He praised George H.W. Bush.
The former president had just died. In Behar’s view, it was a moment to recognize any merit in the man and his legacy.
VIDEO: [C-Span] Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s Eulogy at the funeral for former George Walker Bush, 41st President of the United States of America [Dec. 5, 2018]
Many of his followers disagreed. They depended on Behar for righteous liberal passion, which left no room for such Bush-flattering adjectives and phrases as “good,” “decent” and “a life of dignity.” How dare Behar lavish them on a man who leaned on the despicable Willie Horton ad, who nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, who did too little in the face of AIDS, whose privilege often blinded him to need.
They lashed out at Behar. They unfollowed him. And they demonstrated the transcendent curse of these tribal times: Americans’ diminishing ability to hold two thoughts at once.
Bush has indelible stains on his record. He also has points of light. At times he failed the responsibilities of leadership. At times he did right by them. He showed folly and he showed wisdom, cowardice and courage, aloofness and kindness.
Accentuating the positive, especially in the hours after his death, didn’t eliminate the negative.
Behar said as much in that tweet, beginning it by alluding to disagreements with Bush’s agenda. No matter. The blowback came anyway, and he felt compelled, in a subsequent tweet, to explain, elaborate, justify.
This article continues at [New York Times] George Bush and the Obituary Wars