Skip to comments.Bush's Decency Highlights Democrats Incivility
Posted on 06/29/2006 3:27:18 AM PDT by yoe
One of the first things George W. Bush did after his inauguration on January, 2001, was invite Senator Edward M. Kennedy - along with his entire family - to the White House for a special screening of "13 Days," the hagiographic dramatization of Kennedy's brothers John and Robert's handling of the Cuban Missile Crises. Bush, famous for his bipartisan outreach during his eight years as governor of Texas (where he garnered 69 percent of the votes in his 1998 reelection), was beginning his presidency by reaching out again.
The symbolism could not have been more obvious. With the newly elected "compassionate conservative" hosting the aging lion of liberalism, Bush was keeping a campaign promise to be a "uniter, not a divider" and taking the first step to, as he promised, "return dignity" to the office.
Soon after, Bush pushed his attempts to unify America beyond symbolism by inviting Kennedy, the quintessential liberal and a longtime advocate of education reform, to the White House again, this time as a full partner in drafting the vital "No Child Left Behind" legislation.
Two years later, Kennedy repaid the president's generosity of spirit and action by taking the floor of the U.S. Senate to accuse him of being a liar by claiming that Bush had "cooked up the war (against Saddam Hussein's regime) in Texas." While Kennedy had every right to voice his passionate dissent of the war, his incivility toward the president stood in stark contrast to Mr. Bush's high-mindedness. When asked to respond to Senator Kennedy's no-holds-barred, no-proof-required attack, President Bush said, "I don't think we're serving our nation well by allowing the discourse to become so uncivil." The styles could not be more obvious: it was class versus crass.
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.
Despite both Clintons disrespectful comments, President Bush offered a contrast in style few could miss. During his 2006 State of the Union address, he offered nothing but gracious good humor when he said his father's "two favorite people" - Bill Clinton and himself - were turning 60. As laughter filled the Senate chamber, the camera recorded a stone-faced Hillary Clinton. At the very least, a polite smile would have sufficed, allowing Americans to see that their leaders can put politics aside for but a moment.
But the Democrats aren't able to put politics aside. They're too angry with President Bush for everything from winning the election in 2000 to having the gall to monitor terrorists' phone conversations. Even after the president shared credit with the Democrats on the reduction of crime and the lowering of welfare rolls and teenage pregnancies, the Democrats - in keeping with their "if it's bad for America, it's good for Democrats" theme - applauded enthusiastically only when Bush mentioned the failure of social security reform. Class versus crass.
The contrast becomes even clearer when one expands the field to include the First Lady and she who would be queen, Theresa Heinz Kerry. Can anyone imagine the dignified Laura Bush telling a newsperson to "shove it" or using the term "scumbags" in a taped interview as Heinz Kerry did during the 2004 campaign? Class versus crass.
And even as the body of Coretta Scott King lay in state, the Democrats could not resist using her funeral as a way of being uncivil to President Bush. Who can forget the Reverend Joseph Lowery choosing to eclipse what should have been a heartfelt eulogy in order to remind the audience that "We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there"? Or, ex-President Jimmy Carter,choosing the reflective occasion to hurl gratuitous remarks in the president's direction? Once again, President Bush took the high road, embracing Lowery and speaking dignified, respectful and healing words about Mrs. King. Class versus crass.
The president's demeanor, standing as it does in perfect counterpoint to that of his political adversaries, is one of the reasons Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House, and, I predict, will continue to do so. Americans prefer nice people, because they recognize that a thriving civilization requires civil people.
President Bush had it right when he said, "America is a great force for freedom and prosperity. Yet our greatness is not measured in power or luxuries, but by who we are and how we treat one another." Now that's class.
Seth Swirsky is a hit songwriter and best selling author. He can be reached through his site, Seth.com.
She is a classless, angry, and rude "woman".
The Beast's anger and paranoia must all go back to her childhood when her father gave her a toaster and a radio as bath toys.
What a spot on piece. This reflects exactly what I have been trying to put into words for several years now.
Crass versus Class. Just perfect.
One thing that really bothers me is the complete abandonment (by Democrats only, of course) of the old unwritten rule about former presidents never publicly criticizing the administration currently in office. You will remember the remarkable restraint that Bush 41 showed during the Clinton years, even though heaven knows he had every reason and provocation to publicly dump on Billy Jeff.
Now we're forced to read, every couple of weeks, about Bill Clinton's and Jimmy Carter's latest embittered remarks putting down Bush. But you see, it's okay if they do it, because after all, they CARE so much about "the people".
Good post. Anyone have those pics of the Clintons nodding off at Reagan's funeral?
It's selfishness for them to think that what is bad for the President (and our country) is good for them.
"I think for me, the sickest and scariest kind of rage is the Hillary Clinton kind of rage. You know, the perpetual permafrost smile she wears that's hiding a well of fury deeper than Barry White's voice during a bout of pneumonia." -- Dennis Miller
"What can you say about Hillary Clinton that hasn't already been muttered under somebody else's breath?" -- Dennis Miller
How many times can someone turn the other cheek and still be called a man. Mr. Bush is a class act , no doubt about that,but at some point in time he should come out swinging.
