Sunday, February 1, 2009

Respect For The Office

We had eight years, eight excruciatingly long years under one of the most, if not the most, criminal administrations in our nation's history under George W. Bush.

And just less than two weeks into President Obama's tenure, we now have this little nugget crapped out from former Bush White House chief of staff Andrew Card:

"...I found that Ronald Reagan and both President Bushes treated the Oval Office with tremendous respect. They treated the Office of the Presidency with tremendous respect. And some of that respect was reflected in how they expected people to behave, how they expected them to dress when they walked into the symbol of freedom for the world, the Oval Office. And yes, I'm disappointed to see the casual, laissez faire, short sleeves, no shirt and tie, no jacket, kind of locker room experience that seems to be taking place in this White House and the Oval Office."

Yes, you read that correctly. You can apparently wipe your ass with the Constitution of the United States while serving in the Bush administration, but you'd better damned well be wearing a jacket in the Oval Office while you do it.

This is almost too ridiculous to take seriously, but apparently Card was very serious while being interviewed by conservative radio douche Michael Medved when he was asked about the New York Times article regarding the "more informal culture" in the Obama White House.

Here is the picture that accompanied the article:

Pete Souza/White House, via Bloomberg News

Well, obviously it's clear to see why Card was upset. You can plainly witness the "short sleeves." Look! There's Vice President Biden sitting around shirtless and tieless. And is that Rahm Emanuel I see wearing a tank top, cargo shorts and flip-flops while shooting spitballs at the portrait of Abraham Lincoln?! And what's this?! Obama is snapping a towel at Biden's ass! OUTRAGEOUS LOCKER ROOM BEHAVIOR!

Perhaps Card doesn't understand that the phrase "respect for the office" doesn't literally mean the physical office. Because lord knows George W. Bush showed no respect for the office after twice swearing an oath to preserve, protect and defend that "goddamn piece of paper" as he so eloquently put it.* Respect for the office isn't about the ill-fitting, wrinkled suit you wear or the shine on your shoes. Respect for the office isn't the admiration for a rug that your wife designed.

But Andrew Card thinks he knows better. Let me remind you that this is the same Andrew Card who accompanied then White House counsel Alberto Gonzales in the dark of night to the hospital room of ailing Attorney General John Ashcroft in an attempt to get him to sign documents reauthorizing President Bush's domestic surveillance program that the Justice Department had deemed illegal. But he talks about respect for the office.

The "symbol of freedom for the world" as Card puts it is not the Oval Office. Arguably, the symbol of freedom for the world is the leader of the free world. So perhaps, when travelling around the world, the former leader of the "free" world could have shown more respect for the office than this, or this. Or this. Or this. Or this. Or this. Or... well, you get the picture.

So Mr. Card, I respectfully suggest that you shut the fuck up. These men are getting down to the business of righting the previous administration's utter incompetence and devastation they wrought on this country. So maybe they take off their jackets and roll up their sleeves to get to work. I know you probably only saw that from your former boss for the sake of a photo op, but get used to it here. The big boys are in town now, and if they want to take off their jackets to dig into a hard day's work that doesn't end at 6pm like you were used to, what difference does it make?

(H/T Steve Benen)

* While Fact doubts the validity of this story, former President Bush has never denied it, nor has it ever been proven completely false. The doubt is speculative.

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