Question: How has former President George W. Bush spent his dozen years in retirement: (1) cozying up to the Clintons, (2) shilling for the cheap-labor lobby, (3) carping about Donald Trump, or (4) painting portraits.
The answer, of course, is all of the above, and it turns out that that last activity, the painting, is meshing well with the others. So well that W is on a media promotional tour hyping his new collection of immigrant portraits he calls Out of Many, One. It consists of 43 (get it?) portraits of real immigrants complete with their deliciously heart-warming stories. (Note: Not to be confused with a kid’s bio of Barack Obama by the same title.)
Bush’s book and tour are giving him a chance to firmly stake out, for the sake of history as well as any potential donors to the George W. Bush Foundation, his position on immigration: legal, illegal, and all varieties in between. In an April 16 Washington Post op-ed Bush encouraged Americans to welcome more arrivals of all kinds and to hang onto and naturalize those already here. Throughout the piece–and no doubt throughout the book–he slathers on enough sentimental moralizing to throw the unwary into a diabetic coma, not to mention trotting out every Democrat talking point and cliché:
New Americans are a force for good, with their energy, idealism and love of country. . . . immigrants are filled with appreciation. . . . Dreamers are fundamentally American. . . .undocumented immigrants should be brought out of the shadows . . . .the desire to live in the United States is an affirmation of our country and what we stand for. . . . generations of grateful, hard-working, self-reliant, patriotic Americans came here by choice. . . . immigration is a great and defining asset of the United States.
And so on.
As a reflection of just how relevant Bush 43 is to that other party–the Republican, the one to which he nominally belongs–Breitbart News talked to some Congressional aides and others. Here’s what they heard:
“Any Republican still taking their cues from George W. Bush or the neocons is laughably out of touch,” a Senate GOP aide said.
A House GOP aide said, “Republicans are well aware that his presidency was a national disaster on this issue as he failed to act when needed. Bush immigration policy has no impact today other than a reference on what not to do.”
A senior aide said, “If you’re a Republican and you run on a Bush-like GOP platform today, your odds of winning a primary are between slim-to-none.”
Asked about the former president, another aide simply responded, “Who?”
Finally, R.J. Hauman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) said, “This is a bunch of repackaged nonsense that has no home in today’s Republican Party.”
So, maybe W is not winning many friends among Republicans these days, but at least he still has the Clintons.
For more, see Breitbart News.