george-bush-3_2536602bIs George W. Bush the world’s biggest hypocrite or just complete devoid of any sense of shame? It’s not a rherorical question. Now we are learning that Bush not only wanted to attend the wedding of a lesbian couple who are friends of the family. He actually offered to officiate.

Yes, the same George W. Bush who rode to re-election in 2004 on a campaign that whipped conservative evangelicals into a frenzy about the same-sex marriage threat wanted to preside at a same-sex wedding.

In the end, Bush did not officiate or even attend the wedding. But it’s not as if he had a sudden outburst of principle or a change of heart. He had a scheduling conflict. (No word if he asked Antonin Scalia to sub for him.)

The news was buried as a throwaway remark in a Boston Globe story about the Jeb Bush compound in Maine. The story noted that when in Kennebunkport, Jeb visits the “cozy general store owned by Bonnie Clement and her wife, Helen Thorgalsen.” Then, almost as an afterthought, reporter Matt Viser adds: “(George H.W. Bush made international headlines when he attended their wedding in 2013; George W. Bush offered to perform the ceremony but had a scheduling conflict).”

Contacted by the Washington Blade for more details, Viser said, “I’ll pretty much let the piece speak for itself on this one.”

And what does the piece say? Well, it could be saying a few things. It could be saying that Bush has changed his opinion, much like the rest of America. Or it could by saying that Bush says one thing publicly and does another thing privately. Or perhaps that Bush is perfectly willing to sell out his personal beliefs for political gain.

The first options seems the least likely. Or if it is true, Bush doesn’t have the courage to say so. When his dad attended the wedding, reporters asked for a comment from W. What they got from his spokesman was “Thanks for checking, but no comment.”

Which leaves options two and three. Draw your own conclusions.

Ironically, at this point, nothing can harm W. But his brother Jeb is another story. Conservatives in the Republican party are already distrustful of Jeb and his presidential aspirations. He’s already been using the media to send some mixed signals about marriage: first that he’s not a hard-liner, and then that he is. 

The news that brother George was willing to officiate at a same-sex wedding will only confirm conservatives’ belief that the whole family is a bunch of Republicans-in-name-only. 

It goes to show that even an innocuous story about a seaside getaway can be a political landmine waiting to go off.

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