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George W. Bush On Trump: “That Was Some Weird Shit”

Donald Trump Inauguration

Today’s quote of the day comes from our nation’s 43rd President:

The inauguration of Donald Trump was a surreal experience for pretty much everyone who witnessed it, whether or not they were at the event and regardless of who they supported in the election. On the dais, the stoic presence of Hillary Clinton — whom candidate Trump had said he would send to prison if he took office — underlined the strangeness of the moment. George W. Bush, also savaged by Trump during the campaign, was there too. He gave the same reason for attending that Bill and Hillary Clinton did: to honor the peaceful transfer of power.

Bush’s endearing struggle with his poncho at the event quickly became a meme, prompting many Democrats on social media to admit that they already pined for the relative normalcy of his administration. Following Trump’s short and dire speech, Bush departed the scene and never offered public comment on the ceremony.

But, according to three people who were present, Bush gave a brief assessment of Trump’s inaugural after leaving the dais: “That was some weird shit.” All three heard him say it.

Yes Mr. President, it was.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hal_10000 says:

    Dammit, Mataconis, don’t make me like George W. Bush.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  2. al-Alameda says:

    Bush’s endearing struggle with his poncho at the event quickly became a meme, prompting many Democrats on social media to admit that they already pined for the relative normalcy of his administration.

    This election result is probably the most embarrassing thing
    Americans have collectively done since in the past 100 years.

    It’s a very logical and not unexpected result of electing someone who “speaks his/her mind,” “tells it like it is,” and “someone you could sit down and have a beer with.” Sarah Palin? Donald Trump? Evidently we’re far more likely to end up with a Beavis & Butthead than we are with a Harry Truman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  3. CSK says:

    For a man who is supposed to be inarticulate, he certainly came up with les mots juste on this occasion.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  4. Kylopod says:

    @al-Alameda:

    This election result is probably the most embarrassing thing Americans have collectively done since in the past 100 years.

    Probably?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. al-Alameda says:

    @Kylopod:

    Probably?

    Yes, I usually hedge.

    Just because I can’t think of something that was historically more embarrassing than this, doesn’t mean that there wasn’t something else.

    What’s amazing to me is that, as cynical as I am, Trump is even more appalling than my every day low expectations were.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. Gustopher says:

    Allow me to be the contrarian and say that as of yet, Trump has not eclipsed the worst aspects of the George W. Bush presidency — Iraq War 2.

    Trump may in fact be hobbled by corruption and incompetence, and never surpass the goal posts set by Bush on foreign policy, and pointless war. I remain an eternal optimist, and live in hope that Trump will self-destruct.

    I’d rather have a nonalcoholic beer with Bush than a fancy mocktail with Trump, but 8 years of Bush were worse than 70ish days of Trump. Trump has plenty of time to surpass this though.

    The Flu is a much more successful virus than Ebola. Ebola wipes out its hosts too fast, so it is easily contained. The Flu kills a lot more people, and infects many, many more. Trump may be the Ebola to Bush’s Flu.

    Also, I don’t want another President who doesn’t drink. being able to handle something that is both fun and bad for you, in moderation, seems like a requirement for leading the nation, and going to extremes, I think Grant might have been better than these two.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  7. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    Allow me to be the contrarian and say that as of yet, Trump has not eclipsed the worst aspects of the George W. Bush presidency — Iraq War 2.

    And who, may I ask, would disagree with that? Bush hadn’t reached, much less eclipsed, that level by April 2001, either. In fact his administration in that period looks like a model of competence and ethics compared with what we’ve seen from Trump’s thus far. Trump hasn’t been faced with a real crisis yet, and when one happens, things could go south very quickly, making Iraq seem like target practice.

    Or maybe not. It’s possible that Trump’s presidency, in the end, will turn out to be more ineffectual than destructive. But there’s a very high possibility that it won’t, and pointing out that Trump hasn’t done nearly as much damage in three months as Bush did in eight years isn’t exactly reassuring.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  8. J-Dub says:

    Without going back too far into history, I think of Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and wonder how we got to this point. I feel like those three in particular warned us about the current state of inequality, corporate, and military industrial power. Trump is a weird result of all three.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. Anonne says:

    Trump is the result of 40 years of lies and misinformation being spewed on the television. So much so that 20 years ago, the Republican Party got its own propaganda arm on TV.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. Kylopod says:

    @Anonne:

    Trump is the result of 40 years of lies and misinformation being spewed on the television. So much so that 20 years ago, the Republican Party got its own propaganda arm on TV.

    I agree–more or less. Still, it’s important to realize that, while Trump was able to tap into these conditions that Fox and talk radio created, he was not the ideal messenger that the purveyors would have wished for. They’d have preferred someone slicker who stuck more to GOP orthodoxy–someone like Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan.

    Back in mid-2015 it was clear Fox was trying its best to torpedo Trump’s candidacy. (There was something surpassing strange about seeing the Fox moderators attack Trump for budget ideas that didn’t add up, a criticism that could have applied equally to all the GOP candidates.) It didn’t work out that way, and once he nabbed the nomination they quickly got behind him. But if they were to run the tape again, they’d probably still opt for a different candidate if they could choose. They want someone who is (a) competent enough to govern effectively (b) reliable on GOP policy. Trump is neither of these things.

    You’re right, though: even the things about Trump that make the conservative power-brokers uneasy are things that flow directly from what they created in the past few decades. They may not think, for example, that Trump is doing much of a service by tweeting midnight conspiracy theories about Obama, but they played a role in perpetuating those sorts of theories in the first place. They may not be thrilled about his Putin love, but it comes from the right’s admiration for authoritarian strongmen. They may think his lies on such matters as the number of people at his inauguration are just a tad too obvious (“Couldn’t you, like, be a little more subtle in your deception, Mr. President?”), but they were at the forefront in disseminating misinformation while encouraging viewers to reject legitimate news sources.

    In short, Trump is the Frankenstein Monster of the right-wing infotainment complex.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  11. JohnMcC says:

    @Kylopod: Exactly right. I said on a different, earlier thread that analysis of the Trump phenomenon begins with realizing he is the end result of a long project.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0