My name’s Jeb! — and the smart money’s on me as the next President. But I’ve got a problem. It’s my dopey brother George, and his record.
According to the CBO George ran a $4.9 trillion deficit. When he had Republicans running both the House and the Senate, 2003-2007, the deficit was over $1.8 trillion.
How do I defend that?
Mom and Dad always told us that family comes first. But George is killing me. I wanted to call him out on his stupid war in Iraq, but Dad says that would be throwing my older brother under the bus, and I can’t do that. So I get in trouble. Because of George.
The whole family has always known that George wasn’t that bright. I’ve always been the smart one, the one everyone knew was destined to uphold the family tradition of public service. Then Karl Rove got ahold of him, and told him he could get elected Governor of Texas if he stuck with a few talking points. They were simple and easy points to make, right up George’s alley. He’d quit drinking and had a kind of manic discipline. He hated (we all did) Ann Richards, his opponent. She’d mocked Dad at the ‘92 Democratic Convention, saying he’d been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. So everybody pitched in, he stuck to the script for his whole campaign and won. The next thing you know he’s President. Go figure.
I know everybody who’s anybody, and everybody who’s anybody knows me. And everybody who knows me knows I’d be a great President, just like Dad.
I’m Jeb!, darn it, not George. (Oops! Sorry about that strong language. Sometimes I just get so worked up.)
Everybody knows there has to be a Grand Bargain. When I’m President I’ll sit down with the Demcrats and we’ll make a deal. It will be a bipartisan, middle ground agreement. They won’t get everything they want, and neither will I. But it will show that Washington works when a man of good will and generosity of spirit leads the nation. That’s me.
I know what’s coming, and where it will be coming from — Cocky John Kasich. From 1998 to 2001, when he was Chair of the House Budget Committee, they ran surpluses of close to half a trillion dollars. With Clinton in the White House. He’s going to ask me to admit that George took all the savings and blew it. Which he did.
But I’m not George, I’m Jeb!
I’ll never forget when Reagan beat Dad in 1980 with his voodoo economics. It was tough on the whole family. But Dad became maybe the best, most loyal, and brilliant Vice President in history. He was so good he won the Presidency himself. And he won by promising to take the rough edges off Reagan’s rigid conservatism, to be kinder and gentler. And he was. And he was taken advantage of, and lied about, and the conservatives took him down because of it. They walked away from him, even after he won the Gulf War, and let Clinton beat him. The family will never forget, and never forgive.
Because he stayed in Texas and acted like a cowboy, people thought George was a conservative. But, though he’s little slow, George is a Bush, and we have compassion. We care about the little people, especially the little brown people, the people who can’t help themselves. We want to help them. Conservatives don’t care about all the little people, especially the brown ones. They think they should take care of themselves. They’re unkind.
I ought to be the next President. If I’m not, I’ll know what I’ll be beaten by.