Grinding Gears

You know what really grinds my gears?

Andrew Card.

(okay, so that’s more of a ‘who’ rather than a ‘what’… but I digress)

In an interview with Michael Medved, the former White House chief-of-staff to George W. Bush said:

I found that Ronald Reagan and both President Bushes treated the Oval Office with tremendous respect. They treated the Office of the Presidency with tremendous respect. And some of that respect was reflected in how they expected people to behave, how they expected them to dress when they walked into the symbol of freedom for the world, the Oval Office. And yes, I’m disappointed to see the casual, laissez faire, short sleeves, no shirt and tie, no jacket, kind of locker room experience that seems to be taking place in this White House and the Oval Office.

My emphasis. I’ve seen this kind of bile before and it drives me to the point of madness.

The last time that I checked, the job description of our nation’s chief executive did not have any specificity regarding said chief executive’s work attire. Is Mr. Card suggesting that we should amend the Constitution over something as frivolous as the President’s wardrobe? Should that most holy of documents be altered to require our country’s leader to wear a three-piece-suit? A tuxedo? Sleeve garters? Spats?

Surely he is not suggesting this.

I understand where these critics are going: they are angry because ‘their guy’ did not win. They are upset. But, to go after the President’s clothing seems a little, well, childish. If John McCain had won the 2008 election and then decided to take off his coat while working in the Oval Office, Mr. Card would likely be mum on the subject. Rather, it would be the Left that would be tut-tutting about disrespect for the office. With this kind of garbage, the criticism seems to be trans-partisan.

In a story in the New York Times last week, Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote:

Thus did an ironclad rule of the George W. Bush administration — coat and tie in the Oval Office at all times — fall by the wayside, only the first of many signs that a more informal culture is growing up in the White House under new management. Mr. Obama promised to bring change to Washington and he has — not just in substance, but in presidential style.

Indeed. A more ‘informal culture’. The way that I see it, if the man is comfortable, he will do a better job. I don’t know about other men, but a suit and tie are not my idea of ‘comfy clothes’.

If Andy Card and the Fun Time Clothing Brigade want to find something to criticize, why not go after the President on his foreign policy stance with Iran, the economic stimulus plan or any number of other substantive issues?

As far as I’m concerned, if the President (any president, not just Barack Obama) is doing their very best to protect our country from it’s enemies (both foreign and domestic), and is working toward for a better America, I’m happy. Under the last administration the Constitution was practically put through a shredder — but at least the former-President was ‘respectful’ in his choice of clothing, right?

If he is working to fix our economy, end two (three) wars, working to end global climate change and any number of other projects that come across his desk, I am not even remotely concerned with what Barack Obama is wearing. He can sit in the Oval Office naked for all I care.

Although, maybe that is what got former-President Clinton into trouble…

(sorry, I couldn’t resist)

[‘Grinding Gears’ is a quasi-regular feature that I write at]

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