Former President George W. Bush recently gave a speech at a forum for the George W. Bush Institute.

The speech was an inspired call to reject white supremacy and some of the uglier attitudes that are seeping into public discourse, calling us, instead, to embrace our better angels.

He also called for a more open and global approach to trade, which, for a nation that actually wants to be competitive and prosperous in the world, makes a lot of sense.

It was a typical “W” speech, and felt oddly comfortable, like a favorite pair of old shoes that you’re slipping into, after having lost them in the back of the closet for a really long time.

Unfortunately, we’re in the caustic, ugly age of Trumpism, now, and any talk of goodness, character, or commonsense is rejected by the Republican party.

Bush was immediately attacked by the frauds that would have you believe they are the last, true conservatives, rather than what they really are: wretched racists and morally corrupt opportunists, who’ve jumped the Trump train and will ride it, and this nation, straight over a cliff, all in service of their new god.

As was pointed out earlier, the lobotomized faithful of Trump took any talk of rejecting bigotry as a direct attack on Trump, and themselves, even though Trump was never mentioned.

Yeah. That tells us all we need to know about Trump and those who support him. Guilty conscience, much?

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And speaking of grotesque piles of tumors and waste, Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, was in California on Friday night at the California Republican Party convention and took direct aim at President Bush and his speech.

From the Associated Press:

Bannon said Bush has no idea whether “he is coming or going, just like it was when he was president.”

“There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush’s,” Bannon added, as boos could be heard in the crowd at the mention of Bush’s name.

The remarks came during a speech thick with attacks on the Washington status quo, echoing his call for an “open revolt” against establishment Republicans. He called the “permanent political class” one of the great dangers faced by the country.

Bannon has been advocating for burning down the Republican party, in favor of something more appropriate for his vision of a nationalist, hate-filled utopia. And he’s doing it to the approval of many within the party.

The crazy thing is, many think he’s supporting Trump in doing so.

Not hardly.

This is all Bannon and his quest for power. Trump was just the dumb dog that Bannon attached himself to and rode to where he needed to be.

Bannon has declared “war” on what he calls the Republican “establishment.” He’s advocating for primarying all incumbents, except for Ted Cruz, in Texas.

Meanwhile, there the very real risk that his efforts will lose the Republican majority that the party now enjoys, and that would be more of a problem for President Trump than Bush’s wonderful speech on rejecting bigotry.

He also tried to cheer long-suffering California Republicans, in a state that Trump lost by over 4 million votes and where Republicans have become largely irrelevant in state politics. In Orange County, where the convention was held, several Republican House members are trying to hold onto their seats in districts carried by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential contest.

“You’ve got everything you need to win,” he told them.

He ended his speech with a standing ovation.

And then he went backstage, unhinged his jaws, and swallowed a gerbil.