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February 27, 2017

George Bush Criticizes Trump

Eh, kind of annoying.

After eight years of silence on Obama, now he's got some advice for a president.

Former President George W. Bush offered what appeared to be a thinly veiled critique of his Republican successor on Monday, as he defended the importance of the media and immigration policies that are "welcoming."

...

"I am for an immigration policy that's welcoming and upholds the law," Bush said.

On the term "Islamic terrorism:"

He also echoed the reported comments of new National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, refusing to term terrorism as inherently Islamic.

"People who murder the innocent are not religious people," Bush said. "They want to advance an ideology. And we have faced those kind of ideologues in the past."

On Trump's battle with the press:

...

"I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy," Bush said. "That we need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive. And it can be corrosive."

And:

"One of the things I spent a lot of time doing was trying to convince a person like Vladimir Putin, for example, to accept the notion of an independent press," said Bush, who cautioned that "it's kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press and were not willing to have one ourself."

Do we not have that now? Is the press being "chilled"? Are they so frightened by Trump they're rolling over for him?

Seems not. Pro-Tip: People who are calling someone "Hitler" with no fear of doing so are probably wrong in calling that person "Hitler."

On claims that Russia had contact with members of Trump's team, and the need for a special prosecutor:

Bush said it was important to know the truth about any relationship between Russia and members of the current administration -- "I think we all need answers -- but dodged when asked if a special prosecutor was required to look into collusion allegations.

The only supportive thing Bush said is that people should "take a man for his word" when Trump says he wants to unify the country. He did point out that Trump had only been in office for a month.

Most of Bush's statements are fairly anodyne Beltway pablum. In context, though -- being specifically prodded to criticize Trump -- they're a Beltway pablum rebuke.

Eh. Seems to me that by criticizing Putin, Bush is guilty of a LOGAN ACT VIOLATION.

Clips of the Matt Lauer (!!!) interview here.

One thing that strikes me is that Bush was pretty ignorant of the press as president or at least posed as being ignorant of them. On one hand, I guess, he was trying to float above them.

On the other hand, he very rarely rebutted the actual opposition party in the country, the national media, and I know many of his supporters pulled their hair out begging for him to actually do some presidential communications on this front. (And trying, futilely, to do for Bush what he couldn't or wouldn't do for himself.)

Strange to me that guy whose Administration was hit by a thousand Grim Milestones and cooked-up scandals (Valerie Plame, for example) would be so kind to the media.

My theory is that both the Democrats and the semi-deposed Establishment GOP have few hands at the levers of power -- except for their friends in the media and the permanent DC bureaucracy, so both have some investment in cultivating those power centers and pushing for them to have continued power.

Or even expanded power: Bill Kristol tweeted he favored the Deep State over the Trump state.

In the Democrats' case, it's just more of their same strategy of 60 years. In the Establishment GOP's case, it's making peace with an old adversary to destroy an even more dangerous, existential-threat adversary.

It just surprises me -- in a way that perhaps it should not -- that so many "conservatives" are now taking the media's side, as it's tottering and wounded in a way that it has literally never been in my lifetime.

For some, it seems, the leftist media isn't the hero they deserve, but it's the hero they need.

Clarification: There is no doubt it is best to have a fair and independent press, just as there is no doubt it is best to have a sober and kind mother.

But what if the press is unfair, biased, incompetent, and lies like an actual propaganda outfit?

Wouldn't you prefer they recognized the problem and reformed themselves?

Similarly, yes, you'd like a sober and kind mother. But what if a mother is a chronic junkie and abusive to her children? Shouldn't she de-toxify herself both chemically and psychologically?

And if you don't insist on that -- but just babble on about how important a mother is, no matter how unmotherly she may be -- aren't you just a damn enabler to evil?

A lot of "conservatives" -- Crocservatives, let's call them -- seem to be defending the media while the media still refuses to admit it's done a damn thing wrong, and in fact is just doubling down on all its sins.

Mollie Hemingway makes this point a lot. She's often badgered, "Don't we need an adversarial media?" She says yes, but then points out the need to reform.

No one in the media, nor the Democrats, nor the Establishment GOP, wants a reformed media. Not now, certainly.

They want it in full partisan War Room mode, because they are short of generals in their armies at the moment.

So to avoid conceding the very real need for media reform and reflection, they dodge the question by framing the only question as "Isn't the media important?"

Why yes, yes it is. And a mother is important too.

But when I tell her to get off the crack, she shouldn't keep telling me that mothers are important and that it's unamerican to criticize moms (or apple pie or baseball).

It's also amusing to me that an industry devoted to the idea that they should lodge criticisms of other institutions and the targeted institutions should change their behavior in conformance with the media's preferences itself refuses to change its behavior, or even to recognize the legitimacy of criticism of itself at all.

Hey media, know what else is an important institution that protects and defends our freedoms?

The military.

Have you ever taken that to mean that the military is beyond criticism? Have you ever accepted the proposition that criticizing the media was unamerican and dangerous to our very survival as a republic?

Or did you always snicker smugly at that, knowing that scoundrels often wrap themselves in the flag and deem all critics to be traitors?

What's the difference in your case, assholes?

Are you just a special Revolutionary Vanguard with greater rights and privileges with all the sub-castes beneath you?


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posted by Ace at 04:00 PM

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