Democrats Keep Rehabilitating Dubya’s Image To Justify Their Neoconservatism

Caitlin Johnstone
4 min readSep 30, 2017

Earlier today Eric Boehlert, a high-profile propagandist for David Brock shill farm Shareblue, seized on Trump’s failures in Puerto Rico to launch into yet another song of praise for George W Bush from the Democratic establishment. He has since deleted those tweets in response to the public backlash he received, but I took screen shots:

I wrote about this phenomenon way back in April after it had already become a glaring trend within the liberal echo chamber, and since that time it’s only gotten worse. A Gallup poll in June found that Bush’s approval rating, which had been a spectacularly low 35 percent when he left office, had made a great leap in the last year with a stunning 59 percent of Americans now looking upon the Texan butcher in a favorable light.

Yesterday the CIA trade rag Washington Post, easily the most virulently pro-establishment of all legacy newspapers, ran an op-ed featuring an image of a cuddle party between Dubya, Obama and Bill Clinton titled “Miss these guys yet? You betcha.” This insipid piece of brain poison looked wistfully back on the good old days when “bipartisan” measures like NAFTA, welfare reform, the Magnitsky Act, and Bush’s No Child Left Behind were passed with a harmonious collaboration between America’s two corporatist right-wing parties.

Ahh for the good old days when two staunchly neoconservative plutocratic enforcement agencies can come together to take away the social safety nets of America’s most impoverished citizens and pass neoliberal deregulation policies to ship jobs overseas for the benefit of multinational corporations and banks.

WaPo’s repeated employment of the concept of bipartisanship in that article is a continuation of a theme we’ve been seeing more and more of since Trump’s inauguration, a theme which perfectly explains the current campaign to rehabilitate George W Bush’s image in the eyes of mainstream Democrats. As we discussed recently, the “bipartisan” label is being used with increasing frequency to manufacture support for neoconservative agendas against Russia and other nations to create the illusion that they are unbiased responses to real situations instead of brazen manipulations by the US war machine. It’s funny how WaPo pines for the days of “bipartisan” collaboration when both parties are still overwhelmingly supporting increases in US military spending and warmongering sanctions against Russia, Iran and Iraq during Trump’s administration, moves touted as bipartisan by establishment outlets like WaPo.

The Democratic party’s pivot toward alliances with garden variety Bush neocons has been one of the most significant political events of the 21st century so far, but hardly anyone ever points at it and talks about it. The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald has been one of the few people staring right at it this entire time and reporting on these disturbing developments as they come up, and he didn’t miss a beat with the latest Shareblue spin job:

Greenwald is correct as usual. Bush’s war crimes and expansion of the Orwellian surveillance state are absolutely unforgivable, but as the Democratic party pivots into alignment with neoconservative agendas and cheerleading the US intelligence community it’s become necessary to doublethink away from those grievances. A hawkish anti-detente posture toward Russia has been absolutely foundational to neoconservative policy since long before the fall of the Soviet Union, and rank-and-file Democrats have been herded into alignment with those agendas by the establishment propaganda machine using Trump derangement syndrome.

This is why whenever I insult bloodthirsty neocon John McCain I get a barrage of comments along the lines of “I’m a lifelong Democrat, but attacking a war hero like McCain is out of line.” They say this like it’s supposed to be surprising, because the illusion of bipartisanship is meant to mask the fact that they are simply neoconservatives defending a fellow neoconservative. A recent poll found that John McCain is actually far more popular among Democrats than among Republicans. Democrats defend that warmongering neocon because they themselves have been paced into becoming warmongering neocons.

This is where the Democratic party is headed. Not toward Bernie Sanders, but toward George W Bush. Don’t believe me? Keep watching their behavior, keep watching the legislation they pass, keep paying attention to their patterns and policy, and you will. Ignore their words and watch their actual behavior and you’ll see how radically different their stated agendas are from their actual agendas. America has two right-wing war parties. It’s time for something new.

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