What do you call a GOP ticket without a Bush on it? A loser.
One of the more startling facts of American politics is that the Republican Party has not won a presidential election without a Bush on the ticket since 1972. So when Jeb Bush stood at the podium of the 2012 Republican National Convention to speak about education, you couldn’t help but assume that he’ll be headlining a GOP convention before long – perhaps in 2016, as the Daily Show suggested all last week.
For Democrats who believe that Jeb has the likability of George W. mixed with the pragmatism of George H.W., a Republican ticket featuring this particular Bush is a frightening possiblity.
All that stands in Jeb’s way is what his brother George’s legacy has done to the Bush brand, which is still used, appropriately, to sell beans. Sensing his branding problem, the former governor of Florida used his first minute at the podium at the RNC to attempt to erase eight years of his brother’s nearly unmitigated arrogance and incompetence.
On Friday, Bill Maher pointed out that the GOP is attempting to wipe W. from history by omission. In all three days of the convention, no one besides his brother mentioned “He-Who-Must-Must-Not-Be-Named.” This GOP has been trying to erase the Bush years from our memory since the day President Obama took office. First they used Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. (You probably noticed that neither of those were mentioned at the RNC either.) Now, Paul Ryan – who voted for everything George W. Bush proposed — is the shiny object that is supposed to replace all who came before him.
Ignoring past failures instead of making amends is to be expected from this Republican Party. But what Jeb Bush did was to go beyond pretending Bush never happened. He decided to rewrite history.
“My brother, well, I love my brother,” Jeb said. “He is a man of integrity, courage, and honor, and during incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe.”
President Bush totally kept us safe – except that one time.