George W. Bush is all about not denigrating entire groups of people, except when it comes to Trump supporters, of course.
During a Thursday New York speech sponsored by his namesake Institute, the former president never said President Trump's name, yet nevertheless came down firmly against virtually every key principle that propelled the current president to his stunning electoral victory over Hillary Clinton.
And in so doing he, in typical globalist neoconservative fashion, managed to display a lack of empathy for the concerns of ordinary working Americans that would make Marie Antoinette blush.
One section best sums up what the New York Times called a "sustained rebuke to President Trump," a segment in which the former president reaffirmed his commitment to globalism and condemned what has become the three key tenets of Trumpism - immigration restrictions, fair trade, and less reckless foreign intervention.
Put it this way - when the New York Times is a fan, it’s time for a serious gut check.
"We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism, forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America," said Bush. "We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade, forgetting that conflict, instability and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism. We’ve seen the return of isolationist sentiments, forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places."
Where to even start? First of all, to portray recent immigration patterns as anywhere similar to the waves of the past is more than disingenuous. It's a pernicious lie. Although the government does a good job of hiding exactly how many illegal immigrants are arrested every year, we do know that 25 percent of Federal prisons are filled with them. The nation's illegal immigrant population contributes 12 percent of all murders, 20 percent of all kidnappings, 16 percent of all drug trafficking, and almost 14 percent of EVERY sentenced criminal. Never mind the tremendous burden on American taxpayers, to the tune of almost $20,000 for every low-skilled immigrant household.
If Mr. Bush wants to call that "dynamism" he can, as long as he's got Secret Service protection and lives in a gated community mansion.
Bush, as is typical of globalist “free traders,” represents Trump's trade positions as if they aren't in favor of friendly trade with other nations. Free trade is good, Trump insists, as long as it is fair. When it's not, it is ordinary American workers who suffer the awful price of stagnant wages and closed factories. Does anyone with half a brain truly think Trump would have won the Rust Belt echoing Bush's RAND Corporation trade policy?
W doesn't either, nor does he care, which is why he was perfectly happy to cast his ballot for Hillary Clinton (yes, I realize he says he didn’t actually cast his ballot for Hillary, but for all practical purposes that’s essentially what happened when so-called “conservatives” refused to vote for Trump, as Bush did).
As for the former president’s rebuke of "isolationism," how can America possibly police the entire world? An even better question would be how can we possibly pay for it?
Anyone with a memory longer than a hamster's might recall that it was George W. Bush and his "globalist" policies on immigration (read: amnesty) and especially foreign policy (hello Iraq) that cost the GOP the House and the Senate in 2006, paving the way for Barack Obama's 2008 landslide.
"We cannot wish globalism away," Bush said.
Maybe not, but we can speak loudly at the ballot box. Thankfully, enough Americans sharply rejected W and his neocon pals in 2016 to win where they had previously lost, carrying states Republicans hadn't carried in decades.
In the same speech, Bush raised the specters of "bullying and prejudice," as if President Trump and his supporters are happily engaged in all sorts of nefarious "cruelty and bigotry."
As he left the hall a reporter asked Bush if he thought the White House would hear his message.
"I think it will," Bush said as he smiled and nodded.
Yes, Mr. Former President - the White House and lots of other people heard your tired message, but doesn't make it any less ridiculous.