Former president Barack Obama campaigns in support of California congressional candidates in Anaheim, Calif., on Sept. 8. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

Upon seeing the headline on Marc A. Thiessen’s Sept. 13 Thursday Opinion column, “An ex-president who shatters the norms,” I thought he meant former president George W. Bush’s unprecedented assault on President Trump that began early in the 2016 campaign and continues in no uncertain terms. Mr. Bush’s November 2017 “This guy doesn’t know what it means to be president” is but one example.

Imagine my surprise to find Mr. Thiessen hammering former president Barack Obama for not following “the norm” — the expectation of the preceding president keeping mute. Is Mr. Obama expected to silently watch as Mr. Trump breaks every presidential norm? If so, he would be a silent accomplice.

Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” This is one of those times, and anyone who can have a healing effect on the wounds Mr. Trump has inflicted on our country should speak, especially one who has been in the Oval Office.

George T. Martin, Bethesda

Marc A. Theissen missed the forest for the trees when he suggested that former president Barack Obama should stay silent in the face of President Trump’s antics. Mr. Thiessen hinted that former president George W. Bush stayed quiet and respectful for eight years, so why can’t Mr. Obama?

Mr. Bush left office with a 34 percent approval rating, the country’s finances in tatters and two wars underway. Mr. Obama’s approval on leaving office was 59 percent. The country stands to benefit from adults standing up and speaking out. Mr. Obama is doing just that.

Steve Jones, Kensington