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Jeb Bush and Foreign Policy (II)

Michael Brendan Dougherty implores [1] Jeb Bush not to run for president. Among other things, he finds Bush’s foreign policy views repugnant:

Although recent years have made me appreciate the creative realism of George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy, Jeb Bush seems to be taking after his moralizing and confrontational brother, rather than his more restrained, consensus-building father. A recent speech in Miami revealed that Bush accepts the “we’re-rubber, you’re-glue” moral calculus of the most hawkish voices. When America kills foreigners, the foreigners are to blame. But when Russia invades Ukraine, or Syria disintegrates into civil war, that’s America’s fault for not doing something. This is stupid and dangerous.

That seems to describe Jeb Bush’s foreign policy views fairly well [2]. Everything Bush has said publicly on the subject confirms that he agrees with his party’s hard-liners on most issues, and he has never said anything that would suggest the opposite. As a domestic policy “centrist,” Bush’s ability to break with the party significantly on foreign policy is greatly reduced. Like many relative moderates, Bush overcompensates for his “centrism” on domestic policy by endorsing failed and confrontational policies abroad. For their part, quite a few movement conservatives are willing to forgive all kinds of heterodox views on many other issues so long as the “moderate” candidate fully embraces hawkish interventionism. That probably won’t be enough to win the nomination [3], but it will make the quality of the debate during the nomination contest that much worse.

To challenge the party on its prevailing foreign policy views would represent a repudiation of his brother’s record, and as far as anyone can tell he doesn’t think his brother did a bad job as president. I don’t think that is just public family loyalty at work. That may be even more disturbing than the awful foreign policy views, because it means that Bush doesn’t think that the GOP needs to make any substantive changes to separate itself from the Bush era. Then again, Bush said [4] in that same Miami speech that he thinks the embargo of Cuba should continue and should made even more restrictive, so he clearly isn’t bothered by obvious failure.

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13 Comments To "Jeb Bush and Foreign Policy (II)"

#1 Comment By balconesfault On December 15, 2014 @ 11:40 am

Like many relative moderates, Bush overcompensates for his “centrism” on domestic policy by endorsing failed and confrontational policies abroad

I don’t think there’s any “overcompensation” involved.

Bush was a signator to the PNCA manifestoes of the 1990’s. He endorses those failed and confrontational policies because he helped formulate and promote them in the first place.

#2 Comment By Tim D. On December 15, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

I wish people would quit mistaking people such as Bush as “centrists” and “moderates.” He isn’t. His views are in sync with his brother and the bulk of the Republican base. Especially on foreign policy.

Actual Republican moderates/centrists died out when Nixon and Ford were ran out of office. Nowadays they’re called Democrats.

#3 Comment By steve in ohio On December 15, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

Sadly I think Bush could win the nomination (assuming Romney and other moderates stay out) as well as the general election. (I think Hillary’s support is very wide, but not at all deep.) Bush’s biggest problem with the base is his support of Common Core, but McCain was able to win even though his amnesty/immigration views did not align with those of the base.

#4 Comment By T. Sledge On December 15, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

On January 20, 2017 this country will have survived 16 years of two thoroughly mediocre presidents. Is it at all plausible that after all that time, in a country of over 300 million people our only options are the “smarter” Bush son or La Clinton? At the time of the first census there were 3.9 million people in this country, of which 19% were slaves. Only white males had the vote, yet somehow we didn’t manage to elect a true “dud” until the 8th president, Van Buren. We are overdue for some competence in the Oval Office —- not another damn Bush or Clinton.

#5 Comment By Flavius On December 15, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

We have a mass political market consisting mostly of entitled people without regard for standards of behavior and little to no understanding of how difficult it is to achieve excellence. They reject excellence in a person because it offends their sense of equality. Enter box office politics, branding, political dynasties and all the diminishing quality in politics, especially politics where the big money is to be made, that comes of giving the people chocolate if they want chocolate. To the greedy for power, name recognition is not an asset to let go to waste. This also accounts for why when the candidate makes it to the seat of power, he requires a cast of hundreds to tell him what to do; and then finds himself paralyzed amidst all the conflicting advice.

#6 Comment By balconesfault On December 15, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

@T. Sledge says:
On January 20, 2017 this country will have survived 16 years of two thoroughly mediocre presidents.

Sorry – but while I have my disagreements with Obama – were he truly “mediocre”, considering the absolute opposition he’s faced from the GOP from the day after his election in 2008, his accomplishments would be few and far between and the country would be in worse shape than it was in January 2009, rather than much much better off.

