If you are a liberal older than, say, 24—old enough to either hate Thought Catalog or not know what Thought Catalog is, is a better barometer—you know this. That George W. Bush is uncool, lame, establishment, square, and odious, etc., is a political fact as self-evident and unnecessary to argue as “Mitt Romney takes double-A batteries” or “Bill Clinton has an oiliness about him.”
But if you are younger than 24, you might not have attended anti-Bush rallies in high school and in college. You might not have pinned “SHRUB” buttons to your tote bag, and might not even remember Bush as a war-lovin’, vowel-droppin’, faux-folksy, ostentatiously religious Connecticut cowboy. This is because Bush has, quietly and wholly, ingeniously refashioned himself into an Internet-friendly, cat-loving, ironic-hat-wearing painter-cum-Instagram savant. Lately, George W. Bush is a hipster icon, and the Internet, unofficial Fourth Estate of the youth of America, is totally buying it.
Bush’s encouraging letter to student-athlete Cade Foster, the 22-year-old University of Alabama kicker who just about single-handedly (single-footedly) lost his team the 2013 Iron Bowl, is the Internet sensation of the week. How nice, Bush is, to reach out to a Troubled Youngster™! Foster’s photograph of the letter has more than 4,000 retweets; President Bush has innumerable new fans.
Though definitely aided by his love of animals, biking hobby, Internet savvy, and U-Street-friendly uniform, Bush’s transmutation from iPod-threatening lameness monster into smiling blog mascot aligns closely with his painting career.
Bush was only a monster to the far left. His popularity declined because of a constant pounding by the media and the Democrats. They hate that he’s a decent likable guy, and now that he’s been out of office for five years they can’t keep blaming everything that goes wrong on him. And it drives them crazy!
I would say that this marks a revival of the Bush-as-both-evil-genius-and-developmentally-disabled-child meme of the early 2000s, when he unexpectedly bested a befuddled Al Gore, who went on to make flawlessly accurate scientific predictions about the decline of the polar ice caps, but that gives this piece a bit too much credit, as it requires the author to notice that she’s given George W. Bush both the capability to wholly revitalize an image that decades of work tarnished in less than six weeks, and, at the same time, called the same man utterly incapable of self-reflection. Thankfully, the author closed out her piece with an always-appropriate comparison of George W. Bush to Nazi sympathizers and accused murders, so at least she didn’t sacrifice every shred of intellectual capital she was tenuously grasping. (Read More)
Here’s the image included with the Vanity Fair piece. It’s almost delicious, all of these candid photos of Bush when all they get from their hero are photos released by the official White House photographer. Bwahahaha!
H/T Bad Blue