The official services at the National Cathedral are going to start around 11 a.m. EST, but the stream is already live and the ceremonies going on now are worth tuning in for:
I hope that we don’t have too much of the following today:
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- Bush wasn’t a real conservative!
- All the mourning is fake and just for show!
- They praise him now but they attacked him when he was president!
Both of those statements are true to some degree, but none of them are really all that important in the context of what’s happening.
I understand, to some degree, the frustration you feel listening to these media talking heads praising the man when you know these same people ripped him mercilessly and disingenuously during his presidency.
I understand you want to roll your eyes when you see Chuck Schumer pretending to be sad.
I understand you’re still sore about “read my lips” or David Souter or whatever.
But you should keep some things in mind:
A man’s journey in public service, and ultimately to the presidency, is characterized by many difficult choices and considerable hardship. Bush lost a daughter who was only three years old. He flew 58 combat missions in World War II. He played baseball at Yale and he was really good.
He was married to the same woman for more than 60 years. He raised five children including a president of the United States.
And for crying out loud, the guy was jumping out of airplanes as he approached 90 years old.
He also played a very important role in the achievement of the Reagan policy agenda, working behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to help win over necessary Democratic votes in the House. It seems hard to imagine given the way Congress is today, but when the Reagan tax cuts passed, Democrats had a large majority in the House and it took no small number of their votes to pass the bill and send it to Reagan for his signature.
Bush had a lot to do with that.
I also really do love the fact that all the living presidents gather for these things, and it seems to me that what they have in common as presidents is more important to them than their partisan differences. It’s one of the good things about our country.
Appreciate what’s happening today. It’s not a happy event, but it’s a good one.