Bush funeral: Reconciliation and civility Update: Except for Hillary
Update from Thomas Lifson:
In contrast to the politeness of everyone else, Hillary Clinton refused to acknowledge the arrival and greeting of President and Mrs. Trump as they joined the other presidents sitting in the front row of the George H.W. Bush funeral at the National Cathedral. President Trump leaned over his wife to shake hands with President and Mrs. Obama, who graciously reciprocated. Bill Clinton, sitting on the other side of Michelle Obama, did not reach out to shake hands, but at least looked in the direction of President Trump. But not Hillary Clinton.
The woman defeated by Donald Trump stared straight ahead, refusing to acknowledge the arrival of the president of the Unmited States only a few feet away. Neither a glance nor a nod broke the frozen expression of anger on her visage.
What a beautiful thing to see adults finally in charge.
At President George H.W. Bush's funeral, which is going on live right here, we see politics really, truly put aside for a moment, and the nation focused on the legacy and merits of the first President Bush, who, yes indeed, most certainly was good man. It's what he deserves, and the event is staying about him.
No foot-stomping Wellstone funeral, no bitter McCain funeral. The Bushes are keeping it classy, with class something they've always been known for, and it's nice to see that they haven't changed. Their bitter political spats with President Trump are not going to dirty this up. They want the event to really be about President Bush and no one else.
Based on news accounts, the Bushes apparently have forgiven President Trump for his harsh rhetoric in the past, and reportedly assured President Trump they weren't going to debase the funeral of their beloved patriarch with anti-Trump tub-thumping of the kind that marred the McCain funeral. Their man is going to heaven after all, so why crow out any bitterness? Oh, and I am starting to like them again...
Trump, in turn, has apparently accepted that and has responded as an able and cordial host, so much nicer than his previous incarnation, offering to house the Bush family in the official guest residence, prooffering the air transport and very grand state funeral. But also doing little nice things good people do: first lady Melania Trump reached out to the in-town Bush family like a nice neighbor and offered them a reception. Very welcoming. The Bush family wasn't left in that guest house alone.
The news accounts have been wonderful - a collage of testimonies from people who knew President Bush in a non-political context - the nurse here, the trashman there, the guy who served him food, the lady who got a letter from him, as well as the old political cronies. The picture it creates is one of authenticity - how could anyone dispute that Bush was a terrific man in real life with so many random accounts all saying the same thing? Yes, people tend to say nice things about the deceased, but not always in the case of politicians. Well, Bush got all nice things said and from people who had nothing to gain from it. It adds up.
The entente cordial of the House of Trump and the House of Bush is frankly, wonderful. We don't expect this sort of thing in the age we live in, the Age of Polarization. If it lasts, it suggests that Republicans may just get their act together in time for the next election, the one that will be exceptionally hard given that it's up against the new phenomenon of 'ballot harvesting.'
But it also shows what putting aside differences can do for Democrats, who up until now, have been in full 'derangement syndrome' and absolutely geared for battle, considering all Republicans pariahs. Might something like this be an example for them, even for a little while. Time will tell, but for now, it's a breath of fresh air. Let's hope it's permanent and something more can be done with it.
Image credit: ABC News screengrab