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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.
George Bush laughing and dancing during the Dallas cop memorial while standing next to the Obamas is white privilege on hallucinogens.
— ready 4 december (@onekade) July 13, 2016
Chewbacca. Pokemon. Canadian Tenor. Trump is wrong.
Dancing Bush. Ghostbusters. I can’t take it anymore
Please God set me on fire.
— Boner Vivant (@Doug_Tilley) July 13, 2016
Dancing on stage at a funeral George Bush is by far my favorite George Bush.
— Davon Magwood (@davonmagwood) July 13, 2016
Between Cameron’s singing and Bush’s dancing, we finally have the makings of the world’s worst boy band.
— Madeleine Schwartz (@mmschwartz) July 13, 2016
So cons are critical of Obama’s Dallas speech, but good with Bush dancing like a drunk stumble-bum.
— Bill Clunie (@billclunie) July 13, 2016
George bush smiling at that Dallas memorial service really has me thinking he really did 9/11
— Court (@Courthansenn) July 13, 2016
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.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'