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May 13th, 2015

Jebmania!

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Memo to Jeb Bush: MAYBE YOU'RE NOT ACTUALLY THE SMART ONE?

Oh, Jeb. Jeb Jeb Jeb Jeb Jeb. You really do suck at this, don't you?

You've probably heard by now of the Jeb Bush / Iraq War revisit clusterfuck. It all started when, in a Fox News interview, Megyn Kelly asked Jeb if, knowing what we know now, he'd still have invaded Iraq.

There is a stock answer for Republicans who supported the Iraq war, which everyone knows was a horrible fucking idea based on bad information. Some people call that bad information an intelligence failure, some people call it a giant fucking lie, but everyone not named Cheney knows it was an awful idea. So, the official response is to point out that Democrats believed the intelligence, that Hillary Clinton believed the intelligence too, that everyone thought it was right at the time and thus there was no way not to make the mistake of invading Iraq. It's not true, of course. And the parts of it that aren't true aren't actually exculpatory. but it's a gambit that's worked for the better part of a decade, so Jeb turned to it.

Unfortunately for Jeb, his pivot was not an answer to what Megyn Kelly asked, which is "KNOWING WHAT WE KNOW NOW". Not knowing what we knew then. And even more unfortunately for Jeb, for the first time in recent memory, people noticed that a pat, stock answer by a politician didn't actually match the question. And they interpreted it as saying that even now, with the benefit of hindsight, Jeb would totally invade Iraq again.

And so, a clumsy answer begat clumsy damage control. First was the "he misunderstood the question" gambit, which is not only a lie, but a lie that makes Jeb look dumber than a bag full of hammers. because this was a Megyn Kelly interview on Fox News, not a TED talk on regenerative breaking. Misunderstanding it makes you almost as dumb as, well, wanting to invade Iraq.

And, of course, if his answer to the misunderstood question was not what he meant, he invites the question of what he would actually do when he understands the question. And that's when Jeb bends over, tries to kiss his presidential aspirations goodbye, and accidentally gives himself a bird's-eye colonoscopy. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"If we are going to get into hypotheticals, I think it does a lot of disservice for a lot of people who sacrificed a lot. Going back in time, does a disservice for them" - Jeb, in an interview with CNN.

In the 80s, there was a minor trope where a journalist would, through some chicanery, get a politician to react in an offensively craven way on camera, to reveal the politician's true nature and turn the electorate against them. This, of course, proved to be one of the 1980s' biggest unrealized fantasies. But this is about as close as we're gonna get, these days. In a moment of panic, Jeb Bush pulled a decade's worth of troops in front of him to avoid answering the question of whether it was a good idea for that decade's worth of troops to make the sacrifices he's hiding behind.

And keep in mind, Jeb hasn't even formally announced he's running. Unless you count the interview where at the start of the interview he says he's running for president and then later he says he's thinking about it.

The stupid runs strong in his family. His father had it. His mother had it. His brother had it. And he has it.