It's been a few years and given our country's ever-decreasing attention span you couldn't be blamed for having forgotten a lot of what happened during most of the 2000s. Sure, seismic events like 9/11 are impossible to put out of your mind, but the daily gang-bang of offensive hubris, disgraceful incompetence and sociopathic evil that came out of the White House during that era was so psychically debilitating that there's a good chance your subconscious is even now repressing most of it. We're human beings. We forget things. And when something horrific is done to us we literally block it out as a coping mechanism, so we don't lose our minds. We're just happy that the trauma is over and seek to move on. That pain from long ago? Let it fade. It's necessary.
With that in mind, allow me to reactivate your PTSD like a Vietnam vet hearing the sound of choppers. Pretend you're Inspector Dreyfus from the Pink Panther movies and I'll bring up Clouseau's name.
Jeb Bush says that his primary foreign policy advisor as he prepares to run for president in 2016 -- is George W. Bush.
In a private meeting in New York City last Tuesday, according to those who were there, Jeb said, "What you need to know is that who I listen to when I need advice on the Middle East is George W. Bush." Now there are those who believe that what Jeb said was strictly in the context of U.S.-Israeli policy, but it's difficult to imagine W's advice being confined to one Middle-Eastern nation only. This is George W. Bush we're talking about after all. Regardless, the very notion of the person whose ineptitude and arrogance ripped the ground out from under an already volatile region -- the effects of which we're still dealing with to this day -- having any say whatsoever in how a potential next president deals with the area from this point forward is almost unimaginable. George W. Bush was legitimately one of the worst presidents this country has ever seen, if not the worst, and he shouldn't be able to give advice on which birthday cake to buy at the local supermarket much less how the United States should handle the ongoing aftershocks of the disaster he brought to the Middle-East.
The man started a war that wasn't necessary and did it under false pretenses. He destabilized a region that already wasn't much known for its stability. He got thousands of American troops and thousands more Iraqis killed in a quagmire of a conflict that cost the U.S. its moral standing around the world. The man and his administration were corrupt beyond measure. Every day of the Bush era it felt like we were seeing one more new, depressing thing this country had never seen before.
According to CNN, the mention of George W. Bush's name by his brother was received well by many in the room, which is depressing enough on its own -- a testament to how effectively Bush's small band of acolytes have been at rewriting history for Republicans and how deep the right's hatred is for Barack Obama, a man who miraculously managed to clean up a substantial number of Bush's mistakes over the last seven years. That Jeb would turn to his disgraced brother isn't a surprise, but it should provide crystal clarity as to what another Bush administration would look like. It would mean an encore for all the names and faces we saw throughout the eras of Bushes one and two. It would mean a triumphant return for the very same people and the very same policies that practically crashed and burned the United States not so long ago.
When you think about it, it's staggering that you're even having to think about it.