The Bush family is trying to avoid a Trump temper tantrum.
The Bush family has reportedly taken precautions to assure Trump he wouldn't be a focus of George H.W. Bush's funeral.
The Washington Post reports the Bush family contacted the Trump White House over the summer to communicate that "the focus would be on Bush's life rather than their disagreements" at the funeral.
The Post notes, citing a source close to the funeral planning, that the effort to soothe Trump's enormous ego was "pragmatic," since he has final say over some funeral details. The Bush family needed to ensure access Air Force One, for example. The presidential plane carried President Bush's body from Texas to Washington, D.C., and will be used to take the body back to his home state for the burial.
Trump was reportedly incensed when speakers at Sen. John McCain's funeral discussed civility and democratic traditions.
Many remarks were widely seen as criticisms of Trump, who has repeatedly disgraced the presidency.
Trump will attend the Bush funeral but will not speak.
Historically at presidential funerals, the sitting president has delivered remarks. George W. Bush spoke at the funerals of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, while President Bill Clinton spoke at Richard Nixon's funeral.
Trump has demonstrated an inability to practice even basic decorum in the aftermath of the death of major figures.
His contentious history with the Bushes includes his repeated attacks on "low-energy" Jeb Bush during the presidential primaries. Later, George H.W. Bush said Trump was a "blowhard" and confirmed that he voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The Bush family appears to believe that they and the other speakers at the funeral must walk on eggshells to ensure Trump doesn't react poorly to events as history unfolds.
The episode reinforces that Trump stands outside American norms and traditions for a leader, and cannot be expected to act appropriately.
His petulance forces others to cater to his mercurial whims and to constantly fear a childish tantrum or eruption of rage.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.