On MSNBC, an Incensed Maddow Howls Over Obama's Kind Words for George W. Bush

President Barack Obama's decision to include, in his Tuesday night address from the Oval Office on the end to the “combat mission” in Iraq, a sentence respectful toward former President George W. Bush, appalled MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

Anchor Keith Olbermann recited Obama's graciousness toward Bush (“It's well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset, yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops or his love of country and commitment to our security”) and then, obviously speaking for himself and the entire MSNBC team, proposed: “There are people who would support President Obama who would howl at hearing that said aloud more than once.” Maddow indeed howled, launching into an indignant rant:
To have in this speech, as combat operations are ending, to have...the President not only not addressing the circumstances in which we went to war, but these kind words for President Bush, describing his “commitment to our security” despite the recklessness with which President Bush discarded that national security in favor of this war of choice, which only diminished our security, and is responsible, probably, for the Afghanistan war still going on today, for the deaths of people who have died in Afghanistan after the time after which that war would have ended had we not gone to Iraq -- not to mention all of the people who died in Iraq.
After finally taking a breath, she continued:
To talk about him having a demonstrated “commitment to our security,” having started this war on the terms on which he started it, I mean, it's beyond restraint from President Obama and anybody in the pro-Iraq war, pro-Bush camp who doesn't feel like they've been given the greatest political present they never deserved, was not listening to this speech.
From MSNBC's Countdown at about 8:24 PM EDT, just after President Obama completed his August 31 speech carried by all the networks:
KEITH OLBERMANN: That one sentence in there, “It's well known,” referring to President Bush, “that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset, yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops or his love of country and commitment to our security.” There are people who would support President Obama who would howl at hearing that said aloud more than once. Once again, contextualize this in terms of the entire administration.

RACHEL MADDOW: Yeah, I'm, I think we shouldn't get past how remarkable it is, how much the proponents of the Iraq war are getting off easy here. I mean, we've got Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton and these guys, like out now offering their suggestions on what ought to happen in Iraq next. Paul Wolfowitz, who said that the war would pay for itself, that we wouldn't have to spend any money there.

And to have in this speech, as combat operations are ending, to have – as you point out Keith – the President not only not addressing the circumstances in which we went to war, but these kind words for President Bush, describing his “commitment to our security” despite the recklessness with which President Bush discarded that national security in favor of this war of choice, which only diminished our security, and is responsible, probably, for the Afghanistan war still going on today, for the deaths of people who have died in Afghanistan after the time after which that war would have ended had we not gone to Iraq -- not to mention all of the people who died in Iraq.

To talk about him having a demonstrated “commitment to our security,” having started this war on the terms on which he started it, I mean, it's beyond restraint from President Obama and anybody in the pro-Iraq war, pro-Bush camp who doesn't feel like they've been given the greatest political present they never deserved, was not listening to this speech.

OLBERMANN: They won't.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center