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George H W Bush is the reason I’m a Democrat

GHWB. Let’s remember the good, the bad and the funny.

The good: he wasn’t as bad as his son. He didn’t start any new major wars. He realized that he couldn’t keep his “no new taxes” pledge after the Reagan years increased the national debt.

The bad: If you listened to the podcast Bagman a couple of weeks ago, you know that GHWB played a small but not insignificant part in trying to cover up Agnew’s extracurricular activities. He was a CIA guy, probably deep in the Iran-Contra stuff.

The funny: ok, maybe not *funny* but that time he threw up on the Japanese prime minister and then fainted in his lap at dinner was memorable.

Now a personal memory. Back when I was a student and my first opportunity to vote was fast approaching, Bush made a stop at Pitt. The auditorium was full. I remember how he strode on stage. He seemed irritable. He was short with his aides. I was close enough to watch him and listen to him direct them tartly. He started to take questions from the audience but was curt and dismissive. He did not ooze charm. He treated every student with a question as if they were wasting his time.

And it was then that I had a Blink! moment of the kind that Malcolm Gladwell would write about decades later. I realized that this wealthy, privileged man wasn’t interested in students, who, some of them, like myself, were about to get slammed by Reagan’s stingy policies on Pell Grants and student loans. They were the only way I could keep taking classes. I was a fully independent student in the legal and tax sense and these two white guys, one who exuded sunny optimism like everyday was the opening number for Oklahoma, the other from the Bushes of Kennebunkport, did not give two shits about a very poor (and I am talking holes in my shoes poor) student who had to fit studying around my jobs.

Right then and there, I got the measure of the party. It had no idea what it was like to be someone like me. It saw me as a parasite. I decided that I didn’t want to vote Republican probably ever.

I registered as a Democrat that fall and for my first presidential election, I pulled the straight D lever. It took 12 years before I got a winner.

So, thank you George H W Bush for helping me figure out what my values were. That is, you can’t expect people to pull themselves up from their bootstraps if they don’t have boots. Those boots are what made our middle class prosperity possible. Without those Pell Grants that I did manage to get, I might have ended up as a cashier at Kmart (no offense to Kmart cashiers but it’s not a career opportunity let’s be honest).

It’s that election year when the Republicans discovered that appealing to older, traditional, more rural, religious voters and pitting the hard working poor against their own wealthy interests was a winning strategy.

He’ll get a state funeral. His friends in the media will memorialize him as one of the good Bushes, a good family man, husband, grandfather. They’ll gloss over all the other things they knew about him.

I’ll just remember him as the man who helped take away our boots.


54 Responses

  1. Another damning story about the dead guy is his helper L$$ At$$ter played a dirty trick to set up with Ha#t that we ended up with Du**kis.

    {if this comment gets posted, FYI, my comment if I spell those names out goes into a black hole. It happened when I tried to comment on the same topic after hearing it on Maddow weeks ago. What is with that?}

    • with

    • IDK. The moderation queue sometimes has a mind of its own.

      • RD, I don’t think it is going into the moderation queue at all, otherwise you would see it. But it just disappears. The first version of the above comment with the names spelled out went into a black hole. Same thing happened a few weeks ago when I was trying to say something about Ha*T and Atw$$er that I saw on Maddow. Very weird!

        • That is weird. But I suspect it is a WordPress problem. Periodically, a whole post will disappear for me. We should probably gather some data and see if it happens at the same time of day.

          • I just tried posting this: “testing, L$$ Atw$$er L$$ Atw$$er” with real spelling and it didn’t post. His ghost is haunting WordPress.

  2. Look for things like this as everyone heaps superlative praise on TV.

  3. All it tells us is that he sensed the danger in trump to this country. trump is that bad. We all could see it many miles away. Nobody gets a pony for doing the only right thing to do.

  4. For me The Good is:

    Referring to Reagan’s economic plan as VooDoo economics during 80s primaries

  5. Didn’t HW give us Clarence Thomas and his son and his minions, Kavanaugh now?

  6. What will the media say when this guy kicks the bucket?

  7. /delurking to just say …. If I hear CNN say ONE MORE TIME that GHWB is the “last president to serve in world war 2” I am going to scream…. Jimmy Carter is 94 years old and served as a Naval officer; he was in the Naval Academy until 1946, so was not in-theater during the second world war, but was most certainly in uniform. He served as an officer from 1946-1953, including commanding a submarine, I believe. Why the hell can’t anyone just get this basic history correct? No disrespect to GHWB’s service in the war, it was certainly brave. But, can the national media please stop erasing Jimmy Carter from our history? please!

    /rant over …. thanks RD, just had to get this out of my system

    • Hey, delurk more. It gets lonely in here. 🙂 I am dreading them playing Monica Lewinsky 24/7 when BC’s turn comes.

    • jjk,

      Jimmy is just being treated like women have been treated since the beginning of time. Written out of history as if we didn’t exist, much less contributed anything to the world.

      It stinks being disrespected this way, doesn’t it?

  8. Ladies, how many of you can relate to this? I just came out of a 2-day work event and all I can say is some men have boulders (not chips) on their shoulders and some others are too confident for their own good.

    • “When you wrote your thesis on Quantum chemistry and you’re stuck listening to a reality television host who paints himself the color of 1970s appliances.” 😆

      That look Merkel gives Benedict Donald could freeze a volcanic eruption.

