We disagree with particular inferences a caller made yesterday to the Rush Limbaugh about Bush, but not the caller’s point that Bush let us down. Rush’s defense, if that is what it was, was that Bush was trying to be ~~ presidential. In that case, Lord save us from “presidential.” Our comments follow the dialogue below:
CALLER: I think I have had a revelation, and I figured something out. George Bush would never defend himself when the media called him a dummy and everything else.
CALLER: And my thoughts are that George Bush didn’t defend himself because he wasn’t defending us, the American people. He had no care, like Donald Trump does, for the people. He cared about the party and power and winning, and by not defending himself, he insulted every American that had to stand up for him for eight years and look stupid standing up for him.
RUSH: Okay, I can assure you that this interpretation of yours is incorrect. I’m gonna tell you what it really was — and I’ve mentioned it before. I’ve asked him, I can’t tell you the number of times. I have been with George Bush when he was with donors, 45 minutes uninterrupted, maybe answering a couple questions. But just telling his donors what’s up at the moment in the world. I’ve been in meetings where he’s conducted himself that way was with me, just a few others. And it was not the same guy you saw on TV.
When he announced he was owner of the Texas Rangers, George Brett was finishing his career. His last series as a player for the Royals was in Texas, and I was Bush’s guest for the weekend, and it was that Saturday — that weekend — at lunch with a bunch of donors in the stadium club where he announced he was gonna kick Ma Richards’ ass, and he detailed how he was gonna do it. It was not the George Bush that you and I saw on television.
So I asked him about it — numerous times — and I asked Karl Rove, and he said almost verbatim, “I have way too much respect for this office to drag it down into the gutter of modern-day politics. I am not gonna respond to these obviously political attacks, personal attacks. I have too much respect for the office to turn it into that.” I don’t think it’s true at all to say he didn’t care about the American people. You’re really wrong about that.
As regards the caller’s comment: He had no care, like Donald Trump does, for the people. He cared about the party and power and winning,
Oh we will give GW credit for caring for people but it is irrelevant if he is ineffectual or quick to abandon “people” — or hobbles the efforts of those intent on defeating the most egregious of characters ( Obama and his followers) who were intent on undoing so many of the policies GW initiated. And sure GW is a people person, well thought of for supporting (usually for a reduced fee even though he has to make a living) injured troops he sent to battle. But that is not sufficient if more troops must be sent to battle or the sacrifices of all involved are made for not because of his dereliction of the political battle, which is the relevant issue.
The caller’s claim that GW cared about party and power and winning is just wrong, but we wish it were true. The party stood for his goals, we wish GW stood for the choices of the party that brought him the presidency, that he stood for the goals and banners he waved as part of that party. We wish he cared about helping stoke the power necessary to sustain whatever was achieved politically, including during his terms in office. We wish he actually, or demonstrably, cared about others winning the battles left undecided.
Rush’s response, (see RUSH above) describing Bush’s demeanor favorably for lack of demurral, is one we have heard previously, from Rush and others. It has not aged well because it is inextricably wrapped up in a-historic BS.
We wish GW would have been asked what list of presidents was properly above the fray the last two years of their office? If that is a model then every president’s policies are doomed. And which presidents comparably protected the GW image of the presidency after leaving office … allowing themselves to be punching bags?
Pappy? That is not a compelling model but if it is, it is ironic as Pappy happily turned loose on a Republican nominee, Trump, but not Democrats. That appears to be GW’s practice — attack a Republican president as “compassionately conservative ” and big a spender as he was, but not respond to the viciousness of Democrat attacks against Republicans in general, or his own presidency. Helluva standard of conduct.
Any vibrant defense of policy must be fighting in the gutter by GW’s lights because he responds to nothing, from Democrats anyway. He let/lets them have their say without rebuttal, however vicious, however disparaging directly or by implication of those who supported him.
The ongoing political battle “the gutter” is actually what sustains even the sacrifice of the military. Indeed fighting terrorism requires ongoing moral sustenance from those that made the call to do battle with it and that is evidenced in the political realm, indeed it is the political realm that made the cause possible. Many war fighters gave their last breaths in service to that cause, justified through politics. Why SHOULD a president ever be reticent about exhausting some breath in the political realm for the cause they died for?
And Rush should have said “the gutter of modern-day politics” is definitively where your political troops fought, Mr President. Had they been above it all you would not be “Mr. President.” And the gutter of modern-day politics is no different from the politics of yore. There is nothing particularity modern about it. Saul Alinsky was only describing effective experience then and long before.
Politics is in the world of morality. GW Bush miserably refused to defend his troops moral underpinnings under attack in the realm that the country hears it in — politics. Not everyone can attend a nice sedate speech at a fund-raiser for this or that cause dear to GW.
Being above the fray, the fray the troops must slog in, does not cut it unless one thinks they are above their troops. And Bush’s “caring for the presidency'” is caring for a chimera of his imagination. Bush’s way of “caring” allows others to destroy the policies that make up any “presidency.”
Am I wrong, then let’s hear Bush’s attacks on Democrats.