During the 2000 Democratic Convention, Reverend Jesse Jackson (who then had a little more national credibility than he and his doppelganger Al Sharpton now have) gave one of the more famous, if not ineffective, speeches of modern day politics in which he warned America against electing another president with the last name Bush. As he prattled off failures by Bush 41 as President and the man who would be Bush 43 and his total ineptitude as Governor of Texas, Jackson warned Americans in an urban drawl to “stay out the bushes.”
It was a cute catch phrase which brought the partisan house down, and one which would no doubt be resurrected if, God forbid, another Bush, first name Jeb, somehow were to become the Republican Nominee for President of the United States in 2016. God help us all if this country is, once again, staring at a Bush versus a Clinton.
Last week, Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican candidate who ran the single worst presidential campaign in modern history (yes, even worse than John McCain as hard as that is to fathom), mercifully announced he will not seek another shot at the White House. In conventional political wisdom, this announcement opens the floodgates for Jeb Bush to waltz to the nomination, which that almighty conventional wisdom tells us, is the only chance Republicans have anyways at winning the presidency in 2016.
I need to slow down, don’t I? No problem, I’ve got the time. Let’s review (and trust me, all of what you’re about to read ties in together, just stay with me):
TO THE ISSUE OF BUSH 41: The proper challenge when reviewing presidencies is not to merely judge the job the person did, but judge him against what would have been otherwise. George H.W. Bush was basically a lame president who did very little wrong and almost nothing right. He signed the Americans with Disabilities Act which sounds so lovely but has been used not to actually improve the lives of the disabled, but to bludgeon small business owners over the head with costs and regulations that have made local governments and contractors very rich. He raised taxes against his pledge, and most notably, led an international coalition into Kuwait to defeat Saddam Hussein and Iraq which had one of the worst mission statements of all time; push them into Iraq and then go home. Way to go. Embolden the neighborhood bully and then leave him to his own devices. Brilliant strategy, stupid. In the end, Bush 41 will be a lower tier, fairly nondescript President in history. But holy shit, it could have been so much worse if America would have elected Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis in 1988. We dodged a bullet.
TO THE ISSUE OF BUSH 43: I voted for that clown twice. The second time I did, I did so knowing he was an abject idiot. However, I also did so knowing that in 2004, there was no way that Senator John Kerry was going to keep America anything close to safe, and I certainly didn’t want to pay more in taxes at the time (as I had already predicted the coming economic calamity and housing crash) so I held my nose and voted for Bush the moron. Bush 43 was a horrendously bad president who did damage to this nation in every way that will reverberate for decades to come. He wildly expanded government, mismanaged the military and cost countless lives, and stained both the Republican party to the nation and the nation to the world with his total inability to communicate at a level above that of a third grader. But thank God he was in the White House on 9/11/01, rather than Al Gore, otherwise there wouldn’t be a White House today.
ON THE ISSUE OF MITTENS ROMNEY: Poll after poll today reveals that America has buyer’s remorse over not electing Mitt Romney in 2012, which is what led to him testing the waters for a possible run in 2016. And then he realized that it’s not much of a compliment to be told you’d have made a better president than Barack Obama. A decade ago, there was essential universal agreement that the argument over who the absolute worst president in history was centered largely around either people who did nothing (Buchanan, Pierce, etc) or people who did great harm (Wilson, Carter). No one knew we’d add the two front runners to the mix in back to back modern day elections. Yes, Mitt Romney would have been a better president than Barack Obama, but vomit also smells better than shit and I don’t want to eat either. Other than staunch partisans and people afraid to be critical lest they be judged racist, everyone that is paying attention sees what a disaster and corrupt president Obama is. He has done nothing to improve the fledgling economy, despite attempts to manipulate statistics and say otherwise. In fact, the only things good about the American economy (lower gas prices, for example, have come despite his attempts to make them NOT happen, ironically). He has expanded the power of unelected officials via the EPA, IRS, BLM, and multiple other agencies to scary levels. He eschews his limits on power, ignores the will of the people and has made America weaker in the eyes of the world than at any time since 1979. Get over it, he is a failure by every objective measure. As bad as Bush? Worse? Sadly, those are the only questions left for history to answer.
