American Bullshit

George Bush died Friday.

We remember him now as George H.W. Bush, mainly to distinguish him from the George Bush who fucked the shit out of America and its future, but he was just George Bush: George Bush, former CIA director, supposed man of principle who sold himself as quick as he could to the man he had effectively called a voodoo dingbat months earlier, a man who kicked Geraldine Ferraro’s ass because he was a wimp trying to pass as macho, a man whom nobody loved nor admired and casually used a black man to scare white people into voting for him.

Oh, and a war hero.

That’s what we’re supposed to say about him now, now that he’s gone. That’s one of the things we’re supposed to remember about him: George Bush, War Hero. But he was never a war hero, he was never known for that, whatever he may have done during the war. He was known for what he was, as everybody is known for what they are, the way we know things but pretend not to because that’s not polite.

America is a land of bullshit that way.

What they’re saying about George Bush is not who he was, what we knew him to be. George Bush was not this:

“President George H.W. Bush was a war hero, an internationalist who played a consequential role in maintaining the post-war world order. In domestic politics, he is remembered as a pillar of the Republican establishment, a pragmatist who pined for a ‘kinder, gentler nation.’”

He’s being remembered as this, not what he was, in order to provide a contrast to this:

“President Donald J. Trump represents a starkly different strain of Republicanism, and a rejection of nearly all of Bush’s values.”

No. The notion of Donald Trump as some kind of exception to modern Republicanism, the thing that is not not like the others, is bullshit being used to mask the fact that Donald Trump is the fruition of modern Republicans, the result of modern Republicanism, the dog-whistling introduced by Nixon and perfected by Reagan made manifest. George Bush is the embodiment of the establishment wing of modern Republicanism, the man who saw and stated how Ronald Reagan would ruin America, then toadied to him as quick as it became convenient, then abetted him in the ruination of America and its values that continues to this day.

George Bush showed establishment Republicans how to do it, how to suck up to the demagogues who play populists while enriching plutocrats, how to bring pundits to an orgasm of rapturous civility while ransacking the citizenry. The pretense that he was anything other than what he was, what we knew him to be, the celebration of his life that we are enduring today, shows that toadying works.

George Bush was a craven man who used the fear of a black man to get himself elected by white people. That’s who he was, that’s all he was, and anything else people feel they need to say about him is pure fucking bullshit.

Just like America.


He looked at his watch and lost the election. Those were the days.

This is tough to read, but it’s concise, true, and timely:

America Has Survived Illegitimate Regimes Before. Can We Survive Trump’s?

“As he continues to drag the United States into the authoritarian abyss, the cry of “This is not who we are!” rises up as if it were an incantation that can exorcize America’s demons.

But the evil remains because we have not collectively acknowledged the simple truth: Trump is illegitimate. He’s a usurper, a squatter and a fraud. A pretender in the Oval Office. He snaked into the White House on the back of Republican-sponsored voter suppression and by playing footsies with the Russians.

Instead of fully acknowledging this hard truth, far too many Americans have been intent on maintaining the facade of order: salutes coming off of Air Force One, pardoning turkeys, White House “press conferences,” tree lighting and Hanukkah ceremonies even in the wake of a slaughter in a synagogue. So intent are they on making the abnormal seem normal that they have sacrificed the very substance of democratic governance.“

@¡Andrew!: I’m waiting for someone to say it who’s not me or HuffPo. Meaning: I’ve been saying it for two years, as clearly as I can, as forcefully as I can, but nobody gives a shit about me, random HuffPo writer, or generic tweeter.

It needs to filter into the Governing Class to take hold — that, or millions of people so the Governing Class can’t ignore it. It needs to filter into the Times and WaPo, and from there into The National Conversation. Sucks that that’s how shit works around here, but that’s how shit works around here. Short of a revolution.

The good news — highly provisional — is that I’ve been seeing signs of that in the past few months, green shoots of awareness in a field of shit, indications among people deemed participants in The National Conversation that maybe, just maybe, there’s a deep fundamental illegitimacy afoot here, something that needs addressing before all hell breaks loose.

Just indications, and only at the fringes. But it’s there, and it can’t be written off as lefties shrieking about fascism. Remains to be seen whether those green shoots take root or are stomped out.

@nojo: Can you even imagine how the political and media whores will react once CaliguBush and Prezinazi Pussygrabber-AntiChrist finally croak?

They’re gonna have to invent a whole new branch of yoga to describe the contortions necessary for them to praise the two worst shitstains that have afflicted our nation in over a century.

@¡Andrew!: I had the same thought on FB regarding Trump, and I’m kinda looking forward to it. Hope to see it soon!

And it’s Indictment Day once again. Robert Mueller is like that Very Good Looking man who thinks he’s doing you this huge favor by allowing you to try to get him off. Just blow your load already, jeezus.

We’ll know the end is near once the Evilungelical ChrISIStians jump ship. All bets are off after that.

@¡Andrew!: I do not think that press will ever change how they regard Trump. Except for Fox. I think that Trump will be like Harding in that regard.

@¡Andrew!: I do not think that Religious Right will jump ship as much as float away looking for another host to latch onto.

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