SOUTHERN INDIANA – Jeb Bush had one question and he fucked it right up.

Last week, when asked if he would follow in his dim older brother’s footsteps and invade Iraq, knowing what we know now about the faulty intelligence that got us into that godforsaken war in the first place, Jeb stepped right in the bucket he was staring at and said he would.

Really?

Knowing now, with all of the holes in the pay-for-intelligence net that has brought so much grief and shame to the United States intelligence community, ol’ Jeb would’ve went ahead and gone through with it?

The mind? It boggles.

In the aftermath Jeb has gone every route in trying to walk back his answer. He’s claimed he misunderstood the question.

That he was confused regarding its context.

That he swallowed his own tongue and had visions before opening his mouth.

My god, it’s May of the Year Before. We’re in the underhand softball-toss portion of this campaign, a time where Hillary hasn’t taken a legitimate question from a legitimate journalist in nearly thirty days, and Jeb was asked the only question his team could’ve ever possibly predicted. And what did he do?

He screwed the fucking pooch.

From my time in this dirty, awful business I can tell you this: the Jeb Campaign should’ve had three different answers to that question and they should’ve been the exact same besides their length.

There should’ve been a minute-and-a-half answer if Katie Couric were asking for a feature.

A thirty-second quip if it was on Hannity.

And a five-second transition that we have “learned from the past and are ready to move into the future” ready and willing to be stretched across the cable news-o-sphere for the next year, if not longer.

The simple fact that the Jeb Campaign wasn’t ready with those tells me all I need to know. As is, his operation is not ready for primetime and if Jeb keeps his current infrastructure in place then we are looking at a candidate who drops out before December. And listen: if Jeb slips away before the turn of the New Year, we’re talking about a legion of campaign advisers and staffers who aren’t able to work in the political industry any longer. We’re talking “good luck teaching your winters at community colleges” and “don’t call us, we’ll call you,” kinds of situations. The brain trust in charge of this campaign is looking at the total rebuff of the GOP Machine that has in the past murdered people less integral to the needs of the Grand Ol’ Party.

15812860637_0c333790ea_zSeeing as it is May and all of these candidates are bustling about like pieces of cattle grazing over the same land, let’s prognosticate.

Because Jeb is the presumptive nominee.

No one can deny this.

When staring at the field we have to admit certain things, among them the fact that he is The Only Adult In The Room. This status, given to past candidates like Bob Dole and Mitt Romney and John McCain, all of them born-losers, is not so much a declaration of viability but instead the mantle of respectability. There isn’t another candidate in the field who rises to the level of Jeb’s integrity or viability, a fact which would hold a lot more water if he wasn’t walking around the country telling people he’d be willing to sacrifice thousands of soldiers, trillions of dollars, and America’s Good Name in the service of a war nobody can get behind anymore.

So who’s left?

Marco Rubio?

Rand Paul?

Mike *gasp* Huckabee?

Fuck and no.

If Jeb goes down, and he very well may go down, we’re talking now Scott Walker, the Crown Prince of Modern Conservative Incompetence. We’re talking a candidate who couldn’t clear forty percent of the general electorate if he walked across the nation with twenty dollar bills poking out of his pockets. A governor who sold chunks who dismantled the public education system of one of the proudest union states in the country and bartered the lives and futures of Wisconsin’s children just to flirt with the Koch Brothers.

To put it another way, if Jeb Bush collapses, which looks like a sincere possibility right now, we’re talking about the utter implosion of a political party which traces its roots back to the 1850’s and Lincoln, the disintegration of a force which has played a role in molding everything we know about the American Way of Life and Democracy in the Modern World.

That is, I mean, unless some other Republican force joins the race and instills some sense of Respectability.

Who though?

This is such a rag-tag group of assholes and miscreants that the mind reels at the very thought.

Common sense dictates that Jeb Bush not only learns from this mishap but grows stronger from it. The very notion that he doesn’t boggles the mind and nauseates the stomach. Do not, I pray, let the Scott Walker’s of the world get ahead. Do not, I pray, let Marco Rubio shoulder his way into the public discourse. Do not, I beg of you, let Rafael Theodore Cruz pander a path all the way to the general election.

We are a proud species who want only to survive.

Leave us to our crops, our procreation, our devices and our gadgets, do not stun us with the ineptitude of our class and worry us with extinction.

 

Source images: Jeb Bush – White Knight by DonkeyHotey; Republican’s Next Top Candidate – 2016 Caricatures by DonkeyHotey