Which brings us to today and why America must stay out the Bushes.
I have posited for years that America, as a culture is long gone. We have destroyed the moral fiber and fabric of our once great society and become as rude, arrogant and ignorant as a powerful nation can be, and nothing will change that. 9/11 had no effect, and the level of calamity it would take to cause such a cultural change is of such monumental proportions, we would not be talking about this country coming back, but rather starting over.
However, I have also made it clear that it is still absolutely possible, and in fact likely, for the nation to re-emerge as the lone world power, boom its economy once again and put/force people back to work. We will have, I predict another American renaissance in my lifetime. We can and will be the world’s leader and most respected nation once again with a vibrant economy. None of that, sadly, will change our internal “you have a right to your opinion as long as you agree with me,” attitude, but it gives people hope, which I love because hope ultimately leads to great despair.
And despair is exactly what America felt when Jeb Bush announced he was running for President. In multiple surveys across all corners of America over the past many months, the part of the nation that pays attention almost literally went into a deep depression at the thought of Jeb Bush versus Hillary Clinton. That, in and of itself, is the problem. For this country to have any hope of a worldwide turnaround, it must have a nation of people who believe. There are only so many of us who will do whatever it takes, regardless…the rest need to be led, have a reason to believe, and feel as though they belong and most do not. And nothing about Bush versus Clinton makes them think anything will change and why should they, for God’s sake? Under President Obama the top 1% of us have grown our wealth enormously (thank you, Mr. President), at the cost of the disappearing middle class of America who can’t believe how hard they work, how much they make, and how dreadfully far the money doesn’t go. And Bush versus Clinton is going to inspire any hope of any real change? Please.
I write all of this assuming you know the process that lies ahead of us; Democrats and Republicans will decide to run for their party’s nomination and, after a series of debates and months of boredom, one person from each party will receive the nomination. In 2007 at this exact time in history, it was a foregone conclusion that in 2008 it would Hillary versus Rudy Giuliani.
Which brings us back to conventional wisdom, which is what I run as far from, as fast as I can, because I have learned that most people are stupid. The only thing more dangerous than a stupid person is a mob of them following and parroting one another.
That’s not to say it won’t be Jeb versus Hillary. I pray that it won’t, and I believe that it won’t. Would Jeb be a better president than Obama has been or Hillary would be? Probably, but now we’re comparing shit to vomit to afterbirth. Still not appetizing. And in no way inspiring. Another generational cycle of voters will be disinterested, uninvolved, and devastated…and more of America will slip away.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of interesting, exciting and very scary people out there considering a run for the White House, as you will see if you pay attention over the next year or so. Truthfully, Jeb and Hillary are just more of the same and very boring. No matter how much you hate Obama or Bush 43, neither Jeb nor Hillary is going to change much or do much worse. Lump them in with other tired names like Huckabee, Biden, and Santorum and throw them out with yesterday’s trash.
People like Chris Christie of New Jersey and Rick Perry of Texas have all but lost before they’ve started and thank God for that for they’re both so provably corrupt that they make politicians blush.
Which brings us to the new, young, exciting and scary. As you learn about Rand Paul, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Cuomo, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, Martin O’ Malley and others view them through the prism of knowing that all of them are beholden to someone, for that is the only way to rise to the prominence of being able to run for President in the first place. And then ask yourself which of them will do the most harm and which may do the most good. Personally, I’m a Rand Paul guy and I know that he has no chance of winning because his policies are based in Libertarianism and America is too stupid to not be governed. So I’ll watch and see how this all develops, hoping to God America doesn’t finally swing towards full on Socialism and elect Elizabeth Warren. Whatever we do, we best stay out them Bushes. And Clintons.