Sunday, August 16, 2015

Jeb Bush is right on at least one thing ... and wrong on others

What he gets right *(from Paul Waldman at the Washingon Post/Plum Line)

Saying "no" to the Grover Norquist no-taxes-ever pledge. Only three of the 17 Cleveland Clowns and Clownettes have not taken the pledge: Bush, Pataki, and (of course?) Donald Trump. Bush is basically anti-tax (pointing to his record in Florida) but is not willing to get boxed in to no taxes if, for example, we would have to pay for something unexpected. Hmmm. Maybe like a new war?

What he gets so wrong (another from Paul Waldman at the Washington Post/Plum Line)

Speaking of war, take Iraq. He gets it all wrong. Read Waldman's article to get the details. I'll just cite one example here.

Bush's recent speech about what his brother did in Iraq is incredible.

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Jeb Bush vigorously defended some of the defining foreign policies and national security strategies implemented by his brother George W. Bush as president on Thursday, casting in a positive light elements of the Iraq War, a conflict that haunted much of his tenure.

He notably used wording similar to the "Mission Accomplished" banner that hung behind the 43rd president as he gave a speech on an aircraft carrier in 2003. The speech was one of the biggest embarrassments of his administration, since the war went on for years after that.

"I've been critical and I think people have every right to be critical of decisions that were made," Bush said Thursday. "In 2009, Iraq was fragile but secure. It was mission was accomplished in the way that there was security there and it was because of the heroic efforts of the men and women in the Untied States military that it was so."

In a question and answer session hosted by Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security held on a college campus here, the Republican presidential hopeful said the removal of Saddam Hussein from power "turned out to be a pretty good deal," and he praised the 2007 troop surge his brother pushed as "an extraordinarily effective" strategy.

Waldman exposes the irrationality in what Jeb Bush believes.

The idea that removing Hussein "turned out to be a pretty good deal" is so deranged that it boggles the mind. Imagine if his brother had said to the country in 2003, "Let me offer you this deal: We’ll take out Saddam, and it’ll only cost us 4,000 American lives, tens of thousands more Americans gravely wounded in body and spirit, around $2 trillion, a worldwide surge in anti-Americanism, and years of chaos in the Middle East. Whaddya say? Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?"

Bush gets it wrong, but so do the other Cleveland Clowns.

And this is perhaps the most dangerous thing about Bush’s perspective on Iraq, which can also be said of his primary opponents. They display absolutely no grasp of the internal politics of Iraq, now or in the past, not to mention the internal politics of other countries in the region, including Iran. Indeed, most Republicans don’t seem to even believe that these countries have internal politics that can shape what the countries choose to do and how they might react to our actions.

True to form, the Republicans have offered up their best and their brightest as candidates for the Presidency in 2016. So they would have us believe. I do, I do! And I believe that if these are the best that the GOP can offer America, we'd better make damn sure that none of these clowns gets anywhere close to the White House.

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