I’ve been thinking a lot about the elder President Bush as he is remembered today, largely, for representing all the things his son did not as President, and which the current President does even less.
To Bush’s family and many friends, of course, he was much more than that. I don’t begrudge them any of their fond memories, or Bush the sometimes extravagant praise being thrown his way this week. He had real achievements to his credit, some of which are under-recognized today. Even this week, for example, we’re not hearing much about Bush’s role in the thankless task of cleaning up one of the least creditable products of Reagan’s tenure: a savings and loan crisis produced by federal determination to let a financial services industry regulate itself. Whatever he told his son about this episode must have fallen on very deaf ears indeed.