Monday, January 19, 2015

Can We Really Afford Another Bush?

It seems insane that we could face another Clinton-Bush Presidential race next year, but that is starting to shape up as a real possibility. Only in America, where Bill Clinton should have upset any progressive that paid attention and George Bush ANYBODY that paid attention – conservatives for not being conservative enough and everyone else for trying very hard to destroy the country. Clinton is obviously running and unless Elizabeth Warren changes her mind or some upstart comes out of nowhere, she will win the Democratic nomination. But what of Jeb Bush? Is he really going to come out of retirement in his early 60s to take on the daunting task of running away from his brother with more or less the same policy positions that left George W. with one of the lowest exiting approval ratings of any two-term president in history? The New York Times has an interesting article on Sunday discussing that very possibility.

The most troubling paragraph in the rather troubling article, was the following: “Recent speeches and interviews have given few indications that Jeb Bush will vary drastically from his brother’s record or second-guess decisions like the Iraq invasion. James K. Glassman, founding director of the George W. Bush Presidential Institute, said that for all their personal distinctions, the brothers were in sync on issues. “I never ran into any examples of where they have a difference in policy,” he said.” They went on to argue that his recent speeches echo those of his brother in 2000 and ex-White House aide Karen Hughes backed this up stating, “I love his ‘right to rise’ message, which I believe is similar to Gov. George W. Bush’s emphasis on reading as the new ‘civil right’ and view that government should be limited but also promote opportunity.” It certainly promoted opportunities for warmongers and the one percent, but maybe the rest of us would be better off if the Bush family retired to life in the Texas country club set, trying to break par, rather than the country again.

I mean how many more tax cuts can we really offer the rich, now that we have more or less established a flat tax in America (if you count all local, state and federal taxes and the many sheltering strategies available to them). Does the gas and oil crowd really need another cheerleader in the White House? Can we even afford another corporate-sponsored president? And what of women and gays, who have actually had some wins in the past six years? On the surface, one would assume the country would have enough sense to reject such an appeal outright. And yet one might have also assumed they wouldn’t support a war in Iraq to get revenge for 911, vote in a party that has done every thing in their power to disrupt the government to then turn around and fix that government, believe that global warming is a conspiracy by Nobel Prize-winning scientists to destroy our saintly gas and oil companies or that God decides the winner of important sporting events each week, that our President is secretly a foreigner or a Muslim or that watching the Kardashian family is a useful way to spend one’s time. Uh oh …

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