SETH SWIRSKY: Class vs. Crass, Indeed!
Bush's Decency Highlights Democrats Incivility
By Seth Swirsky
It wouldn't be the only time prominent Democrats behaved rudely toward a president who treated them with respect. On June 14, 2004, President and Mrs. Bush invited Bill and Hillary Clinton to the unveiling of their portraits in the East Room of the White House. A few excerpts of the president's welcoming address once again show Bush to be a man with a warm heart and generous spirit:
"President Clinton and Senator Clinton, welcome home. It's great to see Chelsea. The fact that you survived your teenage years in the White House... speaks to the fact you had a great mom and dad. Thank you all for coming back...We're really glad you're here. As you might know, my father and I have decided to call each other by numbers. He's 41, I'm 43. It's a great pleasure to honor number 42. We're glad you're here, 42...Mr. Rodham did have the joy of seeing his only daughter become America's First Lady. And I know he would not be surprised to see her as she is today, an elected United States Senator, and a woman greatly admired in our country."
Since that evening, Senator Clinton has repaid the president's kindness towards her and her family by saying, among other mean-spirited things: "I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington" and "I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country." (The last said on Martin Luther King's birthday, a day that should symbolize a coming together of parties and people of diverse viewpoints).
The kindness President Bush showed former President Clinton takes on extra meaning when one remembers the cynical words Clinton had for then-governor Bush when Bush was running for President in 2000: "The message of the Bush campaign is just that, I mean: 'How bad could I be? I've been Governor of Texas. My daddy was president. I owned a baseball team.'"
Only last year, Clinton went on to abrogate the unwritten rule between ex-presidents of not speaking ill of them, especially when overseas (no less, when we're at war). Clinton told a group of Arab students in Dubai that the United States made a "big mistake" when it invaded Iraq. Did the ex-president not know that his condemnation of the war, spoken in the heart of the Middle East, could damage the morale of the brave Iraqi people and frontline American troops who risk their lives everyday in the name of democracy? Clinton earned $300,000 for speaking against America's interests that day...
Swirsky is one of the best writers in the blogosphere--please read his entire column. It's spot-on!