The burning Bushes are talking again.
President W is doing his best to "burnish" his legacy with mea culpas about Iraq and the economy to ABC’s Charles Gibson. Sorta like polishing the rails on the Titanic, it’s easy to understand his desire to create some semblance of shine for his long-since sunken presidency.
It’s almost nice to hear. Because it sounds like music…the music that plays during an exit…as in, exit stage right.
But the Bushes are not going to go away. They never do.
Enter Jeb Bush.
He made his first significant media appearance in recent memory…an interview with Newsmax. Weighing in on politics and the future of the GOP, Jeb suggested that the GOP set up a "shadow government."
You know what, Jeb? That is what the GOP has been doing for decades, and it gets us…as in USofA…in heaps of trouble.
Shadow Governments might work in parliamentary systems, but when a Bush suggests a shadow government, a far more troubling pattern of secret team shenanigans comes to mind.
The first shadow government proposed by a Bush was by not-yet-Senator Prescott…when he participated in organizing a fascist-style coup to overthrow FDR in 1933. It failed, although Prescott got off scot-free. Free enough to become a Senator.
Then came Poppy, and the strange circumstantial evidence that he was part of the Bay of Pigs, the phone call he made to the Houston FBI the day JFK was murdered and the debriefing he gave to Hoover a few days later. Of course, the CIA, breaking its long-standing policy of refusing to confirm or deny an agent’s status, denied Poppy was ever an agent. Yet, they named the CIA headquarters (The GHW Center for Intelligence) after a dude who never was an agent, and was Director for less than a year. Uh…sure!
Poppy, as CIA Director, also turned to Team B in 1976. Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, two Team B first-stringers, were brought in to re-write the National Intelligence Estimate regarding the USSR. They made wholesale changes to the original estimate. The first “estimate” predicted the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. The new “estimate” was an indictment of the USSR as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and as a belligerent nation on the verge of invading Western Europe. That document was eventually used to justify the Reagan build-up. Hmmm…re-writing intelligence to justify military expenditures? Sounds strangely familiar….
And Jeb, let’s not forget the full-scale shadow government that operated with impunity, and in violation of constitutional and legislative restrictions, during Iran-Contra. I mean, if you want to know how to set up a shadow government just ask all those people your dad pardoned, who had worked for him…and were recycled by your brother to run his War on Terror. Or, just ask your dad.
And your brother is no slouch when it comes to running a government that operates in the shadows.
Secret deliberations about energy policy while his cronies created an artificial crisis in California.
The Office of "Special Plans" in the Pentagon. I always liked that name. So…shadowy. "Special Plans." You’d think it was a committee to organize surprise birthday parties. But no, it was tasked with launching a full-scale global conflict against "terror" and circumventing congressional oversight.
Then there are the secret prisons. The renditions. The illegal wiretapping. The data-mining. All the hallmarks of a "shadow government."
The problem is not that the GOP needs to set up a shadow government. Jeb, the problem is that the GOP, often under the leadership of someone named "Bush," too often sets up a shadow government.
Get some deep-sea diving gear and take a moment to examine the wreckage at the bottom of the sea. No matter how much your brother shines those rails, the whole thing is still a disaster. It still sunk. And we don’t need any more shadow governments from someone named Bush.