‘I can defend the invasion of Iraq’

Ryan Lizza’s essential story on the calamity of Jeb Bush’s foreign policy includes cameos by many members of the Legion of Doom: Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Porter Goss, Stephen Hadley. Another nasty piece of work, Otto Reich, makes an appearance. Reich, I’m sorry to say, is a Cuban American whose most notorious sting was asContinue reading “‘I can defend the invasion of Iraq’”

GOP extremism: most fundamental campaign issue

I quote Charles Pierce so often because he’s one of the few columnists with a historical sense to match his prose. Often the historical sense is the saucer on which the tea cup of his prose cools (he steeps his sentences in Mencken and Thompson). I’d think, as he argues, that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz would beContinue reading “GOP extremism: most fundamental campaign issue”

‘Roger Ailes’s position as a kingmaker remained secure’

This exchange happened last night, and if you excavate what I wrote last night it’ll come up. Jeb Bush positioned himself as the pro-life candidate. “Pro-life” in 2005, according to Bush, meant saving Terri Schivavo’s life. The full answer: Kelly: Governor Bush, let’s start with you. Many Republicans have been outraged recently by a seriesContinue reading “‘Roger Ailes’s position as a kingmaker remained secure’”

Never forget

I missed this story when Politico published it in January — I tend to avoid what Charles Pierce calls Tiger Beat on the Potomac. For many of us who remember the dark period after the second Bush inaugural, his brother’s meddling in the Terri Schiavo case represented the nadir of movement conservatism. Michael Kruse’s splendidContinue reading “Never forget”

The smack of firm government

This guy: “I don’t think I would have changed anything,” he said in response to a questioner during a “Politics and Eggs” breakfast here Friday. “I stayed within the constitutional responsibilities or authority that I had. We changed the law first and then a year later it was ruled unconstitutional and then basically didn’t haveContinue reading “The smack of firm government”

Hack Writing, Pt. 3412

Count the cliches in this story: There are other ways the Bush team thinks the Jeb brand could be unique. His father, George H.W. Bush, governed as a ­free-spending, tax-raising, ­foreign-policy pragmatist, while Jeb Bush aims to offer himself as a small-government conservative reformer motivated chiefly by domestic concerns. Where older brother George W. BushContinue reading “Hack Writing, Pt. 3412”

Punditocracy decay, part #1274

Michael Putney, longtime South Florida eminence, demonstrates how covering power turns pundits into vegetables. Check out the Harlequin novel prose: Some members of the punditocracy wondered if Jeb Bush had lost his campaign chops since he hadn’t run for office in years. The answer is in and it’s obvious. He’s not only got ’em, heContinue reading “Punditocracy decay, part #1274”

Jeb Bush and Elian

Grad school wasn’t as edifying or entertaining — or my brief spell in real world journalism — as living in Miami during the apogee of the Elian Gonzalez nightmare. Stories about dolphins bringing the young lad home. The Virgin Mary appearing over the waters. Gloria Estefan and Andy Garcia holding hands in prayer circles. AfterContinue reading “Jeb Bush and Elian”

Jeb Bush: the perfect conservative

Apart from boasting the personality of a shoe tree and the mien of an Ocean Bank district manager, Jeb Bush isn’t conservative at all, which makes him a perfect conservative avatar in 2014. And 2004. If conservatism means anything besides a pathology bred on the suspicion that someone browner, poorer, straighter, and less masculine mightContinue reading “Jeb Bush: the perfect conservative”

That lovable moderate Jeb Bush

The moderate Jeb Bush in 1994: Bush’s tough brand of conservatism also featured new restrictions for Florida’s welfare recipients. In early 1994, Bush unveiled a welfare reform plan dubbed the “Phoenix Project.” The goal of the project, he later told the Miami Herald, was to “dismantle the welfare state and all the culture that comesContinue reading “That lovable moderate Jeb Bush”

‘I am sickened by the “second campaign” now being waged’

A reporter friend told me in 2006 that Jeb Bush responded to email, no matter how late (one response came after three in the morning). Reporters assigned to work yesterday filed stories about what Bush wrote in them. No flashes of insight here: not a single beguiling turn of phrase or policy revelation. Let’s getContinue reading “‘I am sickened by the “second campaign” now being waged’”

The burning Bush

Frank Bruni, the NYT scribe to whom Dubya mouthed “I love you, man” in 2000, pens another valentine to his boo in the Bush family, this time Jeb, who he says: …learned between his 1994 defeat and 1998 victory to reach out to minorities and speak inclusively and hopefully. When he recently told an audienceContinue reading “The burning Bush”