Saturday, January 16, 2016

In The Last Ditch with Jeb Bush....

Dateline: Amherst NH, Souhegan High School, 10:30am EST 1-16-2016

Let the record show that as I drove up to a Bush for President Town Hall this morning I passed gas stations that were selling their fuel for $1.71 a gallon. When his Brother Was Top Swank of course it was 3.35 a gallon, but then we were feared all over the planet in those days so it doesn't count.
Jeb has definitely lost some weight on the campaign trail he used to have a definite lardiness to him I guess you really burn the calories chasing everyone else's coat-tails.
Otherwise this was a relatively small event with some two hundred people in attendance in the lobby of the above cited high school, I guess the campaign didn't want to book the auditorium and suffer thru the humiliation of row upon row of empty seats.
Morever some thirty of the people in that room were either campaign volunteers or members of the when you parse the numbers it was a small room for a waning candidacy.
There is something about a New Hampshire Primary Audience, the punditariat likes to wax stupid about their flinty no nonsense New England Values...but mostly I just see a bunch of grey haired retirees with tight little smirks on their faces. It is as if they can't wait to get their bony asses kissed they've come to relish that part of the political ritual.
Y'know it's funny, Jeb in part a "sum of nullities" he is not as diffident and incoherent as his father nor is he as smarmy and insincere as his brother, this is at best faint praise I know. Jeb is however, a very blustery policy wonk who keeps harping on his desire to make the USA "safer, stronger & free-er" (free-er isn't a word but all members of La Famiglia Arbusto mangle the English Language sooner or later).
And how will he accomplish this?
By writing endless blank checks to the Pentagon, by increasing the size of the Army, Navy and Marines by hundreds of thousand by "destroying Isis", by putting all our chips on the Sunni Warlords, by Arming the Kurds, by putting Russia, Iran & China In Their Places.
Its a tremendous triple down on "Yosemite Samism" across the globe to be sure....but then this is January in New Hampshire so The World is Always Coming to An End as far as the Presidential Primary is concerned.
He even uses the somewhat laughable term "fierce force" when describing in detail all the awful vengeance he'll rain down on ISIS when he is President.
In short it's a Neocon Eschaton circa 1997 he offers us, full of threats to use force if so much as a pickle jar refuses to be opened.
Oh and he opposes the nuclear deal with Iran big surprise it's place he offers us, more threats of "fierce force".
Basically Jeh Bush has a Great Big War in his Head one that will correct all the problems generated by His Brother's Great Big War.
Somehow this Iraq War III is supposed to attrite domestic terrorism, exactly how Jeb doesn't say but he bugs his eyes a lot snarks at Obama every other sentence and that somehow is supposed to keep us safe at homed and abroad.
And then there is "Jeb Bush; Radical Reformer".....
And what are those radical reforms?
A Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution...except if the Congress or states don't comply, Jeb is prepared to Call a Constitutional Convention to impose said Amendment on the American People by a dangerously primitive open ended constitutional technicality.
So maybe he is a radical after all...or else he is simply a policy wonk who has been running against borderline falangists so long now he has begun to ape their appalling mental habits.
Jeb also likes to harp on "our broken culture in Washington" (this from the son and brother of two US Presidents)....his solution there is singular and amazing, he wants to eliminate "lifetime tenure in the Civil Service" and bust the public sector unions. In short he wants to dial the whole civil service back to 1881 where there were no protections with respect to hiring or firing....the GOP could fill up the bureaucracy with hacks and jobbers until the flaming end of time itself.
Just in passing one of the least reported aspects of the GOP Presidential Campaign this year is all the sustained hostility to public sector unions and civil service protections...granted this is presented as a means to shrink the sheer size of the US Government but a clear by product of said policy IF implemented will be packing the agencies with lackeys and patronage hires.
Jeb made it unambiguously clear he'd sign a Federal Right to Work Law if it came to his desk as President which pretty much would bring wages to a dead stop for the US working class.
And on he droned about term limits at the Federal Level, (maybe they could cover that one at his notional Constitutional Convention along with gutting the First Amendment or arming schoolteachers with flamethrowers), reforming the VA, charter schools, raising education standards and of course plenty of welfare for wowsers in the form of school vouchers.
And then Jeb got onto the subject of Social Security where he declined to talk privatization (at this town hall at least) but Jeb's plan more or less boils down to "Working Longer for Less Benefits" this somehow will allow us to avoid any sort of revenue resolution to funding the plans.  I think Jeb Bush wants to simply avoid the topic, he saw how much trouble it caused his brother in George Jr's second term.
Granted he wants to mean's test higher incomes (thats everyone's bipartisan gambit these days) and raise the minimum benefit to 125% of the poverty level...which we can afford if I work until I'm seventy years old and don't get too sick before then.
Oh and Jeb said "Y'All" a few times in the more forced rehearsed manner possible....Ringo Starr would have said it with more natural 'elan.
Jeb talks about Bipartisanship the way Franco used to talk about Unity....something we will all have as soon as I'm done beating up people in back alleys.  The implication seems to be Jeb wants to play nice except mean people like Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama are forcing him to fight dirty.
A few months on the campaign trail and chronic single digits in the polls have made a immigration irrationalist out of Jeb. He wants to spend spend spend on border enforcement, built more fences, draft local police into immigration enforcement, toss out the visa "overstayers", end sanctuary cities oh and bust the border patrol's union.
But Jeb Bush is against self deportation...that is are round ups....instead what we need is GPS tracking and more drones ...maybe he could hire some of those armed Kurds in which he has such faith to patrol the Rio Grande?
In sum, Jeb is running as Neocon and all Neocons have to run as Paul Revere howling in the night about the USA's impending doom as a Superpower. The problem is, The Times and most of all the GOP Base have decisively passed him by. Jeb is likely smarter than his Brother The President, but he hasn't a single new or original or even particularly challenging idea in his head. Mostly its a collection of applause lines, appalling constitutional and or bureaucratic notions and yet another war to restore US Prestige.
In short Jeb wants what his father and brother wanted A Small Do-Nothing "Bipartisan" US Government that is yet strong enough to humble, Putin, China, Iran and Destroy ISIS.  And by extension HE, Jeb Bush, is the Man to Do All This, except at the moment he can't even handle Donald Trump on a soundstage in South Carolina, how is he supposed to overawe Putin in Geneva or wherever the stare down happens?
Audiences I think sense this weird gaseous disconnect when it comes to Jeb Bush hence his current single digit polling numbers they see thru his bluster especially how old it all seems. Moreover the GOP Base is getting bloody red meat every night from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz....Jeb's Hot Air just doesn't register.
I frankly believe Bush is still in this thing in part because he thinks his family honor is at stake and just possibly he is hoping to stab his onetime protege Marco Rubio in the back.  A sad and tawdry end to a man who was once lauded as the GOP's Man of Destiny, who was once gonna run for President "Joyously",  now reduced to trading ugly insults with Donald Trump.
From what I saw today, Jeb's Heart Just Wasn't In It, Bluster or No Bluster.....I think he has taken a long hard look inside and decided he just doesn't want it...he thought he did but now not so much. Alas though The Family is Now Fully Invested, Money has been Raised (and squandered), Endorsements Jeb can't back out now, even though I suspect he can't wait for the hammer to drop in New Hampshire so he can bail out with the shreds of his dignity intact.

No comments :