Commentary: Dick Polman – Wise Words Republicans Will Ignore

What a shame that so many prominent people are calling on the moxie to tell the truth when it is too late to do anything.

That’s what happened the other day, when George W. Bush used his September 11 anniversary speech to rightly denounce Trump’s insurgents as the national equivalent of foreign jihadists.

“(We) have seen more and more evidence that dangers to our country can come not only from borders but also from the violence that gathers within,” Bush told the National Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania. “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their contempt for pluralism, in their contempt for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same filthy spirit, and it is our permanent duty to confront them. “

Dubya understood correctly. In the two decades since September 11, more Americans have been killed by right-wing domestic terrorists than by swarthy foreigners with supposedly funny names. Looking ahead, our top law enforcement officials have identified white supremacists as the greatest threat of all. Indeed, Bush said in an interview six months ago that the evil-minded children who stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 made him “sick to the stomach.”

But alas, Bush’s wise words will not be a mountain of beans in his mad party, because he left it behind years ago.

I’m not here to whitewash Bush’s track record – he and his minions relentlessly fueled the polarization after 9/11, equating dissent with terrorist aid (in 2002 they even said that Democratic Senator Max Cleland , a vet who left his limbs in ‘Nam, was sort of a sidekick for Osama bin Laden) – but by current GOP standards, Bush was a mother Theresa who welcomed immigrants of color to these shores. In addition, he warned in 2005 that “if we wait for a pandemic to appear, it will be too late to prepare,” which is the reverse of today’s death cult feast, who seems to want to kill as many people as possible.

Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections – with the sole exception of Bush in 2004. So it would be good for Republicans and rabid right-wingers to heed his call to “confront” local terrorists, to consider it their “duty”.

Problem is, Republicans demolished Bush’s house in 2016 when Trump terminated Jeb with extreme prejudice. Old-fashioned “establishment” conservatism has been kicked out of the party, replaced by populist demagoguery and Putin’s groupie cult. It has only metastasized since.

If George W. had stepped in in 2016 to save his party from MAGA madness, he might have been able to help stem the toxic tide, but we’ll never know. Bush, regardless of his many flaws, is at least a gentleman, but in the current iteration of the GOP, there is no place for gentlemen. As the latest national poll points out, 63% of Republicans still believe Trump should be the party leader.

So kudos to Bush for calling Trump’s henchmen terrorists who defile democracy, but at this point Trump’s followers don’t care about democracy at all. They are already on the verge of dismissing all future Democratic victories as “voter fraud,” starting with a Gavin Newsom victory when the California governor was recalled on Tuesday.

They also eviscerated Bush. A spokesperson for radio host Alex Jones wrote: “Bush is part of the same globalist coven that supports BLM and Antifa. … I don’t compare myself to extremists overseas, but if Bush’s definition of “a bad-spirited child” is someone who hates collectivism and refuses to be vaccinated, then yes, I am proudly a “child of evil spirit”.

Refuse to get vaccinated… don’t get me started.

When you look at what happened to the Conservative movement, Bush now looks as run down as a VCR.

Indeed, when he confidently predicted in March that Trumpism would “start to crumble over time” and that he was “optimistic about democracy”, I suspected that history had already erased the bandaged.

Dick Polman, a seasoned national political columnist, writes on He can be contacted at [email protected]

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