That narrative died fast.
It was only yesterday that we were being asked to gaze upon the casket of the 41st president of the United States, a man who, we're told, embodied all the virtues the current president lacks.
For more than two hours, the visibly uncomfortable forty-fifth President had to listen to Bush extolled in terms that would never be applied to him. “Best instincts,” not “worst impulses.” “Kinder.” “Gentler.” “Courageous.” “Principled.” “Gentlemanly.”
Trump had to sit there knowing that every statement praising Bush’s decency and modesty and courage would be taken as an implicit rebuke of him—of course, many of them were a lot more explicit than implicit.
The George H.W. Bush administration was decent and moral and had nothing in common with the Trump administration!
Or maybe that's not quite accurate, if it's true that Trump is about to give Bush's attorney general his old job back:
Former attorney general William Barr has emerged as Trump’s top pick to be the nominee for the full-time AG job, The Washington Post is reporting. Picking former president George H.W. Bush’s AG would seem a pretty safe and confirmable pick, on its surface.
But ... Barr’s past commentary has played down the severity of the allegations against Trump — on both the collusion and obstruction-of-justice fronts — and he has also suggested the Clintons should be in more trouble.
In fact, in November 2017, Barr told the New York Times that there was actually more basis to investigate Hillary Clinton for the Uranium One deal than there is to investigate Trump for potential collusion with Russia. He went so far as to say the Justice Department was wrong to give Clinton a pass....
Barr has also given Trump a complete pass on one of the central events in the Mueller probe: Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey. In a Washington Post op-ed, Barr said Trump not only did nothing wrong, but that he actually “made the right call”....
At other points, Barr has also supported Trump’s firing of acting attorney general Sally Yates ... and like Trump he has criticized the political donations of the prosecutors on Mueller’s team.
Gosh, I guess Poppy and Donny didn't inhabit entirely separate moral universes!
... when Bush in 1992 decided to pardon several figures in the Iran-contra scandal, he took the legs out from beneath the independent prosecutor investigating the matter. And one of the people Bush consulted was Barr. At the time, the prosecutor, Lawrence Walsh, called it “a sort of Saturday night massacre” — a reference to high-profile Nixon firings during the thick of the Watergate scandal.
It would seem quite the coincidence that Trump appears to be settling on yet another attorney general who might be prepared to take his side on these very personal and political investigative issues in a way Sessions wouldn’t.
Well, it was an inspiring narrative for the few hours it lasted.
crossposted from No More Mister Nice Blog