George W. Bush: ‘White supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed’

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I can easily separate “George W. Bush, the terrible president” and “George W. Bush, the retired ex-POTUS, painter and a seemingly rare Republican of conscience in 2017.” I’m not saying I want Dubya to be president again (I do not), but I am saying that Dubya looks so much better now that we’re dealing with the monstrosity known as Donald Trump. Bush did terrible things, but he never blatantly sided with white supremacists, nor did he bully people on Twitter. Another thing I’ve come to respect about Bush: he liked Obama, and he has never publicly criticized Obama. But Bush has said many critical things about Donald Trump in the past year, and I truly believe that many in the Bush family refused to vote for Trump. So, yeah: Bush’s legacy as a president is tarnished and awful, but hey, at least he’s not a f–king deplorable Trump voter.

Well, on Thursday, Dubya spoke at the George W. Bush Institute event for “The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World.” I really hope everyone takes the time to listen to the entire speech because OMG, I actually felt some pangs. George W. Bush made such a powerful speech decrying Donald Trump without even mentioning Trump by name.

He denounces “bigotry in any form” and condemns “bullying and prejudice in our public life.” He uses the word “tyranny” and it feels like he’s talking about Tyrant Trump. He hits Trump for spreading dangerous conspiracy theories and for being a blatant liar. He talks movingly about the American project, about free trade, about the dangers of an increasingly cruel society. Here’s a portion:

Freedom is not merely a political menu option, or a foreign policy fad; it should be the defining commitment of our country, and the hope of the world. That appeal is proved not just by the content of people’s hopes, but a noteworthy hypocrisy: No democracy pretends to be a tyranny. Most tyrannies pretend they are democracies. Democracy remains the definition of political legitimacy. That has not changed, and that will not change.

…We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions – forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.

We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism – forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America. We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade – forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism. We have seen the return of isolationist sentiments – forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places, where threats such as terrorism, infectious disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking tend to emerge.

…Our identity as a nation – unlike many other nations – is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. Being an American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility. We become the heirs of Thomas Jefferson by accepting the ideal of human dignity found in the Declaration of Independence. We become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U.S. Constitution. We become the heirs of Martin Luther King, Jr., by recognizing one another not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. This means that people of every race, religion, and ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.

[Transcript from Politico]

As many have pointed out, Bush never came out and said any of this in the eight years of Obama’s presidency. Was that merely because, man-to-man, Bush liked Obama? Or was it because Bush genuinely thought Obama was a good president, a president who was not hellbent on destroying the country from within? It’s fascinating to see Bush take on this role of elder statesman and party statesman at this point, and it’s even stranger that I find myself looking at Dubya with such fondness now. Yeah… Bush did a good speech.

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127 Responses to “George W. Bush: ‘White supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed’”

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  1. Snowflake says:

    Trump should have made a speech like this, but we know he won’t ever!

  2. Beth says:

    I can’t believe how much I’ve been agreeing with Bush lately.

  3. Jaii says:

    My feelings for bush are naturally confused on so many levels for what he played a large part in doing to Iraq, and I can’t even begin to go into them , but compared to Trump there is no real comparison is there. And honestly I have this thought a lot lately as a non American like we will even survive through Trumps time. Will there be the world as we know it left … honestly I just find this shit terrifying. I mean he’s started on Twitter again this morning, can someone just not take his fkin phone away.

  4. Nicole says:

    I think much like elder Bush and Clinton that Dubya is fond of the Obamas. You can see it in the interactions. And yes this was a good speech.

    But I can’t separate Bush the president from the average citizen. Sorry

    • Faye says:

      Me too. W. is a direct factor to how we got here today. He’s supremely popular with the Republican voters still and should have done/said something before. Too little, too late.

    • Megan says:

      We went to war with Iraq as revenge for an assassination attempt on his father, plain and simple. Bush didn’t understand the consequences of playing with fire and now the region is consumed by a war that may well rage for a generation and who knows how far beyond.

      But wars aside, the future will ultimately judge Bush for not acting on climate change. He was the last president whose actions could have arrested global warming, every president that follows will only be able to contain and mitigate.

      Countless lives have been lost and countless more will be lost because of Bush. A pretty speech isn’t going to change the absolute hell he wrought on earth.

