Still looking for a ring to kiss

November 13, 2006

It’s been a bizarre five years, no doubt about it, but the strangest days of the Dubya Decade may still be ahead.

Though the midterm Democratic sweep has resulted in King George II getting the most skeptical and even mocking press attention he’s ever received, don’t make the mistake of thinking the mass-market media have finally wised up. They’re still looking for a ring to kiss and a soft spot where they can bend their knees. It’s just that the acclaim of the courtiers is being transferred from Incurious George to — and here’s the strangeness — his dad.

Reading this Newsweek story about the return to influence of Bush Senior and his cabal, it appears that the press’s collective memory has been expunged of the fact that George Herbert Walker Bush all but fled Washington D.C. two steps ahead of a shower of eggs and rotten fruit.

The GOP winger base scorned Bush Senior as the Man Who Screwed Up Reagan’s Legacy. Like his spawn, King George I went from a commanding high in the polls, thanks to the first Iraq invasion, to barrel bottom lows. In 1988 he plastered Mike Dukakis, admittedly a dreadful candidate and a suicidal choice for the Democrats, through a low, mean and stupid campaign engineered by Lee Atwater, the mangy cur whose fleas Karl Rove so proudly wears. Then, when Bill Clinton proved to be an unexpectedly tough candidate, Bush Senior spent his re-election bid wandering around the recessionary landscape like a head-injury patient, squawking “I care!” while his vice president and personal Mini Me, Dan Quayle, commanded the spotlight to launch attacks on . . . Murphy Brown.

Remember the trumped-up war over Noriega? Remember the appointment of Clarence Thomas, arguably the single dumbest Supreme Court justice in U.S. history? Remember the troglodyte-infested 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston, with Pat Buchanan as the keynote frother? Remember the Global Crossing stock scam? Remember the pardons for the Iran-Contra conspirators, who might have sent Bush to jail if they talked? Remember NAFTA, the creation of which was spearheaded under Bush (and which, yes, Bill Clinton signed off on)? Christ, remember Bush puking on the Japanese?

The only one with any reason to think fondly of the King George I administration is William Kristol, who was able to leverage his job as advisor to the vice president (aka, “Dan Quayle’s Brain”) into the founding editorship of The Weekly Standard.

Still, I have to say I kind of like that Newsweek cover, with George Senior looming large while Lil’ Dubya is reduced to toddler size. For a guy whose obsession with outdoing his father is already legendary, that’s gotta hurt.

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12 Responses to “Still looking for a ring to kiss”

  1. Mark Says:

    You know it’s gotten bad when GHWB starts looking good.

  2. Rix Says:

    I attribute the 1994 “Contract With America” debacle as much on the right’s anger & disillusionment with George I – his failure to give them open door access to the White House, & his loss to Clinton – as on anything specific Clinton had done in two years, including the health care mess. Although their hatred for Clinton was irrational, & the image of Bill dancing to Fleetwood Mac on election night just burned into their souls, if Bush had narrowly won in ’92 there’d still have been some kind of Gingrich-led revolution.

  3. geoff Says:

    I think GHWB should be in jail for all sorts of underground shenanigans he helped engineer in the 1980s with Bill Casey (from the October Surprise on through the genocidal wars in South and Central America financed by crack, etc). But I’ll give him credit for getting one thing right: he thought Rumsfeld and Cheney were wackos, and treated them as such.

  4. Scott Stiefel Says:

    Kiichi Miyazawa was his name.


  5. There was a guy on tv this morning who has written about the bush family and knows them. He said the bush family went nuts about that Newsweek cover. That alone made me smile.
    Hell, next to this pretzelnit, Nixon looks good.

  6. Steven Hart Says:

    POP: Was it Kevin Philips? He write “American Dynasty,” which was a very unflattering look at the Bushes.

  7. cynic Says:

    |Republican Hagiography|™ is now a full-time growth industry.

    I guess if these people were able to rehabilitate Tricky Dick Nixon, they figure they can make a silk purse out of a sow’s bush…

  8. J Says:

    The Bushes have been disastrous for the GOP. Should the Dems manage to take back the White House in ’08, then fail to keep the liberals in check, look for another Bush to be elected president in 2012. We’d have never had a Bush presidency had the Dems presented the people with viable alternatives.

  9. Naomi Says:

    Lest we forget–Ross Perot had a great deal to do with GHWB’s defeat. It’s impossible to know if Clinton would have won in 1992 without Perot’s “spoilage” of the ballot…

    The Right “cried foul” and the Left kept their mouths shut, accepting the win and going on to an embattled presidency that triumphed in the end. Which is not to say that Clinton didn’t make mistakes–two leap to my liberal mind: NAFTA and Media Deregulation.

    I soak up articles like Newsweek’s (and the tone of this blog)–they gladden my heart.

    Schadenfreude!

    Naomi

  10. Dave Says:

    Gosh darn it, Naromi, stop calling 3rd party candidates “spoilers”. Stop putting your hopes in the corporate party or the other corporate party. Imagine freedom and responsible government.

  11. Mohamed Says:

    Gosh darn it, Naromi, stop calling 3rd party candidates “spoilers”. Stop putting your hopes in the corporate party or the other corporate party. Imagine freedom and responsible government.

  12. unitedcats Says:

    Yes, with any luck the only thing future Bush’s will be running for is the Canadian border. On the other hand, the twins will be old enough to run on a joint ticket in 2016. That gives me nightmares. ;) —Doug


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