Ronald Reagan. George W. Bush. John McCain. Mitt Romney. The Left viciously, hysterically demonized all of these men when they were either president or the Republican presidential nominee, with all the usual hits — racist, warmonger, greedy, stupid — only to suddenly decide they weren’t so bad after all when the next guy came along.
Examples of liberals whining “Why can’t [CURRENT REPUBLICAN] be more like [PREVIOUS REPUBLICAN]; at least he was reasonable!” can be found for every pair of predecessor listed above. So it’s not news that the Left is now doing the same thing with Donald Trump, but there is something different this time: never before have previous Republican whipping boys been willing participants in the smear.
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, on Thursday former President Bush delivered a speech (full video here, transcript here) ostensibly delivering a broad assessment of the state of liberty at home and worldwide, but which contained a number of passages many interpreted as swipes at Trump and his supporters, particularly that “bigotry seems emboldened,” that “we’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism” that under-appreciates immigration, and a need to go out of his way to point out that “bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.”
Taken in isolation, of course Bush’s condemnations of prejudice are 100% correct. The problem is, they weren’t delivered in isolation; they were delivered in a country where the former president knows full well the Democrats, the media, and much of pop culture and academia are working 24/7 to promote the vile slur that Trump and millions of other non-bigoted Americans fall into those categories and are responsible for a rising tide of dangerous intolerance.
So sure enough, the mainstream media interpreted Bush’s words as an affirmation of that very lie and are lauding him accordingly, despite spending eight years calling them every single name they’re calling Trump now. NewsBusters has a rundown:
“Today, the 43rd President made no mention of the 45th, but his focus was clear,” touted White House Correspondent Margaret Brennan during CBS Evening News. “He suggested that an America first mindset is distorting our democracy.” She highlighted Bush’s call for “journalists to uphold their integrity for the sake of the republic” […]
On ABC’s World News Tonight, Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl began his report by fawning over Bush’s comments. “George W. Bush has avoided politics since leaving office, but today, the former President seemed to throw down the gauntlet, warning of the rise of, quote, “bullying and prejudice” in America,” he hyped […]
“Tonight a pair of past presidents raising concerns about the direction of the country they once led,” NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker began her report. But she quickly turned to giving Bush most the credit for the criticism. “But the former Republican President spoke with a sharper edge today … Delivering clear condemnation of the current president without mentioning him by name.”
You should be so proud, Mr. President.
Several of the more dim-witted or duplicitous among the commentariat — which describes pretty much all of the #NeverTrump crowd — have been sneering at any conservative offended by Bush’s remarks with variations of, what does it say that you assume Bush was talking about you when he condemns racism? Pithy, but wildly dishonest.
Bigotry and white supremacy in any form were also blasphemy against the American creed from 2000 through 2016 … yet Bush didn’t bother to make that point a major element of remarks about the overall health of America until 2017. Why do you suppose that is? What other reason would there be to spread the politically-generated lie that racists have grown back into something more than some powerless fringe talking to itself?
Honestly, this slap in the face from a man I passionately campaigned for in 2004 has left me too speechless to form closing thoughts, so I’ll leave you with this detail to ponder, a small example of just how seriously Mr. Bush takes the moral health of the country:
The pair joked about their friendship, despite Mr. Clinton beating Mr. Bush’s father in 1992.
Mr. Bush said it “starts with [him] being a person refusing to lord his victory over dad. Dad was willing to rise above the political contest. Both men displayed strong character. Why do I have a friendship with him? Well, he’s called a brother with a different mother.”
Make of this what you will, particularly in light of America’s current conversation about the integrity of those who surrounded Harvey Weinstein for years ….