While President Donald Trump has used truculence, bluster, populism, and manufactured division to hide the true nature of his agenda, George Herbert Walker Bush used manners, civility, and grace to hide the truth of his and his family’s agenda.
Both are very similar in their objectives. Both have enabled the continued transfer of wealth to the upper echelons of society. Both have sought to protect the interests of corporations and rich friends. But as we witnessed this week, Bush and the Bush family were far more effective with honey than with vinegar.
To wrap up this week of seemingly non-stop hagiographic coverage of George H.W. Bush, Jeff Schechtman talks with Russ Baker about the Bush family and Baker’s blockbuster book Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years.
Baker notes that the job of journalism is to ask questions and present facts — NOT to be co-opted by the fawning of sycophants that today turn funerals into a form of entertainment.
Amid the pomp and pageantry of a state funeral, Baker tells us of little-known and little-publicized aspects of Bush’s life and career: how he got a covert early start as an intelligence operative decades before becoming CIA director; how his father, on behalf of Wall Street, chose an unknown Richard Nixon to run for Congress; how he couldn’t remember where he was when John F. Kennedy was shot (Baker knows); and how he played a deep role in the illegal Iran-Contra affair while keeping his fingerprints off the official record.
Baker shows us that — from the most elite prep schools to the secret sanctum of Skull and Bones to the reinvention of this well-connected New England clan as Texas oilmen — for over a hundred years the Bush family has been about the protection, extension, and cohesion of America’s ruling class.