December 1, 2018

"The passing of the former president had raised the thorny question of whether Mr. Trump would come to the funeral."

"Senator John McCain, another stalwart of a past Republican generation, made a point of excluding Mr. Trump from his funeral in September, but Mr. Bush was known for New England gentility and seemed less likely to want to make such a statement. It is traditional for the incumbent president to speak at services for a former president, although there have been exceptions."

From "Trump Offers Praise for Bush and Will Attend the Funeral" (NYT).

I can't believe this was a question at all, let alone a "thorny question." All the living Presidents attend the funeral of a dead President. It would be an unfathomable breach of etiquette to demand that he stay away.

68 comments:

Big Mike said...

It's not. If the President of the United States wants to go somewhere, the President goes there. Simple.

mockturtle said...

Bush, Sr. was a gentleman. He would never have asked to exclude anyone from his funeral because of political differences or even personal animosity.

rcocean said...

McCain was a no-class Asshole, and proud of it ("I won't win any Miss Congeniality awards", smirk, smirk)

Bush-I had been out of politics for 24 years. Plus he was a Gentleman.

In any case, the Bush family would have a hard time explaining why Clinton and Obama were speaking at his funeral and Trump wasn't.

rcocean said...

Usually the President announces a day of mourning for the dead President, so I assume Trump will do that once the funeral day is set.

mccullough said...

This is fake news. Never a doubt Trump would go and never a doubt Bush family would say don’t come.

Comanche Voter said...

There were a lot of things unfathomable about the late and (in my corner anyway) not much lamented Senator McCain. I thought the world of his grandfather, and thought that his father served the country honorably. Senator McCain never quite grew up.

As for George H. W. Bush--he was either the youngest, or one of the youngest, pilots in the Navy in WW II. He took on responsibilities of all sorts during his long career before becoming President and discharged them all with grace and competence.

Sebastian said...

"I can't believe this was a question at all."

I can't believe I can't believe returns, having been so effectively banished from this blog.

Anyway, Bush was a gentleman, but the Bush family also has a tough-guy nasty streak. I wouldn't put it past W to try and keep DJT away.

rcocean said...

Seriously, a Senator publicly dis-inviting a President from his funeral is unheard of.

Nixon was a hater, but didn't "dis-invite" anyone.

I don't think anyone has done it - except McCain.

But he was a "Maverick".

stonethrower said...

No fathomability at all. In fact, I am often struck by Trump's combination of coarseness and grace. On solemn occasions, he always does the right thing and he does it well.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Trump was in full attendance at McCain's funeral. The whiny Flake whiners made it so.

rhhardin said...

Be that as it may, the pre-prepared obits are going make the news really PC-boring until they bury the guy.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

This should be interesting. If Trump attends, will Hillary show up? Will she pitch a fit beforehand and cause Trump to stay away?

Mark said...

Apparently some of the POSs that comment here also write for the NYT.

Leslie Graves said...

Unfathomable breach of etiquette. If that could be anthropomorphized, it could be nominated for Time's Person of the Year for 2018, it having shown up in so many places.

Mary Beth said...

If he's not there, it would make the Bushes look petty. The media would report it as being Trump's fault.

Unknown said...

McCain was a dick. Still a dick albeit a dead dick.

anti-de Sitter space said...

"the pre-prepared obits are going make the news really PC-boring until they bury the guy."


Low energy.

Birches said...

Our press has made it fathomable. They've been cheering the possibility since 41 was hospitalized.

rcocean said...

McCain proves that if you get on TV enough times and Establishment likes you, there's a big state funeral in your future.

It doesn't matter that you were never Majority/Minority Leader or wrote/got passed a great piece of leglislation.

tcrosse said...

Obama might say a few words at the funeral. If he does, you can count on them to be Me, Myself, and I.

tcrosse said...

It would be ironic if it turned into a Wellstone Funeral, because W was the main target of that.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

Were I Trump, I’d hardly be heartbroken at not being invited. Broken precedents grant freedom of action. God forbid he should croak anytime soon, but how tiresome would Obama’s funeral be? I’d be praying for a disinvitation.

Kevin said...

The media will turn the funeral from a celebration of Bush's life, to a parsing of every utterance to see how it might be a jab at Trump.

In doing so, they once again make themselves the story.

readering said...

I fully expected POTUS to attend and speak but his absence from last FLOTUS funeral made this a natural topic of discussion. Carter life expectancy almost 3 years so hopefully not an issue again.

readering said...

Looking forward to photo of current and former first families together.

Tank said...

I heard on Fox this AM that the Trumps were invited and will attend.

gilbar said...

Big Mike said...
It's not. If the President of the United States wants to go somewhere, the President goes there. Simple.

