History's greatest democracy continued its love affair with hereditary monarchy Wednesday, as Jeb Bush captivated listeners with A Very Important Foreign Policy Speech full of original insights about being his own man and America needing leadership and believing that "weakness invites war … and strength encourages peace."
In a speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Republican presidential hopeful asserted that he would be an independent thinker, then delivered a lukewarm hash of hawkish conservative platitudes and named a foreign policy team stocked old with family favorites. Here's how the middle-mind reportage of USA Today interpreted Jeb's word paella, under the headline "Jeb Bush vows to be 'my own man' on foreign affairs":
WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush sought Wednesday to draw a line beyond the inevitable comparisons to his father and brother on foreign policy, promising he would be "my own man" when it comes to addressing global crises.
Bush, who is proceeding to a presidential campaign of his own, delivered his first major foreign policy address in Chicago and took swipes at the "inconsistent and indecisive" leadership of President Obama and his administration.
Jeb Bush: A) Declares "I am my own man" B) Adds Paul Wolfowitz as an advisor.— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) February 18, 2015
Otherwise, the speech carried all the usual codes and whistles. He promised to enrich defense contractors:
The one and only specific foreign policy change Jeb Bush proposed in his speech was to increase the defense budget.— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) February 18, 2015
He pined for a past time when people hated America but were scared shitless of it:
Jeb Bush: “We definitely no longer inspire fear in our enemies."— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) February 18, 2015
He inadvertently told a truth about the "liberation" of Iraq:
He burnished his foreign policy credentials as Florida's onetime governor:
Bush: “I forced myself to go visit Asia four times a year… it’s a long way from Miami."— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) February 18, 2015
And he overestimated the strength of the Islamic State by a factor of 10.
Jeb spox tells me of 200k ISIS claim: "Governor Bush misspoke. He meant more than 20,000.”— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) February 18, 2015
Congratulations, America. The next year and a half should be a lot of fun.
[Photo credit: AP Images]