The Dems have become so unhinged over Bush that their naked hatred of him has made their continued losses at the ballot box assured. Hatred, as a campaign strategy, doesn't work. Increasingly, even government school educated voters are becoming more aware of the left's naked hatred of Republicans and Bush and are being turned off by it.
The actions by Teddy Chappaquiddick alone, who responded to Bush's graciousness by stabbing him repeatedly in the back is telling. It is also noticeable that Bush doesn't make the effort to reach out to the left any longer, recognizing that each time he has, he has drawn back a nub. People like Kennedy, Kerry, the Clintons, Reid, Murtha, Pelosi, Feingold, Boxer, Schumer . . . the list goes on, have all demonstrated that the chambers of the Congress that once housed elegant statesmen on both sides of the aisle, has become a playpen for immature, power-mad guttersnipes. Civility is all but gone and the tensions that exist between the two parties could not be more stark.
We, as a country, deserve better.
hildebeast is a Classless Ugly Nasty Twit!
The President comes out swinging at Al Qaeda. As for the Democraps, it's much better to remain on the high road and let them self implode before the eyes of the nation.
Class vs. crass ping!
They have become a vulgar party of vulgar people.
Thanks for the ping!
Bush is doing great and difficult things. Thankfully, he has started to fight back. He should have started a year ago. It is my one great disappointment with him.
Be Seeing You,
I understand your point and think it's primarily a difference in style between the two.
Plus Bush knows he runs a high risk of headlines being skewed to make him look like he's on the defensive should he engage the RATS.
They don't recognize it because they don't practice it. At best the see it as weakness at worst they attribute it to trickery and other black motives.
AWWWW but wait until #43 is out of office.....the rats opened the door, not saying 41 or 43 will say anything, but there will be other repub. that will....
And I know some senators that are waiting for 43 to complete his term and they will have their say....they respect 43 to much to say anything right now....
Great article and he hits the nail on the head about the Coretta Scott King funeral.
Rush replayed some clips from the Wellstone political rally memorial a few days ago. Sickening to listen to. As was the politicking at King's funeral.
Just look at the example(s) set by their "official" leader:
I do not have a Stone Face. I have an angry face and I am going to take it out on every man, once I take over America. I'm going to put the Boy Presidents testicles in a lock box and throw away the key and then I'm going to do the same to everyone I can get my hands on.
I've been civil to the President. I've called him a 'liar' and worse repeatedly. It is you who have been uncivil to me.
That's way too long to remember. Could you put that in the form of an easy to remember acronym? ;^)
FYI, Peggy Noonan took a break from her usual Bush-bashing in OpinionJournal.com to throw a few choice barbs at the Hildabeast. Here is a taste:
Media people keep saying, as Hillary gears up for her presidential bid, that her big challenge in 2008 will be to prove that she is as tough as a man. That she could order troops to war. That she's not girly and soft.
This is the exact opposite of the truth. Hillary doesn't have to prove her guy chops. She doesn't have to prove she's a man, she has to prove she's a woman. No one in America thinks she's a woman. They think she's a tough little termagant in a pantsuit. They think she's something between an android and a female impersonator. She is not perceived as a big warm mommy trying to resist her constant impulse to sneak you candy. They think she has to resist her constant impulse to hit you with a bat. She lacks a deep (as opposed to quick) warmth, a genuine and almost phenomenological sense of rightness in her own skin. She seems like someone who might calculatedly go to war, or not, based on how she wanted to be perceived and look and do. She does not seem like someone who would anguish and weep over sending men into harm's way.
(read this)......Tony Snow said treason is hard to prove - I think he is wrong on that.
"aging lion of liberalism?"
I can think of a lot of characterizations for Kennedy but an "aging lion" does not come to mind.
"Two years later, Kennedy repaid the president's generosity of spirit and action by taking the floor of the U.S. Senate to accuse him of being a liar by claiming that Bush had "cooked up the war (against Saddam Hussein's regime) in Texas."
and Swirsky makes my point!
Another mischaracterization. Hatred is more accurate.
"Clinton earned $300,000 for speaking against America's interests that day."
Now Swirsky is getting to the fat of a Liberal.
"Class versus crass?"
No, Swirsky, when it comes to Bush versus the Clintons, Jimmy Carter, Kerry & Kennedy it's "Class versus trash!"
The 'Rat party has become nothing more than a group of Communists/Socialists whose only goal is staying in office & acquiring political power.
Thanks for pinging me prairie!
......... the first time those two criminals slept together in decades.
Yes, sort of like the Arabs.
Clinton, let's not get into your heritage, you syphillitic white trash bastard.
Agreed. I also think of the contrast between Reagan and Tip O'Neill. Reagan was unfailingly gracious with O'Neill, but O'Neill never hesitated to backstab Reagan.
The President correctly divined the truly evil nature of Islamo-facism. If only he could see the nature of his political enemies as clearly as this article does.
Hey, I got in trouble for that!
Nothing new. We've always known what low rent, low life, sniveling scum the Kennedys and Clintons are. As are most of the democrats. Birds of a feather.
Not without being banned! ;-)
LMAO! I didn't notice that until your reply!