The legacy of the 41st president of the United States is one of moving his Party and his country to the left.
George Herbert Walker Bush certainly made his mark on the United States — and the world — before his passing late Friday night at the age of 94.
First of all, by the time of his passing, he had broken the record as the longest-living former president. When he was elected in 1988, defeating Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, he became the first sitting vice president to win the White House since Martin Van Buren accomplished that feat in 1836. No vice president has managed to succeed his president in office since.
During his lifetime, Bush, the son of a scion of the Eastern Liberal Establishment — Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut — held office as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, ambassador to Communist China, chairman of the Republican National Committee during the Watergate scandal, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, vice-president for eight years, and finally president himself for four years.
Some positives about Bush’s legacy would include his service to the country as the youngest fighter pilot in American history, when he was only 18 years old. Fortunately for his future political career, his rescue from the ocean was caught on film.
Before his unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in 1980, when he lost to Ronald Reagan, he was at a dinner, seated next to then-U.S. Senator Henry Bellmon of Oklahoma. (This story was related to me in late 1979 by someone who was also at this dinner.) Bellmon was one of the 68 senators who voted for President Jimmy Carter’s treaty to give the Panama Canal to Panama, and according to my source, Bush and Bellmon had a rather heated argument about it — with Bush telling Bellmon it was a bad vote.
As president, Bush named two men to the U.S. Supreme Court. One, David H. Souter, turned out to be hardly indistinguishable from the legislate-from-the-bench type of judges picked by Democrats and far too many Republicans. (Even Reagan had a mixed record in this regard, with his excellent selection of Antonin Scalia balanced out negatively by Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy). The other selection, however, Clarence Thomas, picked in 1991, and now the senior member of the Court, has turned out to be a choice quite similar to Scalia.
While the above is part of a positive legacy of the 41st president of the United States, the truth is that his legacy is marred by many of the problems that caused the rejection of his son, Jeb Bush, in the Republican Party primaries of 2016.
It should not be surprising, considering that Bush was born into a family that had multigenerational ties to the globalists that have desired to diminish American national sovereignty for at least 100 years. We cannot be sure how the Bush family first became part of this globalist elite, but Bush’s grandfather, Samuel Bush, certainly had connections. He was general manager of Buckeye Steel Castings Company, run by Frank Rockefeller, brother of Standard Oil’s John D. Rockefeller. The Rockefellers and the Bushes have remained close over the generations. Samuel Bush was later brought into the Woodrow Wilson Administration by banker Bernard Baruch to handle government relations with munitions manufacturers during World War I.
In the 1950s, Bush’s father, Senator Prescott Bush, was a political opponent of non-interventionist Senator Robert A. Taft and Senator Joseph McCarthy, and a close political ally of President Dwight Eisenhower. In 1964, George H.W. Bush, who had moved to Houston, Texas, to enter the oil business (which he eventually sold and which evolved into Pennzoil), become active in Texas Republican Party politics (where he tried to purge John Birch Society members from the party) and decided to run for Congress. He lost the first time, but won a seat in the House in 1966.
President Richard Nixon prevailed upon Bush to give up his safe House seat to make a bid for the U.S. Senate in 1970, but Bush lost to Lloyd Bentsen. Nixon rewarded Bush’s loyalty by making him the first U.S. Ambassador to Communist China and chairman of the Republican National Committee. President Gerald Ford gave him the post of director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He was subsequently replaced by President Carter.
But Bush had powerful connections in the American Establishment, as evidenced by his position as a director in the globalist-minded Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Not surprisingly, Bush had the support of globalist banker David Rockefeller when he launched a bid for president in 1980. He surprised Reagan by winning the Iowa caucuses, but Reagan beat him easily in the New Hampshire primary, where Reagan had the support of William Loeb of the then-conservative Manchester Union-Leader and Governor Meldrim Thomson, neither of which liked the Rockefellers or the globalist establishment. Reagan eventually defeated Bush for the nomination.
Reagan was persuaded to unite the Republican Party by picking Bush as his running-mate in 1980, and the ticket carried 44 states. In 1984 Reagan-Bush did even better, winning 49 states. Publicly at least, Bush was quite loyal to Reagan, and in 1988 he won both the Republican nomination and the general election for presidency. His presidency was largely considered “Reagan’s third term.”
Bush signaled in his acceptance speech of 1988 that he was going to break with Reagan, however, for those who were careful enough to listen. He promised a “kinder and gentler” America, to which Reagan’s wife, Nancy, who was quite adept at picking up any slights to her husband, asked, “Kinder and gentler than what?”
What probably helped Bush rally the conservative Republican base, more than anything else, was another part of his convention speech, when he boldly said, “Read my lips, no new taxes.”
But, once safely in office, he made a deal with the Democrats to raise taxes. Not surprisingly, this caused quite a stir within the Republican grass-roots, and the country generally (politicians are usually much more careful about their campaign promises that they break). However, Bush’s decision to lead a coalition to force Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in early 1991, and its subsequent success in “Desert Storm” shot his approval ratings up to around 90 percent.
It was during this war that Bush used the expression “New World Order” to describe his ultimate goal, boasting that “Desert Storm” would bring us closer to that aim. Among Americans who paid close attention to the aims of the globalist elite, the term New World Order was code for world government. On December 7, 1991, Bush even commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor by blaming, not the Japanese government, but rather American non-interventionists, whom he slurred as “isolationists.”
Bush’s domestic policy was hardly distinguishable from the Democrats at the time, and no prominent Democrat seemed ready to oppose him. However, as the country slid into recession, the “read my lips” remark was remembered, and the victory in the Persian Gulf was forgotten. Bush’s charmed political career met its demise at the hands of a relatively obscure governor of Arkansas — Bill Clinton.
Some considered Bush’s term more Clinton’s first term than Reagan’s third term. In fact, Clinton’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was built upon the foundation set by negotiations to that end begun during the Bush Administration.
Bush worked to make the federal government more, not less, involved in public education, and he signed the Immigration Act of 1990, which led to a 40-percent increase in immigration levels. As a vice-presidential and presidential candidate, Bush took a “pro-life” stance on abortion, which was a reversal of his earlier “pro-choice” position. His wife, Barbara, however, continued to hold a public pro-choice position.
Bush survived the passing of Barbara by less than a year. Their marriage spanned seven decades, and produced two sons who became governors of their states (George W. in Texas, and Jeb in Florida), and one who became president of the United States (George W.).
Hopefully, the Bush Dynasty is finished in American politics.
Photo of President George H.W. Bush in 1989: AP Images