Column: Bush Kept Us Safe*

Try to contain your excitement, America! The younger brother of President George W. Bush wants to be president too. Well, he tells us he wants to be president. Jeb’s running as a legacy admission while saying he’s his own man. It’s like a 30-year-old living “alone” in his parents’ basement.

The people advising and donating to Jeb all come from the Bush-o-sphere created by his father and brother. How does one get to say he’s his own man while an unprecedented two former presidents campaign and fundraise for him? Easy: Lie. Just make it up.

And it’s a peculiar lie too. The kind of lie that makes you uncomfortable because it’s so clearly untrue! Jeb’s “I’m my own man” is the comb-over of lies: Sure it might make you feel better to slick those greasy long strands over your chrome dome, but you’re not fooling anyone!

But Jeb’s autonomy (that his Big Brother and his mommy and daddy will totally vouch for) isn’t even the saddest and creepiest lie he’s looping. The most cringe-worthy, face-palming, #headdesk, squirm-inducing baloney Jeb repeats is, “My brother kept us safe.”

Uh…from what exactly? An unparalleled terrorist attack? Nope. That was on September 11, 2001 and thanks to a Supreme Court decision, Dubya was president on that day.

No, his little brother claims, he kept us safe after we lost 3,000 Americans to a planned act of mass murder.

  1. We were safe after September 11th?

From what exactly? Nation building? Losing 4,491 American soldiers, over a 100,000 Iraqi civilians, 136 journalists, 51 media support workers and trillions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the region for the next couple of generations?

He did not keep us safe from that. We’re still not safe from that.

So I ask again, what did Bush keep us safe from?

Katrina? More Americans died (1,833) in Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath than in any other natural disaster since the advent of the helicopter. It wasn’t just a failure of engineering; it was the caving of an indifferent government headed by a man most noted for his month-long vacations. Bush was celebrating John McCain’s birthday while thousands of families were stranded without proper food, water or waste disposal. We all watched scenes from a Third-World banana republic play out on TV in our country: bodies bloated and rotting in the sun, looting and hordes of hungry and bewildered refugees.

Bush did not keep us safe from that. We nearly lost an American city on his watch.

So, safe? From?

From the economy buckling and millions of Americans losing their savings, pensions and retirements? Ten million Americans lost their homes. Entire communities were obliterated. Millions of Americans lost their jobs. There’s now a giant swath of Baby Boomers who will never be able to retire because their investments disappeared on Bush’s watch. The Wall Street Journal dubbed Dubya the worst on jobs since we started keeping track of them.

How about our morality? We tortured prisoners. No way to skirt around it. Calling it “enhanced interrogation” doesn’t make it not torture in the eyes of the international community or any other thinking person. Bush didn’t keep us safe from that either.

So Bush didn’t keep us safe from a terrorist attack, an overseas quagmire, a botched response to a natural disaster, an economic collapse or moral decay.

What Jeb seems to be claiming is that his Big Brother saw to it that TSA agents patted down your elderly granny and confiscated all of our bottled water at the airport. That he created more government agencies that sounded like they were doing something important, like Homeland Security. There was more security—more scrutiny after thousands lost their lives in Lower Manhattan.

People who say “Bush kept us safe” are really celebrating their own patriotism and willingness to give up personal freedoms for a greater good of national security. Everyone felt helpless on that day. It was the one thing we could all do—submit to random searches and intrusions and hope that the leader of the country wasn’t a shortsighted, reckless numbnut.

Unfortunately when those sacrifices were made, the man in the Oval Office was an inept frat boy who once used a bullhorn on top of the rubble of his incompetency.

But Jeb is his own man.