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Showing George H.W. Bush the Love

A nice moment: When former president George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush arrived at the Convention Hall, the ensuing roar was the loudest and most authentic cheering I have heard all night. The elder Bush is Republican Classic. A onetime national party chairman, he has deep roots in the GOP. Bush 41 got grief from the Republican right once upon a time but is now loved by the entire tribe. In truth, a lot of Democrats look rather kindly upon him, too, after the past eight years.

It’s striking that while the elder Bush is here, the sitting Republican president, George W. Bush, will address the convention only by video. My friend Ron Elving just noted on NPR (where I’m doing some work tonight) that the last time an incumbent president did not come to his convention was 1968: Lyndon Johnson stayed away from that raucous affair in Chicago. Not the best of precedents for the GOP.

A few moments ago they showed the video tribute to the elder Bush. The crowd stood as one and just kept cheering. You wonder which Bush these delegates actually like better.

By E.J. Dionne  | September 2, 2008; 9:34 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

Given that George H.W. Bush was part of an administration that gave us the Iran/Contra/Crack Cocaine scandal, I don't think that he deserves love.

Given that he pushed through the deregulation that enabled the savings and loan crisis, which his son Neil was knee deep in and which was a corrupt and massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to sleazy Republicans businesspeople (like Keating), I don't think that he deserves affection.

His past has been whitewashed; that's more than Bill Clinton got, and that's all he gets.

Posted by: Deep Blue | September 2, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

The sad point is Junior makes Pappy look like a decent president. The Republicant party has finally strangled itself and it took Junior to finish the job. Thanks to the both of you for all of your efforts to enrich the wealthy and destroy the country. And thanks to Pappy McSame for elevating a little known Alaskan Governor to the next Dan Quayle laughingstock. This should be the end of politics for the Bush crime family. It's about time.

Peace.

Posted by: Commie | September 3, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Despite father and son's spending a combined 12 years in office, the Bush family means nothing to the common man. This is the saddest legacy imaginable for former leaders of a democracy.


Posted by: Prepster | September 3, 2008 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Getting ready for the Warren G Harding spot, a shame he died in office before he realized his true promise. The propangda would make Goebbels proud.

Posted by: merganser | September 3, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

My comment about an ode to Warren G. Harding was removed...did not know he had such ardent fans at Post.

Posted by: merganser | September 3, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Junior never could have become president without the support of Pappy's connections. Pappy knew his son's character, but put the family dynasty before the welfare of the country.

Pappy is partly responsible for two Gulf wars.

Saddam Hussein was a long-time client of the US and CIA, having been employed as an assassin by the CIA in the late 50s; the CIA gave him a list of Iraqi communists following his seizure of power; he had them eliminated.

So Hussein vetted his plan to invade Kuwait with Bush's personal envoy, and was told that what went on between Arab countries was not our concern. After the invasion, Margret Thatcher changed Pappy's mind. If Pappy had shown better judgement before the invasion, world history would have been quite different.

Of course, 90% or more of the delegates have little clue as to Pappy's full legacy as they cheer his appearance.

Posted by: Jim | September 3, 2008 2:30 AM | Report abuse

I predict Bush 41 will write a thank you note to each and every delegate. And a big thank you to his son for making his own record look sane in comparison.

Posted by: murrayewv | September 3, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

E.J. - Whew! Glad you're back; didn't know for a bit there if you and John Edwards were gonna be able to get New Orleans evacuated in time, or not.

Posted by: oobie doobie | September 3, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Bush 41 must be SOOOOO ashamed of his idiot son for putting an end to the Bush Company, er, family dynasty.

It's over, turn out the lights...

Posted by: Magoo | September 3, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

If President Bush had come to the convention; he'd have been flambed for attending a political event in the wake of Hurricane Gustav. But since he didn't come; he's ridiculed for not attending because he is no longer "loved" and the GOP wants to "distance themselves from him". Whether President Bush has done a good job or not (most will say not); what's clear is the media en masse and anyone who's a Democrat never gave him a chance. John McCain and Sarah Palin are, and if they win, will get the same treatment from the no longer free, but bought and paid for liberal, press.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I always liked Bush 41. Moderately conservative, realistic, "prudent." Also, widely experienced and, ultimately, decent.

