Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Given the fact that Republicans loved the Iraq War and loved George W. Bush-era torture, I think it might make sense for brother Jeb to embrace W -- but not like this:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says his brother George W. Bush responded in an “awe-inspiring” way to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and suggests he would learn from his sibling's leadership if he wins the presidency.

The Republican presidential candidate’s comments ... were made in a staged conversation with his brother at a Bush family donor retreat in Houston on Monday....

“The case study of leadership is how George responded to 9/11, period, over and out,” Jeb told the audience of some 175 donors and supporters who gathered in a ballroom at a Houston hotel, according to a pool report.
Let me list the ways Jeb is screwing this up.

You want to embrace the George W presidency? Do it in public, on camera, not in a secret family confab with a pool reporter transcribing the comments. Jeb should own his brother's presidency. If he does it blatantly enough, then -- like Trump bashing Mexicans or Carson talking about Hitler -- he'll be pushing the limits of acceptable political discourse. This is his chance to be "politically incorrect" -- in fact, what would work is for Jeb to say something like "I'm proud of my brother's presidency, and I don't care if that's politically incorrect!" Wingnut voters never tire of that sort of phony defiance.

He also shouldn't limit himself to a tear-jerking recollection of the immediate aftermath of 9/11:
“How he responded to 9/11," Jeb Bush said of his brother, "was just awe-inspiring.

“People were united. And people really got it that he had a heart for them,” Bush added. “At that time, as you know, kids were crying. All around people, children and grandchildren didn’t know what was going on.

“The whole world was turned upside down, and you had a president who was staid and sure and strong.”
No -- he should embrace the war. As I said a couple of weeks ago, he should embrace it the way Ronald Reagan embraced the Vietnam War when he described it on the 1980 campaign trail as a "noble cause." He should double back on rejecting the war. He should express admiration for Dick Chene. He should praise W's "freedom agenda" (that could still be a catnippy phrase for conservatives). He should invoke dimming memories of "liberated," purple-fingered voters.

Really, he's going nowhere doing what he's doing now, so he has nothing to lose by doing this. The electorate he's trying to reach is so crazy, so hungry for outside-the-established-limits red meat, that it just might work.


Pops said...

Steve you know that has NO CHANCE of working. If Jeb "Fredo" thinks it will end with how "awe inspiring' his brother was on 9/11 he is dreaming. What about Torture? The Financial meltdown? Patriot Act? What do you think people are going to just stop at 'awe inspiring" without the other atrocities?

Steve M. said...

It would work in the primaries. Republicans love torture. They think the financial meltdown was caused by Fannie and Freddie loans to black people. And while they're split on the Patriot Act, they have no problem depriving Muslims of civil rights.

Unknown said...

To refine what I THINK Steve M's 'advising', it'd work WELL ENOUGH to get past the early primaries in the fringe states that still somehow have managed to retain their 'earlybird special' status, thus getting Jeb! into Super Tuesday and other multiple-state simultaneously conducted primary voting days that more heavily engage and rely on established boots-on-the-ground organization.

This is a 'long game' process. Both McCain 2008 & Romney 2012 took advantage of that. It's changed each time and over time, as the party's base has aged and died off, with a rate of replenishment that keeps diminishing. But ground games still matter, even in the GOP, particularly if enough candidates hang on deeper and deeper into the process.

Which, also, is NOT to say that Steve M. (who can always blog for himself on this) is saying that Jeb! is going to end up the winner of the GOP selection process (leaving aside entirely for now the general election). Finding ways just to SURVIVE are, or should be, Team Jeb!'s prime directive.

Because Who TF knows what happens then?

Ten Bears said...

Didn't turn my world upside down.