Sunday, December 02, 2018

The Party's Over

George Herbert Walker Bush dreamed of a certain kind of Republican party.  The same Republican party which David Brooks has spent 30 years conning credulous Beltway chumps and cloistered intellectuals into believing existed just beyond the visible spectrum of mere mortals and vituperative, foul-mouthed Liberal bloggers.  A party whose past is always glorious and whose renaissance is always just around the corner.

George Herbert Walker Bush's dreamed of a GOP run as a gentleman's farm: orderly and well-tended by old-money, patrician internationalists.  Maintained by loyalty and noblesse oblige.  But Bush 41 was also perfectly willing to countenance putting every monstrous trait that has come to define the modern Republican party in-harness to pull the plow and bust the sod of his gentleman's farm.

And in the end, that's what killed his dream.

Loyalty, for example, is a fine attribute. but like Trump's most servile stooges,  Bush 41 practiced loyalty to a fault.  He and Pitchfork Pat Buchanan were the last defenders to Richard Nixon -- a service rendered to party over country for which Bush 41 was amply rewarded and without which he never would have risen to the highest office.

And, like Mike "Albino Eyebrows" Pence, Bush 41 saw nothing wrong with climbing the greasy pole of American politics by slapping on a fake smile and veeping for a president whose beliefs he despised and who held him at arm's length in a stasis field bemused contempt.   During his veephood, the cartoonist Garry Trudeau depicted Bush 41 as completely invisible.  An impotent, disembodied voice floating in the air.  If you lived through those times, you know this was entirely accurate.

Moving on.

Any man who served Nixon and Reagan knew perfectly well what sort of volatile, radioactive ingredients that had gone into building the modern Republican party.  And while Bush 41, gentleman political farmer, had no stomach for dirtying his hands by personally attending to the important business of  rilin' up the grass roots bigots and the imbeciles, he was quote happy to job out that filthy work to the help.  To ace Republican ratfucker, Lee Atwater.  The same Lee Atwater who mentored Karl Rove and George W. Bush in the dark arts of bringing bigots to a fine boil and then getting them to the polls.

And because the party was becoming completely dependent on its radioactive base, the power to make and break its leaders was slipping out of the hands of the party establishment and into the hands Christopaths like Jerry Falwell, amoral thugs like Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay, and the rapidly multiplying national infestation of Hate Radio demagogues like Rush Limbaugh.  George H. W. Bush did not stand athwart this rising tide of racism and paranoia in his party and shout "Stop!": instead he awkwardly surfed it, because God damn he wanted that big desk in the Oval Office.

And when it came to assembling his ticket, like John McCain in 2008, George H. W. Bush in 1988 saw nothing wrong with trying to glean a few more votes from the hill folk by recklessly taking on a dangerously incompetent hack as his running mate.

And on his way out of office, Bush 41 saw no problem with slinging around presidential pardons for the Republican Iraq/Contra traitors like so many Mardis Gras beads, lighting the way for every bottom-feeding Republican goon from Newt Gingrich to Devin Nunes who believes the rule of law does not apply to members of the Party of Personal Responsibility.

Finally, I've at last given up on seeing my slice of the Peace Dividend.

If you're looking for glowing hagiographies or detailed biographies, you can find them everywhere.  Like many of his Beltway running buddies, Chris Cillizza (for example) is falling all over himself to use the death Bush the Elder to revise and extend the biggest lie in American politics:  that the GOP was a hale and healthy creature until something sudden, inexplicable and tectonic changed the entire party from top to bottom at some point during the Obama Administration:
...unbeknownst to the Bushes of the Republican Party, the GOP had fundamentally changed in the eight years that Barack Obama served as president. The Republican base no longer wanted someone who viewed politics as a civic duty and a higher calling; they wanted someone who viewed it as a professional wrestling pay per view.
Of course this is a lie.  I know it.  You know it.  Chris Cillizza and every one of his colleagues know is.  None of that matters.  This is the Beltway, sir.  When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

As for his legacy, George Herbert Walker Bush lived to see one son rise to become the Second Worst President in American history, and the presidential ambitions of another son crushed to a fine powder under the stampede of rank and file bigots and imbeciles of the party to which he devoted his life as they flocked to the banner of the Worst President in American history.

Weeds and feral beasts and meth labs have overrun the gentleman's farm in no small part because George Herbert Walker Bush -- the president who orchestrated a mighty international coalition to fight a war abroad -- could not muster even the mildest institutional rebuke to the Conservative monsters who were eating his own party alive here at home.

The party is over.

