When you look at American presidential leadership in the 21st century a glaring fact jumps out at you. Aside from Trump, there is a temperamental and general policy similarity between the administrations of George Bush the Younger, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden. Now given their former relationship as president and veep, that is quite expected between Obama and Biden.
Bush joins that club because of policy resemblances of Bush to Biden and because of Dubya’s very close relationship to the Obamas after his term of office. So close Michelle Obama affectionately quipped about Dubya, “He’s my partner in crime.” To be fair, Bush was not leftist or socialist on economics.
We’re not saying that the Republican Bush and the two Democrats are exact doppelgangers. But their views and enacted policies on illegal immigration, national security, and some social policy are in the same ballpark. Granted, Bush is an evangelical and thus his cultural views are very different from the Democrats. The man, more than a bit gullible and naive, took his earnest faith and lead with it. So much so that he famously said of Vladimir Putin, “I looked the man in the eye. I found him very straightforward and trustworthy – I was able to get a sense of his soul.” Barack Obama hates this country and Joe Biden is a mentally faltering hack. But neither of them would have been so childlike as to say that.
Bush sought a bipartisan, which in DC usually means Democrat friendly, way to solve the immigration debate. He tragically invaded Iraq and tried to play nation builder in Afghanistan, to absurd outcomes. All three administrations used force in the Middle East, as opposed to Trump who made smart diplomacy his calling card and achieved dramatically positive results.
However, the greatest coziness between the three administrations, hence the question of Dubya’s fifth term, is in attitude towards DC. Washington is a company town like many others. The business here is government. Democrats fit right in, as their whole mission is to expand government power at the expense of the American people and their freedoms.
Different in intrinsic ideology but not that much in modern execution, the Bush family has been a DC institution since Prescott Bush, George the Elder’s dad and Dubya’s grandfather, was elected to the US Senate from Connecticut in 1952. George the Elder has a DC resume as long as your arm and his son was born to the Washington purple. So they swam naturally in the DC pool and didn’t challenge the basic Washington assumption that bureaucrats here know how to run the lives of the American people better than the people themselves do.
As was obvious, like him or not and for better and worse, Donald Trump does not share that view. On Trump’s inauguration day, listening to his speech, the words caused Dubya to wisecrack, “That’s some crazy sh**.” It is doubtful the 43rd president feels the same about the Biden administration.