Bing, what an astonishing thing to say, unworthy of you and beneath you. Romney is right that Obama should work with people in the other party. That’s one of the things democrats are supposed to do in government. You say he is “vapid”: I think he is a substantial man, who has had a better, more admirable life than the average ten people combined (at least). I am speaking both of his professional life and his personal life.
You say he “shuttles between his properties.” Yeah, he’s rich. I’m glad he is. I hope he gets richer. He has done a lot of good with his wealth. But our Right joins the Left in snideness about wealth. You say, referring to the 43rd president, that “Mr. Bush rides a bike on his ranch.” Yup. Sometimes he rides with Wounded Warriors. He has a number of good endeavors, including support of political prisoners around the world, people who are generally ignored.
Of Romney and Bush, you say, “Neither stands up for whatever he believes.” Bush was in the political arena for a long time. He won the governorship of his state twice and the presidency twice. He stood up for what he believed (often at some cost). He is now off the stage, though contributing a good post-presidency. Romney ran for president from about 2007 to 2012. The people didn’t want him. Too bad for the people, I say.
You say that Bush and Romney are “smug” and “self-satisfied.” Smugness and self-satisfaction are in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. W. has been guilty of smugness from time to time. I think both men are far from self-satisfied. They strike me as a little restless, mentally and spiritually, frankly.
I admire Bing West — one of the great hombres of our age — and I admire Bush and Romney, too. In fact, I think Bush and Romney are two of the finest men to have shown up in public life in generations. They are very different from each other, but they have things in common, including this: They are gentlemen. This is something America doesn’t much care about these days. Just turn on television, see what’s popular.
A couple of hours ago, I was in a hotel lobby, checking out of the hotel. A woman was handling my bill. Above her, the television was blaring, and a group of women were talking about orgasms, complete with sound effects. This was resounding around the lobby. I guess it’s normal, for public places in today’s America. How did we get this way?
Bush and Romney may appear to be friendless. They are hated, to a practically clinical degree, by our Left. And they are hated by elements of our Right (strongly represented on this website). In my observation, people who admire Bush and Romney don’t speak out much. They’re a little intimidated by the huffy types. (I myself am very often a huffy type.) But the admirers are out there, including here at National Review.