Imagine the number of times he must have been cringing over the last eight years.

Posted by: Tim | September 3, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Bush 41 did not go to Baghdad, a lesson that Bush 43 could have used. It had to be tough on Bush 41 to have to sit there and acknowledge that Bush 43 was his son, a son who so mangled the presidency that Bush 41 and Barbara had to sit and listen as the house that Bush 43 built was torn down before their very eyes. To have to now worship the man that your son strangled in the SC primary in 2000 is a real act of partisan politics.

Despite all the hoopla about country first, the real show was about partisan politics, again at its worst. The snide, mean, and sarcastic comments coming from a party that has approproated God for its own is telling.

God is saying something by the line-up of potential speakers at the Republican convention: Gustav, Hannah, Ike, and Josephine. What a fired-up cast. One woders what Pat Robertson and James Dobson have to say.

Posted by: Earl C | September 3, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Who said having a no-good son will make a parent look bad? Nothing has made this country appreciate HW more than than having to suffer W. Of course, we shouldn't forgive him for raising the worst president in the history of the U.S.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I noticed that 41 was not wearing a flag lapel pin.... does this mean he hates America too?

But seriously, folks, HW had the good sense to keep out of the public eye during W's worst acts, and refrained from making statements either for or against his son. A wise choice when trying to salvage the family name.
I think this election will retire 2 political families; Bush, naturally, and (hopefully) Clinton. It's a new century, time to move on.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | September 3, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I noticed that 41 was not wearing a flag lapel pin.... does this mean he hates America too?

But seriously, folks, HW had the good sense to keep out of the public eye during W's worst acts, and refrained from making statements either for or against his son. A wise choice when trying to salvage the family name.
I think this election will retire 2 political families; Bush, naturally, and (hopefully) Clinton. It's a new century, time to move on.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | September 3, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

You wrote: "You wonder which Bush these delegates actually like better."

What is wrong with you? You ask questions like these as if you have never even heard of the United States, or that you have not been around the political world since 1980. What is wrong with you?

No one likes George W. Bush. NO ONE! His own party won't let him come and speak. The only reason the delegates stood for GHW Bush was because he was THERE. No one likes him either. Holy God, man. What is wrong with you?

The Bush family has ruined this country. Want to talk about drugs for arms Eugene "Call the Vice President" Hassenfuss, want to talk about Neil Bush and the S & L scandal, want to talk about Jeb and something about a stolen election, want to talk about the chimp in the WH, how about even Big Eyed Momma and her "that should work out pretty good for them" Katrina comments.

The Bush Family has scalded America. The Bush family has fleeced America. The Bush family has abused, used, manipulated, disgraced and profoundly misdirected it from its high goals.

What is wrong with you, Dionne? Have you not been conscious for the last 30 years?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Don't bask too much in the love George H.W. Bush. Just remember G.W. is your progeny. I'd would be ashamed to show my face. Humility and self-reflection doesn't seem to be one of the Bush's strong suits.

Posted by: rick | September 3, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain in 2008

Posted by: Gary | September 3, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

What went unmentioned in the salute to Bush41 was the terrorist attack he ordered on innocent Panamanian citizens in order to capture one thug (Noriega) whom he had hired when Bush41 headed the CIA. In that terrible assault, more Panamanians were slain, proportionately, that the U.S. lost in the tragedy of 911. The media and the public choose to ignore this fact. Noriega is in the process of appealing for release. The Panamanian citizens are stil very seriously dead.
HRM

Posted by: merhoff | September 3, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Reading the posts from so many fools is entertaining. It is good to see the hatred and venom that is spewed by the perfect and righteous left. I am looking forward to watching the panic level heighten as the debates reveal Obama as an empty suit without a teleprompter and a prepared pep rally speech to read from. While extremely eloquent, as Lieberman mentioned, I will be surprised if he is able to debate on issues that he hasn’t had time to prepare a speech for. Thanks for the laughs! I look forward to many more from the dems.

