The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Republicans are still squabbling with each other, but there is already a public war of words going on with an eye toward the general election. And it involves someone with the last name “Bush” lambasting the opposition for messing up Iraq — yes, really.

Tonight, Jeb Bush will deliver a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, on “Addressing the Threat of Radical Islamic Terrorism.” (We can probably assume, however, that he won’t openly propose to deal with radical Islamic terrorism the same way that Reagan himself did — by selling weapons to both the Iranian regime and Iraqi strongmen.)

From early excerpts posted online by Jeb’s campaign, he will indeed admit to certain past mistakes in Iraq — and then say it was all President Obama’s fault for abandoning the project after it was going so well:

No leader or policymaker involved will claim to have gotten everything right in the region, Iraq especially.

Yet in a long experience that includes failures of intelligence and military setbacks, one moment stands out in memory as the turning point we had all been waiting for.

And that was the surge of military and diplomatic operations that turned events toward victory.

It was a success, brilliant, heroic, and costly.

And this nation will never forget the courage and sacrifice that made it all possible.

So why was the success of the surge followed by a withdrawal from Iraq, leaving not even the residual force that commanders and the joint chiefs knew was necessary?

And he will single out Hillary by name:

And where was Secretary of State Clinton in all of this? Like the president himself, she had opposed the surge…then joined in claiming credit for its success … then stood by as that hard-won victory by American and allied forces was thrown away.

In all her record-setting travels, she stopped by Iraq exactly once.

Who can seriously argue that America and our friends are safer today than in 2009, when the president and Secretary Clinton – the storied “team of rivals” – took office?

The two campaigns also waged a mini-flame war on Twitter Monday night, starting with Jeb’s people replying to a tweet from the Clinton campaign about her college education proposals.

Hillary’s people then responded by pointing to Jeb’s own record on higher ed:

To which the Jeb folks then switched to Hillary’s “H” campaign logo:

Photo: Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks to attendees at the RedState Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia on August 8, 2015. (REUTERS/Tami Chappell)


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Billboard urging "No" vote on Kansas abortion referendum

That Kansas voted to protect abortion rights guaranteed in its state constitution didn’t surprise me, although I certainly never expected a landslide. The original “Jayhawks,” after all, waged a guerilla war to prevent Missourians from bringing slavery into the Kansas territory, a violent dress rehearsal for the Civil War. A good deal of the state’s well-known conservatism is grounded in stiff-necked independence.

In the popular imagination, Kansas has always signified heartland values and rustic virtue. Superman grew up on a farm there, disguised as mild-mannered Clark Kent. So did Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz, a spunky young woman with an adventurous spirit. But cartoonish fantasies have little to do with the real world. My favorite Kansas politician was always Sen. Bob Dole, war hero, Senate majority leader, 1996 GOP presidential nominee, and unmistakably his own man.

Keep reading... Show less

Colbert Mocks Trump's Bad Toilet habits

Image via YouTube

The political world was rocked by the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence, perhaps prompted by reports that he had flushed classified intelligence documents down the toilet. Not surprisingly, Late Show host Stephen Colbert found this image laughable if alarming. (Over the weekend, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman had revealed photos from a White House source revealing scraps of paper at the bottom of a toilet bowl.)

“To be fair, it’s unclear if those are official White House documents or his toilet’s suicide note,” Colbert noted, although the papers did appear to have Trump’s Sharpie handwriting, as well as the name “Stefanik” written on them -- as in Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}