01 September 2010

Obama wasn't damning Bush with faint praise - it was just another "bitter clinger" moment

During his Oval Office Address on Iraq last night, President Obama said that "no one can doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security."

Many have criticized the president for his lack of graciousness; accusing him of, in effect, damning former President Bush with faint praise.

In fairness, from Obama's perspective, perhaps support for the troops and love of country is a pretty high bar to clear. After all, can you imagine anybody (with a straight face) offering the same assessment of our current president?

Still, it came across to me as another "bitter clinger" moment. In other words, Obama was not praising George W. Bush at all. Rather, he was analyzing the petty, backwards, and childish motivations that must have led him to try to win a war in which the nation was already engaged.

It's perfectly understandable, you see? Bush was bitterly clinging to an antiquated notion of patriotism and tribal loyalty. Not like President Obama, Citizen of the World.

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