Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy remind us that civility and patriotism are alive and well in those who really care about our country. When President Eisenhower left office, he admonished extremists in the GOP to resist witch-hunting against President Kennedy. His advice was ignored by those on the far right.
When George H.W. Bushleft the White House, he wrote in an encouraging note to President Clinton, “I am rooting for you.” Again, the extremists didn’t listen.
President Clinton was gracious to his successor George W. Bush. Bush, in turn, declared to those attacking President Obama, “I don’t think it’s good, frankly, for our country to undermine our president.”
So why is this spirit of cooperation lost on those who put defeating the opposition party first? Why do some have to resort to cheap shots when those in their own party tell them not to?
There is a precedent that outgoing presidents help incoming presidents regardless of party.
There is also a precedent that the current president does not criticize the previous president, a precedent lost on our current president.
Gary A. Robb