Democrats Swoon Over George W. Bush, In Match Made in Hell
After George W. Bush gave a speech comparing 9/11 to January 6th, a parade of high-profile Democrats stepped over the grave of American liberalism to praise him
Former president and onetime ultimate blue-party villain George W. Bush gave a speech Saturday, commemorating 9/11 at the crash site of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Much of what he said was tonally quite like the speeches of his presidency, denouncing the evildoers, praising American resilience, calling for pride in “our wounded nation.” Then he shifted gears.
“We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within,” he said, adding, in a passage that sent tents a-pitching across Washington:
There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.
A few years ago, George W. Bush was on track to be remembered as one of the worst presidents of all time, if not the worst. He was both more disdainful and more ignorant of the law than Nixon, his arsonist economic stewardship was rivaled only by Hoover, and intellectwise he made Chester A. Arthur look like Copernicus. He was also a worse and more destructive president than Donald Trump, and it wasn’t close. Trump talked big, but it was Bush who actually smashed norms on a grand scale, from international law to human rights to adherence to the most basic constitutional principles, in pursuit of policies that Brown University just estimated cost $8 trillion and led to 900,000 deaths.
Yet Bush just bought himself piles of sunny write-ups in future history books with this past weekend’s speech. The cost turned out to be minimal, as is often the case in politics: he did modern Democrats one rhetorical solid, essentially comparing 9/11 to the events of January 6th, implying that the al-Qaeda hijackers to the rioters of January 6th are “children of the same foul spirit.” Blue-party pols and their pals in the press gushed with admiration for Bush’s “beautiful and poignant” turns of phrase:
This is an excerpt from today’s subscriber-only post. To read the entire article and get full access to the archives, you can subscribe for $5 a month or $50 a year.