Friday, October 20, 2017

Could ‘Dubya’ wind up having his rep resuscitated in this Age of Trump?

It’s pretty obvious that one of the priorities of our current presidential administration is to erase any trace of his immediate predecessor – the people whose objections to the days of Barack Obama were racially-motivated probably would like it if none of the Obama policies were to survive into the future.

BUSH: Will we detest him less, due to Trump?
Kind of like the old Soviet way of rewriting history to eliminate happenings that were considered undesirable; and there definitely are people in our society who feel that the fact a majority of us ever wanted Obama in office is something shameful.

BUT IT MAY also turn out that Trump will wind up impacting the way we remember another of his predecessors. Remember the dunce-in-chief days of George W. Bush; when the bulk of us used to seriously wonder how we could ever pick someone so insipid to be our nation’s chief executive?

It seems we now have both Bush-the-younger and Obama going about questioning the intellect of Donald J. Trump – wondering what it says about our society that he was able to gain control of the launch codes. And all the other perks and responsibilities that go along with the presidency.

Bush this week made one of his few public appearances since leaving the White House (he’s mostly been even more invisible than Obama during his post-presidential years), and he let it be known he didn’t think much of the way racial politics have taken such an ugly turn during the Trump time in office.
OBAMA: Paired with Bush in Age of Trump?

“Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication,” Bush said. While taking care not to say by name who he was talking about, the implication was clear. Although he’s the same guy who supposedly described Trump’s inaugural ceremonies as “some weird” poop – so to speak.

WHAT MAKES THIS somewhat ironic is that I remember the days (it hasn’t been that long, although the agony of enduring the Age of Trump makes it seem like he’s been around forever, spewing his nonsense-talk everywhere he goes) when the kind of people who are the base of the Trump supporters were similar to those who gave us George W. as president – and are the ones who think it somehow just and proper that Al Gore’s majority popular vote of 2000 didn’t result in an Electoral College victory.
TRUMP: Bush's unnamed target?

Of course, Bush-the-younger had his share of verbal gaffes that often left people confused as to what he was trying to say, and he was living proof that having an education at Ivy League schools does not automatically mean one is intellectual.

But many of the Bush gaffes came across as something we could laugh at – how could we let this boob into office. Even though it was often clear his amenable personality meant he was someone you could have a talk with – provided the ideology didn’t get in the way.

Whereas in this Age of Trump, “the Donald” seems determined to remind certain people in our society that they’re beneath him – and he’s more than willing to play into the hateful nature of some in our society to advance his own goals.

I DON’T THINK George W. Bush ever meant to hurt anybody; his vacuous nature meant some got harmed accidentally.

Whereas I don’t doubt Trump is more than willing to take down people if it benefits himself and his goals. Which may not actually be too deep.

I don’t doubt Trump probably regards the details of running the federal government to be boring; something to be delegated to the little people. He’d rather be the guy getting the nation all worked up over all those football players who have the nerve to think their position gives them a forum to express views on social issues – particularly those involving race.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not singing the praises of the Bush-the-younger years. Anyone who bothers to reread the commentaries I wrote in the early years of this weblog will see just how little I thought of those days when they actually occurred.

BUT I ALSO remember that a large part of why the conservative ideologues turned on George W. Bush was when he tried, toward the end of his presidency, to implement serious reform of the nation’s immigration policies.

The ideologues wanted nothing to do with reform – they just want venal policies meant to abuse individuals who aren’t exactly like themselves.

So the idea that Bush-the-younger is now somehow on the side of sense and compassion? It shouldn’t be too surprising.

Personally, I always thought that George W. (a former part-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team) was someone I’d like to go to a ballgame with someday. Whereas I suspect going to a game with Trump would be a miserable experience – he’d be the obnoxious guy who peeves everyone sitting around him and security winds up having to eject from the ballpark for being a boor.


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