Here’s a provocative thought, intended as such to try and drive home an analogy.
But first I stipulate that as far as I know (not privy to any insider stuff as to policy formulations and intentional corruptions of what the Bushes promised as candidates) the Bushes did not lie to us. Both Bush presidents set out to do what they promised, achieved many good things and were 10000% better than the Democrat alternative. We supported their post primary general election efforts and reelection efforts enthusiastically, sacrificially and with confidence in them. We defended them throughout their presidencies.
Their shortcomings are in W’s case, his waning presidency and their post-presidency political judgements which also affect the summation of their successes and failures. Such matters are part of their legacy. The post-presidency can even undo or reverse overall judgment. Properly so, because they remain influential as ex-presidents.
Consider that Benedict Arnold was reputed to be an effective and courageous military leader. He was part of the success of the American Revolution. But he also tried to undue it before its fruition out of personal pique, however deeply felt and analyzed by him. His opinion was that traitorous actions by George Washington toward him by the Continental Congress towards him obviated loyalty. He arguably had lost all confidence in them. He looked for a leadership role elsewhere, to make his mark with a new collection of loyalties his previous supporters were not aware he was capable of, or they would not have supported him, or had confidence in him in the first place. Rather than simply resign (in the Bushes case, keep quiet out of loyalty to their [previous] friends) Arnold aided and comforted the (previous) enemy or the enemies of his previous friends and undermined his previous friends efforts.
The Bush’s presumably know politics (in retrospect that may be a stretch) and if they had the humility they are renowned for they would realized that all politicians have foibles but the battle is primarily about the enemy and what the enemy stands for, how the enemy effects the good of the country, comparative choices, NOT their personal piques. There was/has been ample opportunity for the Bush’s to make political amends and acknowledge that Donald Trump is sincere, has achieved much, and is trying mightily to achieve key things for the good of the country. Once the die was cast in the primary they chose to undermine Trump in the general election war against the enemy.
Consider that no one had more personal reason to grandstand against Trump than Ted Cruz. But Cruz quickly put the good of the country first. Have/ did certain of the Bushes, even now? Their post-presidency is part of their legacy. Benedict Arnold is not remembered for his achievements when he was loyal to the revolution.
The two ex-president Bushes essentially aided the enemy after the 2016 Republican primary knowing that their actions, inactions, silence helped Hillary Clinton and all she stands for. The country was in a situation of clear and present danger, peril, on a precipice. The effect of their actions would have been to undo all they achieved. How could that not be the effect of not sucking up their pique and honoring the big picture and political reality?
The provocative hypothesis, analogy and questions above are set forth for the readership to attack. Have at it. We will learn from the effort.