On the US Capitol riot of January 6, which many Republican elected officers have sought to downplay in its aftermath, Bush stated this: “The violent assault on the Capitol — and disruption of a constitutionally mandated meeting of Congress — was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”

On whether or not the 2020 election was stolen, as former President Donald Trump (and plenty of of his allies in Congress) proceed to insist, Bush had a one-word reply: “No.”

On Trump’s takeover of the GOP, Bush was dismissive: “History and the United States has shown these populist movements begin to fritter over time, and so I’m optimistic about democracy.”

On immigration, Bush rejected the method adopted by Trump to weaponize the difficulty throughout his 2016 marketing campaign (“Build the wall!”) and through his time in the White House. “There needs to be an overhaul, which means that we need to get politics out of the system and get sober-minded people focusing on a) what’s best for our economy and b) what’s best for our country,” he stated.

And on President Joe Biden, who Trump and Republicans have insisted is in the early levels of a socialist takeover of presidency, Bush was praiseworthy: “He’s off to a good start, it looks like.”

The distinction — on practically each difficulty of import to the nation — is gorgeous. And speaks to how radically the Republican Party and what it stands for has been reworked by Trump’s rise and continued dying grip on the GOP.

What’s outstanding is that Bush wasn’t the head of the Republican Party all that way back! We’re not speaking about somebody who led the GOP in the Nineteen Seventies or Eighties. Bush was president in the 2000s — and was the final Republican elected president earlier than Trump gained in 2016. Less than a decade separate Bush’s presidency from Trump’s. And but, Bush’s model of what it means to be a Republican is unrecognizable from the place the GOP stands immediately.

Remember that Bush ran as a self-proclaimed “compassionate conservative.” He repeatedly pushed for complete immigration reform that included a path to citizenship for those in the United States illegally. And maybe most significantly, he was relentlessly centered on decency and civility in politics and life.

“I’m not sure that respect and civility are a political philosophy so much as they are an understanding of the importance of decency in society, whether in the political arena or how you treat your neighbor. There’s no question we need respect and civility.”

Contrast that with Trump’s repeated assertions that his political opponents had been, amongst different issues, “evil.” One instance (of many): Acquitted by the Senate over impeachment expenses associated to his dealing with of the US relationship with Ukraine, Trump used the discussion board of the National Prayer Breakfast to blast the “dishonest and corrupt people” who had pushed for his impeachment. He additionally questioned whether or not Speaker Nancy Pelosi (California) truly prayed for him; “Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so,” stated Trump.
Trump, in truth, expressly positioned himself — and his followers — as a rejection of the institution politics that he stated the Bushes represented. “We need another Bush in office about as much as we need Obama to have a 3rd term,” Trump tweeted way back in 2013. During the 2016 marketing campaign he would commonly mock Jeb Bush, the youthful brother of George W. Bush and the perceived front-runner for the GOP nomination at the begin of the race, as out of contact with the current views of the Republican base.
And the Bushes responded in sort. The late Barbara Bush, the mom of George W. Bush and Jeb Bush, said this in 2016 of Trump: “He doesn’t give many answers to how he would solve problems. He sort of makes faces and says insulting things.” Neither George W. Bush nor his spouse, Laura, voted for Trump in 2016; they each selected “none of the above” possibility, according to a spokesman. Bush did not make public who he voted for in 2020 however in the days instantly after the election, as Trump was persevering with to contest the outcomes, Bush very publicly congratulated Biden for his victory.
“Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country,” Bush said. “The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can.”
Bush’s feedback that had been launched on Thursday about the state of the nation come in the wake of a series of retirement announcements by Republican senators who carefully recognized along with his most well-liked interpretation of what it means to be a Republican. The choices by Sens. Roy Blunt (Missouri), Rob Portman (Ohio), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), Richard Burr (North Carolina) and even Richard Shelby (Alabama) counsel that the rise of Trumpism — and the resultant decline in Bushism — has made the GOP a spot they not really feel totally snug in.

Polling means that view of these senators — and the forty third president — are in the minority inside the celebration. Trump stays the hottest determine amongst Republican base voters and the overwhelming majority of celebration elected officers have averted any direct criticism out of concern of drawing his ire.

Bush, who is constitutionally barred from serving as president once more, is much less constrained.


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