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