After the inauguration of the new president, Dick Cheney was grumpy. OK, he’s always grumpy, but this was grumpier than usual.
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What irked Dick was that his buddy Bush had not pardoned the convicted felon, Scooter Libby, who had served for years as Cheney’s political hitman. “I strongly believe that he deserved a presidential pardon,” Dick griped the day after he and Bush left office.
Come on Cheney – Bush had already commuted Scooter’s sentence, so your boy never did a day of jail time. Besides, it’s your own legal prospects you might want to focus on.
But the ex-veep was not the only grump after the inauguration. Some of George W’s top staffers were PO’d by the new president’s inaugural address. “There were a few sharp elbows that really rankled and I felt were not as magnanimous as the occasion called for,” harrumphed longtime Bush crony, Karen Hughes. “It was pretty clear he was taking shots,” groused White House speechwriter Mark Thiessen. And Karl Rove, George W’s vituperative political operative, vented that the speech was “a last angry frenzy” intended to malign Bush.
Oh, get a grip! The inauguration was not a farewell party for George. It was a major presidential transformation, and the people of America – and the world – wanted very much to hear Obama say clearly that he would make a sharp break from the autocratic, plutocratic, kleptocratic Bush regime.
Phrases like “restore science to its rightful place,” and “we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals” were not “sharp elbows” – they were changes that the American people enthusiastically voted for and now expect Obama to deliver.
If the Bushites are unclear about how people feel about them, they should’ve heard the inaugural crowd’s cheer of relief when George W’s helicopter lifted off from the Capital grounds to fly him out of town. He’s gone! He’s gone!
“Cheney to magazine: Bush should have pardoned Libby,” www.cnn.com, January 22, 2009.
“On Plane to Texas, Critiques of the Speech,” www.nytimes.com, January 22, 2009.