Saturday, May 2, 2020

Abiden with Me, Fast Falls the Eventide

This really needs to stop.

I haven't watched this new Dubya video, and see no reason to.  If he made it from a jail cell in the Hague, I might be more interested.  The rehabilitation of George W. Bush by Democrats is one of the most repugnant phenomena of the Trump years.  I can't think of a good reason why anyone should pay attention to what appears to be a routine exercise in platitudes, which of course he didn't write himself anyway.  Note too that it's identified as a message from "President George W. Bush," because like any ex-President he gets to use the title.  Trump will get to do it too, just in case you think it's reasonable.

But Katie Hill, a former Congresswoman from California, takes the syndrome to such depths that it beggars belief.  That's kind of okay, because she makes it even clearer how irrational, what a distraction this thought experiment is.

Just what am I supposed to imagine?  How would Bush still be President?  If I'm to fantasize that a fairy godmother or wise space aliens remove Donald Trump and put Dubya in his place, I would rather fantasize that they put, say, Bernie Sanders in the Oval Office instead.  The fairy godmother could turn Congressional Republicans into mice, and replace them with 435 clones of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ro Khanna.  This would be very far from an ideal situation, but it would be a lot better than what we have now, and also better than giving George W. Bush an opportunity to destroy the economy again and kill another million or so people with illegal wars.  You don't think he's learned from his "mistakes," do you?  He's never faced any accountability at all.

Or maybe I'm supposed to imagine that I'm still living in 2001-2009 America, and Katie Hill tells me that as bad as Bush is, he's better than future President Donald Trump?  No, this makes no sense at all.  If I were back in that period, I would still feel terrible, and the prospect of another vile president would not make me feel any better.  Nor, I believe, would most liberals, who as I remember fell into despair when Bush stole the 2000 election.  Hill apologizes, with typical politician's smarm, if her remarks "seemed dismissive of the horrors of the Bush years," which they do.  She seems not to remember them, and can only think of the invasion of Iraq in terms of its cost to Americans; the millions of Afghan and Iraqi dead, wounded, tortured, and made refugees are not on her radar.

If Bush were somehow in his fifth term as President today, would he have handled the COVID-19 crisis any better?  His record on civil liberties, disaster management (hello? Hurricane Katrina!), and running the economy indicates that he'd be at least as bad as Trump.  Like Trump, he was warned of impending disaster, and ignored it.  If she's going to get all weepy over a propaganda video, I'm damn glad she's not in Congress now: she'd vote for another invasion in a heartbeat.

I also don't get what having been "an LGBT teenage girl" has to do with anything. (For what it's worth, she's not LGBT -- she's either L or B.)  Maybe she's forgotten about Bush's horrible record on LGBT issues.  When he was President he wanted a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, remember?  It's possible to believe, if one is driven by wishful thinking (and Hill evidently is) that this was as politically calculated and expedient as Barack Obama's opposition to same-sex marriage, but that's the point.  If he were President now, he'd have to appease the same Christian-fascist constituency he pandered to before.

What it's all about, as usual with nice liberal Democrats, is her feelings.  She assumes that "we all" are weeping with her.  The next time she feels tempted to go on Twitter and tell the world how "we all" should feel about George W. Bush, she should resist the temptation.  Crying doesn't make the world a better place.  Yes, Trump is terrible, a monster, but that doesn't justify the liberal amnesia for Bush.  No wonder they're supporting Joe Biden now.