundly criticized by his GOP colleagues, and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) criticizing Obama at a political rally “over comments he says (and the White House denies) the president made in a private meeting.”

This amounts to “new levels of presidential disrespect?” Seriously?

Perhaps Dana forgot this Post story from 2005, “Reid Calls Bush a ‘Loser.’” Mike Allen reported: “The Senate's top Democrat, Harry M. Reid of Nevada, called President Bush a ‘loser’ yesterday just about the time Air Force One was touching down on foreign soil.” Allen also noted that, “Two weeks ago, Reid essentially called Bush a liar when Vice President Cheney said he agreed with Senate Republicans about changing the filibuster rule” on the confirmation of judges.

Or how about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declaring Bush a “total failure” in a 2008 a CNN interview: “God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States -- a total failure,” Pelosi said mockingly.

Or how about former vice president Al Gore’s declarations that Bush was a “moral coward” who had “brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest president since Richard Nixon.” Or how about this comment from Gore, as reported by the New York Times in 2004: “In a withering critique of the Bush administration, former vice president Al Gore on Sunday accused the president of betraying the country by using the Sept. 11 attacks as a justification for the invasion of Iraq. ‘He betrayed this country!’ Mr. Gore shouted into the microphone at a rally of Tennessee Democrats here in a stuffy hotel ballroom.”

Or how about the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) declaring of Bush: “Week after week after week after week we were told lie after lie after lie after lie.” The late Massachusetts senator made those comments on the Senate floor just a week before Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, presented Kennedy with the George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service in a ceremony at his presidential library.

Or how about former Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) charging that Bush went to war in Iraq to “take the Jewish vote from the Democrats.”

Or how about former congressman and NAACP president Kweisi Mfume telling North Carolina’s Wilmington Journal that Bush wanted to “take us back to the days of Jim Crow segregation and dominance.” Or the ads run by NAACP in 2000 accusing Bush of killing “all over again” James Byrd, an African American who had been chained to a car and dragged to his death by racists.

The list goes on and on.

By Marc Thiessen  | June 23, 2010; 1:12 PM ET
Categories:  Thiessen  | Tags:  Marc Thiessen  
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Comments

Like most partisan hack liberals, Milbank seems to have been asleep during the Bush years.

I can't even guess if Milbank actually believes such nonsense or not. Either way he is pathetic.

Posted by: bobmoses | June 23, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Although liberals can be absolute hypocrites about this, part of Milbank's shtick is that he has to criticize both parties in the same piece.

Posted by: bbface21 | June 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Unsurprisingly, torture advocate and wingnut blowhard Mr. Thiessen, misses the point that all the statements about Dubya he highlighted are absolutely, incontrovertibly TRUE.

Posted by: mikehike | June 23, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Please go to the dictionary and look up the difference between true and false you hackneyed, fat, torture loving toad of wingnut. Every word about Bush: true. Every word about Obama: false.

Posted by: joebanks | June 23, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I guess Joebanks and Mikehike were in that private meeting between Pres. Obama and Sen. Kyl because they say he is lying. Funny, but whenever Gibbs opens his mouth now a days I automatically believe he is lying to us. The President seems to have no problems "bending the truth" to suit his needs.

Posted by: Barnacle-Bill | June 23, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The Bush administartion DID lie, week after week after week. What is Thiessen talking about. I lived through this. Does he think we are all brain-dead wingnuts?

Posted by: raqualung | June 23, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen your argument would be true if ALL, or most, of those quotes about Bush weren’t true.

This Gore comment “…“moral coward” … “brought deep dishonor to our country and built a durable reputation as the most dishonest president since Richard Nixon.”” or the Gore comment that Bush used 9/11 to go to Iraq – are very true and I personally and I think a lot of Americans and others would agree that both comments are 100% accurate. Kennedy’s assertion that Bush told lie after lie – well we know that was true. Mfume not sure what the comment was in response to but a lot of blacks felt Bush was not kind to blacks. Hollings statement may be the only one that is questionable. If you’re going to write a column you need to come up with better evidence.

Republicans and supporters comments about Pres. Obama: Muslim; Not born in the U.S.; fascist; Marxist; death panels; Ayers; ACORN organizer; etc. That's how you write a column you back it up with facts.

Posted by: rlj1 | June 23, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen, stop complaining and go back to your binge eating. Maybe you get fat enough to earn a spot on Biggest Loser. All you have to do is get big. You've got the Loser aspect down cold.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | June 23, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen? Does the Post actually pay you? Do you not have adult supervision?

Posted by: jckdoors | June 23, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this the guy who made the argument for the catholic church supporting torture?

Posted by: mmcd1 | June 23, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Hacks like Thiessen, Rove, Gerson et al will spend the rest of their miserable, worrthless lives trying to convince the rest of us that George W. Bush was really a good president.

And they will fail miserably.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | June 23, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Some folks appear to be missing the point being made regarding "disrespect." Calling the President a "failure" and a "moral coward" is highly disrespectful, regardless of whether or not it happens to be true.

The same goes for calling Gen Jones a "clown" or the Vice President "Bite Me" and "shortsighted." It's inappropriate, disrespectful and, in this particular case, insubordinate. Some might argue that these statements are true, and that this excuses them.

It doesn't.

Posted by: cynicalidealist | June 23, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Cynicalidealist has hit the nail on the head.
Let's, everyone, dial it back a notch.

Posted by: adpitt | June 23, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Cynicalidealist has hit the nail on the head.
Let's, everyone, dial it back a notch.

Posted by: adpitt | June 23, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Of course, all of the disrespect for the last President was based on fact and truth after he was in office for 6 years and everything became evident.

I tend to agree that there has been an unprecedented amount of ugly disrespect for the person and the policy of this President, incited and nurtured by Republicans because, well, because they lost an election.

Posted by: nana4 | June 23, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, all of the disrespect for the last President was based on fact and truth after he was in office for 6 years and everything became evident."

Sure, Bush was beloved by liberals right until the 6th year. Yep. Sure thing.

If you're going to stick with that story, you might be away it's actually, y'know, backed up by facts.

Bush was not a great president to be sure. But Obama is actually worse in key respects. Yes, he can string together coherent sentences, but the people he has surrounded himself with are so incompetent that Marion Barry himself would fit in with this crew.

Obama has earned every bit of scorn the same way Bush had earned every bit of scorn.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 24, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

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