Twice this week, former members of the Bush administration have said something stupid and twice this week Time magazine’s Joe Klein, bless his heart, has eloquently revealed the fools for who they are.
Let’s take the second and more silly offense first, that of former Bush Chief of Staff Andy Card. First let’s place Card in context. He is the man who watched the former President sit paralyzed in front of a group of elementary school children after he whispered to Bush that our country was under attack on 9/11. So Card knows a thing or two about effective Presidents. This week, Andy said that Obama is not showing sufficient respect for the office of the President because he does not wear his jacket in the Oval Office.
OK, Joe, please let ’em have it:
In today’s edition of Please Go Away, we have Andrew Card suggesting that Barack Obama should wear a suit and tie when he’s in the Oval Office. After all, George W. Bush did–and all that respect for the office helped him to be a really great President.
The point is, when people are actually working–as opposed to working out their Oedipal crises in the Oval Office–they tend to want to roll up their sleeves and get comfortable. George W. Bush could have come to work in a tuxedo and still been a lousy President; Barack Obama will do just fine in shirtsleeves, I predict.
In the meantime, Andy Card, you join Dick Cheney on the expired list: Please. Go. Away.
Bravo Joe Klein! It is true that George W never received fellatio in the Oval Office and no doubt he thought he had a lot of respect for the place but it hardly amounted to anything in the final analysis. So, as Joe Klein so elegantly puts it, Andy Card is irrelevant and needs to disappear.
The more egregious example of speaking out of turn came from our former Vice President, Dick Cheney, in an interview with Politico. In the interview, Cheney warns of the dire consequences that await us if the Obama administration dismantles the less savory parts of the Bush anti-terror program. Again, Joe Klein responds brilliantly:
… it is sleazy in the extreme for Cheney to predict another terrorist attack. For several reasons:
1. Some sort of terrorist attack is likely, eventually, no matter who is President.
2. Cheney has done here what the Bush Administration did throughout: he has politicized terror. If another attack happens, it’s Obama’s fault. Disgraceful… and ungrateful, since it’s only Obama’s mercy that stands between Cheney and a really serious war crimes investigation. Which leads to…
3. The means that Cheney has supported to combat terror in the past, especially “enhanced” interogation techniques, are quite probably illegal. He is criticizing the Obama administration for not being willing to defy international law.
4. Cheney’s track record of mismanagement in Iraq and Afghanistan–his sponsorship of Donald Rumsfeld, the worst Secretary of Defense in US history– disqualifies him from having any credible say on the security policies of his successor.
This is a man who should either be (a) scorned or (b) ignored.
Joe’s second point really resonates with me. In the days leading up to the inauguration, Cheney strutted from interview to interview saying essentially, “yeah, I authorized torture and what are YOU gonna do about it?” I have written before that I think George W. Bush should be left to a quiet retirement and I might have been willing to extend the same generosity to Cheney were he not so arrogant. With this latest outburst, I’m more tempted to tell Cheney, “open your big fat mouth one more time and we’ll haul your ass to the nearest federal prison faster than you can say Osama Bin Laden.”
George W. Bush has the good common sense to know that in the wake of his disastrous presidency, the best thing he can do is lay low. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Dick Cheney. By comparison, Dick has made W look like a genius.