The President can't come into MY house just because he wants to, without being granted access
The President can't come into the US House of Representatives without being granted access; There's even a Sergeant at Arms to bar the door.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

The President can't come into MY house just because he wants to,

"Come back with a warrant, asshole."

Leland said...

"unfathomable"... that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

The NYT could certainly go far worse, and they may just do so. It's early. Still plenty of time to put pressure on 43 and the Bush family to disinvite Trump. See, we can explore the idea much further.

cubanbob said...

"Senator John McCain, another stalwart of a past Republican generation, made a point of excluding Mr. Trump from his funeral in September, but Mr. Bush was known for New England gentility and seemed less likely to want to make such a statement. It is traditional for the incumbent president to speak at services for a former president, although there have been exceptions."

So a class act the NYT is. Might as well come out loud and proud on their masthead with all the "news" the Democrat Party thinks its fit to print.

Crazy Jane said...

Would it have been a "thorny question" if HIllary Clinton had won the 2016 election? If not, why not?

Mary Beth said...

tcrosse said...

Obama might say a few words at the funeral. If he does, you can count on them to be Me, Myself, and I.

12/1/18, 11:36 AM


He would describe Bush's achievements and then say, "That was me, people."

Bruce Hayden said...

I don’t see anybody creating problems here. Because Bush (41) was President, his funeral is, essentially, a state function. That means that the Trumps will be there, He will speak, and Crooked Hillary will attend as the spouse of a former President. Every one will probably be gracious, because not doing so will look bad for the one not doing such.

Mark said...

I fully expected POTUS to attend and speak but his absence from last FLOTUS funeral made this a natural topic of discussion.

Traditionally, sitting presidents do not go to the funerals of former first ladies.

So, no, it was not a natural topic of discussion for Trump.

Mark said...

Technically, Kennedy’s appearance at Eleanor Roosevelt’s funeral 54 years ago is the last time a sitting president attended services for a former first lady. Bill Clinton spoke during an 11-minute grave-site ceremony for Jackie Kennedy at Arlington National Ceremony on May 23, 1994, but he did not attend her funeral Mass in New York earlier in the day.

Mark said...

When Hillary goes, she will be accorded honors -- higher than she otherwise would for anything she has done -- only because she was Bill Clinton's wife when he was president.

rhhardin said...

JFK got a temporary eternal flame until the eternal eternal flame could be constructed.

YoungHegelian said...

I was working IT at the Executive Office during the Bush years. Matter of fact, I was on the team that provided tech support to the Reagan to Bush 1 transition team. Two little known facts about Bush 1:

1) The Reagan team had all sorts of folks who came from the Right to Life movement to work in the administration. Bush fired all of them. Cleaned house. Whatever he might have mumbled in public, Bush 1, unlike Bush 2, had no use for the Christian Right.

2) I heard it over & over again from female staffers who met him in person: G.H.W. Bush came across in person an incredibly handsome man. On camera, he looked kinda dorky & wimpy. but in person, it was like he was another man entirely. Like I say, I heard this repeatedly from female staffers who saw him on special occasions, e.g. like when the sitting president would pose with the Executive Office staff for a group Christmas photo.

Hagar said...

I think George H.W. Bush was a rather gentle man with a towering ego and that he did better than expected as president. In fact, not bad at all.

I am just sorry that he apparently lost his mind in later years and went to associating with the Clintons. "You lie down with dogs; you get up with fleas!"

Mark said...

JFK got a temporary eternal flame until the eternal eternal flame could be constructed

Over time -- and probably at the time -- the hubris of the Kennedys for seizing that prime place of honor at Arlington is more and more undeniable. Most people would be embarrassed.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

The thing the NYT seems to forget--and McCain forgot--is that McCain wasn't a President.

YoungHegelian said...

@Mark,

the hubris of the Kennedys for seizing that prime place of honor at Arlington is more and more undeniable.

History has brought to light that there was no limit to the hubris of the Kennedy family. This was just par for the course.

Jim at said...

I fully expected POTUS to attend and speak but his absence from last FLOTUS funeral made this a natural topic of discussion.

Sigh. The only reason it was a topic of discussion is because you leftists made it a topic of discussion. It's common for the FLOTUS to attend those events, not the President.

You do realize history didn't start with the election of Trump, right?

Richard Taylor said...

"If the President of the United States wants to go somewhere, the President goes there."

What a un-(small r) republican thing so say! The President CANNOT go wherever he wants. I'm glad he was invited, but I wouldn't want to live in a country where the president could bully his way into a funeral (not that Trump would try). How does that work, exactly?

gspencer said...

"It would be an unfathomable breach of etiquette to demand that he stay away."

And such a demand is exactly what I would expect of Obama in the unlikely event that he might pass before Trump passes, something his shrew of a wife would happily enforce.

