The Left’s Demented Hatred of President George H.W. Bush

Slandering a great American hero right after his death.

George Herbert Walker Bush, America’s 41st president, passed away on Friday night at the age of 94. The last of the World War II generation to occupy the Oval Office, this great patriot devoted his life to serving his country. President George Herbert Walker Bush represented all the best that defines America – courage under fire in the continuing fight for freedom, generosity of spirit, faith in a higher purpose than oneself, and belief in individual dignity and liberty. It is no surprise, therefore, that the America-hating Left wasted no time following George H.W. Bush’s death to savage him. Indeed, they have used all the epithets against the late President Bush as they regularly use against America itself – warmonger, racist, sexist, etc.

George H. W. Bush’s understanding of the perils and tragedy of war was forged as a young torpedo bomber pilot during World War II. He nearly lost his life when forced to bail out of his squadron plane over the Pacific Ocean after coming under attack by Japanese anti-aircraft guns. Building on years of post-war government experience as a congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of the Liaison Office in China, Director of Central Intelligence, and Ronald Reagan’s vice president, he was perhaps the best qualified person to have ever run for president when he campaigned successfully in 1988 to succeed Ronald Reagan. As president and leader of the free world, he presided over the fall of the Soviet Union, the historic reunification of Germany as the linchpin of a more stable Europe, and the first Gulf War that liberated Kuwait from the rapacious grip of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Domestically, he was responsible for a new civil rights law protecting the disabled. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1991, making it easier for employees to sue employers on grounds of discrimination, after having vetoed a bill that he believed would have imposed unreasonable quotas. He worked to improve educational standards and environmental protections.

George H. W. Bush served only one term as president, undone by a weak economy and his breaking of a campaign pledge not to raise taxes. Nevertheless, as former Secretary of State James Baker, one of the late president’s closest friends, said in tribute on Sunday, “I think that, no doubt, he will be remembered as our most-successful one-term president and, perhaps, one of the most successful presidents of all time.” Not to the America-hating leftists, however. They wasted no time in cursing the deceased former president.

 “F*** him,” tweeted feminist activist Anita Sarkeesian. “And f*** media’s historical erasure.” She was particularly disturbed at the late President George H.W. Bush for his launching of the first Gulf War to force Saddam Hussein’s invading forces out of Kuwait. “He was a warmonger whose violence created unliveable (sic) conditions in Iraq hurting civilians, like my family who didn’t have access to life saving drugs or basic food,” she wrote in her tweet. In another tweet, she wrote, “The first gulf war helped solidify the demonization of Muslims and Arabs in the mind’s (sic) of (mostly white) Americans creating far reaching consequences. It also set the stage for Bush Jr to launch another racist war WHICH IS STILL HAPPENING IN CASE YOU FORGOT.”

The first Gulf War was in fact a multinational effort, including Muslim countries in the Middle East region, that liberated the Muslim country of Kuwait from a Stalin-admiring dictator. When that objective was achieved, the war stopped. No further effort was made to topple Hussein from power in Iraq itself. Hussein’s monstrous crimes against his own people dwarfed any civilian casualties that may have been caused by the U.S.-led coalition to oust his forces from Kuwait. The unlivable conditions Sarkeesian complained about were Saddam Hussein’s own doing. He lived in the lap of luxury while his people lived in grinding poverty. Following the end of the first Gulf War, the horrible living conditions and Saddam Hussein’s campaign of genocide within his country continued, along with his defiance of a succession of UN Security Council resolutions. The second Iraq war was launched more than a decade later by President Bush 41’s son, George W. Bush, to finally remove the dictator. Saddam Hussein was the author of his own destiny after having failed miserably the chance to redeem himself following the first Gulf War. As usual, leftists like Anita Sarkeesian will choose the side of the brutal dictator over Americans fighting for freedom and human dignity.

Leftists have also not forgiven a controversial ad used during the late President George H.W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign against former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. The ad featured William Horton, a convicted murderer released in 1986 under a weekend pass program that Dukakis continued to defend even after Horton subsequently kidnapped and raped a woman. Horton happened to be black, which to leftists means that any ad using his picture in a true account of the crime he committed after his release, and noting Dukakis’ unwillingness to change the weekend pass program that made this crime possible, is unforgivably racist.

Amanda Marcotte of Salon was a particularly fierce critic of the Horton ad, accusing George H.W. Bush within hours of his death of being “willing to embrace racial demagoguery from the beginning.” Irrespective of the truth of the ad, she would sacrifice freedom of speech at the altar of identity politics and political correctness that must stamp out all vestiges of so-called white privilege. “Free speech,” she tweeted last April in a foreshadowing of her denunciation of George H.W. Bush after his death for the Horton ad, “is now being used primarily, perhaps exclusively, as a right wing code for white nationalism.” 

Marcotte would be wise to do some background reading, including of her own Slate publication back in 1999. It was Al Gore who first introduced the issue of “weekend passes for convicted criminals” in his primary debate with Dukakis, Slate admitted, although it tried to portray Gore’s use of the issue as an innocent act because he did not explicitly identify Horton.

Marcotte also claimed it was of no consequence that an independent expenditure group, not the Bush campaign itself, was responsible for airing the ad with Horton’s picture. She said that the late president was “a grown man, responsible for his campaign decisions.”

The late president was indeed responsible for his campaign decisions and never claimed to be a saint when campaigning. He was at times a “hard-knuckled politician,” wrote Jon Meacham, presidential historian and the author of Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. “To serve he had to succeed; to preside he had to prevail,” Mr. Meacham added. “For Mr. Bush the impulses to do in his opponents and to do good were inextricably bound. He was at once ferocious and gracious — a formidable combination. What mattered was whether one was principled and selfless once in command. And as president of the United States, Mr. Bush was surely that. For every compromise or concession to party orthodoxy or political expedience on the campaign trail, in office Mr. Bush ultimately did the right thing.”

If this sounds like an ends-justify-the means philosophy, welcome to the world of U.S. politics. As Mark Twain said, “If we would learn what the human race really is at bottom, we need only observe it in election times.” Leftists, who play dirty in exploiting the race card, have no business feigning moral indignation regarding George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign. Their voices were silent, for example, when NAACP ads were running against Bush 41’s son, George W. Bush, in 2000 showing a pickup truck with a chain dragging James Byrd, a black man, to his death. The ad played on race by using Renee Mullins, Byrd’s daughter, to denounce George W. Bush, who had been Texas’s governor before running for president, for opposing new hate crime legislation. “It was like my father was killed all over again,” she said, leaving out the fact that two of the three killers had already been sentenced to death by a Texas court, while the third was serving a life sentence. Gore, who had first raised the racially charged issue of weekend passes for convicts against Dukakis in 1988, not only did not denounce the NAACP racially exploitative ad. He proudly told his audience at the annual convention of the NAACP in October 2000, “I am a member of the NAACP. It’s good to be home.”

Leftists traffic in hate for everything decent about America, including its Constitution, democratic institutions, traditions, and heroes. Sadly, but not unexpectedly, they have shamelessly gone out of their way to slander the good name of George Herbert Walker Bush within hours of the death of this great American patriot. These narcissistic ideologues on the Left care nothing about the feelings of the late president’s grieving family, friends, colleagues, and the many millions of Americans who admired his heroism and devotion to public service. They care only about imposing their own twisted political pathology on the rest of us.