Trump Could Learn a Thing or Two from George H.W. Bush—About Pardons

Politics

On Thursday night, the president* went out in public and had another “episode” on our dime. This one was in Great Falls, Montana, where the Caucasian sensation is truly sweeping the nation. As the amyloid cascade in his belfry reached high tide, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago ran through his usual set-list. (The indefatigable Daniel Dale stood his post again on the electric Twitter machine.) He added some new numbers, like offering to bet Senator Professor Warren a million bucks if she took a DNA test.

(Of course, there’s a pretty good chance he doesn’t have a million bucks to throw around that way, and, besides, he’d never pay off if he lost. “It’s gonna be all over Chicago that you welched. You won’t be able to get a game of jacks!”Henry Gondorff.)

But the strangest turn of events came when the president* departed the rails briefly and went after George H.W. Bush for what was perhaps the most inoffensive and banal remark ever uttered by a sitting president.

Bush family retainers, and a number of people afflicted with common decency, went up the wall, as well they should. But I recalled that GHWB had pardoned everybody who could’ve tangled him up in the crimes of Iran-Contra on his way out of town in 1992. Surely, Poppy could have dropped some wisdom on the current president* on the subject of how to pardon your way out of trouble. Another opportunity lost.