Saturday, March 30, 2019

George HW Bush voted for Hillary in 2016, Barbara stopped considering herself a Republican

According to a forthcoming biography by USA Today’s Washington bureau chief Susan Page, the Bush family matriarch and patriarch were so disgusted by the idea of a Trump presidency that he voted for Hillary in 2016—the only vote for a Democrat in his life—and she stopped considering herself a Republican.  She also kept a clock counting down to the end of Trump’s term beside her bed until the day she died. 

USA Today has these and other facts drawn from The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty, which comes out April 2.  It is based on exclusive interviews during the last six months of Barbara Bush’s life as well as her diary entries going back decades.
Barbara Bush blamed Donald Trump for her heart attack.
It wasn’t technically a heart attack, though she called it that. It was a crisis in her long battle with congestive heart failure and chronic pulmonary disease that hit her like a sledgehammer one day in June 2016… The tumultuous presidential campaign in general and Trump’s ridicule of son Jeb Bush in particular had riled her. “Angst,” she told me.
Yes, names do hurt people.  The emotional onslaught of Trump’s nonstop personal attacks is causing emotional damage to the entire nation, if not world.  This is a real thing and was part of Putin's plan to weaken the USA, as division and chaos is part of the Russian psyops playbook.

Trump was on Barbara’s radar for decades, for greed to the point of vulgarity:
"The real symbol of greed in the 80s,” she wrote in her diary in January 1990...
She noted that Ivana’s allies said the $25 million settlement in the prenuptial agreement she signed wasn’t enough. “The Trumps are a new word, both of them,” she wrote. “Trump now means Greed, selfishness and ugly. So sad.”
I’m not going to whitewash Barbara or any other Bush too much.  The family played a big part in causing the great informational divide that is ripping America apart—a divide made of a false set of facts created by the GOP, Fox and the rest of the RW noise machine sitting like a malignant tumour on the public discourse, versus actual facts.  The Bushes played a big part in worsening the great economic divide of income inequity, which ultimately destroys a country if not stopped, commenced by Ronald Reagan.  No one should ever forget that her son George W. killed thousands of Americans and millions of Iraqis in a war based entirely on lies, arguably a worse thing than Trump has ever done.

But when you lose a clan that had its hands in things this bad—when you make its patriarch vote Democratic—you’ve hit quite an incredible low.
“Putin endorsed him, for heaven’s sake,” Barbara Bush erupted. “Putin the killer! Putin the worst! He endorsed Trump! That’s an endorsement you don’t want.” 
Page asked Barbara how she thought things were going for the USA in the Age of Trump.
"I'm trying not to think about it," she said in an interview as the first anniversary of Trump's election approached. "We're a strong country, and I think it will all work out.” Even so, she was dismayed by the nation’s divisions and by the direction of the party she had worked for, and for so long.
Did she still consider herself a Republican?
In an interview with me in October 2017, she answered that question yes. When I asked her again four months later, in February 2018, she said, "I'd probably say no today."
This is not an indictment of Trump.  This is an indictment of all the toady Republicans who put party before country by supporting him in violating presidential norms, embracing Nazis and dictators, whipping up hate and bigotry, committing such atrocities as child separation, and every other crime and travesty we know he committed.  Mitch McConnell, Ryan Paul and Jeff Sessions are names that spring to mind, but really it’s the whole filthy lot of them, to which we can now add William Barr.  Mrs. Bush clearly got increasingly disgusted as she saw the GOP degenerate into the Trumpcult.

The female head of a family which was not exactly a paragon of government of the people, by the people and for the people, Barbara Bush still no longer wanted to be in their company in the end.

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