Old guard shuffles out Andrew Clark January 22, 2009
A BRASS band playing Hail to the Chief just about drowned out the boos. As George Bush stepped onto the inaugural balcony outside Congress, the vast crowd's reception was, at best, lukewarm. The outgoing president, who wore a broad smile for most of the day, briefly allowed a flicker of apprehension to pass his face. This was not quite the farewell he would have wanted.
Mr Bush's final day in public office appeared something of an ordeal. He sat without expression through Barack Obama's inaugural address, which was coded with criticism of the past eight years, then shifted restlessly during Elizabeth Alexander's celebratory poem.
He ignored chants of "no more Bush" and "bye-bye Bush" from the masses in the Mall, grinning gamely as he glad-handed the VIPs sitting alongside him.
You've always been one, but you've always had others take the unpleasant truth and stick it far away, out of site and out of hearing range.
As a private citizen, you won't have that luxury any longer. You are not loved, Mr. Bush. You are hated. Americans are worse off today than they were when you first stole took office. As time passes, more and more of your dirty deeds will become public knowledge. Hatred for you will grow.
If there's any justice, you and your buds will be charged for your crimes, and prosecuted to show the world that NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.
But my guess is he doesn't have the higher brain function necessary to feel shame, embarrassment or remorse. It's been so long since he's been before an audience that wasn't hand-picked or that couldn't be ordered to cheer for him that he might have been momentarily confused. But his restlessness was just his way of signaling that he was bored by anything that isn't all about him. We know the fidgets all too well.
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