Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Transition Tradition

Remember when President Bush took office in 2001? Here's a reminder:

White House Vandalized In Transition, G.A.O. Finds
The General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said today that ''damage, theft, vandalism and pranks did occur in the White House complex'' in the presidential transition from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush. The agency put the cost at $13,000 to $14,000, including $4,850 to replace computer keyboards, many with damaged or missing W keys.

Some of the damage, it said, was clearly intentional. Glue was smeared on desk drawers. Messages disparaging President Bush were left on signs and in telephone voice mail. A few of the messages used profane or obscene language. ''A Secret Service report documented the theft of a presidential seal that was 12 inches in diameter from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building,'' next to the White House, on Jan. 19, 2001, the accounting office said.

Six White House employees told investigators that they had seen graffiti derogatory to Mr. Bush on the wall of a stall in a men's room. Other White House employees saw a sticker in a filing cabinet that said, ''Jail to the thief,'' implying that Mr. Bush had stolen the 2000 election.

They also stole several antique door knobs, ripped phone cords from walls, left obscene voicemail messages, defaced bathrooms and vandalized computer keyboards by removing the ”W” keys.

Their excuse? "Everybody does it. It's no big deal. Normal wear and tear." So, it'll be interesting to see if President Bush's people play similar pranks on the newbies coming in. Somehow, I doubt it.

President Bush has been taking extraordinary pains to make sure this transition goes as smoothly as possible. I hope people will appreciate that, and give him the credit he deserves. I'm not holding my breath, though.

Oh, and all you liberal Bush Bashers who are so belatedly saying it's time to return to civility, and we need to treat each other with respect now that your Chosen One is ascending to the throne? I say -- you go first. Say some sincerely nice things about President Bush, and maybe I'll be convinced you mean "we" and not just "you guys".


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