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Wed Dec 5, 2018, 05:27 PM

Is It Possible to Separate George H.W. Bush's GOP From Trump's?

At his death, George Herbert Walker Bush is suffering the unkind fate of being celebrated as an anti-Trump. A man of Yankee-style dignity and prudence, who at his core believed himself to be a patriotic public servant, Bush would have been honored to have his career measured according to a very different, wholly honorable standard, that of a former president like Dwight Eisenhower, perhaps, or even of his own father, Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut, who played a role in censuring Senator Joseph McCarthy. Not that Bush ever boasted to meet their standard — that would have been unseemly — but even a likening would have been a proud marker of a life well-lived. Instead, like John McCain before him, Bush stands as an exemplary statesman compared to the most vicious, arrogant, cowardly, clueless and corrupt political figure in contemporary American life, and possibly in all of American history. Bush is not allowed to stand in punditry among history’s nobles; he is diminished by being declared superior to scum.

More thoughtful commentators have tried to assess a career that was riddled with contradictions. As president, Bush proposed building a “kinder, gentler America”; helped oversee the peaceful conclusion to the Cold War and signed the broadest arms reduction treaty in 20 years; backed important social and civil rights legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act; signed the Clean Air Act; stood up to the National Rifle Association and approved a temporary ban on the importation of semi-automatic weapons; and when push came to shove, he broke his “read-my-lips” campaign promise and approved a needed tax increase.

He also shamelessly reversed himself on what he once derided as Ronald Reagan’s “voodoo economics” but adopted out of political expediency; repudiated his past support for family planning and women’s reproductive rights after being a champion of Planned Parenthood; rode to the White House thanks to a racist, demagogic campaign plotted by Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes; denounced his Democratic opponent, the upright Michael Dukakis, McCarthy-like, as a coddler of flag-burners and “a card-carrying member of the ACLU”; cynically nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court with the ridiculous claim that he was the best qualified person for the job; vetoed the Civil Rights Bill of 1990 as “quota” bill; and advanced the discriminatory and harshly punitive federal war on drugs.

Some pundits claim to have detected a pattern: Bush, they say, was a brass-knuckled dirty fighter on the campaign trail who said and did whatever he needed to in order to win office, but who then governed like a gentlemanly statesman. But while there is some truth in this, it needs saying that Bush’s shifting campaign positions, dating back at least to his vice-presidential race in 1980, earned him dismissive contempt from the national media as well as the Reaganite right. Reagan himself gibed, “He just melts under pressure”; his wife Nancy reportedly made fun in private of Bush’s speaking style and called him “Whiny”; and when he ran for president in 1988, Bush had to overcome what Newsweek called, in one cover story, “The Wimp Factor.” In his politics as in his approach to foreign policy, Bush was a realist, but in his case, political realism could often project hollow weakness instead of tough-minded strength.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/george-h-w-bush-legacy-763451/

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Reply Is It Possible to Separate George H.W. Bush's GOP From Trump's? (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Dec 5 OP
LisaM Dec 5 #1
Garrett78 Dec 5 #2
50 Shades Of Blue Dec 5 #3
Hekate Dec 5 #4
lanlady Dec 5 #5
rufus dog Dec 5 #9
RainCaster Dec 5 #6
Voltaire2 Dec 5 #7
BannonsLiver Dec 5 #8
GulfCoast66 Dec 5 #10

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 05:36 PM

1. I don't think so. I've thought about this.

I think Trump just shows the rest of the world what Republicans really are, without the patina. Trump peeled off the scab, but the gaping infection is the same.

The way the Bushes, who were personally pro-choice and not, to my knowledge, homophobic either, used women's issues and gay issues as wedges to win electoral votes just proves that to me.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 05:41 PM

2. Not really. Trump is part of a continuum.

The anti-Trump Republicans want to sell everyone on the idea that there's some clear demarcation, so that they can go back to being the pre-Trump Republican Party that made Trump possible, which doesn't make any logical sense.

They continue to worship at the altar of Saint Ronnie without acknowledging the linkage between the rise of Trump and the white backlash to the Civil Rights Movement and Nixon's Southern Strategy in the 1960s, the Powell Memo and creation of the Moral Majority in the 1970s, Reagan's dog whistling (like kicking off his campaign with a speech on "states' rights" less than 10 miles from where 3 civil rights workers were murdered) in the 1980s, and so on.

Trump is a symptom and part of a continuum. As intelligent and articulate as the likes of Steve Schmidt are, these anti-Trump Republicans are in denial...the alternative is coming to terms with what they helped make possible. Denial helps assuage guilt, so they opt for denial.

I worry very much about what the dominant narrative will be after Trump is gone. Republicans will try very hard to establish a narrative that is downright dangerous and will only allow for Trump 2.0. Democrats better be ready and better understand the importance of establishing narrative in the public consciousness. Being on the defensive (as we've been against the "liberal media" narrative for the last 30+ years) is a losing position.

As for GHWB specifically, his rhetoric and personality was softer, you could say, than some other Republicans, but he still played a role in making Trump possible.

Republicans aren't merely people with a different take on the role of government or tax rates. They support legislation that they *know* destroys lives. They know they are taking health care coverage from people. They know they are polluting the air and water. They know they are starting wars for profit. They know they are fomenting and exploiting racism and sexism. And so on. They've been doing so for many, many years.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 05:43 PM

3. No. They are all soulless. It's just more obvious with some than others.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 05:44 PM

4. I trace it to autocratic New Gingrich and the Evangelicals who sold their souls for power. nt

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 05:47 PM

5. The H.W who was eulogized today--

was not the president I remember - an out-of-touch country-club president who could not connect with ordinary people at all (remember the incident where he didn't know how to buy a carton of milk). He reminded me of the guy at the office party who shakes your hand because he must, but sizes you up immediately as a nobody and starts to look around the room to spot the more important people - and off he goes. H.W. got the class snobbery from his dad Prescott, a Greenwich blue blood if ever there was one. No one in the family, so far as I know, has ever done anything philanthropic or charitable.

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Response to lanlady (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:12 PM

9. GWB daughter Barbara

actually does charity work.

My brother met Barbara (41s wife) about 20 years ago. Some catered event he was working and her group wanted to meet the chef. He said she definitely made it clear he was the hired help.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 07:07 PM

6. No!

This is the same GOP that gave us a succeedingly worse set of presidents. This was their plan. Over time give us worse forms of government and the boiled frog will never jump out of the pot. Well, they should have given us a DFT-lite first, because this clown is truly daft and many of us have noticed it.

The GOP must be held accountable for ALL the shit they have been feeding us. DFT is only a part of it. Think about the gerrymandering, and the hatred towards anyone who is not white male upper class hetero (at least outside the closet). Then think about the mad race to destroy our environment while they isolate our country from the rest of the world.

The GOP must be held to the fire- they are the party of Trump and we must never forget that.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 07:46 PM

7. Willie Horton.

No. The line from Nixon to Trump is solid and unbroken.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 07:52 PM

8. Today's GOP is a lot more unhinged and vicious than 70s and 80s GOP.

Obviously it is part of a long term evolution that started with Nixon and St. Ronnie.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2018, 08:47 PM

10. I has been a steady movement since Nixon

With fits and starts. Some good things done in the past.

Nixon-EPA
Bush sr. -ADA

Even Bush jr Prescription drug expansion

But throughout it all they all supported economic policies that wrecked the middle class.

The Tea Party take over was really nothing more than the descendants of the Moral Majority finally gaining ascendency. Now there are no hints at decency left. They want a theocracy and left to their own devices will turn us into a superpower Somalia.

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