    • Renee2 says:

      THIS.

      And @ Faye, are you the Faye who used to comment a fair bit in the recent past? If so, welcome back!!

  5. M. says:

    It’s incredible how HE appears wise and composed now.

  6. Esmom says:

    Very good speech, he hit on so many important points, but I’m sure it’s been summarily dismissed by those who need to hear to most. And of course I heard a Trump supporter saying that he wasn’t talking about Trump at all and was implying that liberalism is somehow responsible for the terrible state we’re in. I would cry but I don’t have any tears left.

    • KJA says:

      It’s already already being dismissed by some of them on twitter. One was whining about how he always defended Bush-only for Bush to turn around and call him a racist in this speech apparently. Not an ounce of self awareness. If someone heard/read that speech and thought they were being called a racist, they probably are one. Imagine telling on yourself like that.

  7. Jerusha says:

    Former presidents never criticize current presidents and current presidents never personally attack former presidents. We are at the End Times though,
    As someone said on Twitter yesterday, when GWB looks like FDR, we’re in real trouble.

    • IlsaLund says:

      True…but since this is an uprecedented era we now find ourselves in, the five living ex Presidents need to forgo tradition and issue a joint statement calling Trump out.

      • Jerusha says:

        Oh, I definitely agree with that. I was saying that had been the tradition all these years, decades, centuries. It’s pretty remarkable that two formers spoke on the same day in terms that condemn the slug now polluting our world. Maybe the dam has broken. I do hope it’s just the beginning.

      • lightpurple says:

        I suspect they are pretty close to it. Carter has no problem calling anyone out. The elder Bush seems really disgusted with Trump and has for quite a while. Younger Bush and Obama have both made statements recently. If the two elders are willing to combine forces, I think they’ll go for it.

  8. Iknowwhatboyslike says:

    It’s funny, I don’t hate him as much as I did in the past because Trump has taken a lot of my hate. However, I will never, ever forgive George Bush for what he did to this nation. He took us down the road, to an endless war. A war that has disrupted the world and created multiple generations of people who are intent on killing millions of people. I will never forgive him for Katrina or for crashing our economy. He did all of these things and walked away. And let’s not forget that he brought us Karl Rove, who galvanized the Right and blew many Dog Whistles. Let’s not forget what he did to John McCain in 2000. Insinuating that the McCain’s adopted daughter is his secret love child with a black woman. Is Bush Trump? NO. But that man ruined the country– if not the world, left the office, and took up painting. Too many people have suffered because of him. We’ve been at war for all of my children’s lives because of him. Donald Trump being awful will never diminish that for me.

    • LizLemonGotMarried says:

      I just did what my husband calls “The Pigeon” (head tilted at a dramatic angle, with apparently a beady eyed pigeon expression) at the McCain story. I’m off to Google that shiz fast-I’m not a GWB fan, and the crap in the ME and Katrina is squarely on his shoulders, but I’ve never heard that one.

      • Iknowwhatboyslike says:

        Here you go: https://www.thenation.com/article/dirty-tricks-south-carolina-and-john-mccain/
        McCain won New Hampshire, despite Bush being a favorite. This South Carolina incident derailed McCain’s campaign. Bush might’ve been a so-called “compassionate conservative”, but he and the vile people he employed, certainly set the stage for what we have now.

      • LizLemonGotMarried says:

        That’s crazy. I found a few other pieces on it-how incredibly unkind. I ended up reading a story about how Cindy McCain found these two kids, and apparently got all over the Bangladeshi authorities to sign off on her paperwork to get them to the US so she could get them medical treatment because she was afraid they would die. I’m not particularly a McCain fan either, but the first time he found out about this child was when she hit the tarmac with those two kids and he just rolled with it. Compared to what we have in the Oval Office now, I would take that kind of man as our President all day.

    • jwoolman says:

      We’ve been at war all of MY life and I was born in the middle of the last century. Endless war is what Americans now do. I think we are trying to beat the record set by the 100 Years War in Europe.

      As long as war and preparation for war are highly profitable, they will continue without end. The drive is too strong from the few who profit. They keep lying about why the wars start and then keep shifting the lies to keep them going.

