Former President Bush did a wise thing last week by saying his successor deserved his silence. His father did much the same thing after he lost to Bill Clinton in 1992. Now it is time for them to tone down an array of thugs.
Criticism of President Obama is fair game. But nasty and untrue rhetoric is another. This group of hate mongers is led primarily by Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, and Dick Cheney.
Rove, Bush's chief defender for over a decade, says that Vice President Joe Biden is a "liar and a blowhard." Look in the mirror, Karl, and you will see the real liar and blowhard.
Rove continues to write for money his anti-Obama rants in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and as a commentator on Fox—the reliable GOP network. You can bet the farm he will be the propaganda force behind the soon-to-be-built Bush Center at Southern Methodist University.
History from 2001 to 2009 will surely be rewritten by Rove, et al.
Limbaugh has established himself as a full-fledged comedian, albeit a phony one. When Obama returned from his trip to Europe, Limbaugh told listeners the Dow Jones average plummeted after gaining steadily while he was away. Guess what? The Dow went up about 300 points the next two days and not a whisper from Limbaugh.
Limbaugh's brand of political poison is going to stymie the GOP's return to power until the few remaining moderates challenge him, and in unmistakable language. Don't hold your breath, though, because a few have genuflected to him after some gentle criticism.
As for Cheney, who showed his fidelity to Bush by publicly talking about his differences with Bush on pardoning Scooter Libby, he continues to denigrate his legacy. He claims Obama is making the nation weaker with his foreign policy. He wants us to forget the policy disasters during his own time in the White House.
Other right-wing personalities on radio and TV continue their daily assaults. While serious critics are free to question Obama's policies, the venom coming from Anne Coulter, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity is beyond the pale.
Even Bush 41's first press secretary, Ari Fleischer, has gotten into the act. He alleged recently that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington. Even staunch Republicans know that is a total fallacy.
Fleischer, who was never in the loop during his time with Bush 41, is making a nice living advising clients how to handle the press. Those sessions must be illuminating, because he was a terrible conveyor to the media.
Not long ago, writer Kimberly Strossel charged in the Wall Street Journal that Obama's hit squad was doing a heavy number on Rep. Erik Cantor, Republican of Virginia and a rising leadership figure in the House. The criticism of Cantor was child's play compared to the conservative tag team's blasts at Obama.
The president's record so far is spotty and deserves scrutiny. But the tenor of the arguments from the extra chromosome conservatives tells you he must be doing something right.