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May 13, 2015

Patriot Games: Jeb Bush Offers Another Answer To Iraq Question

Maybe he didn't realize the question would come up.

It should be noted that Jeb is still avoiding an answer after his hawkish rivals have answered that they would not have invaded Iraq, "knowing what we know now."

By the way, GOP: You should mention the new information we have isn't just that Saddam only had a few Vietnam era canisters of mustard gas and the like, but also that you didn't know then that Bush's successor would be a lunatic who would turn the whole Middle East into an abattoir.

Knowing now that Bush's successor would be the blithe destroyer of civilizations Barack Obama, one's calculus about leaving to him any precarious situations would have to be adjusted.

But anyway, Jeb doesn't want to be seen as less hawkish than his rival hawks. He's not competing with Rand Paul to be a dove, I don't think.

So he's only answering now having heard his chief hawkish rivals (except for Walker) answer the question.

Ted Cruz, a hawk, said "of course" he wouldn't have invaded, "knowing what we know now."

Erstwhile candidate Chris Christie also said so.

Rubio, now apparently being called a "Super-Hawk," as I termed McCain and Graham, also now says he would not have invaded -- knowing what we know now.

And it may not surprise you to hear he has a clever little fillip in this answer, too.

"Not only would I not have been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor of it," Rubio said. "Well, President Bush has said that he regrets that the intelligence was faulty. I don't think the Congress would have voted in favor of authorization if they'd have known that. But let's also be fair about the context. Yes, there was intelligence that was faulty, but there was also a history with Iraq of evasion, it was a country that had mobile units in that past that it used for both CW, you know chemical weapons and biological capabilities."

Amidst this background of no's, Jeb once again walks back his original "Yes" answer (and then his "I didn't understand, I guess I'll have to think more about it" answer).

He now says that to answer the "hypothetical" about Iraq would be a "disservice" to troops. That is, to answer this hypothetical could make troops who lost life or limb in Iraq feel that their sacrifice was in vain.

"If we're going to get back into hypotheticals, I think it does a disservice to a lot of people who sacrificed a lot," Bush said…

"Talking about the future is more than fair. Talking about the past – and saying how would you have done something after the fact is a little tougher. And it doesn’t necessarily change anything. That was my point," he said [to reporters] afterward.

Well... perhaps, but that's terribly convenient, isn't it? And furthermore, this is a very important question, about a candidate's thoughts on war and peace; solicitude about veterans' feelings about the answer are simply not as important as having an answer.

By the way, I don't know if soldiers and Marines are that hurt to hear an admission from the Ruling Class that it made an error that affected them.

I feel -- and this is just a hunch -- that this is the beginning of a Giuliani-like collapse for Jeb.

When this type of Republican runs, his appeal is not his likability, or his strength on the issues.

This type of candidate is like Mitt Romney: His appeal is threefold.

1. He's done all his homework and is buttoned-up and ready to get to work and will not overly embarrass you.

2. He has more money than God.

3. Everyone else is supporting him so get on the bandwagon already.

The problem here is that Jeb has apparently given no thought to a very obvious question -- thus disproving Reason One for supporting him at all (in a lukewarm, might-as-well fashion).

And when Reason One evaporates, so too will Reasons Two and Three.

And gaffes like this will play into the just-aborning New Narrative that the 60+ year old Jeb Just Isn't Ready.

Bush Hectored by Motor Mouthed Leftie: Eh, he doesn't get flustered, that's something.

He didn't really "smack her down" like the Bush Boosting FoxNews claimed in its headline.


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posted by Ace at 05:50 PM

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