Posted by: ts | September 3, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse


"The Panamanian citizens are stil very seriously dead."

That should read, and be emphasized,
"STILL VERY SERIOUSLY DEAD."

Posted by: merhoff | September 3, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

According to info on the Federal Election Commission's website, 28% of the U.S. population consider themselves to be evangelical Christian. since most of them vote Republican, perhaps 25 of the 28%, that means that the Republican party's constitution is 50% evangelical Christian. It's surprising, but not unexpected, that George H.W. Bush would be greeted warmly. Bush Sr. was/is a decent and honorable man, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Posted by: FEC.Information | September 3, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Whether President Bush has done a good job or not (most will say not); what's clear is the media en masse and anyone who's a Democrat never gave him a chance."

This statement horrifies me. When Dubya and his entourage were spreading their lies about WMD in Iraq and insisting we had to make a pre-emptive strike (usually code for "We're the bad guys"), the media en masse didn't just roll over and play dead. They behaved as though they were official spokespeople of the White House. There were very few who dared to question him, and those who did were decried as traitors to our country for exercising our Constitutional duty. This includes The Washington Post, who later admitted to failing in this regard.

Posted by: BTM | September 3, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Good point, BTM.

After eight years of continual failure and incompetence, America can't risk another bad choice by the GTA Old Party.

ENOUGH!

Posted by: Will in Seattle | September 3, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Of course people love George H.W. Bush. He's a fine and decent man who put his country above personal ambitions. Too bad frustrated yippee wannabees and bitter old dried up leftists can't recognize that. He personifies what's some of what's good about this country, but these people still repeat manufactured rumors about him despite nationally televised admissions of far worse---only the tip of that iceberg---from his successor. The irony of it is that GHWB has been kind and gracious in his treatment of WJC.

Posted by: D.C.educated&MovedOn | September 3, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't give a damn what her daughter and crazy boyfriend do.

Palin is a fake selling snake oil with John McCain. Just wait and see if they manage to get elected!

Posted by: sanity | September 3, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

D.C.educated&MovedOn:

Who gives a damn about George H.W. Bush?
He was fine, but who cares? That's history.

Now, thanks to his wonderful son, and now McCain and Palin, we will continue to decline as a nation as we have declined during G.W.'s disastrous administration.

Posted by: sanity | September 3, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

EJ, you really wonder who they like better? Heck, W's popularity with Republicans is barely above 50%-- I have to figure Old 41's is a good bit higher than that.
Very interesting that the dominant themes of the night were "anybody but Bush!"

Posted by: DB | September 3, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

senior is a lying idiot. junior's judgment stinks and what he says doesn't matter. though he might have said, here, 'the responsibility lies with the republican party, instead of 'rests with me'

November 14, 2002 - "The Gulf War in the 1990s lasted five days on the
ground. I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last
five days, or five weeks or five months. But it certainly isn't going to
last any longer than that." - Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.


* March 16, 2003 - "I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from
the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be
greeted as liberators." - U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney to U.S.
television network NBC.

May 1, 2003 - "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle
of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." - U.S.
President George W. Bush, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln under a banner
declaring "Mission Accomplished


* October 25, 2006 - "It's my responsibility to provide the American
people with a candid assessment on the way forward ... Absolutely, we're
winning." - Bush.

January 10, 2007 - "The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the
American people -- and it is unacceptable to me ... Where mistakes have
been made, the responsibility "rests" with me." - Bush.

Posted by: dumassio | September 3, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

senior is a lying idiot. junior's judgment stinks and what he says doesn't matter. though he might have said, here, 'the responsibility lies with the republican party, instead of 'rests with me'

November 14, 2002 - "The Gulf War in the 1990s lasted five days on the
ground. I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last
five days, or five weeks or five months. But it certainly isn't going to
last any longer than that." - Then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.


* March 16, 2003 - "I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from
the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be
greeted as liberators." - U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney to U.S.
television network NBC.

May 1, 2003 - "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle
of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." - U.S.
President George W. Bush, aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln under a banner
declaring "Mission Accomplished


* October 25, 2006 - "It's my responsibility to provide the American
people with a candid assessment on the way forward ... Absolutely, we're
winning." - Bush.

