Rachel CohenMonday,22 February 2016
With two more of the caucuses (caucaui? caucusai?) or primaries or whatever happening this past weekend, the race for nominee is starting to heat up. Or wind down, depending on your last name. This long drawn out process either means something or doesn’t, but it surely does give the American people the chance to watch a lot of people lose.
This weekend we said goodbye to the campaign of Jeb!, hopefully the last Bush to think their surname means anything in modern America. What can we mourn about this campaign? Maybe the punctuation; it can certainly be said that his team loved typographical embellishments. In fact, in some ways Jeb! Jeb. predicted his own deflating campaign momentum with his recent Twitter post, a last-ditch attempt to pull in both millenials(?) and gun-nuts. America. Jeb.
Jebbifer’s campaign ended because he represents the elitist political/financial/Anatidae dynasty that everyone is tired of, so much so that his failures are a direct result of the fact that he underestimated his opponents.
The campaign previously known as Jeb! never saw Trump as a threat, never thought Rubio would challenge the birthright of the heir apparent, and really, who ever thought Lumpyface Cruz would make it this far.
Instead, Bush banked on the backing of mega-donors in a mega-Super PAC and the support of the Republican establishment, because he doesn’t read the news and missed the memo that Americans on both sides of the aisle are kind of onto the grift. So big boy Jeb shook off his hand-me-downs, and stepped onto the stage thinking he had it in the bag.
The funny thing is I actually knew Jeb and his family growing up. I was in the same classes as Jeb Jr. when George Sr. was elected, and was in one of Jeb Sr.’s earliest gubernatorial campaign ads (yes, he has always loved kids), not by choice but because Floridians love to see some good ol’ middle school football players and cheerleaders. Florida. America. Jeb.
I bring this up because it absolutely devastated me to learn how my former classmate turned out. A bright kid from a diverse background, educated in a diverse school – until being sent away to prep school for acting out in one way or another – was now a rabid, conservative shadow of his father. Who was trying to be a shadow of his brother. Who tried to be a shadow of his father. It devastated me that Jeb. didn’t mention his daughter’s addiction problems until it was politically expedient. It devastated me that my friend’s dad changed in a decade or so into this pompous windbag who just didn’t get that people weren’t laughing with him but at him, because he sounded like a caricature of a dynastic heir. A guy that was so out of touch he made W. look like the smart one.
My hope is that with Jeb.’s exit we have seen the end of the Bush family, not just for our sake but for theirs. The toll that turning into a career politician takes isn’t just personal, it also affects families and future generations. It’s time for Jeb. to take a long vacation, and maybe try some art therapy.