Accomplishments? Yeah …
[5]

If one has their feet grounded in reality you have to start by accepting that there has never been at any point in Obama’s Presidency room for compromise with the GOP that would advance the agenda that he ran on in 2008 and 2012. The GOP’s strategy has been to increase their power by pure distilled opposition. And for the most part it’s worked.

Thus, legislatively, there was basically a 2 month window in 2009 – between the Senate finally seating Al Franken, and the death of Ted Kennedy, when Obama actually had a functional majority in Congress that could pass major legislation he supported.

Meanwhile, you try running any highly complex organization when a significant percentage of your appointees face lengthy filibusters, leaving agencies to be run by interim directors with limited authority, and departing directors who already have one foot out the door, and causing many qualified nominees to give up and return to the private sector due to the delays.

Sure – there have been screwups. It’s pretty much impossible to have an administration that never screws up. Would you like a list of those that occurred under Ronald Wilson Reagan, for example?

In many ways, historians will view Obama’s Presidency as unsuccessful. But unlike his predecessor, very few historians will view Obama as a mediocre President.

#7 Comment By William Dalton On December 15, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

If “centrist” Jeb Bush takes a hawkish foreign policy line, it would seem to make it easier for anti-establishment Republicans to beat him – no confusion of messages with the Liberty wing conservatives.

#8 Comment By simon94022 On December 15, 2014 @ 5:40 pm

considering the absolute opposition he’s faced from the GOP from the day after his election in 2008,

What other President in recent memory has enjoyed a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for any part of his term?

Sure, congressional Republicans mostly oppose his initiatives – that’s what their constituents elected them to do. But that’s no different than the opposition any President faces in a world where the parties have sorted themselves out ideologically. This is the new normal, but thanks to his 2008 landslide Obama got to enjoy a pliant Congress.

There are all sorts of possible defenses of Obama’s record in office. Claiming he was stymied by extraordinary Republican opposition is not one of them.

#9 Comment By simon94022 On December 15, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

Actual Republican moderates/centrists died out when Nixon and Ford were ran out of office. Nowadays they’re called Democrats.

Dick Cheney: Ford’s White House Chief of Staff; opposed Reagan in 1976; did not work in Reagan Administration.

Donald Rumsfeld: Ford’s Secretary of Defense; opposed Reagan in 1976; did not work in Reagan Administration.

And of course the Bush family were firmly in the Nixon/Ford wing of the GOP, which is why Reagan tapped GHW Bush for Veep in 1980.

In many ways, “Movement Conservatism” has been coopted and colonized from within by the old GOP establishment. Rockefeller was a Vietnam hawk, after all, and Nixon certainly didn’t shy away from ordering massive bombing campaigns.

And much like Rocky and Tricky Dick, the current leaders of the GOP mostly confine their domestic policy conservatism to rhetorical attacks on the Democrats. What they really care about is promoting military intervention abroad.

#10 Comment By Noah172 On December 15, 2014 @ 7:14 pm

simon94022 wrote:

Dick Cheney: Ford’s White House Chief of Staff; opposed Reagan in 1976; did not work in Reagan Administration.

Donald Rumsfeld: Ford’s Secretary of Defense; opposed Reagan in 1976; did not work in Reagan Administration

Cheney was in Congress during the Reagan administration, and dutifully supported its agenda (as opposed to, say, John McCain, who opposed the Lebanon misadventure).

Rumsfeld held a number of part-time government posts during the Reagan years: special envoy (several times), commission board member (several times). The most notable of these gigs was Rumsfeld’s later famous visit to Iraq to chitchat with Saddam Hussein.

#11 Comment By Noah172 On December 15, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

Thus, legislatively, there was basically a 2 month window in 2009 – between the Senate finally seating Al Franken, and the death of Ted Kennedy, when Obama actually had a functional majority in Congress that could pass major legislation he supported

Kennedy was replaced by another Democrat, Paul Kirk, who served until being relieved by Scott Brown in February 2010. The 60-vote window was more like 7 months.

#12 Comment By Juan V On December 16, 2014 @ 3:11 am

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Robert Morrow
Date: Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM
Subject: Jeb Bush was Running a Drug & Alcohol Ring at prep school Andover 1970-1971
To: “[email protected]

JEB BUSH was running a drug & alcohol ring in prep school at Andover. Call it “training wheels” for Jeb’s Crimes in Iran-Contra.