      I wondered at one point if we had had a military coup but nobody told us, because the drive to constant wars and warlets seemed to continue unabated no matter who was President. Military people don’t have to be evil for this to happen. If you’re only trained in military solutions to problems, that’s what you will always use. They think they are doing the right thing as the world burns hotter and hotter.

      But it can never be the right thing to drop bombs on people, we would never accept that idea if used to fight crime in our own neighborhoods. And those bombs aren’t ever smartbombs as is so often claimed. They don’t magically avoid civilians or the infrastructure civilians depend on.

      Our government killed more civilians in the first two months in Afghanistan after 9/11 than all the hijackers had killed total. Think about that for a moment.

      • Jaded says:

        I too was born in the mid-fifties, 1952. It’s like America continues to polish its turds of “justified” war against communism and so-called oppressive regimes, infiltrating other countries and supporting fascist dictatorships for profit (Latin America), and insisting they’re doing it for the good of humanity. Americans need to realize that they’re not the ones under attack and staving off the raving hoards of Muslim terrorists, the evils of foreign trade and dangers of anti-Americanism. The danger comes from within – the worst mass murders are home grown. The whole country seems to be infected with a paranoia against global cooperation, encouraged by a deceitful sociopath who preys on the public’s paranoia against “damn feriners”. I’ve never been so happy to be Canadian, however I fear that the damage Trump and his enablers are inflicting will have global repercussions.

  9. Renee2 says:

    Um,

    it’s good to have “all hands on deck” so to speak, but Bush jr and sr’s policies helped to lay the groundwork for much of what we are currently experiencing today. If we are saying that Tarantino shouldn’t get a cookie for doing the least at this point in time, then nether should Bush. Let’s not forget the racist, sexist, homophobic and classist policies that he either upheld or introduced.

  10. Jessica says:

    Wow, credit where credit is due… even if it was written for him this is a good speech and Trump wouldn’t be able to even read through half of it aghhh our current reality is so sad :(

  11. HappyXamp says:

    I know he gets along with Michelle real well. He said in an interview that he gravitates toward people who get his sense of humor, and she does.

  12. Lizzie says:

    i’ve said this before but barbara bush, the elder, was the first major establishment figure in the republican party to publicly call trump an asshole and a woman hater and that she wouldn’t vote for him. boy was she right.

    • LAK says:

      Barbara Bush is forever cancelled for me after she said that New Orleans refugees post-Katrina deserved to be housed in an astrodome complex in Houston because “they are underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.”

      Let’s not forget how awful the Bushes are simply because Trump is awful. Their awful was polite and courteous unlike the uncouth Trump. Trump doesn’t bother hide his awfulness, or has no impulse control to hide it, but the Bushes are just as bad.

      • Lady D says:

        Three days before anyone in the Texan Astrodome got drinking water. Three f’n days. The refugees were holding up big signs to the helicopters overhead begging for water. They were bussed from a destroyed New Orleans to Texas and abandoned. That’s on Bush. That was also when Kanye made his “Bush don’t like black people” comment. We were going to sendflats of water on a Greyhound to the Astrodome.

      • LadyT says:

        Lady D- You are describing the horror at the Superdome in New Orleans, not what happened at the Astrodome in Houston. There was water, cots and airconditioning when the refugees arrived and welcome signs on bedsheets hanging. Just make an effort to try to get the facts straight. No one in Houston was begging for water for 3 days.

    • Evie says:

      Barbara Bush is a formidable woman and a force of nature. I met an interviewed her during the Bush years. Nobody puts Babs in the corner – even at 90+ years old!

    • LadyT says:

      I had to look this quote up. It is an accurate quote but… context. I pictured her walking around with her nose in the air commenting that this is all these lowlifes deserve. No. Didn’t happen that way. She toured the Astrodome and received many comments from refugees that Texas had been hospitable and they were now choosing to move to Houston. So in spite of the meager accommodations some people were complimentary. She was referencing what people had said to her. It’s never going to be anything but a poor quote but it’s not quite the abomination described above.

      • LAK says:

        Balderdash!!

        She was walking around the meagre accomodations they were in and what came to mind was that their lack of privilege meant they were ok with what was on offer?!

        Even if they were showing gratitude for the help they received, her thought process went to- they are underprivileged, therefore they are happy with what we give them.

