What do you do when you want to be president and your older brother ranks as one of the worse U.S.S presidents ever having (i) turned a budget surplus into a huge deficit, (ii) presided over the worse economic disaster since the Great Depression, (iii) taken America based on known lies and thrown away thousands of American lives and left countless more maimed for life, (iii) fanned the culture wars, and (iv) set the stage for the ongoing nightmare in the Middle East? Most would say, run screaming from your brother and disavow his failed presidency. But not Jebbie Bush. No, Jebbie has said that his idiot brother is who he consults on Middle East policy and that he'd go to war in Iraq all over again even knowing what is now known. And remember, Jebbie is supposed to be "the smart brother." It is frightening and, belatedly, Jebbie seems to be realizing the disaster he has launched for himself as he now is lying and claiming he "misheard the question." A column in the Washington Post looks at why Jebbie is going to be hard pressed to avoid his brother's toxic shadow. Here are excerpts:
Last night Fox News aired an interview in which Jeb Bush was asked the question about Iraq that every major politician should have answered by now. Somehow it seemed to catch Bush less than completely prepared. His answer generated the expected attacks from Democrats, but even some Republicans were critical. GOP consultant Ana Navarro now says Bush confided to her that he “misheard the question,” which suggests he’ll be clarifying what he really thinks soon.
This was bound to come up before long. The way it’s now playing suggests that Bush — along with many other Republicans — can’t quite figure out how to answer a question that for most people is pretty straightforward.
If you want to believe that Bush “misheard” the question — and thus answered as though the question was “what would you have done then?” instead of “knowing what we know now” — then you’re more generous than I.
On one hand, it’s unlikely that he’ll deliver an implicit rebuke to his brother and his administration, all the key figures of which continue to argue to this day that the world is still better off for the war having taken place. What’s more, the imperatives of GOP politics push candidates toward tough talk and a refusal to admit that any Republican administration ever made a mistake about anything.
Yet at the same time, there are some prominent Republicans who don’t accept that line. . . . Byron York wrote: “If Jeb Bush sticks to his position — that he would still authorize war knowing what we know today — it will represent a step backward for the Republican Party.” . . .
If you ask the question by mentioning the cost in money and lives, over 60 percent of Republicans say it wasn’t worth it.
At the moment, the only GOP candidate who has said it was a mistake is Rand Paul.
Does Bush have a way out? He may well continue to evade.
Because of who his brother is, it was to be expected that Bush would be the first to confront this question. But now that it has happened, all the candidates are likely to be asked — including Hillary Clinton. There was no more damaging issue to Clinton in 2008 than her vote to authorize the war.
There may well be foreign policy issues that come up between now and next November — on Iran, Syria, or anyplace else — where she [Hillary] takes a position at odds with liberal Democrats. That could be a genuine problem for her. But it probably won’t amount to as big a problem as Jeb Bush now faces.
Unless and until Jebbie admits that the Iraq War was a disaster that should NEVER have been launched, it will confirm that he is utterly unfit for the White House. He may be even dumber than his idiot brother.