George H.W. Bush dead at 94. RIP.


#1

Just heard… no details yet.


#2

He had a good run.


#3

Sad, but not unexpected.


#4

RIP. I had no shortage of issues with Poppy, but I would take him over the current crop of Republicans in a heartbeat.


#5

No kidding. I look back at my anger at the old school Republicans and laugh. I didn’t realize how much worse it could get. I’d take either of the Bushes right now in a heartbeat.


#6

Sorry to see him go, but his public life was long over.

Old school Republicans would be liberals now. Not saying Herbert Walker would be quite that, but he would be close. He’s the guy who referred to Reagan’s economic trickle down policy as voodoo economics. He was right.


#7

All respect to his WWII service. I don’t really feel competent to evaluate his presidency. I always liked him personally, even though he disparaged atheists. He seems to belong to a bygone era in American politics.

RIP.


#8

Indeed. I disagreed with a good deal of his politics, but he’s the last GOP President I respected as a human being.


#9

Bummer. He was the only Republican president in my memory I didn’t have bitter hatred towards by the end of his term. I respect him for attempting to raise taxes, knowing what the political costs would be. The coalition he built against Saddam Hussein was impressive. Regardless of policy disagreements I have, we need more statesmen like him.


#10

Praise or disparage him, he came from a tradition that believed that service was a duty, a cherished obligation to be borne with a smile. And that those who have received blessings and benefits by birth have a even greater obligation of service. The country needs much, much more of this.

He was the last Commander in Chief that I actually felt especially proud to have as my Commander in Chief while I wore a uniform.

Pass the word “All hands bury the dead” - US Navy Ceremony for burial at sea.


#11

#12

Oh dear.


#13

AP is going to try and break ratio records.

Guessing their social media guy will be looking for a new job soon.


#14

#15

#16

I always thought he was one of those men who probably achieved more than he was ready for. I liked him, I don’t really know why, but I think he was a better VP and perhaps a better “man” than a president.

He was probably the last honest republican president.


#17

Really? I thought overall he did a great job. In terms of foreign policy he was tops. He handled the Kuwait situation just terrific. One of the best handling of a foreign policy crisis in the last fifty years IMO.

Plus he raised taxes when it was necessary and set Clinton up for successfully getting the budget under control.

I was born under Lyndon B Johnson and as far as Presidents in my lifetime go, I’d put George HW Bush second to only Obama.


#18

Totally agree. HW seems to have been a largely a decent man.


#19

To me – and perhaps to history – he’ll always be the one who got away. A first-rate thinker and policy wonk and a conservative cut from the Eisenhower cloth (but informed by Goldwater and Nixon), Bush was a guy who not only had fantastic foreign policy chops, but he also knew more than he gave himself credit for about domestic policy.

But perhaps it was that…lack of self-confidence in his domestic policy knowledge, as well as his desire to position himself as Reagan’s heir, that will hurt him the worst in the eyes of history. Bush thought supply-side economics was bullshit; and then he and his team worked up the plan and realized they were right. He famously called it out in the 1980 primary campaign (and this may be lost to moderns who weren’t there at the time) and he did so vigorously; Bush spent the entirety of the 1980 primary campaign taking apart Reagan’s supply-side economics ideas and it was the tentpole of the attacks between the two in a very contentious campaign. But when he accepted Reagan’s offer to be his VP, the condition was that Bush had to shut up about “Voodoo economics”. Reagan’s guys were adamant about it. And Bush did.

And then when Bush ran in 1988, he discovered that though supply side economics wasn’t working – just as he had said it wouldn’t – in order to get the Republican nomination he had to continue to kiss that ring in the 1980s GOP. So…he continued to embrace an economic doctrine he knew (he and his 1980 team had long ago worked out the numbers and knew there would be no “trickle down”) didn’t work and was disastrous.

And so when Bush saw the oncoming and unstoppable 1991 recession coming, he finally and famously did the right thing and got off the supply side train for good. But to do it, he had to renege on a hastily and stupidly made campaign promise of “Read my lips: no new taxes!” And of course one of the forces that led to that 1991 recession was 10 years of Reaganomics, a doctrine that Bush knew was a mirage and didn’t work, but which he’d been forced to embrace and run with. And that campaign gaffe and the recession were the twin weapons that the Clinton campaign hit him with again and again and defeated him over.

I think deep inside, GHWB knew in the very heart of his soul in that summer of 1980 when he accepted Ronald Reagan’s conditional invitation to serve as his running mate and VP candidate that setting aside his vehement opposition to “Voodoo Economics” was going to come back to haunt him, and it’s part of the reason why, as a decent and upstanding man to his core, he was so very gracious in defeat after 1992. I think there was always an element of GHWB who agreed with Clinton on economic policy and knew if the roles had been reversed, he’d have campaigned on the same issue and gaffe. I think GHWB always figured his 1992 defeat was the karmic accounting he’d had coming, finally arriving.


#20