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The Jeb Scenario: Can You Say “President Bush” again?

More and more GOP politicians are realizing their party has a big problem. What once seemed a great idea—a drawn-out Republican Primary slugfest intended to take the limelight from President Obama—may have only served to get their entire field on the wounded list. And what option does that leave?

Well, one solution is to forget about the entire bunch.

Maine’s Republican Governor Paul LePage, elected in 2010 with heavy Tea Party support, thinks the circular firing squad scenario might open things up for someone else. The Associated Press quoted LePage the other day on this:

 “I would love to see a good old-fashioned convention and a dark horse come out and do it in the fall,” LePage said, adding that he didn’t have a particular alternative candidate in mind.

Whoever this is, it doesn’t need to be a “dark horse,” a term signifying a generally unknown prospect who surges to prominence. Instead, as in racing, this competitor out of nowhere could be the progeny of a previous winner. Maybe even a sibling of another.

In other words, he—and it will be a he—could be what Donald Rumsfeld might call a “known unknown”—a major brand name that has not been sullied by the current non-stop mud wrestling. For one has been  hanging out at the steps to the arena all this time. His name is Jeb Bush.

***

Before anyone races to declare that Americans will not stand for another Bush presidential campaign—and certainly not for another Bush presidency—let me just say that they’d be sorely underestimating the Bush family.

The Bushes are nothing if not resilient. George W. Bush, he of so few qualifications but with his own distinctive Bush personality and formidable charisma, came out of the dust of his father’s re-election defeat in 1992, stronger than his father ever was politically. And though W. is now persona non grata to many, his brother would come back as a significantly different brand. He’s widely regarded as more capable, much more focused, much better at delivering points. He’s able to pull off a kind of sober, reasonable persona, more stable than a Santorum or a Gingrich or most of the other contenders. Rich but not entitled. A kind of Romney—without the Romney.

And yet….And yet he is still a Bush. That means a great deal, because, putting aside all the stylistic differences, this is a clan with a mission. It’s a mission they’ll never talk about, beyond vague statements about a sense within the family of Duty to Nation. No, the Bush clan is the ultimate representative of the game plan of the one percent of the one percent. What they stand for in private is much, much more troubling than most Americans know. What I learned in the five years I spent investigating them—as they were going out of power the last time—shook me to my core.

***

There isn’t space to get into the hundreds of disturbing things about the long-term agenda and covert worldview of this family and their friends, going back not just years but generations. Suffice it to point out a few things that might seem innocuous, but aren’t.

One is the propensity the Bushes have for long-term alliances with those on the other side of the aisle. This is emphatically not about bipartisanship. It is about the same kinds of things that bring Republican and Democratic elites together, that explain the 2004 nominees of both parties being members of the same Yale secret society. It is about why the same people stay on top forever.

The Bush family made friends with Bill Clinton at the very start of his administration—right after he defeated George H.W. Bush—a relationship that is sustained to the present moment. Although a Democrat, Clinton never did take on the big issues that would have upset the people behind the Bush dynamic. Indeed, he deregulated the financial markets and outsourced government, and carried out a foreign policy comfortable to those used to extracting resources from wherever needed, no questions asked; he failed to challenge the national security establishment or generate a post-Soviet-collapse “peace dividend.”

The Bush family has now attempted the same thing with another Democratic “opponent,” Barack Obama. Shortly after Obama took office, George H.W. Bush and Jeb (but not W.) paid the new president a private visit in the White House. That’s not a common thing, but the media essentially ignored it and we never did learn the real nature of that trip, beyond the notion that the Bush family just wanted one more peek at the West Wing.

Recently, Obama got another visit from the duo. Jeb and his father, known familiarly as Poppy, were ostensibly in town to attend the Alfalfa Club’s annual banquet, also attended by Obama—one of those seemingly harmless events where the press is kept out and government officials and rich people frolic and reaffirm each other’s credentials in this country’s elite.