        And didn’t have the self awareness to say it behind closed doors, if she must. If she could say this to them to their faces, imagine what she says behind closed doors.

        Next you’ll be saying that Bush W was misunderstood about Katrina and it was a matter of context.

      • LadyT says:

        In your post you unequivocally said she said they deserved it. She didn’t. That’s all I meant to clarify. I never meant to sound like I was defending anything about the handling if Katrina. It was shameful top to bottom.

  13. vava says:

    I didn’t like working for George W. when he was president, but I have grown to admire him in recent years. It’s great he’s speaking up now. We need more of this from prominent Republicans.

  14. LooseSeal says:

    The world really has turned upside down when W is our new woke bae.

  15. NΞΞNΔ ΖΞΞ says:

    By gawd, Trump has done in just a few months what I never thought possible… recast W’s presidency in an almost positive light. By comparison he looks downright decent and his administration wasn’t teeming with incompetents and inexperienced sycophants like the current group of ridiculousness.

    • Sophia's Side eye says:

      No, his cabinet was just full of war mongers who couldn’t wait to get into the ME in order to destabilize it further to keep it from becoming a world power due to oil, IMO. They were effective killers with power who wore suits. They started wars that will last for generations. They were monsters, and he was their puppet.

      The one thing that’s saving us from trump is his complete and total incompetence in anything other than to surround himself with people just as stupid as himself.

    • Dee Kay says:

      I wouldn’t say Trump has put W’s *presidency* in a positive light (it was run by hooligans but hooligans who understand the law and government and knew how to bend the Constitution to their will — not hooligans completely ignorant of law, government, *and* the Constitution, like we have now). However, I agree that Trump has put W himself, the person, the human being, in a much better place. W seemed to follow directions from Cheney almost slavishly during his presidency, but now he seems to be coming forward as more of his own person, and I believe the thoughts he shared were really his. All that said, I think that you can believe everything GW Bush said in this speech and still not be critic of the kind of neoliberal capitalism that takes advantage of so many hardworking people. I don’t think this speech goes *far enough* and Bush is basically representing neoliberal capital’s interests here.

  16. Nancy says:

    George W. is living proof that it can always be worse. I never dreamt in a thousand years, I’d look at him without anything but contempt……but the times have changed. trump has changed the world for the worse and everyone seems intelligent and likable in comparison to him. While I’ll never regret not voting for him, today he seems like the voice of reason. 45 really has done a number on us. *It is a personal pet peeve of mine, but I really hate when posters capitalize 45′s name. Most of us don’t, newbies….lowercase that “t” please*

  17. IlsaLund says:

    Both Obama and Bush gave speeches yesterday shading Trump. Let’s see who he chooses to attack on Twitter about it.

  18. Rose says:

    Who is his speech writer? Would it be like a collaboration, he’d go to the writer with some ideas and then the writer would craft it from there? Genuinely interested in how this works.

  19. Lucy says:

    Um, no. He’s a war criminal.

  20. littlemissnaughty says:

    He still gave us the gift that keeps on giving, the Iraq war. Which gave us ISIS. So … he was a horrible president and I refuse to put that in relative terms just because Gargamel roams the White House. BUT. Not once did I get the impression that Bush didn’t care. About his country, about other countries, about the people. He may have cared about certain things (and people) less but he did care. Trump is incapable of empathy, he can’t even fake it. So on top of being the worst president, he’s also the worst human being.

    • reverie says:

      Hahaha. America created salafist and wahabi Islam? Hmm. Saudi Arabia might have something to say about that. ISIS isn’t new, ISIS rose in the vacuum that was created after toppling the Ba’athists (combined with the Arab Spring uprisings that sparked the Syrian Civil War) but they had to go. Ask a Kurdish person and please, research Halabja. Also ISIS isn’t out of Iraq… daesh had it’s birth in Afghan Al Qaeda which isn’t necessarily Afghani either, it is a powerful religious based theory… which is how ISIS is composed of people worldwide, of all races and cultures.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I’m not sure why you’re being super “cute” here because you’re not really disagreeing with me. Many ISIS “leaders” are former Baathists, which is what you allude to when you say a vaccum was created. ISIS rose in large part because Saddam was gone but his party and military weren’t. So where did they go? ISIS maybe?

