For most, the memorials to former President George H.W. Bush have been solemn, dignified, and apolitical. For others, however, they appear to be just another opportunity to criticize their political opponents.
Case in point: Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., whose Tuesday Senate floor remarks about the 41st president’s legacy were riddled with thinly veiled political barbs and held the late president up as a foil against the current Republican party and administration.
For example, when it came to global warming and pollution, Bush had “close ties to the oil industry” but still “believed in science,” Durbin said. “What a welcome change that would be in Washington today if his party felt the same.”
“What a sharp contrast to the current administration,” Durbin later added after running down a list of the late president’s various environmental efforts.
His conclusion is a pretty obvious shot at Trump. “Our sadness at losing him seems partly a reflection for our own deep, deep yearning as a nation today for the kind of leadership, and character, and integrity and honesty and courage that he brought to the office of presidency,” Durbin said.
“As President Bush’s own life shows us,” Durbin said toward the beginning of his speech, “there’s a time for politics and there’s a time to put politics aside.”