Senior Bushes official witnesses at gay wedding? Stone them!

THIS is as good an indicator as any that America is waxing more liberal on gay rights than some people want to admit: Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara were official witnesses Saturday at the Maine wedding of two old friends. Bush and his wife attended the wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen in Kennebunkport as “private citizens,” spokesman Jim McGrath told the Washington Post. “This is such a wonderful time for change in our legal system,” Clement, who said she’s known Bush for years, wrote the Post in an email from the couple’s honeymoon. “Who would be best to help us acknowledge the importance of our wedding as our friends and as the former leader of the free world. When they agreed to do so we just felt that it was the next acknowledgment of being ‘real and normal.’” While the elder Bush hasn’t expressed public support for gay marriage, his son, former president George W. Bush, warned in an interview earlier this year against criticizing gay couples “until you’ve examined your own...

read more

When the senior George Bush quit the NRA

Here’s the text of George H.W. Bush’s letter of resignation from the National Rifle Association in 1995: Dear Mr. Washington [then-NRA President Tom Washington], I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as “jack-booted thugs.” To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as “wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms” wanting to “attack law abiding citizens” is a vicious slander on good people. Al Whicher, who served on my [ United States Secret Service ] detail when I was Vice President and President, was killed in Oklahoma City. He was no Nazi. He was a kind man, a loving parent, a man dedicated to serving his country — and serve it well he did. In 1993, I attended the wake for A.T.F. agent Steve Willis, another dedicated officer who did his duty. I can assure you that this honorable man, killed by weird cultists, was no Nazi. John Magaw, who used to head the U.S.S.S. and now heads A.T.F., is one of the most principled, decent men I have ever known. He would be the last to condone the kind of illegal behavior your ugly letter charges. The same is true for the F.B.I.’s able Director Louis Freeh. I appointed Mr. Freeh to the Federal Bench. His integrity and honor are beyond question. Both John Magaw and Judge Freeh were in office when I was President. They both now serve in the current administration. They both have badges. Neither of them would ever give the government’s “go ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law abiding citizens.” (Your words) I am a gun owner and an avid hunter. Over the years I have agreed with most of N.R.A.’s objectives, particularly your educational and training efforts, and your fundamental stance in favor of owning guns. However, your broadside against Federal agents deeply offends my own sense of decency and honor; and it offends my concept of service to country. It indirectly slanders a wide array of government law enforcement officials, who are out there, day and night, laying their lives on the line for all of us. You have not repudiated Mr. LaPierre’s unwarranted attack. Therefore, I resign as a Life Member of N.R.A., said resignation to be effective upon your receipt of this letter. Please remove my name from your membership list. Sincerely, [ signed ] George...

read more

Jeb Bush says his dad and Ronald Reagan wouldn’t fit well in today’s far-right GOP

For several years now, I’ve been arguing that the two most successful U.S. presidents since World War II, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, couldn’t win a primary election in today’s Republican Party. A SIMILAR OPINION was expressed this morning by a member of the GOP’s most prominent family: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said today that both Ronald Reagan and his father George H. W. Bush would have had a difficult time getting nominated by today’s ultra-conservative Republican Party. “Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground,” Bush said, adding that he views the hyper-partisan moment as “temporary.” “Back to my dad’s time and Ronald Reagan’s time – they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan suport,” he said. Reagan “would be criticized for doing the things that he did.”...

read more

It’s been 84 years since Republicans won the presidency without a Bush or a Nixon on the ticket

In our Surprising Facts file, we find that the Republican ticket of 1928 (above) is the last one to capture the White House without a Bush or a Nixon on it. Just thought you ought to know.

read more

Tom Brokaw says George Bush Senior is the most underrated of recent American presidents

  Nobody’s suggesting that the image of George H.W. Bush should be added to Mount Rushmore, but he’s looking better these days as this year’s Republican clown show continues. A political chatfest on TV this morning included some GLOWING REFERENCES to the senior Bush, whose presidency ended nearly 20 years ago when he lost a re-election bid to Democrat Bill Clinton: “He’s a great man. We all look to him and say, ‘Why can’t our politicians be like this today?’ There’s a glow about him,” [Joe] Scarborough said. “I love the guy. I will say it — I love him. And yet in ’87 and ’88… he was savaged. And we got that wrong.” (Snip) “He was the most — I think, the most underrated modern President of our time,” [Tom] Brokaw concluded. Mind you, Brokaw didn’t say Pappy Bush was the best of our recent presidents. He just said he was the most underrated. In retrospect, I’m inclined to agree with that...

read more