Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Sorry Sight

On his last post of the week, usually on a Friday, Esquire's Charlie Pierce often sneaks in "Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans."

In the same vein, as demonstrated at last night's GOP presidential debate (transcript here): yeah, John Ellis Bush is pretty much still a weasel- at least as described in the Urban Dictionary. On Wednesday night, he stated

As it relates to Iran, it’s not a strategy to tear up an agreement. A strategy would be how do we confront Iran? And, the first thing that we need to do is to establish our commitment to Israel which has been altered by this administration. And, make sure that they have the most sophisticated weapons to send a signal to Iran that we have Israel’s back.

A presidential candidate is allowed to profess love for Israel, even if one of his foreign policy advisers once declared "Fuck the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway," which kind of summed up James Baker's approach to the Palestinian Arab/Palestinian Jewish issue.

Later turning his attention to Kentucky, Jake Tapper asked (video below).

Well, I’m not telling you that, Governor. But Governor Bush is, because he — because he disagrees. He thinks that Kim Davis swore to uphold the law.

You disagree? You’re not — you don’t…

Bush replied "I don’t think — you’re not stating my views right."

By "right," he must have meant "favorably" because after Ms. Davis refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple, the former governor commented

She is sworn to uphold the law, and it seems to me that there ought to be common ground, there ought to be big enough space for her to act on her conscience and — now that the law is the law of the land — for a gay couple to be married in whatever jurisdiction that is,

But Tapper, representing a network afraid to offend the GOP, asked Bush to continue, whereupon the candidate said

I think there needs to be accommodation for someone acting on faith. Religious conscience is — is — is a first freedom. It’s — it’s a powerful part of our — of our Bill of Rights.

And, in a big, tolerant country, we should respect the rule of law, allow people in — in — in this country — I’m a — I was opposed to the decision, but we — you can’t just say, “well, they — gays can’t get married now.”

But this woman, there should be some accommodation for her conscience, just as there should be for people that are florists that don’t want to participate in weddings, or bakers. A great country like us should find a way to have accommodations for people so that we can solve the problem in the right way. This should be solved at the local level…

Of course, Davis' actions had nothing to do with religious conscience, but with her job duties.    Bush believes "there should be some accommodation for her  conscience," which is in stark contrast to his July opinion "I don’t think you should be discriminated [against] because of your sexual orientation. Period. Over and out. I think this should be done state-by-state. I totally agree with that."

However, that was at a technology company in San Francisco, a whole lot different crowd than he faced at the Ronald(6) Wilson(6) Reagan(6) library. Way to pander, John Ellis.

And then there was the one about his wife. If the last refuge of a scoundrel is to fly the flag, the second-to-last is to invoke family, as demonstrated below:

BASH: Governor Bush, Mr. Trump has suggested that your views on immigration are influenced by your Mexican born wife. He said that, quote, “If my wife were from Mexico, I think I would have a soft spot for people from Mexico.” Did Mr. Trump go to far in invoking your wife?

BUSH: He did, he did. You’re proud of your family, just as I am.

TRUMP: Correct.

BUSH: To subject my wife into the middle of a raucous political conversation was completely inappropriate, and I hope you apologize for that, Donald.

This is precious. On August 25, Bush responded to his use of the term "anchor babies" by contending "My record is pretty clear. I'm married to a Mexican-American United States citizen. I'm immersed in the culture, I'm bilingual. I feel like I'm bicultural. I'm proud of the diversity of my own family." He added "It's going to be really hard for me to be lectured to about the politics of immigration."

So now it's Trump who has injected his wife into a political controversy and Trump who has to apologize.  Bush noted his wife was in the audience and stated "And why don't you apologize to her right now."  Trump, thankfully refused, because- as he accurately noted- "I've said nothing wrong."

Bush says he doesn't want to be lectured about immigration because he's immersed in the Mexican culture because his wife is Mexican-American.  Then, he is shocked- shocked, I tell you- when somebody says that's why he condones illegal immigration. Jews call that "chutzpah" (sorry, Mr. Baker).

Most extraordinary, though, was when Bush, responding to Senator Paul's criticism of President George W. Bush, claimed "You know what? As it relates to my brother, there’s one thing I know for sure. He kept us safe. I don’t know if you remember…"

Emboldened by an outpouring of applause, Bush added "you remember the- rumble? You remember the fire fighter with is arms around it? He sent a clear signal that the United States would be strong and fight Islamic terrorism, and he did keep us safe."

Yes, Al-Qaeda terrorists are truly intimidated by a picture of a fellow with his arm around another guy.  In drawing a parallel between the ex-President's brother and Ted Cruz, who boasted about leading "the fight in the United States to protect our right to keep and bear arms," Pierce notes

I was struck by how proud Ted Cruz was to have thwarted even limited gun-control laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. Which seemed of a piece with Bush's invocation of The Great Mulligan, which is about where the whole debate left the earthly plane and ascended to the rarefied air of the top of the conservative information bubble. You have to forget a considerable amount of history to maintain belief in The Great Mulligan. In both cases, in lower Manhattan and in Newtown, it helps to be completely deaf to the cries of the dead. That's takes a special kind of person. It truly does.

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