Ever since seeing Jeb Bush on TV many years ago, I've always thought that, given the chance, the fellow could never lose if he ever ran for President. And this was, I believe, some time during his brother's administration, which was as traumatic for me as anyone else. I try not to watch TV as much as possible, except for cable movies and such. So I really haven't gotten a good look at him lately. But I doubt it would make any difference. If you've got it, you've got it. And as Jimmy Carter once said, "Politics is image." So I think we should forgo any realistic possibility that enough of the swing voters in our beloved republic will seriously think their way through this; any more than we seriously thought through the economic, environmental, racial, etc, ramifications of a conservative Congress and judiciary last November. Things didn't feel quite right, so we voted for what we thought would be change, i.e. not incumbent Democrats. I don't think anyone other than Republicans were actually voting for Republicans. I mean, who would, if anyone really understood what they were actually up to? So, I think we should just eliminate, any "Hey! But that's crazy!" here. Does not compute... not relevant.
Tragically, here's my case: I'm afraid the fellow just has enormous personal appeal. He is also consummate politician (going back is it 3 or 4 generations ?), bilingual, and perhaps most importantly: without any discernible scruples. At least about winning. Let us never forget that he's the one who turned the 7-point lead Al Gore had in Florida in 2000 to a win for his brother. Gore's lead was presumably so insurmountable that CBS called the election early for him. Remember? CBS has certain issues, but not knowing how to count precincts had never previously been one of them.
It is said that Jeb is now the choice of the establishment Republicans. I can't imagine this changing, considering the alternatives. But, frankly I don't think they could possibly find anyone better, or let's say "more suitable to their purposes." The right-wing of the party (so we're talking deranged) says Jeb is not conservative enough. But our rulers are smart enough not to make their job next to impossible and try and push through someone who will be, in no way, electable. Nor do they have to. Jeb and a Republican House and Senate will get the job done for them just fine.
Okay we can talk about Hillary's seemingly uncloseable lead in the polls at the moment, with regards to any Republican challenger. But these things change very quickly once the campaign gets under way. Am I the only one who remembers Karl Rove's immortal words about Kerry in 2004? "When we're done, no one will be sure which side [of the Vietnam war] he was on", soon followed by the Swift Boats. There is also the issue of "another Bush", with the last one perhaps leaving too much baggage for brother Jeb to circumnavigate. But, is any of this "baggage" really any more insurmountable than George's own alcoholism and cocaine use was during his moment in the media's merciless glare? And then there is the argument: is Hillary really any better? Wouldn't the powers that be just as happy with another Clinton presidency? If necessary, they probably would. But I believe there is still enough of a difference between a moderate Democrat and moderate-to-conservative Republican to make it worth the extra push by "the establishment". As we've been told: it's actually just the 1/10 of 1% where the real power in this country resides.
Above all, let's be absolutely clear on one point: given this chance, this particular moment in history, these people will stop at absolutely nothing to be in control of all three branches of government. Nothing. And if I might add, considering how things are right now, I personally don't see what could stop them. The media will follow the election as if it's all fine and moving along acceptably, with just periodic voices of concern being raised. But those voices will be kept strictly within bounds. Only (of course) to give the impression that all sides of the story are being heard. But they will certainly not be heard enough, or in a manner to make any real difference. Will we see Chomsky, Reich, Hedges, Klein, et al, on the evening news or on the Sunday talk shows? Let alone on the front pages of the Times, Post or (ha!) the Wall Street Journal?
I think not. So, the question becomes for me not, "Can Jeb Bush win?" But, "Can Jeb Bush lose?"
The media often call virtually anything these days "historic". But I think this coming election has all the earmarks of being a true watershed moment, a game changer.
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The problem being, of course, with issues now at stake such as our very survival, both economic and even quite literal, can we really afford to continue calling it "a game"?
(Article changed on March 29, 2015 at 05:56)
Former small business owner now retired.