Sunday, November 01, 2015

Maureen Dowd: Fall of the House of Bush

Personally, I am truly enjoying watching Jebbie Bush's campaign implode as Jebbie looks in a state of continued shock that the country - or at least the deranged GOP base - doesn't recognize his entitlement to the GOP nomination and thereafter the White House.  It would seem that Maureen Dowd - the queen of snark - is experiencing similar joy at Jebbie's expense.  Her column in the New York Times lives up to her reputation and takes aim at Jebbie's misfortunes.  It is delicious! Here are highlights:

JEB, dragging his wilted exclamation point around, is so boring that it’s hard to focus on the epic on the epic nature of his battle.

Not the battle against Donald Trump, although his beat-down by Trump is garishly entertaining. I’m talking about the Brooks Brothers “Game of Thrones” family tangle.

As much as Poppy Bush scoffs at “the D-word,” as he calls any reference to dynasty, the Bushes do consider themselves an American royal family. They have always pretty much divided the world into Bushes and the help. The patriarch once sent me a funny satire referring to himself and Barbara as the Old King and Queen, W. as King George of Crawford and Jeb as the Earl of Tallahassee.

At 91, 41 is living to see Jebbie become president. He is mystified by a world in which Trump, whom he considers a clown, could dethrone the crown prince.

Poppy and Bush retainers like John Sununu are bewildered by a conservative electorate that rejects Republican primogeniture, prefers snark to substance and embraces an extremely weird brain surgeon and an extravagantly wild reality show star.

When the Bushes had to stick a shiv in the ribs of their foes, they behaved like gentlemen and outsourced it to henchmen. They can’t fathom a world where that vulgarian Trump is doing his own dirty work.

This was going to be the year that settled sibling scores. Jeb would get what his parents considered his birthright.

Even though the brothers are not particularly close, and W.’s tragic overinvolvement in the Middle East and tragic underinvolvement in Katrina did not make him a campaign asset, somehow Jeb kept wrapping himself around W.’s axle — and his Axis of Evil.

When Jeb was first asked if it had been a good idea to invade Iraq, he gave four different answers. Then he said he wouldn’t rule out torture and thought getting rid of Saddam was “a pretty good deal.” And he couldn’t stop bragging about how his brother kept America safe, even though Trump correctly noted that W. was not on the ball leading up to 9/11. And, of course, W.’s two misbegotten wars have been recruiting boons for terrorist fiends.

Jeb explained away his shambling, shrinking campaign by saying he was a doer, not a performer. But the main thing he was doing was helping to rehabilitate his brother’s pockmarked reputation.

Some Jeb! campaign officials think he should “kiss off Iowa,” as one put it, where he’s flatlining, and put the emphasis on New Hampshire, setting the stage for South Carolina.  . . . . Jeb’s loyalists are urging reporters to point out, as one asserted, that Trump would be “a catastrophe for the country.”

[T]his campaign has been defined by Trump parachuting in, like an Elvis impersonator in Vegas, and disrupting the royal coronation. Jeb had been out of politics for eight years and he strolled back, mistakenly assuming that the vassals were waiting eagerly to hail him.

While Jeb was offstage, the whole party and political environment had passed him by. He came back looking very ’90s. He’s talking about pragmatic government at a time when the drivers in his party are talking about tearing it down.

Jeb is trapped in a nightmarish déjà vu. Once he was cast as the wonky one while his brother, the sparky one, slipped ahead. Now Jeb is cast as the wonky one while Marco, the sparky one, slips ahead.

Jeb got confused. He thought he was still in an era when people had to pay their dues.

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