Bush proved right. Lacking a snub from which to pivot, Trump did the only thing he could do as a member of the now-five-member living president’s club: He issued an appropriate official statement on Bush’s passing, largely steered clear of the week’s Bush remembrances and showed up for the funeral at which he had no speaking role. Even his scowling abstention from the Apostle’s Creed — which all the other presidents recited — couldn’t detract from a solemn ceremony.
It was a brief political win-win. Bush, the last president to serve in combat, a former congressman, ambassador, CIA director and vice president could be laid to rest with decorum, and Trump — Cadet Bone Spurs, decorated veteran of Studio 54 — was mostly spared another unflattering comparison to an American hero.
But not completely spared. Trump saw himself eclipsed by the memory of a superior man and his anti-statesmanship outshined by the disdained values of a presently-defunct GOP, whose passing we collectively view with increasing regret.