[<B>Warning: Liberals with heart conditions, this column may cause seizures</B>.]
While writing a rough draft for a mostly whimsical column that would assess the summer of 2010 from the hypothetical point of view of a future historian looking back at it, we came across a Huffingtonpost story <a href =
about Jeb Bush</a> and realized that the Huffington story augmented by a series of similar items might, in retrospect, be recognized as a very important harbinger of the United States' political future.
To get Jeb Bush elected as the President of the United States (POTUS) in 2012, legitimately or not, one would have to prepare the country in advance for such a potentially (to some) distressing result.
If it is predestined to happen, it would be very prudent to plant a series of "news" stories assuming that such an election result were possible. Otherwise if it just came to be that Jeb started winning primary contests in early 2012, some of America's less gullible citizens might raise a hue and cry. If, however, the free press would show their sportsmanship and help set the stage, it could go a long way towards sidestepping a rancorous national debate about the need for a continuation of the Bush Dynasty.
In the realm of deceptive activity designed to fleece an unsuspecting victim of his/her money a common factor is often an assistant who seemingly is a stranger to both parties and who provides a "count me in" factor to the proceedings that is designed to alleviate any of the victim's points of objection. People tend to be reluctant to be the first to make a move but they also tend to have a flock mentality when a trend gains traction.
Thus, if some political strategist (with a tendency to play his role in a Svengali/Merlin manner) is calling the shots, the press can play the role of the "count me in" accomplice by rehabilitating the rather tarnished image of the Bush family. A complicit press could help refurbish the Bush family image as being part of an American tradition that has suffered a temporary setback rather than a total derailment via the low public opinion of the last President. With the press' reputation for truthfulness and integrity (imagine it in terms of Edward R. Murrow doing a "Person to Person" interview with Jeb in his home [or is it "one of his homes"?] with lotsa "softball questions."), they could do a great deal to help restore the tarnished Bush brand name back to its former eminence.
Obviously this sounds outlandishly implausible, but if someone told the reader back in the "Impeach Clinton now!" phase of the country's history that the Republicans would win the next election in the conservative majority Supreme Court and then pull off an even more impossible upset in 2004, who would have believed it back then?
Quite often historians find the most fascinating items go mostly unnoticed while they are part of the contemporary news scene. Hence, we strongly assert that folks, coping with foreclosure or not, pay more attention to the stories about Jeb and ask themselves if such items are a legitimate examples of a "nose for news" journalistic value judgment or if they are part of a concerted effort to set the USA up for yet another con job.