Bret Stephens, a Never Trumper, compares Donald Trump and George H.W. Bush. Guess who comes out the winner.
There’s no doubt that Bush is a better man than Trump, by far. Whether he was better president than Trump will turn out to be? It’s too early to say with confidence.
In terms of domestic policy, my guess is that Trump will prove easily superior. Indeed, it can be argued that, from a conservative standpoint, he’s already accomplished more than Bush 41 did.
Glenn Reynolds makes two points. First, “Bush was elected thanks to Lee Atwater, whose campaigning technique (and electoral target market) wasn’t that different from Trump’s.”
Second, “Bush lost after the very same establishment that’s now waxing nostalgic about his presidency viciously went after him, mocking him, scorning him, calling him a wimp, making up the claim that he didn’t know what a grocery scanner was, calling him a warmonger and a tool of the theocratic Christian right, etc.” I question whether Republicans can afford to have as their standard bearer a politician as genteel as President (but not candidate) George H.W. Bush was.
Do we need a standard bearer as nasty — as disrespectful of standards — as Trump? I don’t believe so. But many Republicans seem to, and I think I understand why.