On Sunday, as Republicans in Congress were trying desperately to prevent sections of the Patriot Act from expiring, not-yet-official Presidential candidate Jeb Bush appeared on Face The Nation with host Bob Scheiffer to tell us why America desperately needs the Patriot Act. Take a look:
Pay close attention to the language that Jeb used in that clip, and you can get a sense of how a third Bush presidency might play out. He didn’t say that they wanted to attack America, or that they were plotting terrorist activities; those assertions would have been too tame. Instead, Jeb told America that they want to destroy western civilization. Those are the words that he used in that clip.
Jeb is currently engaged in what we call “rewrite therapy.” He understands that his brother’s presidency was a complete disaster, so in order to appear more acceptable to moderate voters, he has to make the media rounds in an attempt to make apologies for his brother’s decisions and to convince us all that everything W did was absolutely necessary and beneficial to the country.
In that same interview on Sunday morning, Jeb assured Americans that there is not a single instance of the Patriot Act violating a single civil liberty of a single American citizen. This is an absolute lie.
Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know that the government was collecting metadata on U.S. citizens without a warrant, which is a clear violation of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution. There is even evidence that shows that some NSA employees would use their spying powers to spy on their significant others. On top of that, a federal judge found that the program’s practice of collecting data without a warrant on U.S. citizens was wholly illegal.
But these facts – and by extension, the U.S. Constitution, do not matter to Jeb Bush. His only job at the moment is to convince people that his brother was a great president and that we should welcome a Jeb Bush presidency with open arms.
And it wasn’t just his brother’s illegal surveillance programs that Jeb had to defend. He also took some time on Sunday to tell us that the out of control spending that took place under W’s leadership was the fault of the GOP-controlled legislature.
This is one lie that the American people are not going to fall for, mostly because they actually don’t care about government spending. Only 13% of American voters rank the deficit as a concern that could influence their voting choice, and that’s it. And if that’s the case, then Jeb blaming the out of control spending on the Bush years on the entire Republican Party is a very bad move for him, as it could actually end up costing his party some votes in 2016.
Especially when voters look at the information that has actually come out of Republican think tanks, like the Cato Institute, where the group has admitted that they aren’t happy about the spending policies of President Obama, but they say George W. Bush was far worse and spending increased much faster during his presidency than it has under Obama.
Jeb Bush is sinking his own campaign before he even announces his candidacy, and that’s why it’s important to keep talking about these issues. As bad as the other Republicans would be for this country, none of them could possibly be as bad as another Bush in the White House.