Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who proclaimed, in Spanish, that he "has no future" seems to be letting go of the family dreams of dynasty. I for one think he'll keep hope alive for at least a couple of decades--the American people do have a short collective memory, after all--but maybe he's sincere. Oh, wait, no, that can't be it.
It's easy to assume that the only thing that blocks Jeb's glorious path to the White House is the steaming heap of politipoo left on the sidewalk by his big brother, George The Dim. But, unlike most Americans, Jeb can't blame his bleak future on George W. Bush. At least, not entirely.
Most of us got to know Jeb in 2000. We watched him shine (or was it the sweaty face of a big cheater afraid he was about to be caught?) as he broke new ground in voter suppression, instructing Katherine Harris to purge thousands of Florida voters for being black and/or Democrats.
I wonder who regrets his behavior back then more these days, Jeb, Jim Baker, or everybody else in the entire world?
Actually, there's so much more to know about Governor John Ellis Bush before he retires into well deserved (and no doubt well-compensated) private life. A refresher course, lifted in part from Naked Republicans, a Full-frontal Exposure of Right-wing Hypocrisy and Greed.
Jeb, a true religious wingnut, ably sabotaged his own career with the kind of wacky antics we usually associate with your Sam Brownbacks, your Rick Santorums, and your Pat Robertsons. Here are just a few highlights:
Jeb's story begins with a personal get-rich-quick history of questionable Florida real estate and banking deals with questionable people that made him millions of dollars in a few short years. Read the sordid and complicated tale here.
As for his religious zealotry, we begin with the matter of the brain dead woman--no, not Katherine Harris--Terri Schiavo. Not only did he order feeding tubes to be reinserted, not only did he send state troopers to her hospital to take her into protective custody (they were turned away), but long after poor Terri was dead and buried, he ordered a state investigation of Michael Schiavo to determine whether he had behaved criminally on the day Terri collapsed. Michael was, of course, cleared promptly.
Jeb is the MVP of abortion hardball, twice trying to force mentally retarded rape victims to carry their fetuses to term. He succeeded in one case.
And then there was kooky Jerry Regier, the guy Jeb anointed, er, appointed to straighten out the Department of Children and Families after it was determined that the DCF had lost more than 500 children over a decade. Mr Regier, a former leader of the Family Research Council, had supported "Biblical spanking" that leaves bruises or welts on kids, and believed that women should not work outside the home unless forced to be financial circumstances. Just what you'd want in a guy running a department for children and families. Regier ended up quitting his job under an ethics cloud.
Gosh, there's so much more, without even asking questions like, why his media-certified oh-so-dreamy son George P. Bush isn't in the military, but I think I'd like to end with the Profile in Courage Jebby demonstrated in Pittsburgh, back in October, while campaigning for Rick Santorum. Momentarily outside the Bush bubble, he was confronted by a group of protestors, and when sarcastically blowing them a kiss didn't appease them, Jeb hid out in a subway station supply closet.
Hard to picture your next President as cowering in a subway supply closet, isn't it? Maybe it's time to borrow a Spanishy phrase used by his friend and fellow governor, Rick Perry of Texas, who's always had a way with words: