September 13, 2021

J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: President George W. Bush Blew It in Shanksville.

Why is it that whenever President Bush spends his vast goodwill to engage the modern debate, he trains his fire at the right? Why do we hear Bush attack “nativists” more than the budding totalitarian culture that [“Death to America”-proudly retweeting KU student body president] Niya McAdoo represents?

You would think he would remember what the institutional left did to him.

Bush missed an opportunity at Shanksville to address the real causes of our nation’s division. Bush could have provided a fuller accounting of the “malign forces … at work in our common life,” but didn’t.

It is true that the first part of Bush’s tribute at Shanksville was soaring. No American alive on September 11, 2001, could hear it without reliving those dark uncertain weeks and months and being grateful for President Bush. Bush will live through history as a president who kept America safe after that day, and he deserves it.

Bush, like Trump, did not flinch from framing world events as a never-ending battle between good and evil, because it is true.

But then at Shanksville, Bush pivoted and blew all this goodwill by attacking the right, his own political base that defended him loyally. As Byron York wrote, Bush’s attacks at Shanksville were “jaw dropping.”

Earlier today, I wrote:

Not surprisingly, the party whose organizing method is “the moral equivalent of war” views American politics as the continuation of warfare by other means, to flip von Clausewitz’s axiom on its head. And as the past month has illustrated, they’re far more focused on fighting against American people and industries, rather than Middle Eastern terrorists.

I wasn’t expecting to see Dubya joining them on the 20th anniversary of September 11th, but apparently, here we are.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): Conspiracy theory of the day: Democrats are planning to provoke a riot at the coming protest over the 1/6 detainees, and Bush is trying to protect himself.

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