Whenever a president dies, in or out of office, our entire country seems to pause, and examine not just the passing president, but we often take a look at ourselves via that president’s administration; the good and the not so good.
Recently, I heard a lot of comments regarding the life and presidency of George Herbert Walker bush – mostly the great things he said, the great things he did. And as is always the case with me, I was reminded of a lot of stuff that I have not thought about for quite a while, some good, some not so good.
Commentators, editorials, and such, all seemed to begin with an almost uniform rendition of George Bush the Elder’s life, and then, just about as uniformly during that recounting, the Left Wing Whackos would shift into a comparison of how wonderful President Bush was when compared with the dastardly President Donald Trump. The Right Wing Whackos following an identical listing of President Bush’s accomplishments would then move to recalling the terrible administrations of Presidents Clinton and Obama, and, of course, the overwhelming unfairness of the “Media”.
No matter which type you listened to, or both as we try to do, all of them served to bolster my opinion: they are all hypocritical slime. There are the slime that I agree with, from time to time, and the slime with which I disagree, from time to time. But slime they are.
It was very interesting to me that during so much of this presidential history, retold over and over, there were two names I did not hear, each of which I think had a huge impact on the life and eventual legacy of George Bush. The Elder: H. Ross Perot and Dan Quayle. Well, maybe Perot was a bit more impactful than Quayle, since it was Perot who prevented President Bush from attaining a second term by siphoning off some of the more conservative voters who would have voted for Bush had the only other choice been Bill Clinton. My cousin Billy, who has memorized, among other things, the major facts revolving around the men who have been vice president, would be far more able than I to speak to the importance of various vice presidents to the re-election of the president with whom they served, but it is generally recognized that Dan Quayle did not perform with enough brilliance while vice president such that he added significantly to George Bush the Elder’s re-election bid. Perot and Quayle, overlooked again.
There is a part of the history of Bush the Elder that no one, on any political continuum or belonging to any political tribe can dispute. That tidbit of his life may illuminate more about him than one might expect upon hearing it, and many of us are rightfully impressed, I would say, by it.
Whether you liked him or not, whether you supported him or not, I suspect we are all impressed when regardless of the consequences of his actions, regardless of the strength of the push-back he expected and received, President George Herbert Walker Bush said, and I paraphrase here, but it is close to a direct quote: I am President of the United States of America. If I do not wish to eat broccoli, I do not have to eat broccoli.
What a guy.