With Americans’ political choices in the 2016 presidential race having pretty much already been made for them – Bush III or Clinton II – it is now up to the candidates to craft their sales pitches. While neither one will differ drastically from the other in terms of endless foreign entanglements, banker bailouts, mass surveillance, the war on civil liberties and amnesty for illegals it is all a matter of packaging. While Hillary lays low in the weeds - a luxury in that she has no competition from other Democrats – Jeb is going to have to actually go out and hit the cornbread and rubber chicken circuit to sell his policies.
Reuters is reporting that Jeb is doing just that in what is billed as an “exclusive” on his first major foreign policy speech in the story “Republican Jeb Bush to lay out case for stronger U.S. role in world”:
The United States needs to regain its leadership role in the world, Republican Jeb Bush will say in a speech on Wednesday, while asserting that President Barack Obama has been inconsistent and indecisive in carrying out American foreign policy.
Bush's speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs will be his first major foray into foreign policy since he announced in December that he is considering a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
“The great irony of the Obama presidency is this: Someone who came to office promising greater engagement with the world has left America less influential in the world,” Bush will say, according to speech excerpts that were provided to Reuters.
The former Florida governor is casting a wide net for advice on national security. An aide provided to Reuters a diverse list of 20 diplomatic and national security veterans who will be providing informal advice to Bush in the coming months.
Many of them are from past Republican administrations, including those of his father and brother, former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, as well as that of Ronald Reagan.
Jeb’s gaggle of foreign policy and national security advisors include the likes of James Baker III, Paul Wolfowitz, Michael Chertoff, Tom Ridge, Stephen Hadley, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden. Paula Dobriansky and Robert Zoellick. It is fair to say that a Jeb Bush regime would represent a return to the era of the neoconservatives and the first George W. Bush term. Jeb is essentially putting the band back together again.
This doesn’t bode well for the financial prospects of Americans in that counter to the post-World War II conventional wisdom that war is good for the economy it only applies to the connected insiders. The gravy train will be running at full speed under Bush III and the key will be selling a “stronger America” to an electorate that if it understands nothing else it understands that Obama’s foreign policy has been an aimless and ineffective mess. But what can you expect when you bring in John “Skull and Bones” Kerry, Susan Rice and Samantha Power as your heavy hitters. The Bush collection of neocons can be called many things but incompetent is not among them.
This is not a good thing for average Americans and with Jeb already staking out a very muscular foreign policy vision it will be incumbent upon Hillary – no shrinking violet – to present an even more bellicose vision of a “stronger America”. None of this hogwash about American having a “stronger role” in the world does one damned thing to address the very serious problems in The Homeland. The reality is that America is now a land of a rigged financial system that is unable to function without government backstopping, ever increasing mass surveillance, diminishing civil liberties, crumbling infrastructure, lousy jobs (thanks to offshoring and importing illegal aliens) and dismal hopes for future generations.
Neither Jeb Bush nor Hillary Clinton represent anything short of a strengthening of a status quo grown fat and powerful off of cashing in on the never ending Global War on Terror (GWOT). In a true and functional democracy – we no longer live in one – voters would have a choice that offers more difference than a taste test between Coke and Pepsi.