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Pierce writes: "OK, past is past. Jeb (!) is not about the past. Not him. He's especially not about that thin slice of the past that occurred during the years 2001-2009, when somebody Jeb (!) once met briefly was president of the United States and everything went to shit."

Jeb Bush. (photo: Getty Images)
Jeb Bush. (photo: Getty Images)

Jeb Bush: Fool Us Three Times, You Don't Get Fooled Again

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

16 June 15


In which Jeb (!) would like to run the family business.

he heart is the Jeb (!) and Jeb (!) is the heart.

That was the theme of Monday's roll-out. Also, the corazon is the Jeb (!) and Jeb (!) is the corazon.

There was some serious bilingual humanizing going on in the extended run-up. We heard more about his efforts to curb domestic violence than we did about his work cutting taxes, and killing affirmative action, and the other more base-worthy moves from his days as governor. (Terri Schiavo's, another victim of Jeb (!)'s great heart, was not mentioned.) He left the Jesus stuff to his son, George P., who is upholding the family tradition of avoiding the private sector by glomming onto an elected position in Texas. I kept waiting for a short word from the grateful heirs of Orlando Bosch, the Cuban terrorist whom Poppy Bush sprang from the hoosegow at Jebbie's insistence.

According to the justice department in George Bush Sr's administration, Bosch had participated in more than 30 terrorist acts. He was convicted of firing a rocket into a Polish ship which was on passage to Cuba. He was also implicated in the 1976 blowing-up of a Cubana plane flying to Havana from Venezuela in which all 73 civilians on board were killed. CIA memorandums strongly suggest, according to Bardach's book, that Bosch was one of the conspirators, and quotes the then secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, as writing that the "US government had been planning to suggest Bosch's deportation before Cubana airlines crash took place for his suspected involvement in other terrorist acts and violation of his parole."

OK, past is past. Jeb (!) is not about the past. Not him. He's especially not about that thin slice of the past that occurred during the years 2001-2009, when somebody Jeb (!) once met briefly was president of the United States and everything went to shit. Because Jeb (!) grew up in a small shoebox in the middle of the road, and is not one of the "pampered elites."

(I have to admit that this was the point where I expected his pants to ignite.)

Honest to god, if you listened to the speech, which was written very well and delivered with the kind of smug WASP brio that so often eluded that chap who Jeb (!) bumped into back in the Aughts, you would believe that history began in January of 2009. He did make a little wink and a nod to the "first president I met on the day I was born, and the second one I met on the day I came home." But, beyond that, you'd have thought he was found in a basket in the bullrushes along the banks of the Kennebec River.

But his campaign is a fascinating walk across a couple of wires. The first one was strung across the Gorge Of Eternal Peril by his dim brother, whom he barely mentioned. On Monday, he began to show the beginnings of a strategy whereby he (and the $100 million shady dead presidents he's already enlisted in his campaign) will run as a self-identified underdog, just one of the folks running in the people's election.

And I know that there are good people running for president. Quite a few, in fact. And not a one of us deserves the job by right of resume, party, seniority, family, or family narrative. It's nobody's turn. It's everybody's test, and it's wide open – exactly as a contest for president should be.The outcome is entirely up to you – the voters. It is entirely up to me to earn the nomination of my party and then to take our case all across this great and diverse nation.

He might just be able to pull this off, given the wherewithal he has to peddle it, and especially if he runs hard over the next several months. It's already part of the campaign strategy to downplay any adverse result anywhere prior to March 6, 2016. Can he actually write off the first four major tests and still be considered a contender? Watch him.

The other wire he has to walk is thinner and more tremulous. As his announcement event demonstrated, Jeb (!) is still going to run as the guy who actually believes all that "compassionate conservatism" bunk with which Karl Rove programmed his brother who, as we know, was president back in an alternative universe that Jeb (!) never visited. He even briefly sided with some immigration-reform hecklers in the stands. The problem, of course, is that his party base is completely insane, particularly on that issue.

As a candidate, I intend to let everyone hear my message, including the many who can express their love of country in a different language: Ayúdenos en tener una campaña que les da la bienvenida. Trabajen con nosotros por los valores que compartimos y para un gran futuro que es nuestro para construir para nosotros y nuestros hijos. Júntense a nuestra causa de oportunidad para todos, a la causa de todos que aman la libertad y a la causa noble de los Estados Unidos de América.

And heads do detonate all over rural Iowa.

But, seriously, who among the leading Republican candidates is going to cut him up over this? Who's going to xeno-bait him in a debate? Certainly not Marco Rubio, and I doubt Scott Walker is dumb enough to try. Last time, it was Willard Romney who made poor Rick Perry pay for his tenderness toward the brown people, an act of sheer xenophobic bullying by a soulless hack. And that is the difference, and why Bush yet may make across both wires.

In 2012, Romney was the eye of Sauron, fixing itself on the destruction of individual opponents at its leisure, no matter how lavishly said opponents were financed by wizened old crackpots from the Nevada desert. This time, I fear, it's Jeb (!) who will be cast as the eye in the tower. There were enough nasty cracks in the speech -- Calling the president a "glorified tourist" for his Cuba initiative was a good one. Orlando Bosch smiled on his spit in hell -- to prove that Jeb (!) has the kind of mean streak beloved by the talk-radio crowd. Members of the Bush family learn to get what they want by savaging other people in the cradle. Jeb (!) has bred true on that score. Really, though. Somebody should fill him in on what happened in America in the first eight years of this century. A lot of stuff went on he probably should know about. your social media marketing partner
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