Jeb Bush is not George W. Bush, but what exactly does that mean?

(AP)

(AP)

Jeb Bush asks to be judged as his own man, not as an extension of his older brother. He says that he’s earned that right, and he surely has.

But that doesn’t solve his problem. To the contrary, it clarifies it.

In fact, let’s take it a step further. For illustration’s sake, let’s give Jeb a new last name and a new family background. Let’s call him “Jeb Arbusto” and relieve him all familial obligations to defend or explain the policies of the previous President Bush. For the purposes of this thought experiment, he is now very much his own man, stripped of baggage and expectations.

What would distinguish the foreign policy approach of candidate Jeb Arbusto from those of President George W. Bush? What would lead voters to conclude that as president, “Arbusto” would not lead this country into another misbegotten foreign adventure like the invasion of Iraq, the worst foreign policy decision in this nation’s history? The answer is unfortunately nothing. In fact, voters would be struck by the remarkable similarities between the attitudes, approaches and policies advocated by this Arbusto fellow and those of President Bush.

“Arbusto” draws his collection of foreign policy advisers from the same pool that advised Bush, including men such as Paul Wolfowitz and Stephen Hadley, who served as Bush’s national security adviser. “Arbusto” speaks in much the same mystical language as Bush about the transformative effect of military power. “Let us never forget that in fighting evil, we are doing good, in stopping the merciless, we are delivering justice, and in destroying the violent, we are defending the innocent,” “Arbusto” said this week in justifying a more militarily aggressive policy.

“Arbusto” is not willing to concede that the decision to invade Iraq has played any role whatsoever in the subsequent collapse of that nation, its swing into Iran’s control or the rise of ISIS, which suggests that he has learned nothing from it.  To the contrary: “I’ll tell you, taking out Saddam Hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal,” “Arbusto” told a crowd in Iowa just yesterday. He also suggested that he would be open to resuming the use of torture, in violation of American and international law, even though most experts in the field now conclude that our grave breach of basic morality produced little intelligence that could not have been produced by more civilized means.

The problem, in short, is not that Jeb is being unfairly associated with the policies and failures of George W. Bush because they share a mother, father and last name. The problem is that even as Jeb protests that he is his own man, he also gives every indication that in the same situations, he would make the same decisions as did George. He does not believe that there was anything wrong with the decision to invade Iraq, with the basic concept of that invasion, with the means used to lure this country into that war, or with the lack of understanding that precipitated it. In his mind, whatever failures occurred were failures of execution that could be cleaned up and avoided next time.

So it is a problem of policy, not of family.

Reader Comments 0

841 comments
notagain
notagain

Are we not all liars?If Hillary lied,why is that worse than GHWB and GWB lying?

RangeRover
RangeRover

Just never forget one simple fact.  The AJC has never once officially endorsed anything other than a democrat in any local, state or national election.  With this history, how can anyone, whatever you believe, see this paper as what a news organization should be, unwaveringly, unswervingly and unendingly fair, impartial and unbiased in reporting any political news in a factual, truthful and balanced manner...and Gay Jay is their puppet!

RangeRover
RangeRover

@Starik 

Not openly, perhaps, but privately and clandestinely they only endorse liberal candidates.

juliainatlanta
juliainatlanta

maybe if some of these war mongers had children who shed blood in these wars, they might, just might, not be so quick to send other peoples children off to die in them.  

lvg
lvg

Project of a New American Century/1998- plan for invading Iraq; Authors- Jeb, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Crystal, and other chickenhawks and morons who were GOP neocons.

Bottom line -unilateral war is good (to solve failure of Poppy Bush to have an exit plan after Gulf War).

Dusty2
Dusty2

Well,  in answer to Bookman ' question while he goes off to play a merry tune,  Jeb Bush is jus a reminder that the Bush family has still another fine man of intelligence, experience and superb character.


That is exactly what we need after a long dry spell of missteps, wrong moves, indebtedness and world rejection of Obama. .


We have another chance at success in Washington with Jeb Bush.  Let us hope we are sensible enough to elect him.   

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

Jeb reminds me of a dog who craps and then steps in it, then tracks it everywhere that he goes. He's his own man alright, for even George was better than that, “worst president” that he was.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Wasn't Jeb the "hanging chads" governor?

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

"How many Republican candidates went on record at the first debate about poverty? Better still how many questions were asked about poverty in America?  Too funny you guys always ask for proof when you already know the answer. "


How long does somebody need to be on welfare before they stop being poor?

td1234
td1234

@josef First thing would be to time limit means tested programs and then to place incentives on marriage and make Divorce harder.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@fiftythreepercenter I am still trying to figure out if you are a man or woman but since you have jumped from your Hillary rag to this one now I pick the later.  That's from one woman to another.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @josef Why are you trying to give suggestions to such an unreasonable person.  Your sign is the name calling (moron) he/she used in their post.  The contents of my post is directed soley at @fiftythreepercenter and I take responsibility for what I am saying.

gotalife
gotalife

Flag was raised in Cuba and it was not your rebel flag.


Another yuge accomplishment for our President and Hillary.


Fact.



TetoLeo
TetoLeo

Jeb will not be the republican nominee.


And I rarely make predictions, but this I feel nearly certain about.  I cant see a path for him to gain that lead and edge that this voting cycle republican caucus of voters is looking for.


But any time to bash a republican is a good time to bash a republican, I guess.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

@St Simons he-ne-ha 


not til later tonight,


School just got out and you know how bad traffic is getting on and off the island this time a day until around 6.  Stuck over here on the other side of the river.

KUTGF
KUTGF

A new study shows that 17 percent of all deaths in China are related to the high levels of pollution there.

Berkeley Earth’s “Air Pollution Overview,” which will be published this month in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PLOS ONE, found that a third of the population of China breathes air that is “unhealthy” by U.S. standards. Air pollution has dramatic health effects, the study says, killing 1.6 million people a year. 

__________


What we need is to get rid of the EPA and remove US Standards so that corporations (who breath our air) can be unburdened.  

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@KUTGF You're first that I've heard express those rather radical views!

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany LOL....  I know.  Where you keep your head, things are barely able to reach. 

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

where's Berkeley? Is it closer than the swamp is to de island mon? hahaha

gotalife
gotalife

President Clinton admitted mistakes so Hillary does not have to carry his baggage.


The rw are too weak to admit mistakes like adults so jeb is forced to carry w's baggage to keep the blatant lie going that w was a great President.


w is an ongoing disaster in Iraq but we recovered from his collapse.


Tell it like it is. If you think losing costly wars and economic collapse is a great President, you are not honest enough to opine on politics.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

They're predicting the worst El Nino in 50 years to hit the west coast. If you're living on the side of a hill, it could be bad news. If you're crops are drying up or your neighborhood is on fire, it could be good news. 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Meanwhile, back in the real world...

Hillary turned over her server to the FBI.

After she had it professionally cleaned up.

The dems will, in unison, say...."SEE, just another faux scandal!"

gotalife
gotalife

@DownInAlbany Fake scandal is the truth and they will find nothing. How many fake scandals have you tried and failed? Twenty? No Americans believe you. Period.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany Professionally cleaned up?  My goodness, its impossible for the FBI to go talk to "those imaginary people" and also to find deleted evidence on a server.  Hillary is the best know MASTERMIND criminal of the century. Her computer programming skills are the best. 


I am glad you are on this Pinky.