      • reverie says:

        Cute. Is that the new insult? That’s nice. Anyway you might want to check your “America is the root of all” attitude at the door because there’s millions of people in the Middle East who would be offended by that. As if Middle Easterner’s have no self determination, good or bad. Are we just pawns in America’s playground? Is this how Americans view people from the ME? There are 35 million Kurds who are alive because of, and are glad for the Iraq War. If you think ISIS is composed of Saddam’s soldiers you are kidding yourself.

      • Asiyah says:

        America may not have created Salafism, but it, along with KSA, has funded it for decades and used it for imperialistic purposes and to further divide the Muslim world.

      • magnoliarose says:

        On what planet would anyone not blame America for what is happening in the Middle East today? We had no business meddling in another country. We didn’t create the problem, and we should have allowed the people in their own countries to decide how to govern themselves. The sanctions were even ridiculous against Iraq. But no now 100s of thousands of innocent people are dead across the region with no end in sight.
        This is why when Americans involve their moral righteous about Middle Eastern or African issues I can’t believe the hypocrisy. Now they are itching to meddle with Iran. We should only be support for peace without war and try to help refugees escape to safety.

        Anyway, I appreciate anyone who calls out 45′s lunacy.

    • Wren says:

      Yes, this. He cared. I disagreed with nearly everything he did, but never did I think he didn’t actually care. We are now living with the example of someone who does not care, not even in the slightest, and the difference is astronomical. I never thought I’d find myself agreeing so much with Bush, but here we are.

      • holly hobby says:

        He let a mom of a fallen soldier yell and curse at him. I don’t know if the Orange Lizard would have allowed that. Orangino would have probably hauled her off to jail and make Keebler charge her for treason. So yeah he has way more compassion than what we’re getting now!

        F—Orangino got out his dog whistle against that Florida Congresswoman because she dared tell the truth. Now his racists pigs are threatening her. How awful is that?

    • Adele Dazeem says:

      Well and one could argue that the predecessor of IsIS was indeed AQ which was created as a direct result of our presence in Afghanistan (and subsequent departure) in the late 1980s (because communism). Trust, ISIS may be fading but the next incarnation is coming. Until we change our bomb and exit policy, these extremist groups will keep regenerating.

  21. adastraperaspera says:

    A speech remarkable for its lack of historical precedent, beautifully written and sincerely delivered. Our future depends on it being heeded and acted upon by men in power who still believe in preserving our democratic republic.

    • holly hobby says:

      Nope Congress is on path to approve a trillion dollar deficit all in the name of tax cuts to the wealthy pigs. They are still acting like puppets to the lizard. So hypocritical considering for the last 8 years they shut the govt down and stalled and whined about the “debt ceiling.” All of a sudden it doesn’t matter anymore. Jerks.

      • jwoolman says:

        Humans are pack animals and tend to be followers rather than leaders. The Democrats seem committed to doing some good things at the moment primarily because they have leaders who are so committed. Good leaders bring out the best in people and help them avoid going down dark paths. Good people also attract other good people to the group. So it becomes easier and easier to do good things because they are surrounded by good people.

        The Republicans have leaders like McConnell and Ryan and Trump. The Republican Party used to be quite diverse and had sane and powerful voices for good like Senator Mark Hatfield in it. Now it’s like they are all possessed by Satan. Maybe it began when the Dixiecrat racists flocked to the Republicans. The rise of the Tea Party (funded by rich patrons, not really as spontaneous as is assumed) continued the process. Before long we had a Congress full of Republicans who seemed intent on blocking every helpful bit of legislation and trying to destroy any good things we had. It was a baffling transformation to me.

        Even during the destructive Reagan years (he was basically Trump Lite, appointing people to head agencies in order to destroy them), there seemed to be more bipartisan cooperation. But massive selfishness still had its consequences. In Chicago, Reagan’s cuts led to children diagnosed with protein deficiency disease. Yes, kwashiorkor was appearing in Chicago, Illinois. The private charities couldn’t keep up, trying to compensate for loss of federal funding to keep children fed.

