Maureen Dowd Contrasts Bush’s ‘Decency and Civility’ With Trump’s ‘Odyssey of Narcissistic Self-Discovery’


On MSNBC’s Meet the Press Daily, the panel of guests discussed with Chuck Todd the life and passing of President George H. W. Bush, whose funeral was held today and broadcast live across the country.

Todd asked his guests to consider the difference between the way things were with Bush, and how he was as president, compared to what we see now broadly and in President Donald Trump specifically, calling it a “split screen” showing the two things.

Conservative columnist George Will said that on the one side, you are faced with the “developments that are daily and evanescent” but that won’t “be with us forever.” But on the other side, he said, there is “this marvelous civic liturgy that the country has.” He pointed out how pomp and circumstance are more natural to monarchies with long histories, but it doesn’t come as naturally to a republic. It “was quite stirring, I thought,” he said.

Liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd was a bit more on the nose in answering the question about a “split screen” showing then and now.

“Well, I think in this era of covering white collar crimes and porn stars and vulgarity, you know, it was nice to look back to someone who was trying to represent decency and civility,” she said. “And when they were planning his funeral in 2011, he said to an aide, ‘Do you think anyone will come?’ And that modesty is in such contrast to Trump’s endless odyssey of narcissistic self-discovery.”

Todd turned to Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty next, and said that things changed dramatically from the time of Bush to now, almost immediately starting with Clinton, in that Presidents are “celebrified”, a difference between humility in Bush, versus the way things have been ever since.

Tumulty said that the senior Bush was “somehow regal and modest at the same time,” and that today’s funeral was able to echo that. She contrasted that with John McCain‘s funeral which was more of a “direct rebuke” against Trump. Essentially reinforcing the point that there is a dramatic difference between not just Bush and Trump, but between the office of president up to Bush 41, and the way politics have been since the beginning of Bill Clinton’s term.

Watch the clip above, courtesy of MSNBC.

[Featured image via screengrab]

Follow Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) on Twitter

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: