The ill-mannered right

January 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm | Posted in British Politics, U.S. Politics | Leave a comment

Always in persuit of truth, Tim Montgomerie asks:

Does the ideology of the Left make some of their supporters more hateful towards the Right than we are to them – or are we just as bad?

To illustrate his point, Tim cites the outpouring of boos which greeted President Bush at the inauguration, and contrasts his post-election civility with the behaviour of Team Clinton, who ‘removed’ the ‘W’s from many White House keyboards in a petty act of revenge.

Alas, the problem with claiming this spot of white collar vandalism and the booing of a man who’s presided over meltdown are representative of the Left’s rampant hate is that one of these things never actually happened:

Now it seems those closely detailed stories were largely bunk. Last week it was revealed that a formal review by the General Accounting Office, Congress’ investigative agency, “had found no damage to the offices of the White House’s East or West Wings or EOB” and that Bush’s own representatives had reported “there is no record of damage that may have been deliberately caused by the employees of the Clinton administration.”


The Bush administration helped the vandal scandal along, publicly appearing to try to douse the flames, while privately fanning them with detailed, off-the-record allegations of damage. On Tuesday, after the GAO’s review was made public, Fleischer was left trying to spin himself out of a very deep hole, insisting he had tried to “knock down” the vandal story when it first emerged.

But a transcript of Fleischer’s Jan. 25 briefing on the issue contradicts him. It shows the Bush spokesman coyly encouraging reporters’ suspicions about the vandal scandal, while refusing to confirm or deny the reports of damage. According to one leading White House reporter, the story was also nudged along by two unnamed Bush aides.

Since he seems so concerned with rueing the left’s bad manners, perhaps he could explain how spreading long-debunked myths about your opponents counts as the height of etiquette…


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