Let the smearing begin

LET THE SMEARING BEGIN…. I wondered this morning whether Gerald Ford’s embargoed criticism of the Bush White House and the war in Iraq might affect the right’s praise of the former president this week. As it turns out, the blowback didn’t take long.

Consider Bill Bennett’s fairly aggressive attack on Ford this morning. (via John Cole)

Since “decency” seems to be the watchword of the day and the consensus modifier for Jerry Ford (a view with which I generally concur), may I nevertheless be permitted to ask this: just how decent, how courageous, is what Jerry Ford did with Bob Woodward? He slams Bush & Cheney to Woodward in 2004, but asks Woodward not to print the interview until he’s dead. If he felt so strongly about his words having a derogatory affect, how about telling Woodward not to run the interview until after Bush & Cheney are out of office?

The effect of what Ford did is to protect himself, ensuring he can’t be asked by others about his critiques, ensuring that there can be no dialogue. The way Ford does it with Woodward, he doesn’t have to defend himself…he simply drops it into Bob Woodward’s tape recorder and let’s the bomb go off when fully out of range, himself. This is not courage, this is not decent.

I guess it’s fair to say the hagiography period is over for some of Ford’s former allies on the right?

For what it’s worth, I think John’s right about Ford’s motivations: “[T]he reason Ford did not speak out is because all of the aforementioned blowhards would have savaged him for not keeping his opinions to himself, as former President’s are ‘supposed to do’. I think we can all agree that had Ford come out against the war, these same knuckleheads would have called him Jimmy Carter Ford or the like.”