Why Did George W. Betray Team GOP?

"In 2020 I boldly declared that Trump was the only thing standing between our country, the American people, and socialism.  I turned out to be correct," said George P. Bush in announcing his candidacy for Texas attorney general.

Nearly 75 million Americans agreed, but his uncle, George W. Bush, was not among them.  It is likely that if George W. had said what George P. did, the Democrats could not have "harvested" enough votes to put their man over the top.  But he didn't.  The result, as George P. pointed out, "was over 30 trillion dollars in total spending and 6 trillion in next year's annual budget."  And that is just the fiscal damage.

In the year 2000, some 50 million people elected George W. Bush president.  Despite his failings, almost all hung with him and re-elected him in 2004.  They understood that politics is a team sport.  They may not have loved their captain, but they understood he was better for the country than the other guy.   The sports enthusiast Bush is, one would think he'd get the concept of teamwork.

He did not.  At least, he did not seem to.  In his bestselling campaign book, Battle for the Soul, Edward-Isaac Dovere gives us a glimpse into what Bush was doing and saying to sabotage Trump and betray the millions of Americans who had backed both men during their presidencies.

"The two presidents hadn't talked much in the months since Obama left office," writes Dovere of Bush and Barack Obama, "though their staffs, along with Clinton's and George H.W. Bush's, were on email chains that featured rapid-fire Trump mocking and consoling one another over the state of the republic."  As someone who voted for both Bushes, reading this made me cringe.

Dovere cited some choice lines from a speech Bush made in October 2017, hosted by the George W. Bush Institute in New York City.  For those who need a refresher, here is the passage that warmed the hearts of Democrats everywhere:

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.

Although Bush did not mention Trump, he did not have to.  His line about "bullying and prejudice in our public life" came right out of the Big Media–Democrat playbook.  Four years later, as he watches most every media smear against Trump prove false, I have to wonder whether Bush regrets having said with Trump in mind, "Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication."

Later in October 2017, Bush joined the four living ex-presidents, including his father, on stage in Houston for the Hurricane Harvey relief concert.  As Dovere reports gleefully, "Their staffs had negotiated to have Trump appear only by video."   

Although Obama had criticized Bush more savagely than Trump ever did, the two were openly chummy.  "Bush leaned in to Obama to share a fast joke," Dovere reports, "and Obama started laughing, crossing his arms and looking down to hold himself in."  Backstage, the five presidents sat for a photo.  Wearing "a Hillary-style white pantsuit," Lady Gaga stood behind them "with her hands on the two Bushes, both of them smiling.  They all knew exactly what message they were sending."  

By 2020, Bush knew enough about Trump's successes to come to his defense.  Trump had revived the economy; cut taxes; rebuilt the military; subdued North Korea; replaced the disastrous NAFTA with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement; reduced regulations; achieved energy independence; built a good chunk of wall; helped move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem; spoken at the March for Life; rescued the U.S. from the delusional Paris Accord; brokered peace throughout the Mideast; filled 500 court vacancies including three in the Supreme Court, most with constitutionalists; started no new wars; and expanded no old ones.

More impressively, Trump accomplished this despite four years of relentlessly malicious and fraudulent media coverage.  Bush knew something about the media.  For eight years, he labored in a media environment very nearly as toxic as the one Trump endured.  The resulting BDS rivaled TDS in its reach and malevolence.

Still, Bush was unmoved.  As the weeks counted down to the November 2020 election, he was the Achilles sulking in his tent.  The Achilles of legend, however, refused finally to see his own men slaughtered and joined the battle.  Bush never left the tent. In betraying Team GOP, Bush, in effect, betrayed Team USA. From reading Dovere, one gets the sense he did not much care.  Bush had a new team now, Team World.

After the events of January 6, 2021, Bush joined his new teammates for an end-zone dance.  Dovere reports, "Clinton, Bush, and Obama released coordinated statements decrying what happened."  Coordinated?  Had the three released coordinated statements decrying the summer of mayhem the left inflicted on America, one might forgive Bush his complicity here, but they did no such thing.

The last the reader sees of George W. in the Dovere book is at the 2021 Inauguration of Joe Biden, an event at which he seems much too comfortable.  Reports Dovere, "Bush leaned in to make a joke to Obama, and they both started laughing."  It gets worse.

On stage with the dignitaries was South Carolina congressman James Clyburn.  As the Washington Post reported in April 2020, "Jim Clyburn changed everything for Joe Biden's campaign."  The Post did not overstate Clyburn's importance.  His endorsement of Biden in the South Carolina primary rescued Biden's faltering campaign.

Bush understood this.  "When Bush saw Clyburn," Dovere reports, "he told him that he was the 'savior,' and that Biden wouldn't have been there without him."  Had Clyburn been thinking, he would have returned the compliment — word for word.

Jack Cashill's latest book, Barack Obama's Promised Land: Deplorables Need Not Apply, is now on pre-sale.  See www.cashill.com for more information.

Image: NIH Image Gallery via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0.

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