The recent passing of President George H.W. Bush brought to mind a long-ago magazine article I once read in The Washingtonian magazine. It was the April 1982 issue and the piece -- written by Jack Germond and Jules Witcover -- was titled “Why Do Conservatives Hate Bush?” The authors postulated that although Bush was a loyal VP to President Ronald Reagan, he was viewed as “Nelson Rockefeller in sheep’s clothing” by something they called “The New Right,” a nebulous entity that included long-forgotten “masterminds” such as Terry Dolan and Richard Viguerie. Alongside the article was an info box titled “Facts and Figures: The Inside Stuff,” which listed birthdate, religion and a list of favorites. Here it is:
I was working with JDM Bibliographer Walter Shine at the time, helping him chase down some loose ends for a second edition of his Bibliography - Biography (which, sadly, was never published) and I sent a copy of the article to him as material for his column in the JDM Bibliophile. He wrote back a thank you, along with some fiery adjectives about the article's subject, proving that Bush, moderate Republican though he may have been, had no friends on the left either. (People who think things are overly partisan now have very short memories.)
Anyway, Bush was a good man, a war hero, a citizen who dedicated his life to the service of his country. And, I might add, a man with impeccable literary tastes.