When a former president passes away it's appropriate to celebrate his life, his achievements and to remind the public of his record and his legacy.
Sadly, though, with the death of George H.W. Bush, some in the media and politicians from both parties are abusing this moment to trash, instead, the sitting president.
As the Bush motorcade was making its way to the capitol for the last time MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide herself, could not restrain herself. She said this:
“I think what everyone is getting at is that under Donald Trump the office of the presidency has been debased in a way that is unimaginable for people who served every past president. … I think what's lost in this moment is our reverence and our dependence and the way we need and rely upon the elegance and the traditions of the presidency.”
Let's get this straight. She's talking about reverence and she's trashing the current president as the motorcade is inching its way up Capitol Hill.
And then there was this gem from earlier in the day. Here’s this soundbite from 'Morning Joe" co-host, Mika Brzezinski:
“Let's see what happens at Wednesday's memorial service. My prediction is that Trump fakes more respect for a family whose unprecedented history of public service has repeatedly belittled, then he goes back to making a mockery of the very office George Bush and this nation long revered.”
Well think about it this way, President Bush was a man who loved his country, loved his family, his faith and his friends. He was a war hero and a dedicated public servant throughout most of his life.
So are these folks really honoring that legacy and his innate sense of decency and kindness by slashing the man who entered the White House 25 years after him?
Look, even if you don't care for President Trump, even if you just hate President Trump, try showing just a little bit of class and decorum, as Bush 41 would have. The hits on Trump -- subtle and not subtle at all -- have been interwoven throughout the commentary and the coverage. Here are some of the soundbites from cable news commentators that got our attention:
“They both believe that the presidency is bigger than themselves which is not something that this president always adheres to.”
“What George Herbert Walker Bush is being remembered for this week isn't a tweet or isn't a press release or nothing much more than his fundamental character.”
“I do not know how it's going to work when Donald Trump is an ex-president and theoretically a member of this club. I really think it's going to change because I don't think these men who share something in common really share that in common with Donald Trump.”
At some point you don't even know what to say to these people. -- That last quote was from Ron Klain, by the way, the former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Biden and Gore.
They lack all sense of decency. They reduce a presidential death to just a political battering ram like any other issue. But what you hear -- if you listen closely, is the last gasp of an embittered establishment.
Now, as we have seen across Europe and across much of the United States, populism is swamping the old guard, whether it's on the right or on the left. So rather than direct their anger at Trump, the establishment, frankly in both parties, should be directing it at themselves, for it is their policies that the voters turned against in 2016.
Things like open borders, China trade, NAFTA, high taxes, endless wars, those weren't Trump policies. Those were the policies of the establishment and the establishment GOPers apparently think that the way, what, to win them back the people that they lost to Trump is to belittle the president non-stop, even during formal and informal on-air eulogies and tributes?
At a time like this when a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather and a former president has died, we should be bigger than the petty politics of the moment. I think we should be capable of uniting as Americans and celebrating the best of George H.W. Bush without resorting to the same old usual political snark and calumny. And isn't that what President Bush would have wanted?
Adapted from Laura Ingraham's monologue on "The Ingraham Angle" on December 3, 2018.