The dream is dead.

Behold, a Tip Jar!


Lawrence said...

What I wrote elsewhere about H W:
True story: I was asked for ID when buying beer in a grocery store on my 40th birthday. I joked with the cashier that when I turned 21 the other George Bush was President. Kid didn't get it. Well, as I recall, you didn't miss much. He wasn't such a bad guy. But he was not a good guy by any stretch of the imagination. He pardoned the convicted Iran Contra criminals on Christmas eve. For giggles. If you don't know George HW much you probably don't remember how Ronald Reagan had secret weapons sales to Iran to illegally finance terrorists in Nicaragua. The Contras were fighting the leftist government in Nicaragua, and this was spoken of as if they were the Central American equivalent of George Washington. They were not. The Sandanista government they fought against was no great humanitarian people's republic either, but that wasn't Reagan's problem with them. Leftist governments are not friendly to American mercantile colonialism. Congress passed a law forbidding the US from funding the Contras so Reagan found a way. Realize he got elected in 1980 in no small part due to America's hatred of Iran. So it all came out and there were hearings. I watched him on CNN say the words "I don't recall" very often in response to questions about the affair. It looked like mean Democrats picking on a senile old man, which might have been technically true. But if you can't be responsible for the office, resign. Oliver North was a big star of this whole affair. He was one of the pardoned criminals. He has a Fox show these days, I think. George H W Bush at least actually served in his wartime years. Navy pilot. Another reason to think better of him than the current lot. He was denied a second term as President mainly because he raised taxes after explicitly promising not to do so. "Read my lips. No new taxes." But the realities of the times recommended raising taxes and he defied Republican dogma to do it. He was quite upset to lose the election. Who wouldn't be? I always suspected that was part of the reason he barfed on the Prime Minister of Japan, and not a stomach virus as the news claimed. Mitt Romney's wife reportedly shut herself in her bedroom following Mitt's loss to Obama. She refused to emerge to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, forcing the family to have Boston Market delivered. As much as I like that story, I don't think Ann Romney cooks. If you have a car elevator, you have servants. Back to Bush, he was the first President I voted for. I was raised Republican. It took his son to undo that. I also was one of the droves who abandoned him in 1992 for Ross Perot. I am not proud of the early '90s. Neither for myself, nor history.

WV 1st District DNC Delegate said...

How did driftglass get through this without mentioning the only name that I think of when skipping past all the hagiographies - Willie Horton

WV 1st District DNC Delegate said...

How did driftglass get through this without mentioning the only name that I think of when skipping past all the hagiographies - Willie Horton

dinthebeast said...

WV 1st District DNC Delegate: The Atwater link goes to Willie Horton's Wikipedia page.

Back in the depths of the Reagan administration, there were bumper stickers that could be seen around the Bay Area sometimes that read "Shoot Bush First", a sentiment I still don't agree with, but there you go.

I'm reading a lot of words about how Poppy Bush hearkened them back to a time when Republicans weren't so damn toxic and crazy, and maybe that is somewhat true: we did get here somehow, and we were indeed somewhere else before we were here, but I just can't get that from his memory, however much better his "kinder, gentler" approach to Republican governance may look on paper to Fergus and his felons, or even his own son.

No, what I get from his memory is the toxic seeds that enabled the rise of Fergus and his assault on facts and reality: Poppy went right out and said what he thought of Reagan's supply side bullshit on the campaign trail so we knew for certain that he knew it was bullshit, but he went right ahead and supported it anyway as veep, as though it didn't matter that it was harming the country as long as it kept them in power.

And then there was the "read my lips" quote that they say sunk his re-election: He raised those taxes because of the deficit Reagan's voodoo left him with when he was elected, so at least he was still answering to reality in that sense, again highlighting the eight years of fawning hypocrisy he displayed in order to get elected.

I did like the fact that he did a parachute jump on his 90th birthday a little, though.

But you can't get from wherever else we were politically before Poppy to Fergus without Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes, and he happily employed both of them, so fuck him.

-Doug in Oakland

Paul G. said...

Thanks for skipping the hagiography and telling the truth.

New_damage said...

“And on his way out of office, Bush 41 saw no problem with slinging around presidential pardons for the Republican Iraq/Contra traitors like so many Mardis Gras beads”

He was simply following the second law of the mob: Never dirty your own hands.

Seitan_Worshiper said...

Choice stuff as always, Drifty. I knew I could count on you to lift the veil on the sickening hagiographies/history rewriting/throwing truth down the Ol' Memory Hole as so many in the so-called Liberal Media have been quick to do since the wee small hours of Sunday morning, when 41's death was first announced.

