WASHINGTON — Just weeks after a bitterly fought election swept Democrats into power in Congress, a Republican president known for reaching across the aisle passed away. Leaders of both parties paid tribute to his civility and bipartisanship, saying the country could use more of that. And then within days of the burial, they went back to their partisan wars.
That was December 2006 and the president was Gerald R. Ford, but Washington seems almost certain to be repeating history now that George Bush has died. The political system has hit pause to honor a president of another era for being everything it no longer is.
The truce that essentially took effect over the weekend only underscores how much Washington and the nation have changed since Mr. Bush’s days. The kind of compromises that Mr. Bush cut with a Democratic Congress on deficits, taxes, civil rights and the environment during his four years in office seem almost impossible to imagine in the era of President Trump and the “resistance.”
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