        But the transformation in Congress we see today probably also reflects something happening in the general culture. A small number of people voted for Trump because he was a cult hero, a famous guy on TV who entertained them yelling “You’re fired!” and acting like the rich jerk he always was.

        But others voted for him even if they didn’t like him because they were selfish. They didn’t want to share what they had with others. They didn’t have the imagination to realize that they could lose their comfortable finances and privileges very easily and be dependent on other people sharing with them. And they weren’t aware enough to realize that the resources of this country belong to all of us. Or that people aren’t poor because they are lazy, they are poor because they don’t get paid enough for all the work they do. Poverty is very time-consuming and labor-intensive.

        Gullibility factored in when they swallowed every ridiculous claim against Hillary Clinton, convincing themselves that an ignorant, vindictive, greedy malignant narcissist was somehow better than a sane and knowledgeable person. But their underlying selfishness was a major factor.

        This inability to share has certainly doomed other cultures, and will doom ours. Rampant selfishness and greed will do us in faster than anything else.

  22. kodakay says:

    Can I PLEASE trade Trump for Bush? I take back most of the bad stuff I said about Bush. I thought it couldn’t get worse and then Trump came out of the swamp. Lord, help us all.

  23. LAK says:

    Bush W is a war criminal. Let’s never, ever forget that.

    • isabelle says:

      Obama as much as I love him, also made a lot of mistakes in the middle east. Most of our Presidents have really f’ed us over war and invasion. Bush wasn’t and isn’t alone in his war mongering.

      • Kitten says:

        Yes this. Even my fave president made some dire mistakes in the ME.

        But this is Trump America.
        I feel like we’re all drowning in an ocean, ready to grab for the nearest life raft even if it has a hole in it.

        So I’m not going to get on people for feeling “fondness” or benevolence towards GW, because we are viewing our country through a Trump-adjusted lens right now, but I just can’t get on board with it.

        I still remember falling to the floor and crying when he was elected a second term. Some of us will never, ever forget.

      • Stumpcorgi says:

        @kitten. I’m with you. I remember the sorrow and rage when W was elected. One of the debates between him and Kerry was hosted by my university. Only a few students were allowed to go. Meanwhile the Bush campaign brought republicans from the community in by the busload not only to attend the debate, but to remain on campus and harass students who were protesting Bush. I remember the rage and hopelessness I felt when this misogynist war criminal was re-elected. And then later when I lived in Brooklyn, Obama won and people were running through the streets, full of hope and joy. At the time I naively thought that we were done with presidents like bush and cryptkeepers like Cheney. But I was so, so wrong. I have depression, and while I believe it’s my reponsibility to keep my eyes wide open, all of the evil coming from Trump and his lackeys make it impossible to keep it in check at all. Fuck Trump and fuck every piece of shit who voted for him. There’s no excuse. That said I really liked your take on this, “I feel like we’re all drowning in an ocean, ready to grab for the nearest life raft even if it has a hole in it.” You hit the nail on the head!

  24. lower case lois says:

    Since the election , 2017 has made for some strange bedfellows hasn’t it?

  25. Aang says:

    GWB helped unlock the gates of hell. And now he’s all – I don’t agree with how the demons are behaving. Bull shit.

  26. Jess says:

    Wow, impressive as hell. I agree with other commenters who said he was always kind of a puppet, if he truly wrote this himself maybe we’re seeing more of the real Bush standing up. I was shocked when I found out he spends a lot of time painting, I think he feels bad for the damage and deaths he caused. I never got an evil vibe from him, I didn’t like him as President but I always told people I think he’d be fun to have at a backyard BBQ, the airheafed uncle George.

    • jwoolman says:

      I also didn’t feel GWBush was an inherently evil person despite all the harm his policies did. Trump, on the other hand, had always felt “Danger, danger, Will Robinson!” to me ever since I saw him on tv many years ago. I felt that if I were walking on the same side of the street as he was, I would be crossing to the other side as soon as possible. He exuded creepiness and emotional coldness and self-centeredness to the max. I didn’t know the term narcissistic personality disorder, but that’s what I was feeling. He lacks certain basic emotions and inhibitions that are needed to function in society without being a danger to all you encounter. That makes Trump incredibly dangerous in the White House to a degree we never have seen before.

