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The Party of Disrespect (Updated)

John on January 21, 2009 at 10:37 am

The blog Doubleplusundead pulled out this snipped to Michael Moore reminding everyone of how Bush’s inauguration went in 2001:

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In addition, departing Clinton staffers removed all the “W”s from government purchased keyboards as a parting shot of protest. That’s how they welcomed Bush to office.

Eight years later, they sent him on his way with booing and jeers. Protesters hurled shoes at the White House and called for Bush and Cheney to be tried as war criminals. In Dupont Circle, they inflated a fifteen foot tall effigy of Bush:

Crowds of onlookers watched, cheered and snapped photographs as random people picked up a pair of shoes or boots from a large pile of old footwear at the base of the giant W and tossed them with great force, aiming mostly for his head and Pinocchio-style nose.

Bush was booed when his face appeared on a jumbo tron near the Washington monument. Asked whether he was there to celebrate coming in of the new administration or the going out of the old, one person responded “It’s pretty much more of Bush leaving than Obama coming in…” Predictably, the NY Times published an article headlined “Few Protesters at Inauguration.” Of course, they’re only interested in protesters of Obama. Bush protesters…that’s to be expected.

In Houston, a monument of Bush’s father was vandalized. In San Francisco, street signs on Bush St. were covered over with Obama’s name. Even Obama’s own team couldn’t resist piling on via the official White House website.

I’m glad to see Republicans did not act like this yesterday. On the contrary, in addition to the “few protesters” noted by the Times, callers to the Hugh Hewitt show were offering respect for the new President yesterday evening, despite policy differences. They were thankful for a system that allows a smooth transfer of power, even when that transfer didn’t go their way. That kind of maturity seems to be in shorter supply on the left.

One thing about incivility though, the goons booing and jeering won’t reform. They’ll find some new target at which they can channel their unspent energy and anger. Obama is going to learn this the hard way, probably sooner than he imagines.

Update: For a stark contrast, here’s a report on the reaction of the outgoing party:

We jumped in a van in the morning and watched Obama’s inaugural address from the lobby at Andrews. The group of 100 or so watching, of which 100 percent were George Bush supporters, all offered their enthusiastic applause for the new commander in chief. Not to say there weren’t some critical reviews of the speech, complaints about taking unnecessary shots, and grousing about borrowed ideas, but there was an absence of malice one normally sees among the constituencies of the vanquished.


while I expected the president’s mood to be defiant, bitter, defensive, or vengeful toward his critics, he was anything but. As he toured the cabin of the airplane throughout the flight, visiting with old friends, family, and staffers, he was filled with equanimity, grace, and a generosity of spirit.

[HT: Ace for the top video, HotAir for the second one]

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