Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Bush Family Drama

It seems like a little bit of family business worked its way out in public as some of the senior Bush's opinions have been related by Jon Meacham in his biography of George H. W. Bush. It seems that "41" had a bit of criticism for Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, as well as a little criticism for "43".  The elder Bush described his son as having been badly served by Rumsfeld, and described Dick Cheney as becoming a more hardline and "iron ass" guy (possibly with the encouragement of his wife Lynn, and daughter, Liz). Bush "43", for his part, sticks up for those who served in his Administration. Say what you like about W.--he's loyal to a fault or a hundred.

There's nothing in that necessarily that makes me go "OMG!" about either what was said, not the source and direction of the opinion. I got a good enough sense that "43" didn't seek his father's advice when he said as much himself; when asked if he sought his father's counsel on things, he said he had a "higher father" that he relied on. This kind of statement, when it was not signifying theocratic holy war scary-times, was in line with the idea W. projected of being "the Decider". Nevertheless, in the midst of making claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, programs to build same, and relationships between Saddam Hussein and terrorists that couldn't possibly have made sense, the one thing I thought rang true was when Bush justified his invasion with "This was the guy who tried to kill my dad that one time."  This was family drama as war. Unless Bush's real reason was some crazy End-times shit--we will never really know, right?

Now, presuming that Jon Meacham is a Beltway remora and Poppy Bush still has his wits about him, that particular message slamming Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney has a couple of familial interests behind it. Knowing that Number 2 son is in need of distancing himself from the foreign policy disasters of Number 1 son, he establishes a narrative of distance by setting out that the reason for the disaster was a Team Effort, giving Number 1 son opportunity for plausible deniability and Number 2 son running room. He was trying to do a mitzvah for his boys like they understood how this worked. I guess he never told them though, or didn't think he had to.

43 hugged Dick Cheney like they were still testifying behind closed doors for like an hour that one time in front of the 9/11 commission. And Jeb, like the stunning political performer he is, also totally sided with Team Cheney. This is the guy we last saw being lashed by Donald Trump with his brother's foreign policy, and then like a mook stood in front of a mirror and straightened out the knots.

When 83-year old reptilian Donald Rumsfeld was warmed up enough by the sun, he mentioned that GHWB was "getting up in years" but that W. made his own decisions. He sure did. I'm not saying I'd make any kind of president, but after the Abu Ghraib revelations, I'd have been asking for Rumsfeld's resignation the first damn thing to show I treated this stuff as a top-down disaster.

But the insinuation that Bush "41" isn't still mentally sharp is a lie. He is. He was jumping out of planes when folks his age couldn't jump out of bed. Sharp as he ever was. The people around him, though, are only sharp as they ever were, too.

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