Ten or so years ago, people on the left were making movies that fantasized about the assassination of then-President George W. Bush. The younger Bush was the recipient of the kind of hatred that is unprecedented in American history, except for the ire that every other politician with an “R” after his or her name gets. Bush had a brief moment of popularity after 9/11, but by the middle of his second term, it was all but gone.

Ten years later, the former president had gotten the “strange new respect” treatment by many on the left. All he had to do was to make a speech that was critical of the current Political Culture, which most blame on President Donald Trump, but without naming the current president.

Usually, a former Republican president has to die before the left starts to give him some albeit grudging respect.

Miss me yet?

During the darkest days of the Obama administration, posters of the smiling former President Bush began to appear with the caption of “Miss Me Yet?” Obama was in the process of destroying healthcare and setting the Middle East on fire. Besides, most people perceived Bush as a gentlemanly, friendly man with an optimistic view on life who loved the country he was chosen to govern. The man who replaced him was cold, arrogant, and seemed to regard the United States as – at best – a pack of erring children who were lucky to have him as the grand, benevolent father in Washington to drag them into the light.

Bush, decorously, declined to comment on his successor, a courtesy that Obama refused to return.

What changed?

Why did former President Bush decide to open his mind now about the debasement of the political culture when he kept his mouth shut during eight years of Obama? It is possible that Bush has just had enough and had to speak out.

The fact that the Bush family is not exactly enamored of Trump is not a state secret. Besides differences on issues of trade, immigration, and engagement in the world, Trump is just too rude, crude, and socially unacceptable for the Bushes to tolerate. The fact that the president denied Jeb Bush the presidency does not help matters.

The left no longer dreams of some disturbed person putting a bullet into George W. Bush. Trump is the more immediate irritant, mainly because he is embarrassing former President Obama by cleaning up the mess he made, but also he operates, as the former president was given to say, by Chicago rules. If you go after him with a knife, he will come after you with an assault rifle. Bush used not to deign to notice attacks. Trump sees them and responds with gusto, another reason the left has now come to miss the former president as well.