Weird History The Surprisingly Un-American Attitudes And Bizarre Behavior of George H.W. And Barbara Bush  

Stephan Roget
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George and Barbara Bush were once looked at as America’s grandparents, kindly old folks with nothing but good intentions and love for their country. Sure, their son (erstwhile president and lifelong artist) George W. Bush grew up to invade a foreign country over false pretenses, but aside from that, the senior Bushes have generally been thought of as earnest, innocent, and as American as apple pie. However, the tide on their public reputation has seen somewhat of a sea-change in their later years, with more and more of the duo's unfortunate and unacceptable behavior being revealed, remembered, or reinterpreted. George H.W. Bush may have been the better of the two President George Bushes, but he was far from perfect, as was his wife.

George and Barbara Bush were married in 1945, the year World War II ended, and stayed married for more than 70 years. Their reputation has undoubtedly been buoyed by their commitment to one another, but certain revelations, like the George H.W. Bush sexual assault stories that came out in October 2017, are causing that reputation to be re-examined. Suddenly, infamous gaffes like the Barbara Bush Iraq War quote are cast in an entirely different light.

H.W. Called Himself "David... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Surprisingly Un-American Attitudes And Bizarre Behavior of George H.W. And Barbara Bush
Photo: Susan Biddle/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

H.W. Called Himself "David Cop-A-Feel" And Groped Women's Backsides

Despite holding conservative values, George H.W. Bush’s behavior toward women has been anything but modest and respectful, according to allegations from several women that came in Fall 2017. The great 2017 unveiling of the rampant sexual assault women have been subjected to by men in positions of power across a number of industries included some disturbing revelations about the 41st President.

Multiple women have now claimed that the former president, who has been wheelchair-bound in recent years, grabbed their butts while taking photos with them. To make matters worse, each woman made mention of Bush including a dirty joke with his sexual harassing, telling his victims that his favorite magician was “David Cop-a-feel.” After the initial women came forward to allege they had been groped by the H.W. while taking photos with him, several others came forward with similar stories, including one who was just 16 years old at the time the alleged incidents involving her took place. Bush apologized for his actions and claimed that his intentions were good-natured attempts to put people at ease. They obviously had the exact opposite effect.

Barbara Is Such A Tyrant Her O... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Surprisingly Un-American Attitudes And Bizarre Behavior of George H.W. And Barbara Bush
Photo: White House Photo Office/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Barbara Is Such A Tyrant Her Own Step-Mother Was Afraid To Speak About Her In Interviews

Many consider Barbara Bush to be the “grandmother figure of America,” a wholesome and good-natured old woman who wouldn't hurt a fly and probably smells like sugar cookies all the time. However, those who know her better know that she’s not a woman to be trifled with. People around the White House feared her, with one unnamed staff member saying:

People always said Nancy Reagan would kill you if you said bad stuff about her, but I always thought Mrs. Bush was the one who would kill you... No one sat around and gossiped about Mrs. Bush. I don't think it was that people loved her; I think everyone was scared of her. It was just like when your mother said, 'I have eyes in the back of my head.'

One of the individuals who feared Barbara the most was her own step-mother, who once cryptically said, "I could get in so much trouble if I said something she didn't agree with. Because you know how she is: she knows how she wants to appear to the world."

Barbara Once Made Insensitive ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Surprisingly Un-American Attitudes And Bizarre Behavior of George H.W. And Barbara Bush
Photo: NASA/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Barbara Once Made Insensitive And Racially Tinged Remarks About Hurricane Katrina Victims

One of the greatest controversies of President George W. Bush’s time in office was his handling of the disaster that was Hurricane Katrina, and there were charges of racism against the former president. As Kanye West famously quipped: “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Another quote, dropped by W.’s mother, Barbara Bush, certainly didn't help matters.

With victims of the hurricane temporarily seeking refuge in the Bush family’s home state of Texas, Barbara opined that

Almost everyone I’ve talked to says, ‘We’re going to move to Houston.’ What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality... And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.

Not only is the notion that losing one’s home to a natural disaster could ever be “working very well” for anyone incredibly insulting, but it’s also hard not to notice the racial tinge to the “sort of scary” comment, considering many of those most directly impacted by Katrina were people of color.

Barbara Thought That Paying At... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Surprisingly Un-American Attitudes And Bizarre Behavior of George H.W. And Barbara Bush
Photo: Joseph Lozada/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Barbara Thought That Paying Attention To News About The Wars Her Family Started Was Wasting Her “Beautiful Mind”

Both George H.W. Bush and his son, George W., got involved in wars against Iraq during their time as president. While the first Gulf War was controversial in its own right, Bush Jr.’s campaign was much more heavily debated. And insensitive, off-the-cuff remarks from Barbara only served to inflame the controversy.

Defending her decision to not watch media coverage of the Iraq War in 2003, Barbara queried, “why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it’s gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it’s, it’s not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”