July 20, 2016
Wow, it must feel bad to be a Bush right now.
Literally, this family’s entire political legacy has been flushed down the toilet by Donald Trump. They are not even forgotten. They are absolutely despised.
Amid the balloons and parties, speeches and spectacle, one faction of the Republican Party is almost invisible at the national convention this week: the Bush family network.
Representatives of the last Republican White House are effectively in exile from presidential politics these days, dispirited by their party’s embrace of Donald J. Trump, the nominee, and feeling betrayed by former friends who are backing him.
As Mr. Trump was nominated, former President George W. Bush planned to be on his Crawford, Tex., ranch, painting and bike riding. His former secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, was to be in her Stanford University office working on a new book about democracy, and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida would, he wrote in a terse email, be “working in Miami.”
They are hardly the only ones staying away. An email sent to alumni of Mr. Bush’s administration this month listing those former Bush officials going to Cleveland was notable mostly because of who was not included: no former cabinet officials or members of the White House senior staff.
The former president, who turned 70 this month, has taken a vow of silence about Mr. Trump in public. But he and his longtime loyalists are confounded about what has happened in their party, and by how little appeal the Bush brand of politics carries these days.
“I’m very fearful for my republic,” said Marc Racicot, the former Montana governor who was chairman of Mr. Bush’s re-election campaign and of the Republican National Committee. “I thought my fellow citizens would exercise the judgment to steer the country in the right direction.”
Carlos Gutierrez, who served as commerce secretary to Mr. Bush, said in a telephone interview, “People are puzzled by what happened, wondering how did we let this happen.”
It looks like people didn’t really like open borders globalism and endless wars for Israel.
Among other things.
They just didn’t care enough about fetuses to willingly throw away their country.
Addressing a few hundred Republican donors clad in blazers and polo shirts at a fund-raiser for Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri outside St. Louis last month, Mr. Bush did not mention Mr. Trump by name but issued an unmistakable warning about the dangers of Mr. Trump’s politics.
“He said he was concerned about three isms: protectionism, isolationism and nativism,” recalled John C. Danforth, a former senator and United Nations ambassador for Mr. Bush who attended the $1,000-a-person dinner. “I think that said a lot.”
Those are our three favorite isms!
Protectionism: Not sending all of our industry to third world countries.
Isolationism: Not fighting forever wars for the filthy Jews.
Nativism: Protecting our ethnic heritage.
The opposite of all three of these is only one ism, the defining ism of the Bush dynasty: globalism.
The departure represented by Mr. Trump is dramatic.
The nominee, who has electrified audiences with jeremiads against Hispanics and Muslims, has disregarded the former president’s effort to create a durable Republican majority by broadening the party’s appeal to a rapidly changing country. He has even more thoroughly rejected Mr. Bush’s worldview, scorning the interventionist and pro-free trade and immigration policies that were at the heart of his two terms as president.
And with his penchant for cutting ridicule and crude insults, Mr. Trump represents personal qualities that are the antithesis of Mr. Bush’s mix of Christianity and old-money restraint.
“It would be like if George Wallace had succeeded John F. Kennedy and the New Frontiersmen,” said Peter Wehner, a senior official in Mr. Bush’s White House.
Yes, thank you very much.
Donald Trump is the neo-Wallace.
Like Hitler, Ol’ George is winning from the grave.
But as Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida learned in their failed campaigns, there was little appetite in the Republican primary electorate for a restoration of “compassionate conservatism” or anything resembling the former president’s agenda. Voters wanted a more hard-line approach.
Mr. Bush addressed the 2008 convention by video (Hurricane Gustav was bearing down on the Gulf Coast) and was featured alongside his father in a brief video during the 2012 convention. But if neither John McCain nor Mitt Romney, the last two Republican nominees, was eager to highlight the unpopular Mr. Bush, there were still ample reminders of him at their conventions.
Over breakfast with a handful of leading Republicans last month in New York, Jeb Bush made clear he was still smarting over seeing his own presidential ambitions extinguished by Mr. Trump. “He seems low energy with the teleprompter,” Mr. Bush said, gleefully repurposing Mr. Trump’s favorite criticism of him, according to an attendee who requested anonymity to discuss a private event.
But the contempt Bush loyalists have for Mr. Trump is driven by something deeper than his primary-season attacks.
Unlike the last two presidential races, in which the Republican nominees were largely aligned with Mr. Bush’s free-market worldview, this campaign may have profound implications for the Bush legacy. Mr. Trump’s success — or defeat — in the election could render a verdict on Mr. Bush’s presidency and vision of conservatism.
It is a Holocaust of Bushism.
With the “never forget” for the opposite reason.
We’re going to rename your libraries, Bushes.
After Adolf Hitler and George Wallace.