  9. OT this is an amazing account to follow

  10. Moar ot 😛

    Weer in yr computr fixin yr hardd dryve

    “Wear iz mowse? Wee wurr toad evry computr haz mowse!”

  11. Socalannie posted this on Uppity’s site. Kinda says it all. 🙄

    The Party of Judeo-Christian Morality and Personal Responsibility, ladies and gentlemen.

  12. PENGUIN 2020!

    “We already got a crook in the White House. What’s the difference?”

  13. Kid figures out how to get in within three months, tops. 😆

  14. would be funny if it is not true… SNL

  15. Eight new scientists this year. Smh
    The Story

  16. Apparently, Dowd has written yet another hit piece against the Clintons. This tweet gave me hope that perhaps people have had enough of the malice against Hillary, or maybe they just hate Maureen Dowd….

    “The Times closed the comments on her hit piece due to the overwhelmingly negative response. She has made a career of her jealousy and spite against the Clinton family.”

    • I read the tweet replies to her tweet and every one of them is ‘get help’ ‘what is wrong with you’ ‘see a therapist’ and on and on!

    • Oh, she got ‘ratioed’ royally, which makes me happy that the majority is not with her, not even remotely close.

      • The most amusing thing she wrote was that time has passed the Clintons by – I felt that way about MoDo 20 years ago.

  17. Wow. How wonderful.

  18. I’m having the same problems as pm17 had with posts going into the ether, but mine are longer, which is probably what I get for making them so!

    • Same thing happened to me over at Upps the other day, i think that is wordpress also.

      • I haven’t been able to send a comment to Naked Capitalism for over a year (also WordPress). Yves and Lambert swear I’m not in moderation – the posts just vanish. It’s amazingly bad software.

    • mine is more specific, type in L$$ Atw$$er, replacing $$ with letters and see what happens…

  19. We have to bring back these videos to show the NYT (latest being Dowd) and other media bastards what they did and continue to do.

  20. Watching CNN documentary on Bush v. Clinton 1992 election. pretty good to go back to BC’s and his team’s brilliant campaign.

  21. Weak, weak Donald made America look weak…and FLOTUS was flirting with Pootie.

    • Martha,

      What a brilliant observation! There has been great speculation as to why else would Melania stay married to trump considering the disgusting way he treats her. I wouldn’t be surprised, if what you say turns out to be true, because trump has proven to be most willing to betray our country for his own personal gain and I have no doubt putin was well aware of his potential to be a puppet (as Hillary warned us about during the campaign) long before he even ran for president. The fact that “after” the Miss America pageant in Russia and due to his long-term obsession to do business with Russia that he surprisingly decided to run for the presidency. The timing could not be a coincidence in putin’s grand scheme of using trump in his obsession to destroy western democracy and open the door to putin’s total domination. putin has been working toward this goal since the Berlin wall came down and the cold war was ended.

      Something to keep an eye on. Maybe Mueller’s report will shine light on “when” trump and putin because “new best friends” and the timing of his decision to run. Clearly, trump has already shown that he would do anything, and I mean anything, to finally have a trump tower built in the one place that has eluded him for 30 years. He can’t stand to lose.

      • Kathleen, Melania being a sparrow-trained agent makes perfect sense. The Russians are the masters of the honey trap, easiest way to compromise prospective assets. Remember the pee tape? Maybe the dossier was right about that too…

    • I’m reading “Kremlin Candidate,” third book in the Red Sparrow triology, and Martha may be on to something. Putin loves active measures, obliterating his foes and deadly deceit, plus what is he about 5’ tall? Combine all that with a ginormous ego and i hear, “Danger, Danger Will Robinson,” in my squirrelly, foil enshrouded head. Melania smiles more sweerly at Putin than she ever does to her Orange Pus Sac.

  22. Weak… get him out of there.

  23. Elections have consequences. Vote wisely.

  24. I’ll just say a couple of things about GHW Bush. He was certainly a very decent man, but he was a Republican, and he was by no means a great president. One of the main reasons that the media greatly extols him now, is that they want presidents like Bush and Reagan, conservatives who are not virulent haters like Trump. That is their ideal,and will always be. If Romney or Kasich or Haley ran next time, they’d prefer any of them over any Democrat. There is no way in which someone could reasonably say that Bush’s presidency was a great achievement; it was just that Democrats controlled Congress, so as under Eisenhower and even Reagan, the worst impulses of Republicans were held in check.

    Bush handled himself with admirable decency and graciousness after leaving office. It is touching that he and Bill Clinton became friends. When Clinton dies, the media will not be nearly s extolling, they will talk about every negative they can find. I think that Clinton was not a truly great President, of the stature of FDR and Lincoln; but there are so few of those;. He was the best President we have had since FDR, and would have done even more, had not the Republicans relentlessly hounded him for all eight years. He left with an approval rating of 65%, and that was certainly not just due to sympathy over the insane impeachment. But people tend to forget; and he will get credit for none of it, from the media, which thought that the Bush dynasty was very impressive, but that two Clintons winning would be awful, and that Chelsea must go away, too.

  25. ‘white’wash by another name…

  26. A comment of mine completely disappeared.

    • I didn’t do it!

    • Did you use the name L$$ Atw$$er? I am hoping one you will try doing that and confirm my theory that there is something about that name and maybe we can figure out why.

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