As a preface to this, I think Jeb Bush is a smart guy. I don’t think anyone with Bush’s record is anything but very, very bright. Likewise, I never had doubt that his brother — Harvard MBA, Air Force fighter pilot, and the first two term governor of Texas since the Civil War — was very smart. But life is not fair. We live in an age of instantaneous communications and the Democrat party and the media are chock full of people who thing glib=smart, that talking=doing (if you doubt me, read anything on Vox.com or explain proclaiming this assclown a ‘genius’). We saw President Bush get mocked ruthlessly for his short-hand speech and broken syntax. The questions Republicans of all stripes need to ask themselves is to we really want to nominate a man who will not only bear the cross of political dynasty but who will be the same kind of comedy punchline as was his brother.
BUSH: I was thinking you were going to bring up the tragedy that took place. I’ll never forget that when I went as governor of the State of Florida on the tarmac for a… to a… a tribute to the astronauts that died in…um… I think it was 2005, wasn’t it? Or 2? Well, the…
AUDIENCE: [unintelligible] …it was a tribute he said.
BUSH: Yeah. No, the other one. 2002.
BUSH: In the 2000s. It was horrible and [unintelligible] it’s a dangerous endeavor but its worth us for all sorts of reasons to be engaged in it.
This isn’t deadly but it is emblematic of the kind of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ that a Bush candidacy and presidency would undergo. How can you say you’ll ‘never forget’ and turn around and be unable to place the event closer than year. It isn’t like space shuttles blew up frequently while Bush was governor. It also shows a casualness about preparing for events that, in the era of paid media trackers, is going to be very ugly.
Already we’re seeing the left wing media essentially stalking Bush to contrive these episodes. Earlier I posted on The New Republic’s Ryan Lizza blatantly lying about a Bush statement to create a headline. But with Bush, these gaffes are baked into his persona:
In an interview on Sean Hannity’s show, Bush argued that this time arguing that the nation’s capital needs a “little bit of a recession.”Lizza was all over it:
Good grief, this is the craziest thing Jeb Bush has said in this campaign: he wants an economic recession in DC! http://t.co/kBP1meCJBH
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) October 16, 2015
When Jeb Bush says he wants a recession in DC, he is reiterating the widely-held Republican belief that DC has been living high-on-the-hog since the George W. Bush years, to the detriment of the rest of the country.
Republicans do not see DC as a productive engine of the economy. They see DC as extracting rents from the broader economy while sapping the rest of the country’s dynamism.
Read the whole article at the last link, it is worth it.
As I said in my post:
One or two presidential elections ago, this type of crap would have become part of the political landscape. In an earlier era, by Monday, the story would be that Bush just didn’t care about the killings. Now, thanks to the internet, Lizza is running away from his bullsh** narrative much like a scalded dog.
But this episode points to a larger problem. A politician can get by when they say outrageous stuff, like any given day with Trump, or if they muff (can I even use that word these days?) a fact. But phrases and actions that indicate you are either out of touch or uninformed will live with you forever.
Bush is not a candidate I’d even consider supporting. I feel about him as many of my colleagues feel about Trump. Having said that I have no intention of letting a guy get slimed by a left wing hack. At the same time, I have no intention of defending ill-conceived thing Bush will say during the course of the next year or so. This type of speech is sloppy, it is fine for a family barbecue but it is not acceptable from a candidate for president. If he can’t play the verbal game in the big leagues he needs to get out. Right now his lack of verbal discipline and really his lack of communications ability indicate he simply can’t play the game at this level.
We have lots of candidates this election cycle who don’t make unforced errors like Jeb Bush racks up on a weekly basis. Whatever his virtues he is outclassed by virtually all of his GOP opponents and he doesn’t seem to learn from the experience.