Friday, May 15, 2015

Wackadoodle Land

Back in the early 60's, one of the earliest NBC White Paper programs reported on an invasion of Georgia. Titled "Anatomy of a Rumor," it traced a paranoid, wacko story making the rounds among the chronically hysterical about how a military training operation that included small numbers of  foreign, allied troops was actually cover for an invasion of the state by "black Africans" under the auspices of the United Nations.

Who says history doesn't repeat itself?

Jeb Bush

Who in the world is this guy Jeb Bush? He was supposed to be the smart brother, the moderate brother, the brother the Bush family expected to be president after the father.

Was this all just wishful thinking? Was the rest of the GOP presidential field so bat-poo crazy that we were willing to just ignore contrary evidence (anti-gay rights, the nation's first so-called "stand-your-ground" legislation, 21 executions while he was governor, climate change "skeptic", Terri Schiavo) to keep things from getting too scary over there?

Is he something else? Maybe somebody with no core values at all, willing to do or say anything in order to be elected?

This week we got a strong whiff of something like that in his flip-flop-flip on our disastrous invasion of Iraq. It got Paul Krugman pretty mad:
Jeb Bush wants to stop talking about past controversies. And you can see why. He has a lot to stop talking about. But let’s not honor his wish. You can learn a lot by studying recent history, and you can learn even more by watching how politicians respond to that history.
The big “Let’s move on” story of the past few days involved Mr. Bush’s response when asked in an interview whether, knowing what he knows now, he would have supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He answered that yes, he would. No W.M.D.? No stability after all the lives and money expended? No problem.
Then he tried to walk it back. He “interpreted the question wrong,” and isn’t interested in engaging “hypotheticals.” Anyway, “going back in time” is a “disservice” to those who served in the war.
Take a moment to savor the cowardice and vileness of that last remark. And, no, that’s not hyperbole. Mr. Bush is trying to hide behind the troops, pretending that any criticism of political leaders — especially, of course, his brother, the commander in chief — is an attack on the courage and patriotism of those who paid the price for their superiors’ mistakes. That’s sinking very low, and it tells us a lot more about the candidate’s character than any number of up-close-and-personal interviews.