‘Ceiling and visibility unlimited’
President Donald Trump will indeed attend President George H.W. Bush’s funeral Wednesday (12-05-18). That is as it should be. In death, President #41 may already have produced his first miracle. Has Mr. Trump begun to see the light? Specifically, points of light, if not quite the thousand Trump so cruelly mocked at his rally last July in Montana.
Mr. Bush is being rightly praised for his civility. His note to his successor upon departing the White House is legend: ‘Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.”
“That softness and soulfulness at times earned him derision,” Frank Bruni writes in today’s New York Times …
as when Newsweek published a cover story about his 1988 presidential campaign that was titled “Bush Battles the Wimp Factor.” For decades afterward, everyone in the Bush family seethed about it.
Which is, of course, ridiculous. Never mind that Bush Sr. had been director of the Central Intelligence Agency, ambassador the the United Nations, a Texas oil man. He had been shot down over the Pacific Ocean by enemy fire during World War 2. (Perhaps Mr. Trump prefers heroes who were not shot down.)
By the time he was 20, he had flown 58 combat missions, known the horror of kamikaze attacks on his ship, and been shot down after a successful air attack on Chichi Jima, where the Japanese had a radio station. … The other American pilots shot down near Chichi Jima were tortured and in some cases eaten. … William McGurn relates in today’s Wall Street Journal.
“But the media were intent on diminishing him. … Like all Republican Presidents, Bush 41 is remembered more fondly by media and liberal elites in retrospect than he was at the time,” the Wall Street Journal editorializes.
The Left was desperate
That may be true of all politicians who, once deceased, become statesmen. But it is worth remembering the vindictiveness and bile directed the president’s way.
There was, of course, the high-tech lynching of Clarence Thomas. The Left hoped gender would trump race, even though Anita Hill was an Ivy League lawyer specializing in discrimination law. Somehow, she still allowed herself to be victimized?
The liberal establishment and its handmaidens in the news media was already frothing during the 1988 campaign. (It is worth remembering, there was no Fox News then. No Rush Limbaugh or Vicki McKenna.) After eight years of the transformative Ronald Reagan, the Left was desperate to reclaim the White House. For some reason, they chose Mike Dukakis.
Race mongering begins
Dukakis — with Ted Kennedy — was among the earliest of the today’s plentiful coastal progressives, a progenitor of Bill DiBlasio and Elizabeth Warren.
Imagine giving a weekend furlough to a convicted murderer! The Massachusetts legislature tried to rescind the practice. Gov. Dukakis vetoed that rescission. Only good liberal-progressive-socialists were surprised that the convicted murder raped and forced the husband to watch. Imagine their joy when the Left discovered Willie Horton was (as we say today) “of color.” The Left could play the race card!
How dare you criticize Mike Dukakis, you racist!
So began the Left’s fealty to identity politics and its attendant guilt-mongering and race-shaming. In 2018 Madison, the phenomenon manifests itself in demands for taxpayer subsidies for misogynist and racist music that glorifies criminality. Anyone who might object is deplorable.
An arrogance that, ultimately, produced the counter-reaction that is Donald Trump.
His last day
George Bush had been fading in the last few days. He had not gotten out of bed, he had stopped eating and he was mostly sleeping. For a man who had defied death multiple times over the years, it seemed that the moment might finally be arriving.
His longtime friend and former secretary of state, James A. Baker III, arrived at his Houston home on Friday morning to check on him.
Mr. Bush suddenly grew alert, his eyes wide open.
“Where are we going, Bake?” he asked.
“We’re going to heaven,” Mr. Baker answered.
“That’s where I want to go,” Mr. Bush said.
‘I have found happiness; I no longer pursue it’
Another of his letters, one that he sent to one of his granddaughters, Jenna Hager Bush, two decades ago:
I believe I was right when I said, as president, there can be no definition of a successful life that does not include service to others. So I do that now, and I gain happiness. I do not seek a Pulitzer Prize. I do not want press attention. I don’t crave sitting at the head table or winning one of the many coveted awards offered by the many organizations across the land. I have found happiness. I no longer pursue it, for it is mine.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Now THAT is a real man!