Democrats and the mainstream media are longing for President George W. Bush — romanticizing him in a way they never would’ve considered eight years ago.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, praised Mr. Bush several times during a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor Friday.
“President George W. Bush, he was a great president on immigration,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “When we won the majority, I remember being in an early meeting with the leadership … with President Bush and he said ‘now we can pass an immigration bill,’ but he couldn’t persuade his party to come along, and that, I think, was a disappointment to him.”
She continued: “So I’m hopeful. Again, as I say, President George W. Bush — we were closer to him in that attitude than his own party was. Even now, President George W. Bush has spoken with great dignity about treating people, immigrants and the immigration issue with treating people with respect and dignity. Bless him for that.”
Eight years ago, she was calling Mr. Bush “a total failure.”
But absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it sure has sweetened the media’s opinion of Mr. Bush as he reappeared this month on the talk show circuit to promote his new book.
He became their knight in shining armor after an appearance on NBC’s “Today,” where Mr. Bush took a veiled swipe at President Trump — and defended them.
“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” he said of Mr. Trump’s attacks on the media. “That we need an independent media to hold people like me to account. I mean, power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.”
“Why you should listen when George W. Bush defends the media,” a Washington Post headline read.
Joy Behar, the outspoken liberal on ABC’s “The View,” admitted Mr. Bush won her over.
“The thing about this is Donald [Trump] has now done something I thought he would never do. I like — I like the fact that George Bush — I like George Bush now, is what I’m trying to say.”
So does comedian Aziz Ansari, who used his opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live” in January to praise Mr. Bush.
“What the hell has happened? I’m sitting here wistfully watching old George W. Bush speeches?’ Just sitting there like, ‘What a leader he was! … He guided us with his eloquence!’” Mr. Ansari said.
Mr. Bush was invited on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” exchanged jokes with Jimmy Kimmel, and did an interview with People describing his affection for Michelle Obama. Even the New Yorker, in a review of his paintings, lavished him with great praise.
“The quality of the art is astonishingly high for someone who — because he ‘felt antsy’ in retirement, he writes, after ‘I had been an art-agnostic all my life’ — took up painting from a standing stop, four years ago, at the age of sixty-six,” wrote the New Yorker.
It’s all incredibly disingenuous. Mr. Bush’s art is good — but the New Yorker never would’ve afforded him such a review if they judged the same paintings eight years ago. In 2012, it ran an article titled: “Cheney receives a heart transplant; Bush still on waiting list for brain.”
In the years of his presidency, The Guardian penned an essay describing “How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power,” and questioned “What has George W. ever done for women?”
There was an internet hoax that said Mr. Bush had the lowest IQ of all presidents, which was widely spread as fact by liberal pundits — where his intelligence was questioned daily. Howard Dean accused Mr. Bush of a wild 9/11 conspiracy theory, going on “The Diane Rehm Show” and saying Mr. Bush was notified by the Saudis before the attack.
Things got so out of hand, conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer gave it a label: “Bush derangement syndrome.”
But I guess the devil you know is better than the devil you have. Stuck with Mr. Trump, the liberals now yearn for the days of Mr. Bush.
The fact of the matter is: They were unhinged back then, much as they are today. Bush derangement syndrome, has been replaced with Trump derangement syndrome, and there doesn’t seem to be a cure — until you’re out of office and no longer threaten their power.