George W. Bush was a bumbling, lying, arrogant fool of a president who mired us in two tarbaby wars that we’re still trying to get out of, wars that have cost untold treasure and taken thousands of American lives.
So when an ex-president with this kind of a dismal track record has some negative comments, however circumspectly phrased, for the current president – a fellow Republican – you know things are seriously amiss on Pennsylvania Avenue. Bush’s comments underline the latest, lowest presidential poll numbers ever for this early in an administration. America is clearly, justifiably concerned, while leaks flow from every branch and department of government with the regularity of the sunrise.
Bush II told Today’s Matt Lauer that “power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.”
Trump has clearly stepped over the abuse line with his barring of critical media from a so-called press “gaggle” last week. To their credit, the AP and Time Magazine didn’t attend in protest to the barring of outlets like the New York Times, CCN, and the Guardian.
“We need the media to hold people like me to account,” Bush told Lauer, and that a free press “is indispensable to democracy.”
Trump and his co-president and creepy henchman, Steve Bannon, are going to learn the hard way that you shouldn’t go to war with people who buy their ink by the gallon. Or have access to a computer. His war with the “enemies of America” is devolving into a battle of wits, and Trump clearly is not armed.
Bush said he spent a lot of time during his presidency trying to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to embrace an independent press.
“It’s kind hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves,” he said.
Even this dude can see that the last thing Trump wants is a free press, calling him to account at every turn of the twisted, surreal road of hate and division he has set this country upon.
Here’s Trump’s take on a free press and the Constitution: “They always bring up the First Amendment,” he whined at last week’s gathering of the crazed: CPAC. Trump is more of a Second Amendment guy, of course.
And as far as the part of the Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion, the reign of Donald has unleashed a torrent of anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic hate crimes that go beyond anything seen since Hitler took power. The election of Donald Trump has given the green light to every sneaking lowlife in America to defile cemeteries and make bomb scares with no apparent accountability.
It is totally symptomatic of Trump’s reflexive denial of any negativity attached to his administration that he has gone so far as to theorize that liberals might actually be behind the anti-Semitic nightmares occurring all across the country. “Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people – or to make others — look bad,” is how he sees it.
This is a despicable and sick rationale, more worthy of a Klansman than the President of the United States.
Thankfully, there have arisen legions of well-organized and dead-serious citizens groups that are resisting and protesting against this right wing coalition of fear- and hate-mongers.
And what is Trump’s triple-paranoid reaction? Obama is behind it all. He actually said this and obviously believes it, as much as he believes in anything.
Bush also back-handed Trump’s immigration stance by saying he favors a policy “… that’s welcoming and that upholds the law.”
In a later interview with People magazine, Bush said this of what he sees in this administration: “I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling and I don’t like the people feeling alienated. Nobody likes that.”
He summed up the political climate in Washington as “pretty ugly.”
Just like the President.
(Editor's note: This column by Bob Ingram was reprinted with the author's permission. For more on Bob Ingram's blog and his political cartoons with Don Day, go to http://travelswithtrump.blogspot.com/)