Posts © 2011-2012 by Gerald G. Day

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December 4, 2018
 George H.W. Bush died on Friday.  His passing reminds us that there was a time when a Republican President was a decent man, knowledgeable about and experienced in government, and when the United States was not an object of puzzlement and derision.  His note to Bill Clinton, after losing the 1992 election to him — “Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you” — epitomizes his distance from the current incumbent, who can’t stop trashing Hillary. 
 He served his country in many ways.  Sadly, his party has ceased to serve — or, at times, even recognize — the country’s interests.  Its  support for the buffoon who is degrading the office Bush held is not entirely surprising, as the degenerate condition of the Republican Party made a Trump presidency possible. 
 A number of conservative commentators have rebelled against Trump and what the Party has become.  One is Jennifer Rubin, the prolific columnist for The Washington Post:
Trump’s performance also revealed the degree to which the right has become intellectually corrupt but also bereft of anything resembling traditional values or simple decency. . . . In sum, Trump represents a party that now embraces (or is resigned to) intellectual rot and moral nihilism.[60]
Again: “After one has tried for a decent interval to admonish and reform the GOP, isn’t the only course, if one wishes to preserve one’s own sense of decency and honor, to resign from and disassociate oneself from the GOP?”[61]
Another new critic is Max Boot, who has, indeed, abandoned the Republican Party, which he  describes as having fallen into the hands of “neocons.”  He redefines that term as “neo-Confederates:”
It is hard to remember that Republicans were once the Party of Lincoln. . . . [L]eaders such as George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney had been trying to appeal to minority and moderate voters. But with his pandering to white grievances, Trump has abetted the rise of the neo-Confederates.[62]
Perhaps some day Trump will go so far down the road to inept authoritarianism, or his misdeeds will become so obvious, that Republicans in Congress will desert him and move in a new direction.  A slightly positive sign is the preliminary vote in the Senate to withdraw support for Saudi Arabia’s attacks on Yemen, partly a reaction to Trump’s support of the Crown Prince even after the Khashoggi murder.
President Bush said in his speech accepting the nomination in 1988, “I want a kinder and gentler nation.”  In his inaugural address, Bush spoke of “a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good.” Trump mocked both expressions, a perfect reflection of the distance between the two occupants of the Oval Office, and the distance the presidency, the GOP and the country have fallen.



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