I, too, am old enough to remember the senile Reagan, "Voodoo Economics," IraN/Contra, and yes, Willie Horton.

It's a shame that those <30 won't know this, and it seems, those old enough to know better are polishing up a legacy.

wibble said...

Turn Out The Lights, The Party's Over

Meremark said...

No no no. Nothing in Bushes furthers civilian life or civilization.

Not that anyone cares I offer links.

In WWII he jumped out of his bomber's (decal "Barbara II"), cockpit because smoke in it he said, (there wasn't, said witnesses flying behind him), and killed his 2 crew in the pilot-less plane descending to Davy Jones' locker.

Those were his first murders and that moment he declared for Satan. After that the rest of his murdering was easy.

In his senior year of high (boarding) school, groomed for Yale and into a pedigreed bond trader luxury life, halfway through on Dec. 7 the Japanese over Pearl Harbor blew up his bullion banker plans. He graduated in May, enlisted in US Navy flight echelon by lying before he turned 18 in June, 1942. (Hence, 'youngest' Navy pilot by lying being old enough.) In Spring, '43, he got his wings, got shipped out to the South Seas, and got assigned his first B-17. In June he crashed it in the ocean. (Filmed being rescued out of the drink pulled onboard a passing sub.) Navy gave him another B-17. In Sept. he panicked in imaginary smoke and bailed out without telling his crew in the back of the bomber that he was stepping out. (Re-rescued unfilmed.)

That was his wartime: June - Sept. 1943. Sent stateside, he flew a desk for the duration. V-E was June 1945, V-J was August 1945, and he wed Babs Christmas 1945.
(Young'uns: FDR died April '45, Hitler suicided later that month; V-E for Victory in Europe; Hiroshima A-bombed in Aug.'45; V-J for Victory in Japan.)

Read Chapter 6, Unauthorized Biography by Tarpley and Chaitkin, published 1990ish as effort to thwart Sinister reelection, 1992 campaign.

George Sr. & Jr. I name Sinister & Jughead.
Sinister was left-handed, too.

But the trio Prescott, Poppy, and Puppet demonized American politics, 1910-2010.
One demon they created was ratfink Atwater, as dg tells. But worse, Poppy spied comer from college Karl 'troll' Rove, in 1973. (see Tarpley bio linked)

Poppy hired Rove 24/7 to babysit Jughead, posed as personal butler valet groom and buttboy pre-Guckert. Glimpses of the gooniness in headlines here (5-min): and here (all day):

(In Summer '74 Poppy chained Puppet to the Alaskan pipeline under construction and left him there under CIA guard to detox cocaine and booze habits. CIA 'enforced' every inch of that pipeline, as a Big Oil Texan knew to do.)

The 3 P's theme was airplanes. Poppy graduated Yale in 1913 but hung around New Haven purposeless and prurient in his fraternity. Enlisted in Army Air Corps as Europe warred. Sent to Arkansas for flight school to become a magnificent men in their newly invented biplane flying machines, a hoot!, and safe above the bloody battlefield if sent there, (he wasn't). In Arkansas he was a short sortie to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, Army prison graveyard where Geronimo had been interred 1905. One night Prescott and partners sortied on down and desecrated the Apache's skull and bones he smuggled back to his fraternity. So when parachutists jump they remember GerONiMO-o-o-○.

Meremark said...

Oops. I cut out this excess and forgot to paste ____

Prescott raised in Ohio and sent to New England private boarding school by social-climbing family gotten rich in railroad contracts for ball bearings, couplers, and other iron workings of the mills in the Steel Belt around Pittsburgh, home of the Mellon perversity.
(See: George Seldes' "Witness to a Century," as cub reporter in Mellon mire, 1910. Rockefeller was there, Ford too. Also see Harriman bros. and Southern Pacific RR to Stanford, Harrimans being Prescott's college roommates.)

Poppy enlisted US Navy flight wing.
(US Air Force wasn't invented until 1948, kids.)
Jughead, you know, hid from Vietnam stateside inside the Texas Air Guards and he dudn't even show up for that champaign unit.

In each instance -- 1916, 1942, 1968 -- the Bush was society-stricture and peer-pressure pushed into military virture-signal servitude, moreso than jumping in by patriotic urge.

And in serving, each went huffing that humble service was beneath them being aristocrats living upstairs.

The Tarpley link is a trove of terrors by the Sinister one.


Hal Rager said...

I applaud these erudite comments, I continue to learn from all of you…