Is changing your position on an issue as the facts change a sign of flexibility? Or is it blowing in the wind like a weather vane? Hard not to think of Bob Dylan as Jeb Bush digs in and kicks out just a little at those who supposedly are mere populist panderers. At least according to Jeb in his latest Fox interview. Iraq still looms large with ISIS now ravaging, now retreating, through swaths of Iraq and Syria. Not to mention taunting crazed lone wolves into action in America and Europe. One can argue that a lack of commitment to maintaining a military presence in Iraq by the Obama administration has brought renewed violence to the region. But the question Jeb Bush was asked was: would he still recommend an invasion, given what he knows now? His firm “Yes” seems a bit like renewing an old argument over the 12-year old decision to go in. In spite of the intelligence failures that now seem to be common knowledge.

And that’s where it gets a little uncomfortable for those hoping Jeb Bush shows how presidential he is. To engage in what feels like a justification of his brother’s decision to invade Iraq is not the best way of showing how he will be a new and refreshing change of perspective should he become the next occupant of the Oval Office. It’s not quite Family Feud, but it’s something that belongs in a debate over Geroge W. Bush’s legacy. Not in a campaign that will be decided in 2016 – whether that be the nomination or the actual election. Was it an obvious loaded question laid out before him to see if he would take the bait? Of course it was, but Jeb Bush should have known better than to burden his response with too much history. Stubbornness is not necessarily spine, especially given the fate of post-invasion Iraq. While Jeb Bush has apparently assembled a very experienced group of advisors, it seems he’s indicated he’ll seek his brother’s advice on some matters of foreign policy. Like Hillary will surely seek the advice of Bill. Maybe George W. will tell his younger brother that it’s time to move on and admit the mistakes that were made in Iraq. Will Jeb listen?

Comments