"I'm my own man."
That's what Jeb Bush told an audience at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs last month as he tried to distance himself from his brother George's foreign policy disasters.
What he didn't say: His foreign policy advisors are all the architects of Bush's Iraq war.
Many assume he wants voters to also believe he's his "own man" when it comes to the other failures his brother inflicted on the country.
Good luck with that.
Jeb is falling right in line with the Republican strategy of saying the opposite of what you'll actually do and hoping no one notices. But we've seen the Bush movie before and we're still living with damage. (Even George senior was brought to tears with the results.) Jeb can't run away from the family name when he's using the same old playbook.
For starters, we wouldn't have had George number two as President in the first place if it hand't been for Jeb and his partner in crime Katherine Harris in 2000. No one will ever forget that.
More to the point, Jeb is at it again.
He knows what an uphill climb it will be getting out of the Dubya ditch, but he's already working on a fix. He's gaming the vote.
The political apparatus surrounding former Gov. Jeb Bush, determined to avoid embarrassment in a state that has vexed his party and family in national elections, is plotting a vast operation aimed at turning Florida into a bulwark for his presidential campaign, according to dozens of interviews.
The plan, code-named “Homeland Security,” seeks to try to neutralize two potentially grave but homegrown threats to Mr. Bush’s long-anticipated run for president: the likely challenge from a charismatic young Republican senator from Miami, Marco Rubio, who is expected to seek the Republican nomination himself, and a demographic drift within Florida that could doom Mr. Bush there in a fall campaign against a Democrat.
The Bush effort in Florida, where Barack Obama prevailed in the last two elections, will pour enormous resources and energy over the next year into a state that many thought Mr. Bush, its governor from 1999 to 2007, would be able to count on as a bedrock of support.
The plan is code-named "Homeland Security." How quaint. Tell us again Jeb, how you're your "own man" when you've code named your strategy to undercut democracy with the very same name of the anti-terrorism agency your brother created and then used to his advantage politically every time he needed to invoke the shock doctrine against the electorate?
In any case, securing the homeland for another Bush presidency is a threat on a whole new level. Not sure there's a color for that, but thank you Jeb, for reminding Americans once again what a joke your brother's Department of Homeland Security was. Using the name the way Jeb is now also illustrates what a joke his strategy is. It's a pretty bad one and the joke's on anyone who falls for it. Again.
While brother George kept the country in the dark for eight years, Jeb seemed to want to distance himself there too, and he recently released emails in the interest of "Sunshine." Another hypocritical move, considering his record of avoiding Sunshine Laws when he was governor in Florida. Unfortunately for Jeb, people actually read those emails. Oops.
He also apparently thought no one would find out about the other email addresses he kept. Oops again.
Even if one were to overlook his emails that showed he routinely did favors for big donors, that he responded to emails from an account he claims he knew nothing about, and the fact that he only released some of the emails in the first place, the ones that show he's actively trying to game the vote with the Florida Republicans in the legislature, not to mention with The Dark Lord Of Sunshine Laws himself, Rick Scott, show he's a Bush in every sense of the name. When the assumption that he is to be the anointed one has proven to be wishful thinking, he's developing a game plan to thwart voters anyway:
...public records request reveal Jeb Bush closely coordinating with the Florida legislature to schedule Florida’s 2016 presidential primary in a way most favorable for Bush.
That coordination is already signed, sealed, and Jeb hopes delivered to help him game the primaries for himself.
One problem his brother didn't have was the enormous competition from the crazy wing of the GOP, so the primaries are going to be a big problem for him. There's no shortage of wing nuts that want to eliminate him before he even has to concentrate on the Democratic candidate. Not that he hasn't tried to drive the clown car himself. He recently tried to distance himself from the profits he made off of "Obamacare" just as he was telling voters how bad the health care law is, and showed support for the 47 Senators who wrote a letter to Iran telling them they would gladly thwart any negotiations made by the President. Think about that: Jeb supports a president being undercut by the opposite party? Try to imagine what his brother would have done had he faced a similar threat, and then try to imagine it happening to Jeb. Yeah, I'm sure he's down with that.
All of the "Homeland Security" strategy in the world may not be enough to help him though. The Jeb apple not only hasn't fallen far from the Bush tree, it's still firmly attached to the branches. Add that albatross to the crop of crazy conservatives gunning for him already as I write, and his campaign is heading downhill real fast.
Let the games begin.