It’s noteworthy that Bush is speaking out against President Trump, but remained almost completely mum during eight years of Obama. This is because he is an establishment Republican, and the establishment Republicans proved themselves during the 2016 presidential campaign to be partners, colleagues and allies with the Democrats in the Republican establishment, with only Trump and his supporters representing a legitimate alternative. So it is completely understandable that one month into Trump’s presidency, Bush would be hitting him as he never hit Obama; he is on Obama’s establishment Washington team, not Trump’s.
In response to Lauer’s asking him about Trump’s statement that the media is the enemy of the American people, Bush says: “I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We need an independent media to hold people like me to account.”
This is not surprising, since this is the fiction that the Washington establishment wants you to swallow: that we have an independent media that holds the powerful to account. In reality, the establishment media is simply a propaganda arm of the hard-Left; it holds Trump to account, or claims to, but wouldn’t dream of holding Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to account in any similar way. An independent media? Really? Imagine what would happen to a journalist who reported favorably on CNN about anything Trump did; that journalist would be quickly be ridiculed, refuted, repudiated, and forced to resign. Trump is not threatening the freedom of the press; he is calling the media out on its hypocrisy and dishonesty, and unmaking establishment news outlets as the propaganda organs they really are. Bush, who was savaged in the press himself (since the establishment doesn’t like establishment Republicans any more than it likes swamp-drainers, despite the establishment Republicans’ kowtowing), ought to be supporting Trump on this, not attacking him over it.
It gets worse. In response to Lauer’s question about Trump’s immigration ban, Bush says: “I think it’s very important for all of us to recognize one of our great strengths is for people to be able to worship the way they want to or to not worship at all. A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely.”
How does Trump’s ban, which was motivated by national security concerns, threaten anyone’s religious freedom? Bush didn’t explain, and of course Lauer, having gotten the answer he wanted, didn’t ask him to. Does Bush consider the First Amendment’s protection of the freedom of religion to be a license to commit treason and sedition? Neither Lauer nor anyone else will dare ask him that.
And then we get more of the willful ignorance and denial that marked Bush’s response to the jihad threat starting from just a few days after 9/11: “I understood right off the bat that this was an ideological conflict and people who murder the innocent are not religious people.”
He doesn’t explain, of course, and Lauer doesn’t ask him, of course, about how some Muslim clerics don’t believe non-Muslims are innocent. Nor does he explain why these people who are “not religious” are so very, well, religious. The Islamic State, for example, quotes the Qur’an frequently: in threats to blow up the White House and conquer Rome and Spain; in explaining its priorities in the nations it is targeting in jihad; in preaching to Christians after collecting the jizya (a Qur’an-based tax, cf. Qur’an 9:29); in justifying the execution of accused spies; and in its various videos. It has also awarded $10,000 prizes and sex slaves in Qur’an memorization contests. One of its underground lairs was found littered with weapons and copies of the Qur’an. Children in the Islamic State study the Qur’an and get weapons training. One Malaysian Muslim said that the Qur’an led him to join the Islamic State. A Muslima in the U.S. promoted the Islamic State by quoting the Qur’an. An Islamic State propagandist’s parents said of him: “Our son is a devout Muslim. He had learnt the Quran by heart.” A Muslim politician from Jordan said that the Islamic State’s “doctrine stems from the Qur’an and Sunnah.”
But they’re “not religious.” That’s establishment Washington dogma. It is also completely false, and hinders our ability to understand the motives and goals of the enemy.
“George W. Bush critiques Trump on travel ban, free press,” by Abby Phillip, Washington Post, February 27, 2017:
Former president George W. Bush rarely weighs in on current political events, but on Monday, he offered some of his most pointed critiques of President Trump’s statements and policies in an interview with NBC News’ “Today” show.
Asked about Trump’s claim that the media is the “enemy of the people,” Bush warned that an independent press is essential to democracy and that denouncing the press at home makes it difficult for the United States to preach democratic values abroad.
“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” Bush said. “We need an independent media to hold people like me to account.
“Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse power, whether it be here or elsewhere,” he added.
Bush noted that during his presidency, he sought to persuade people like Russian President Vladimir Putin to respect a free press.
“It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves,” Bush said….
Lauer sought to pin Bush down on his position on Trump’s travel ban, which Bush refused to endorse.
Instead, he offered a defense of religious freedom, warning that the terror threat is not a religious war but an ideological one.
“I think it’s very important for all of us to recognize one of our great strengths is for people to be able to worship the way they want to or to not worship at all,” Bush said. “A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely.”
“I understood right off the bat that this was an ideological conflict and people who murder the innocent are not religious people — they want to advance an ideology and we have faced those kinds of ideologues in the past,” he added.
Pressed to state clearly whether he supports or opposes the ban, Bush would only say “I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and upholds the law.”