From Robert Morrow 512-306-1510 Austin, TX

1) [6]

2) [7]

. The books the one should read to fully understand the Bush-Clinton connection to the Iran-Contra CIA drug trade of the 1980’s are:

1) Barry & ‘the Boys:’ The CIA, the Mob and America’s Secret History by Daniel Hopsicker and which came out in 2005.

2) Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA by Terry Reed (Feb. 1, 2004).

3) Crossfire: Witness in the Clinton Investigation by L.D. Brown (April, 1999).

4) The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider by Al Martin (2002).

5) The Tatum Chronicles by Chip Tatum (1996). Just google “Chip Tatum Pegasus” and you will learn bucketsful.

6) Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion by Gary Webb (1999).

7) Defrauding American: Encyclopedia of Secret Operations by the CIA, DEA, and Other Covert Agencies (1994) and Drugging America: A Trojan Horse (1999) – both excellent books by Rodney Stich.

The Jeb Bush Illegal Drug and Liquor Distributorship at Andover

By John LeBoutillier:

In 2006 at my 30th Harvard Reunion, during a casual conversation one evening, a classmate told me about his years at Andover. Out of the blue he told me this story:

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush and one other fellow student back then ran an illegal drug and liquor distributorship on the Andover campus. When the heat started coming down, Bush ratted out the partner to the school authorities and saved his own skin. Jeb got away with it, was never caught, never punished, graduated unscathed and went on to the University of Texas at Austin.

To this day no one outside the Andover community even knows about this illegal activity. The media is apparently unaware of it. Through three statewide campaigns for governor of Florida, it never came up.

In 2012 at another Harvard event, this same Andover alumnus brought over another one of his Andover classmates – and one of our Harvard ’76 classmates and a staunch Republican – to speak to me about the Jeb Bush matter. This second alumnus confirmed the story – and added in this detail: “I never knew why Jeb walked around Andover with his jaw hanging open until someone told me he was stoned all the time.”

Forty years later does this matter? Does what someone did in high school matter if they run for president?

In fact, yes.

In the summer of 2012, the WASHINGTON POST ran a huge story on Mitt Romney’s behavior at the Cranbrook School in Michigan, with the focus on an alleged incident where Romney and some other boys cut off the blond bangs of a classmate.

If that event is worthy of the front page of the WASHINGTON POST, then the Jeb Bush Illegal Drug and Liquor Distributorship is certainly something the voters – especially GOP primary voters – have a right to know before they begin to choose a 2016 candidate.

Will the media and the press look into this? Will they do the legwork necessary to corroborate this story of illegality? Will they ask Jeb if it is true? If he admits to it will that help – or hurt – his political chances? Other pols have admitted drug use – including Barack Obama. But using and selling are two different things. And so is ratting out your partner in crime to save your own skin.

If Jeb denies it, will the media pursue the truth?

Will the media and press try to find out if the Bush Family intervened with the Andover authorities to keep Jeb from being expelled?

For decades the Bush Family PR Machine has touted the personal values and record of Jeb’s father, former President George H.W. Bush, from his WWII days through a myriad of professional positions and personal ups-and-downs. “Character,” we’re told, is something the Bush Family is proud of. So is their belief in “family values.”

Following the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal, we were told in the 2000 campaign that then-candidate Governor George W. Bush – known as Junior inside the Bush Family – would bring “honor and dignity” back to the Oval Office. Somehow this same Bush PR Machine was able to keep the lid on Junior’s DUI arrest in Maine back in the 1970’s. That revelation – coming in the last week of the 2000 campaign – cost Bush 25% of his vote and led to the split verdict with Vice President Gore winning the popular vote and Bush edging him in the Electoral College.

So far Jeb Bush has escaped scrutiny on the “character” issues.

For the sake of the country – and the GOP and the conservative movement – the truth about Jeb’s behavior at Andover needs to be exposed and examined before GOP primary voters invest their faith and belief in him.

© Copyright by John LeBoutillier, 2013. All rights reserved.

About John LeBoutillier

John LeBoutillier is a former U.S. Congressman (Rep. NY 1981-1983) and is the co-host of Fox News Channel’s POLITICAL INSIDERS seen on FNC at 7:30 PM Sunday nights.

#13 Comment By T. Sledge On December 16, 2014 @ 5:06 am

“In many ways, historians will view Obama’s Presidency as unsuccessful. But unlike his predecessor, very few historians will view Obama as a mediocre President.”

OK then, the surgeon was brilliant, but the operation was botched.