The Party’s Over

George Herbert Walker Bush dreamed of a certain kind of Republican party.  The same Republican party which David Brooks has spent 30 years conning credulous Beltway chumps and cloistered intellectuals into believing existed just beyond the visible spectrum of mere mortals and vituperative, foul-mouthed Liberal bloggers.  A party whose past is always glorious and whose renaissance is always just around the corner.

George Herbert Walker Bush's dreamed of a GOP run as a gentleman's farm: orderly and well-tended by old-money, patrician internationalists.  Maintained by loyalty and noblesse oblige.  But Bush 41 was also perfectly willing to countenance putting every monstrous trait that has come to define the modern Republican party in-harness to pull the plow and bust the sod of his gentleman's farm.

And in the end, that's what killed his dream.

Loyalty, for example, is a fine attribute. but like Trump's most servile stooges,  Bush 41 practiced loyalty to a fault.  He and Pitchfork Pat Buchanan were the last defenders to Richard Nixon -- a service rendered to party over country for which Bush 41 was amply rewarded and without which he never would have risen to the highest office.

And, like Mike "Albino Eyebrows" Pence, Bush 41 saw nothing wrong with climbing the greasy pole of American politics by slapping on a fake smile and veeping for a president whose beliefs he despised and who held him at arm's length in a stasis field bemused contempt.   During his veephood, the cartoonist Garry Trudeau depicted Bush 41 as completely invisible.  An impotent, disembodied voice floating in the air.  If you lived through those times, you know this was entirely accurate.

Moving on.

Any man who served Nixon and Reagan knew perfectly well what sort of volatile, radioactive ingredients that had gone into building the modern Republican party.  And while Bush 41, gentleman political farmer, had no stomach for dirtying his hands by personally attending to the important business of  rilin' up the grass roots bigots and the imbeciles, he was quote happy to job out that filthy work to the help.  To ace Republican ratfucker, Lee Atwater.  The same Lee Atwater who mentored Karl Rove and George W. Bush in the dark arts of bringing bigots to a fine boil and then getting them to the polls.

And because the party was becoming completely dependent on its radioactive base, the power to make and break its leaders was slipping out of the hands of the party establishment and into the hands Christopaths like Jerry Falwell, amoral thugs like Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay, and the rapidly multiplying national infestation of Hate Radio demagogues like Rush Limbaugh.  George H. W. Bush did not stand athwart this rising tide of racism and paranoia in his party and shout "Stop!": instead he awkwardly surfed it, because God damn he wanted that big desk in the Oval Office.

And when it came to assembling his ticket, like John McCain in 2008, George H. W. Bush in 1988 saw nothing wrong with trying to glean a few more votes from the hill folk by recklessly taking on a dangerously incompetent hack as his running mate.

And on his way out of office, Bush 41 saw no problem with slinging around presidential pardons for the Republican Iraq/Contra traitors like so many Mardis Gras beads, lighting the way for every bottom-feeding Republican goon from Newt Gingrich to Devin Nunes who believes the rule of law does not apply to members of the Party of Personal Responsibility.

Finally, I've at last given up on seeing my slice of the Peace Dividend.

If you're looking for glowing hagiographies or detailed biographies, you can find them everywhere.  Like many of his Beltway running buddies, Chris Cillizza (for example) is falling all over himself to use the death Bush the Elder to revise and extend the biggest lie in American politics:  that the GOP was a hale and healthy creature until something sudden, inexplicable and tectonic changed the entire party from top to bottom at some point during the Obama Administration:
...unbeknownst to the Bushes of the Republican Party, the GOP had fundamentally changed in the eight years that Barack Obama served as president. The Republican base no longer wanted someone who viewed politics as a civic duty and a higher calling; they wanted someone who viewed it as a professional wrestling pay per view.
Of course this is a lie.  I know it.  You know it.  Chris Cillizza and every one of his colleagues know is.  None of that matters.  This is the Beltway, sir.  When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

As for his legacy, George Herbert Walker Bush lived to see one son rise to become the Second Worst President in American history, and the presidential ambitions of another son crushed to a fine powder under the stampede of rank and file bigots and imbeciles of the party to which he devoted his life as they flocked to the banner of the Worst President in American history.

Weeds and feral beasts and meth labs have overrun the gentleman's farm.

The party is over.

The dream is dead.

Behold, a Tip Jar!