Friday, June 26, 2015

daddy bush

W's dad is often cited by my liberal friends as, compared to his scion, a decent president.

Well it depends on how you define decent.

A couple of points to be made and then a coda.

There were two major decisions that Bush senior made that were unconscionable.

The first was selecting Dan Quayle-- a prep boy without much between the ears-- to be his vice presidential candidate. Quayle was more than a lightweight.  He didn't realize he was a lightweight. He had less substance even than W as strange as that might seem. Yet daddy Bush picked Quayle as his number 2 knowing, of course, that in the event of sudden death this vapid child would be the president.

The second unconscionable move--in my opinion--was worse.  When Thurgood Marshall left the court Bush picked Clarence Thomas as his successor.  Thomas may be a bright man--he seemed impressive during the controversial hearing--but the man since he has been on the court has been a mannequin. He never speaks, always, always, votes with the conservatives--he is just about 250 pounds of a guaranteed anti-progressive vote. Yesterday Thomas voted, go figure, against Obama-care. Today, go-figure--he voted against same sex marriage. I don't think he is a conservative ideologue. I think he is a statue.  If there was a liberal who behaved like him I would be equally displeased.  When a president appoints a supreme court justice, that president is appointing, for life, someone who will dispassionately be an arbiter in the most important cases that face this democracy. Bush was willing to imperil the democracy by nominating a non thinker. That Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall is, as my grandmother would have said, a shonda.

The coda: I thought I recalled--and then checked--Bush served as the head of the Republican National Committee during the second Nixon administration. Eventually, Bush did suggest that Nixon resign for the good of the party, but was a Nixon apologist for years.  If you are old enough to remember Watergate and have not been drugged by repeated revisionist history narratives from Fox news types--you knew Nixon was culpable as early as the fall of 1973.  Unless you did not want to see, you knew that Nixon was involved in a conspiracy to obstruct justice--even if you did not buy that he was a weasel as early as the 1952 Checkers speech.  Bush was a puppet of, and then an apologist for, a president who steered this country in an unethical direction that we are still trying to redirect.

Yes, Daddy was better than W in terms of overall work. W bankrupted us, was asleep at the wheel when terrorists destroyed the world trade center, and took a mind boggling myopic approach to addressing the terrorists--(let's attack someone else), and in 8 years could not find bin Laden.

But Daddy knew better than to appoint Clarence Thomas to the supreme court and put us at risk with Danny, I can't spell tomato, Quayle.  Quayle is history, but Thomas will "weigh in" on important matters for decades, and weigh down our democracy.

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