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Screengrab via CNN/Facebook Remix by Max Fleishman

America cringes as smiling George W. Bush dances at Dallas police memorial

Oh no.


Miles Klee

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 13, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 11:19 am CDT

The Tuesday memorial service for police officers killed by a sniper during a protest in Dallas last week was an appropriately somber affair, with President Barack Obama telling those assembled not to despair or conclude that the cycle of American violence is inevitable and unbreakable.

The event included a rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” an especially poignant choice considering its lyrics are set to the music of “John Brown’s Body,” Brown being a fervent 19th-century abolitionist who believed that only armed rebellion could end slavery, ultimately hanged for raiding a federal armory. The song became an anthem for the Union during the Civil War and invokes biblical judgment for the wicked. 

But somehow, it seems as if no one ever told George W. Bush that. The former president smirked and swayed to the marching tune while his wife Laura Bush and First Lady Michelle Obama, obliged to hold his hands, looked as if they might explode from sheer embarrassment. Oof.

People wasted no time ripping into Obama’s predecessor for what many saw as his less-than-appropriate demeanor.

The incident all but overshadowed Bush’s own speech, widely praised by conservatives.

But let’s be honest—Bush’s herky-jerky moves always did have a way of stealing the spotlight.

You know how they say to dance like nobody’s watching? Pretty sure this dude invented that.

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*First Published: Jul 13, 2016, 3:12 pm CDT