      Humans are odd mixes – GWBush wasn’t the first President to do terrible harm without being inherently evil in all aspects of his life. There is a remoteness to the decisions made by a President that allows otherwise decent people to make them. The same person would never plunge a dagger into a stranger’s heart, but can order military actions that kill and maim hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands or millions of such strangers.

      Likewise we hear otherwise decent ordinary citizens approving such actions as necessary to “defend” them against scary people they don’t really know. They would know in an instant how wrong it was if people did it to them for the same reasons. But bomber pilots can sleep at night because they are remote from their victims. This is also why it is so much easier to kill with guns at a distance. The technology allows us to feel detached from what we are doing. In the case of military actions, the social support for the evil actions helps people delude themselves into thinking they are doing good. Away from the military and the medals they get for doing the massive harm they do, the bomber pilots can make good neighbors and parents and spouses.

  27. jen says:

    Good speech, but SAY HIS NAME. I HATE how McCain and the rest keep talking around Trump.

    • Lynnie says:

      I imagine they do so, because if they did call him out the message of the speech would get lost in one of two scoop’s Twitter rants and become a whole other different beast. I do agree with others that the sight of all the living former presidents condemning trump and what he stands for would be a sight to see. Plus he can attack one or two people at a time effectively but 5 historical figures? Nah.

      • jen says:

        I get your point, but my family is Republican. They’re huge Bush supporters, they’re meh on Trump, but better than “the woman,” right? They didn’t get that this speech was about Trump. That REALLY STUPID kind of moderate Republican that seems to make up a shameful amount of Americans literally need this spelled out for them.

  28. Big D says:

    It may go against “protocol ” for ex presidents to criticize the current one and not mention him by name but it would be a hell of a statement if the ex presidents still living would criticize the depths to which the country has sunk under the current leadership-in racial terms at least. Call a spade a spade, man up and speak out.One might argue that that might play into trumps hands, but five ex presidents showing concern at how racial tension is dividing their country is a powerful message that will be impossible to ignore and it is also their patriotic duty, if nothing else. I think they owe the country they have served at least that. Speak up, quote him by name and call him out to,at the very least start uniting, not dividing. Use that voice not only for the million dollar corporate speeches(which they are entitled to-good for them☺️)but to make a difference where it really counts- to your own people- the people who elected you, the people you served.

  29. annaloo. says:

    No.

    Hurricane Katrina.
    Sending troops into Iraq for Daddy’s war.
    Weapons of mass destruction. Or lack of.
    Ignoring the warnings on 9/11.
    “Shop to be patriotic”, followed by the worst recession

    Yes, he’s right about Trump, but W was one of the worst presidents too. My memory is not short . The American public’s is tragically so. There was the largest mass shooting just a few weeks ago and Puerto Rico still has no power. Yet we are here feeling soft towards W.

    No.

  30. gatorbait says:

    That last photo in the post of Obama, GWB, and Slick Willy is making me nostalgic for a time when we weren’t lorded over by a tangerine hell bent on destroying the world. I know they all had their flaws but nothing compares to what we have now. Just my opinion.

  31. Nicole (the Cdn One) says:

    I read an article a few days ago – I wish I could remember where – in which the author posited that the true distinction between the orange one and past Presidents is however much their policies differed, each truly believed they inherited a great country and that their role was to move the United States along the path to betterment. Conversely, the dotard believes the country is crap and is in it for what he can get out of it. This was even echoed by statements made by President Obama during the last election, that while he wanted to win his elections and believed his policies were better for the United States, he know that even if he lost, the country would be in good hands. So this truly is a time of firsts.

    And while I do not feel competent to assess President Bush’s impact or actions, I believe every voice of reason is necessary in these times so his present contribution is important, even if it doesn’t absolve him of past sins.

  32. CityGirl says:

    Kaiser – everything you said plus 1! I started softening to him as a human (not as a president) when I saw his open fondness of all things Michelle Obama. I can appreciate that he can love her as much as most of us do.

    As Annaloo listed, we can’t and won’t forget the atrocities of his presidency, but we can appreciate and respect this very public condemnation of the atrocities brought on by the current person in the WH. Just sayin…

  33. JenB says:

    I agree the speech from Bush was really good. I like to think he’s trying to do better.
    I’m actually feeling inspired after watching the speeches from Richmond last night. I really like Northam and both his and Obama’s speech has me fired up! I think Northam could be president one day.

