The bottom line is that Jeb or Marco wouldn’t have nominated these folks!
MARK HALPERIN: Who is going to drive policy in this administration in education and EPA and Attorney General and DHS? He’s nominated very sharply ideological activists who Ted Cruz I don’t necessarily think would have had the follow-through to nominate.
JOE: Exactly. I have a story I’ll tell off-camera about telling somebody I wasn’t ready for something [and they said], well that tells me that you are ready for it. But anyway, but again. How fascinating that the Never Trumpers and the Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Bill Kristols, and all the people that were rightly the most skeptical of Donald Trump during the primary, have to sit back going, wow, I would not have gotten this with Jeb or Marco.
In saying George W. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Donald Trump possibly reveals his general election strategy: appeal to truthers as well as to birthers. As discussed in a prior blogpost, about half of Democrats are truthers, and about half of Republicans are birthers. All that is missing from combining the kook segments of the electorate of both the right and the left with economic nationalism and xenophobia, is promising free stuff. Thus, the perfect opponent to the Donald in the general election would be Bernie Sanders. But, did Bush lie about weapons of mass destruction?
To say Bush lied is to say that the Bush administration knew there were no weapons of mass destruction. But, weapons of mass destruction were indicated by intelligence. Even so, as an assessment by the Defense Department said, “Our knowledge of the Iraqi (nuclear) weapons program is based largely—perhaps 90%—on analysis of imprecise intelligence.” In real time, Colin Powell famously accepted the conclusion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, and attempted to persuade the UN Security Council of this. But, in his 2014 book, It worked for me, Powell says he should have been more skeptical. He says he failed to smell this out….
At Saturday’s debate, Donald Trump said, “You call it whatever you want. I will tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none. And they knew there were none.”….
Trump’s statement was taken as the popular accusation, “Bush lied,” as in “Bush lied, thousands died,” the slogan of Code Pink and other left-wing critics of the administration.
As an aside, I point out in depth the fact that there were WMDs in Iraq, HERE.
One Minute Version:
HotAirasks in their title a question: Did Trump damage his chances by accusing Bush of lying about Iraq? —to which they respond:
If Donald Trump is right, and George W. Bush deliberately schemed with his neo-con advisers to “lie” us into a phony war with Iraq, what does that say about the average Republican voter who supported Bush from 1999, voted for him, defended him through the recount, cried with him on 9/11, agreed with him on Iraq, defended him from ceaseless liberal attacks on him during the war, defended him from Obama’s never-expiring “Blame Bush” blame-shifting, etc.?
If Trump is right, then we’re not just wrong to have supported him. If Trump’s right, we’re goddamned rubes and fools to have defended this Actual Hitler-Level Monster for going on 17 years now…
This is a long way of saying Trump specifically and completely contradicted a belief that 75-80% of Republicans have about Bush — that he was a fundamentally decent man, perhaps overwhelmed by a very difficult period, who made an erroneous decision based on incomplete information — and instead offered a new belief, that Bush deliberately lied about Iraq’s WMD’s, a position that 75-80% of Republicans have long not only rejected but have been actively hostile towards…
I think Trump, who has been a past-master at getting people to buy-in to a very low-cost premise — “Let’s Make America Great Again” — just made a very high cost premise central to buying into him.
I think that, at this stage of the game, if you’re still open to Trump then nothing he says about Bush or Iraq is going to sway you. If you’ve sat through 20 Ted Cruz commercials a day in South Carolina attacking him as a phony conservative, a pro-choicer, and a parasite using eminent domain to prey on the working class, “Bush lied” isn’t the straw that’ll break the camel’s back. If anything, it’s all part of Trump’s Republican reboot. Trumpmania is a catharsis, repudiating the establishment and its idols (except Reagan, who’s simply too sanctified). If Bush gets caught up in that, eh. That’s all part of Year Zero. If Trump ends up paying a price for this, I think it’s more likely to come after he’s the nominee and some segment of conservatives decides that they can’t in good conscience support him in the general. “Bush lied!” will be part of a long list of disqualifying Trump positions for those righties once the time comes to make their break. For most Republicans it’ll be absorbed and put aside — but keep an eye on what happens this week as Dubya hits the trail for Jeb. The fact that he’ll be right there in front of South Carolinians, reminding them of how much they like him, makes Ace’s theory stronger than I would otherwise expect.
The above nugget comes by way of Dr. Thies (professor of statistics and econometrics at Shenandoah Univ. in VA.), and I will highlight what I thought was important within this important post via Libertarian Republican:
….Nate Silvers, the uber-geek of politics, amasses a lot of data: candidates’s voting records (if they served in Congress), their public positions on issues, and fundraising sources. Based on the average of the two or three scores he develops, Jeb Bush comes out like Mitt Romney, John McCain and Bob Dole, three fellows who did win the nomination of the party in open years, although less conservative than George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.
The bad news for Jeb Bush is that the Republican Party has been shifting to the right and what might have been acceptable in the past may no longer be. Looking at where the average Republican in Congress stood immediately before Ronald Reagan became President, they pretty much lined up with Romney, McCain and Dole. Back then, Reagan was considerably to the right. But, today, the average Republican in Congress stands more or less where Reagan stood….
The Miami Heraldreported in 2002 that Jeb Bush initially attended the public Grady Elementary School in Houston before mother Barbara enrolled him in the private Kincaid School closer to where they lived.
Brother George W. attended public schools in Midland, Texas – Sam Houston Elementary and San Jacinto Junior High – before being enrolled at Kincaid when the family moved to Houston.
As such, would you like some salt for that shoe, Mr. Damon?
Update: Tweep @bzaz points out that George W’s kids Jenna and Barbara both attended public schools – Preston Hollow Elementary in Dallas and Austin High School in Austin – and Jenna a few years after graduating college worked as a teacher’s aide at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School in Washington D.C.