It’s probably fair to say that anything nice you say about George H.W. Bush and anything you say that isn’t nice about the man are going to both be true. He’s the guy who helped build the Southern Strategy to bring the GOP into power by exploiting white racist resentment around civil rights but he’s also the guy who brought Colin Powell and Condi Rice into prominence. But he replaced Thurgood Marshall with Clarence Thomas. Heck, before Reagan and Bush completely politicized the Supreme Court it was Republicans like Justice Warren who could be counted on to support basic human rights. Bush was, compared to the open sewer we have with the current GOP, a gentleman, but let’s remember he came to power by exploiting racism blatantly and without any regrets. He was nice to those he knew but in the abstract he’d do anything to hold on to power.
He was a Yale graduate who claimed some bullshit colonial lineage but it was all phony. His grandfather Walker was a rough and tumble business partner of Rockefeller who made his money extorting the railroads to purchase essential equipment in return for the right to ship Standard Oil. The Bushes were grafted onto the Walkers to link wealth to a veneer of noblesse oblige. Just like H.W. and W. were phony cowboys they were also phony eastern elitists. It was all for show, purchased with hard cash that got them into the Brown Brothers Harriman Bank and the United States Senate.
I have some level of emotional attraction to some of the surface qualities of Mr. Bush. Yeah. That’s what we remember. But don’t dig too deep.