  34. holly hobby says:

    It’s shocking that I find myself agreeing with W. Orange lizard makes the Bush Admin look like the glory years of America. How sad is that?

  35. Frosty says:

    Good speech, glad he said this. That said, 16 years, endless wars, the institution of a seemingly permanent surveillance state – no words can rehabilitate GWB as far as I’m concerned.

  36. SlightlyAnonny says:

    I remember this from years ago and wish I could remember the source, W said that he would give Obama the courtesy that was not given to him and he would not speak of his successor. So basically, the Clintons trashed him and it hurt and he wasn’t going to do it to the next guy.

  37. Neo says:

    Both Bush and Clinton are reported to be incredibly charming when commanding a room. I don’t like either of them as American Presidents but they were both innately presidential much of the time, albeit to two very different segments of Americans. Obama is pretty much the definition of class. Trump is several tiers down… Which is why he relies so heavily on Kelly, who had those qualities.

  38. cindy says:

    I just finished The Promise, by Jonathan Alter, about Obama’s first years as president and his election. Yes, Goerge Bush very much respected Obama and thought he was capable and really smart. In fact, Bush thought McCain was a bit of a dope and deferred to Obama in meetings when he was running against McCain. Even Cheney respected Obama (grudgingly). I miss Bush too. That picture of Bush, Obama and Clinton makes me want to cry. Now we are in hell and I don’t know if this country can ever recover.

  39. kibbles says:

    Unpopular opinion: I will never forgive GWB for being a war criminal who changed the direction of America since 9/11, and who is responsible for the deaths of millions of people worldwide. He’s also to blame for the rise of Islamic terrorism. He is the reason why we have to live in fear of terrorism and go through a cavity search every time we go to the airport. I don’t care if he is looking good compared to Trump in 2017. That is comparing a murderer who gunned down one person in a drive-by to Ted Bundy. Sure, Ted Bundy is way worse, but should we condone the murderer who only killed one person? No. And let’s be clear, Trump is deplorable, but as of this writing, he has not gotten us into a long drawn out war (yet). Of course, that can definitely change in the next several years.

    Even more unpopular opinion: Obama is obviously charming and a good husband and father. Well, GWB seems like a good husband and father as well. Let’s not confuse that with the horrible policies either of these men enacted while in office. Obama’s charm has gotten him off the hook for a lot of things he did in office in terms of tax cuts for the wealthy, bailing out Wall Street, and the deportation of more illegals under his administration than GWB.

    Once you think about the course of American history since the Reagan era, you realize that the actions of pretty much every president since then led us straight to electing Donald Trump as president. This didn’t just happen by chance. This is what happens when you have neo-conservative and neo-liberal politicians dead set on never ending war and dismantling programs for the poor, working class, and middle class. Yes, that includes screwing over both people of color and white people. It’s just that people of color stand to lose a lot more so they are forced to vote for neo-liberals in the Democratic Party. The result is pretty much that of a slow death rather than a much faster one under the Republicans.

  40. X says:

    I’m not from states but from what I have read & heard, American politics is very confusing.

  41. robyn says:

    His words are great! But Bush’s decision in Iraq changed history and it appears he was willfully blind to a lack of solid evidence regarding weapons of mass destruction. Countries were reading the same “proof” and coming to different conclusions. That in itself is a problem and should have been a warning sign for Bush and Britain. He also didn’t fairly win the election any more than Trump did. Gore should probably have been president.

    It’s impossible to say, however, how the regions in and around Iraq would have evolved without American interference after 911. The region is a boiling pot that would have exploded in some form one way or another.

    Now Bannon is “blasting” Bush and America has a bigger problem. With Russia’s help there is a rather successful coup attempt happening in real time striving to create an America that was never intended to be. It is mostly white, mostly “Christian” and mostly armed with weapons that can kill hundreds in seconds on a whim. Lovely!

  42. BeepBeep says:

    Ever since Reagan and Bush 1, each Republican president has been exponentially worse than the last. I honestly shudder to think what they’ll put in the White House next. Maybe a vampire cyborg with Hitler’s cloned brain inside? Brrrr.