SUZANNE HARRINGTON: Coming to terms with Bush trumping Donald

I’ve been writing this column since Bill Clinton lied about a blow job in the Oval Office, spurring my sister to write her doctoral thesis about the role of the special prosecutor, then Kenneth Starr.

Happy days. Now it’s Robert Mueller, who would undoubtedly find misplaced cigars and throwing an intern under the world’s media bus a joyful respite from the Trumpian hellscape that he has been appointed to excavate; you know things are bad when you find yourself thinking almost fondly about George Dubya Bush.

We misunderestimated just how bad things could get. The current occupant at the White Supremacist House makes Dubya seem like Obama, and Obama like Mandela. Dear God.

“I Preferred Obama”, read one of the less sweary homemade placards at the recent anti-Trump protests in London, where a quarter of a million people and a large orange balloon expressed their displeasure in what was billed a carnival of resistance.

“I’d call you a c*** but you lack the warmth and depth”, read one. “I don’t normally do signs, but for f*** sake”, read another. And classically, “The Queen thinks you’re a twat”. Oh, and lots of Free Melania banners. There were Muslims against Trump, migrants against Trump, drag queens against Trump, vicars against Trump, there were vegans against Trump, babies against Trump. Everyone came.

Aerial footage showed a vast river of humanity flowing through central London, filling the enormity of Trafalgar Square. You probably saw it on the news.

Actors! Liars! Fake news! shouted Trump supporters. Several suggested that the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators in the streets all over Britian had come out to welcome the US ‘President’. Again, dear God. Only when Trump went to Helsinki and got his woulds and his wouldn’ts mixed up in the presence of his Russian boss did America react.

“I misspoke,” responded the tangerine nightmare.

Obama, in a speech in to mark the 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth, spoke of the “utter loss of shame amongst political leaders, where they’re caught in a lie and just double down and lie some more.”

And we remain hypnotised, distracted, horrified, as the abnormal becomes normalised, and the unacceptable becomes accepted.

When Dubya’s dad George HW Bush moved out of the Oval Office in January 1993, he left a hand written note to welcome his successor, Bill Clinton. It ended with: “I wish you well, I wish your family well. Your success is now our country’s success. I am rooting for you. Good luck.”

How other wordly such words seem now, how quaint, how last century in their sincerity and good manners.

Bush Sr mongered wars like the rest of them, but at least he wrote a nice letter — is this what Trump has reduced us to, a longing for the likes of Georges Sr and Jr?

Is this what is has come to? Or, in terms of political evolution, is the Trump nightmare one step back after the two steps forward of Obama? Or is this the new normal?


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