Three Bushes and We’re Out

Only in America could memories be so short that we quickly forget one presidential dynasty’s lack of dedication to nurturing our people and our country. Realistically, the underlying fault lies not with the family. It’s more in the realm of plutocratic exploitation. The lessons of history have shown us that power and control is driven by one basic concept, “The end justifies the means.” In other words, oligarchic forces have always achieved their goals of power over governable civilizations by using any means for that goal, or that end.

In 2015, the Bush family may be that dynastic means. Jeb Bush wants to raise one-hundred million dollars by the end of March to become president. It’s a so called “shock and awe” drive to quickly force out the many other candidates. After one short week of announced intentions to run, Mitt Romney was the first.

It seems to be a repeat of George W. Bush (GWB) in 1999. The huge cash flow for him literally drove away other candidates. Even with that kind of money, GWB lost the popular vote in 2000, but was awarded the presidency by the Supreme Court.

So we have a third Bush dialing for dollars in a campaign climate where dollars flow like manna, and since the Republicans have established themselves champions of big business, representatives of Jeb’s party are awarded the larger jackpot of funds.

As Barack Obama did in 2007, Jeb Bush recently appeared before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs to establish his foreign policy credentials. According to most sources, he came off as an over-challenged and confused former governor of Florida.

In a very embarrassing stumble about Putin, he apologetically admitted, somewhat flummoxed, “I’m just a gladiator, so I don’t follow every detail.” He then went on to say, one surmises, regarding US increased oil and gas production vs. Russian dependency on selling oil and gas to Europe, “As we grow our presence by growing our ability to produce oil and gas, we also make it possible to lessen the dependency that Russia now has on top of Europe.” Believe it or not, that is a literal quote.

Youtube accounts of his foreign policy speeches range from a cherry-picked 2 minutes and 23 seconds by the Washington Examiner all the way to 1 hour and 12 minutes by the Council on Global Affairs, the latter, probably only for strategists, news pundits or masochists.

Now, I do follow and write about domestic and foreign affairs out of interest in how our world is turning, not to run for president, of course. Perhaps under media fire, I might feel uncomfortable in that position, but Jeb Bush has been preparing to run for president since 2013, certainly prepped by his dad years before. In New York City in November of 2013, his speech before elites – many Wall Street types – quietly signaled his intention to run for president and his expectations of financial support by Wall Street.

In that period of time one would expect him to follow foreign affairs to avoid the type of apologetic stumble we witnessed in his foreign policy debut before the Council on Global Affairs. Certainly Bush has been stellar in raising money during that period of time. He has been averaging about $4 million per dinner, sometimes requiring $100,000 per person in fundraisers. Close to a $100 million in funds, his laser focus on money rather than his education is quite apparent.

Meanwhile, the memory of GWB’s debacle as president begins to fade. Perhaps the recent growth splurge and the greatly reduced unemployment rate dims our memory of the deep economic chasm GWB left us in. Of course, he had help from Republicans and some Democrats, Bill Clinton and Congress stripping Wall Street regulations in 1999 helped.

But beyond GWB’s mishandling of the economy, the growing deficits, and fiscal irresponsibility, there has been an affliction of “no accountability” fever attached to Republican presidents with the Bushes posing as innocent bystanders. A Rachel Maddow report last week pointed out this affliction.

Not only did other politicians look the other way, the latest, President Obama, regarding the Bush administration’s torture and lying us into the disastrous Iraqi War, but also the Bush family has a history of deflecting blame for mistakes.

In 1986 George HW Bush, in a strangely worded statement said about Reagan’s selling arms to Iran for release of hostages, “The president is absolutely convinced he didn’t swap arms for hostages.” Bush then went on to say, “Clearly mistakes were made.” One assumes not active mistakes but passive mistakes. Over a decade later, his son, GWB, regarding the disaster in Iraq, said, “In a democracy everything is not perfect. Mistakes were made.” Again it’s in the passive voice, like those mistakes belonged to someone else.

It’s not that we haven’t had relative dynasties in our government, but those dynasties should sport the best candidates to lead us: the most principled, the most able and the most dedicated to our people and our country. We don’t need a dynastic succession of incurious bunglers who owe their focus and support to the moneyed interests, eschewing all knowledge, even integrity, that help them to serve our country and our people.  Mismanage and “shoot from the hip” were GWB’s mantra.  Jeb’s recent performance seems to present the same incoherence and confusion. George HW Bush, perhaps, was more knowledgeable but still had that commitment to politics, money and the rich elite.

Now we aren’t saying that others aren’t crass politicians. But we are saying that we can do much better with candidates who feel some allegiance to the people and who have more mental acuity in pursuing that goal.

James Hoover is a recently retired systems engineer. He has advanced degrees in Economics and English. Prior to his aerospace career, he taught high school, and he has also taught college courses. He recently published a science fiction novel called Extraordinary Visitors and writes political columns on several websites. Read other articles by James.