January 10, 2007 - "The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the
American people -- and it is unacceptable to me ... Where mistakes have
been made, the responsibility "rests" with me." - Bush.

Posted by: dumassio | September 3, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

ya forget how much they stood by him, until it became impolitic to do so. the right supported his vicious aggression and his lying.

Posted by: memory failure | September 3, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

In defense of Sarah Palin, the leaders of
the Christian right have made it clear about how they define a Christian.

We don't care if you sin.
We are not bothered if you put your ambition ahead of the needs of your children. If you have lied or broken the law, we will look the other way. It all comes down to your stand on guns and fetuses. Vote the right way, and you have our blessing.

They are not concerned about actual issues, other than their issue, the establishment of a Christian Theocracy in the United States.

Posted by: sanity | September 3, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Babs "they are better off(after Katrina)" Bush and Pappi Bush really looked old and white..... next to McCain they look like twins of the same ick!

Posted by: Dubya! | September 3, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse


The Bushes don't care about their legacy, the GOP, the gov't, anything.

They got paid, b*tch.

In full.

Meet America's most successful gangsta family.

Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | September 3, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Some months ago, Bush 41 was speechifying. The talk turned precariously close to matters involving sonny boy POTUS. Daddy broke down into sobs. Later, he attributed his emotion to old age. The Bushes don't go in for all that Librul psychology cr@p and refuse to introspect or be afforded an opportunity to review their own mental processes. Could it be that Bush 41 is disappointed in Bush 43?

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | September 3, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Hee!

Posted by: Adam | September 3, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE AND VIDEO THAT GIVES INSIGHT INTO SARAH PALIN'S VIEWS ON WILDLIFE PROTECTION:


Have you ever heard of aerial hunting? It's a brutal practice. Wolves are shot from low-flying aircraft or chased to exhaustion, then killed at point-blank range.

Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for Vice President, promotes this barbaric practice, exploiting a loophole in the Federal Airborne Hunting Act to allow private wolf killers to shoot down wolves using aircraft. We have to get the word out about this!

Please watch this powerful video by Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, and then share it with every wildlife lover you know:

http://actionfund.defenders.org/palinvideo

Posted by: MEW | September 3, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Former President Bush was the best president this country ever had. He was an excellent example of a leader who did what he believed in, not what the party told him to do. Remember his brilliant diplomacy that led to improved relations with the rest of the world and paid off in the first Gulf War? He didn't call the Soviets names like Reagan did, and his measured, rational approach paid off.

Then there was his economic policy, not exactly popular with his party at the time (ultimately costing him a second term), but which he decided on because he believed it would be best for the country. Clinton ended up capitalizing on it, but the growth started during his term.

Remember the Clean Air Act? I could go on and on. The Republican right keeps talking about Reagan this and that, but George H.W. Bush was a brilliant, level-headed president who set a great example for leaders everywhere.

Posted by: Mary | September 4, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

You people do not know what you want. As someone previously wrote in the comments - if GW would have shown up at the convention you people would have complained that he did not pay attention to hurricane Gustav! Now, he went to Texas to follow up on hurricane Gustav and you still aren't happy with that! What don't you all stick your "thumbs up your you-know-what and SHUT-UP!"

I hope Obama does not get in the White House - the white people will really get the shaft!

Also, when Barack was asked once about him not being nominated for president would he consider the VP job and he said "no!" He said he is not running for VP - he is running for president!!!! Boy, is he one ARROGANT S-O-B!!!!!!!!!!!

I wish from all my heart that George and Laura really enjoy life after the White House - they really deserve it!!!!

Posted by: Carol | September 4, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

I just read the summary of The Post articles about the GOP convention. My how silly they all seem and how biased they are! But what would one expect from The Post? Keep up the good work! It helps my students learn what biased journalism is! When I was a child I was, incorrectly, told that if I had nothing to say, "keep quiet". The Post should take a lesson from my late parents. I haven't, so may I work for The Post?

Posted by: George H. Yount | September 4, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

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