This upcoming election marks the latest great GOP purge of history. The disappearing Dubya isn't a coincidence. It's part of a larger trend of former Republican presidential candidates being faded to black by the party whose mascot, ironically, is the elephant, an animal known for memory and longevity. In contrast to this systematic erasure, the Democrats trots out its winners and losers every four years. We still hear from Jesse Jackson, Al Gore and Bill Clinton—and John Kerry, of course, is a key part of the Obama administration. It's presumed that when President Obama finishes his last day in office, he will also be a public figure working both internationally and within the party.
Compare that with the last few Republican presidents and candidates, and it seems like the parties are playing by different rules. Nobody has pulled a more thorough disappearing act than George W. Bush.