Stop Attacking George W. Bush

To this point, former president George W. Bush, much like his father, has been the model former president insofar as being eminently gentlemanly when it comes to avoiding criticizing his successors. He’s been out of office for over a dozen years now, and he’s stayed above the fray during the Obama, Trump, and (so far) Biden administrations.

But when recently gave a speech commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11, he said that “there is little cultural
overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home…but in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”

Some of the more polemic Trump supporters took that as an attack on the January 6 invaders, and how dare Mr. Bush compare them to the 9/11 terrorists.

First of all, Bush never said that. How do they know by “defiling national symbols” he wasn’t referring to all the histrionics about taking statues of Columbus, Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln and the ensuing vandalism thereof? Or the Black Lives Matter-inspired marches that led to violence and vandalism at state capitols?

Second, while it is true to some extent that the January 6 invaders were not nearly as bad as those of 9/11, once and for all, stop defending them! They too are terrorists! It doesn’t matter that they’re not just as bad. The damage they’ve done is lasting.

In two years, if Trump does run for reelection, the Republicans will have a highly effective commercial to run against Biden (or whoever the Democratic nominee is): images of Afghanis clinging to airplanes to escape the Taliban’s wrath. Unfortunately, the Dems will have an equally powerful image: a bunch of loons with Confederate flags and MAGA hats invading our hallowed halls of Congress. Thanks, guys, for embarrassing all Trump supporters by extension, and making it that much harder for Trump to win in 2024.

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