Republicans will automatically seek to rewrite the immediate past history of their crimes and betrayals before the Ink of History has dried. In the case of Richard Nixon, Safire threw every tool in the GOP flunkey toolbox -- accusations of fraud, derangement, hypocrisy, greed, and godlessness leavened with a generous helping of Both Siderism -- at the problem of rehabilitating Nixon's reputation.
But sometimes, as was the case with the George W. Bush administration, the party's standard-bearers have inflicted so much damage on the country and the rest of his party has accumulated such a massive, public record of supporting his follies, that his record cannot be immediately laundered. To obliterate from history a catastrophe the size and scope of the Bush Administration, a different level of Strategic Forgettery was needed and today's cautionary tale is about how that works.
Many years ago I coined the term "Republican Detachment Disorder" to describe the coordinated psychological gymnastics of influential people who spent their entire adult lives helping to build a Republican monster factory and midwife-ing the orcs and hobgoblins that came off its assembly line and who, once their monsters began running out of their control, erased themselves from their own history and began denying their own pasts harder and faster than Peter denied Christ.
This is what happened with the Bush Administration.
And it's what's happening, THIS MORNING, with John Bolton.
"Donald Trump is an aberration on the American political scene," he said.
"He did not cause all of this polarisation, that's for sure, but he's made it much, much worse and I think his disappearance from the political scene will be a big, big plus."
At the close of the Age of Dubya, even as we disreputable Liberal bloggers were shouting warnings of the impending Great Whitewash as loud as our shitty blogs would permit, the mainstream press and the Republican Party began colluding to wall-off the entire
Bush Trump administration and declare it a Forbidden Zone. The officially recognized Year One of recorded history was reset to one minute after Barack Obama Joe Biden took the oath of office. And thanks to the coordinated denialism/Both Siderism of the press and the urgency of the crises Obama Biden inherited and the GOP's decision (taken on the very day of Obama's Biden's inauguration) to become a unified, unremitting force of obstruction and sabotage and Obama's Biden's own stubborn and ultimately fatal unwillingness to see the Republican Party as the vandals and traitors they were...
Frances Langum contributed to this post, updated from Driftglass, December 24, 2020.