The Churchill Bust “Scandal” Was Peak Rightwing Dumbshow


Inspiring, in a “melted lush” sort of way.  (Image from The Independent)

Boris Johnson, the weird-haired and meaningless Mayor of London with a certain oddball Tory charm (he did have the best description of the 2012 Olympics: As I write these words there are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto. They are glistening like wet otters and the water is plashing off the brims of the spectators’ sou’westers. The whole thing is magnificent and bonkers.), helpfully revived one of the dumbest single controversies of the whole Obama Administration: the Bust of Churchill. To recap, George W. Bush, for whom Churchill ranked as the finest British leader (though if he could name any beyond Thatcher and Blair, I’d be stunned), was gifted a bust of Winston Churchill early in his Presidency, and he kept it on his desk for inspiration. Obama gave it back, or moved it, or something: the point was, he didn’t keep it on his desk. We finally got to the bottom of it this week.

What’s nice is that it reminded us of how ludicrous the opposition to Obama has been, and how ungrounded in reality the bulk of it is. In retrospect, it set the template for all the idiocy regarding his Presidency.

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