Hagar said...

If the Bush family wanted a private funeral, they could presumably have one.

But tradition is that a past president gets a state funeral.

HT said...

"It would be an unfathomable breach of etiquette to demand that he stay away."

That's hilarious!

tcrosse said...

Mark said...
When Hillary goes, she will be accorded honors


This presupposes that Hillary will ever go away.

William Chadwick said...


"This presupposes that Hillary will ever go away." Queen Cacklepants, meanwhile, is hard at work trying to stay around as long as possible as "the Elizabeth Bathory of American Politics." (Look it up.)

tcrosse said...

"the Elizabeth Bathory of American Politics."

If she did pass away, it would be a good idea to jab her with a hatpin to make sure she's dead.

Char Char Binks said...

A naive or pointless question, or a faux-naive question, can be made thorny simply by asking it.

rcocean said...

"I heard it over & over again from female staffers who met him in person: G.H.W. Bush came across in person an incredibly handsome man."

It ironic that Bush came off as a "Wimp" because he was on the Yale BB team and was a bomber pilot in WW2.

And did things like Skydive at 75(?)

Same with Ford. People talked about how "dumb" he was, but everyone who worked with him, thought he was smart, and he was a graduate of Yale Law.

rcocean said...

Or Ike. People imagine he was the "barefoot boy with Kansas, with the Sunny smile"

when in fact, he had a massive temper and could quite cool and ruthless with subordinates.

tcrosse said...

A Thorny Question is one that Ozzie and Harriet's next-door neighbor asks.

Phidippus said...

Sympathetic magic, lefty media style. Sad!

Mockturtle at 10:55 stated it well.

readering said...

So I thought there was something of a practice for current POTUS to get speak at POTUS funeral. (See Reagan, Ford.) I guess it's rather something of a practice for one or more Bushes to speak.

traditionalguy said...

In Zapata oil Bonesman Bush mixed a career in the CIA with an aw shucks good guy cover. After the Bay of Pigs the CIA and JFK went to war and the CIA won. Bush did that work. So Trump is going to have to put on an act honoring Bush. But he can do that acting better than most.

Ajnal said...

"If the President of the United States wants to go somewhere, the President goes there."


unless it is raining, of course,

stevew said...

McCain was an unmitigated and proud asshole. HW Bush and his family are the exact opposite. No one doubts he will attend and will be welcomed. A Fake news attempt to establish the outrage of the day.

William Chadwick said...

Nixon: "George is such a sweet guy." That may have been a big part of the problem. I've often thought the only thing that can pull us out of our slide down the Road to Serfdom would be a more libertarian version of Nixon: a guy who gets a perverse joy out of riling his enemies. In one of Robert B. Parker's Virgil Cole novels, Virgil says it's best not to look reluctant about going into a shootout, but look like you WANT a shootout. I would prefer him to actually WANT the shootout. Or to paraphrase Eric Holder, I want a president who waked up in the morning, spits on his hands, and asks, "What part of the Welfare State can I kill today?"

Gk1 said...

Besides McCain was a spiteful turdball who spent his remaining days spitting venom at Trump. He was not even in the same solar system as Bush 41. Of Course Trump will be there at the funeral.

Chuck said...

Althouse, I can hardly believe that after you wrote the phrase "unfathomable breach of etiquette" you didn't consider that it is one of the better universal descriptions of the Trump presidency, the Trump campaign, and Trump himself.

William Chadwick said...

As I have often noted, CBS Sunday Morning is useful these days as a peek into the Hive and a glimpse at what the Hive party line is these days. Today it was a celebration of Bush I's "civility" (as opposed to You Know Who). I thought of our hostess's "civility bullshit" category.

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...

Here's Trump, in one of his unhinged stump speeches, wondering what the hell "a thousand points of light" meant.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/07/06/trump_what_the_hell_is_thousand_points_of_light_we_understand_make_america_great_again.html

Insofar as Trump is someone whose charitable foundation appears now to have operated illegally in New York, and who has never really known anything about public service in all of his seventy years before becoming President, I can understand how Trump might not have known what it meant. But instead of doing a Catskills-comic routine about it, Trump probably should have invited President George H.W. Bush to explain all of it to him in a dinner at the White House. Trump might have learned something.

William Chadwick said...

Chuck, "a thousand points of light" indicates that Bush I was capable of slinging the ol' snake oil as easily as any other political mountebank.

Glad I could clear that up for you.

Chuck said...

William Chadwick;
It's a free country. Trump can yell insults at Republican presidents if that is what he wants to do.
But we Republicans will revile Trump for doing it.

William Chadwick said...

"But we Republicans will revile Trump for doing it."

Some will, some won't. The wimpy, me-too Republican's certainly will.