Why George H.W. Bush Lost It

The idea that former President George H.W. Bush cracked up in front of the Florida legislature today because he still grieves his son Jeb’s loss of the ’94 governor’s race is preposterous. Yes, that’s what Bush was talking about when he started crying, but the idea is nuts. What does your father even remember about a not-tragic career setback that happened to you 12 years ago and was subsequently overcome? Zero.

His feelings were displaced.

So why was Bush upset? Well, it’s obvious. The talk of his son’s misfortune touched on the real misfortune, his son George’s. The father unconsciously fears that he is responsible for George W. stepping in deep do-do, forever and ever in the history books, because the father failed to remove Saddam in ’91and the son wanted to set things right. So the father’s fears of oedipal parricide have in this case been inverted, and the father feels he has murdered his own son. Thus: the crying jag. (That was free, next time it will cost you $225).