Reprinted from Antiwar
You may not like Donald Trump, for any one of a number of reasons, but anti-interventionists have to give him some credit for opening up the presidential debate to a critique of US foreign policy that hasn't been seen or heard since the Ron Paul campaign. On Syria and on Iraq, he challenges the GOP/neoconservative orthodoxy in a way that Sen. Rand Paul hasn't been able to do: indeed, one could argue that Trump has stolen Rand's thunder -- such as it is -- in sounding the anti-interventionist note. And now Trump is upsetting the conventional GOP wisdom in an even more fundamental sense by challenging the "he kept us safe" theme that Jeb Bush has been pushing on behalf of his brother -- you know, that former chief executive who left office with a popularity rating lower than any President in recent memory.
The Jeb-Trump contretemps played out over the weekend's talk shows, with The Donald telling Fox News:
"Look, Jeb said we were safe with my brother -- we were safe. Well, the World Trade Center just fell down. Now, am I trying to blame him? I'm not blaming anybody. But the World Trade Center came down. So when he said, we were safe, that's not safe. We lost 3,000 people, it was one of the greatest -- probably the greatest catastrophe ever in this country if you think about it."
Jeb came back at him on CNN, the cable station nobody watches, protesting that brother George "united the country," and going on to aver:
"I don't know why he keeps bringing this up. It doesn't show that he's a serious person as it relates to being commander in chief and being the architect of a foreign policy. Across the spectrum of foreign policy, Mr. Trump talks about things that -- as though he's still on The Apprentice."
I'm sure Jeb has never seen a single episode of "The Apprentice," and that's because he's a Very Serious Person who is fast becoming the architect of his own defeat. This kind of condescending snootiness is a definite turnoff for voters, many of whom have seen "The Apprentice" and don't appreciate being talked down to. Because in talking down to Trump, voters feel Jeb is talking down to them. That Jeb and his advisers don't get this is the chief reason why the Bush campaign is sinking like a stone.