The publications reporting on the Bush White House visit intimated that it seemed a little weird to them, but nobody came right out and said it. To be sure, this is one family with a lot of weird little coincidences, and famous excuses for happening to have to be somewhere. Examples: George H.W. Bush said he couldn’t remember where he was the day JFK was shot, but documents show that he was right there in… Dallas. Working covertly for the CIA. Before publicly not remembering, he went to the trouble of creating a hodgepodge of competing scenarios for where he was—and why.

Another oddity: George H.W. Bush ran against Ronald Reagan in 1980, lost, and, barely suppressing his disgust and disappointment, became Reagan’s veep. Like Lyndon Johnson a decade earlier, he faced an eight-year wait for another chance at the top. Two months after the inauguration, Reagan was shot by John Hinckley—son of a family that had been close with the Bushes for decades. Of course, this was so very bizarre and statistically improbable (and chilling), that virtually no media organization even mentioned the connection. (For more on odd security incidents surrounding the presidency, see this.)

***

With a third Bush on the horizon, we need to consider the gap between the way the Bush clan is presented in the media and the reality. The media tell us that they are a family like every other family in pursuit of the American dream, perhaps blessed with just a little more drive and luck than most.  As if.

In fact, Jeb owes his current political stature to family influence that soared when Poppy headed out from Connecticut along with many other old-money people to get in on the oil boom (with more than a little intelligence work mixed in—much of it involving anti-Castro Cubans.) Then Jeb grew up and moved to Florida, where Poppy’s CIA ties with the anti-Castro Cuban community got the son quickly fixed up, professionally, financially, and, soon enough, politically.

There’s a whole bunch of stuff concerning Jeb that any budding investigative reporter should find good teething material. In 1980, after his father’s election as vice president, Jeb set up the Bush family franchise in the Sunshine State, with its increasing national political importance. He promptly got involved with the wealthy Cuban exile community that had long and deep covert connections to his father, and that wanted continued access for favors. One of those Cubans, Armando Codina, a self-made millionaire, took the veep’s son under his wing, and Jeb was soon on his way to his own fortune in real estate deals that often did not pass the smell test. This was, helpfully, under the shingle of “Bush Realty” in case anyone did not already know his father was in the White House and that Jeb was “open for business.”

These guys don’t “beat around the Bush.” They don’t have to. As Jeb told the Miami News in 1983, “I want to be very wealthy–and I’ll be glad to tell you when I’ve accomplished that goal.”

Jeb waded into Florida politics in 1984 as Dade County GOP Chair. One of Jeb’s closest associates was Camilo Padreda, a former intelligence officer with the Batista dictatorship overthrown by Fidel Castro. Padreda and a friend had previously been indicted for embezzlement, but the charges were dropped, it has been said, after the CIA assured prosecutors that Padreda’s friend had worked for the agency. (At the time, the elder Bush, a former CIA director, was vice president). Padreda later pled guilty to defrauding the Bush administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, though his worst punishment was two months of house arrest. Jeb also was on the payroll of another Cuban businessman, Miguel Recarey, who had been involved with CIA attempts to assassinate Castro. He lobbied his father’s administration on behalf of Recarey. Later on, Recarey was charged in what is believed to be the largest Medicare fraud in history, but managed to flee the country with a handy “expedited” $2.2 million tax refund he received from the IRS that same day.

In 1990, when George H.W. was president, Jeb got him to release the convicted terrorist Orlando Bosch, who had participated in more than 30 terrorist acts (among other things, Bosch was implicated in the bombing of a Cubana plane that resulted in the deaths of 73 civilians). In 1998, with heavy help from the Cuban community, Jeb was elected governor, and thus emerged in a prime position to help his elder brother, George W., prevail in the 2000 Florida election fiasco, and thereby become president. As governor, Jeb nominated Raoul Cantero, the grandson of the Cuban dictator Batista, to the Florida supreme court, though he was lacking in experience—Cantero had been the terrorist Bosch’s spokesman and attorney.

In the aftermath of September 11, while the George W. Bush administration was pushing the colored panic light like crazy, and targeting terrorist suspects of all kinds and levels of probable guilt and innocence, it consented to the release of Cuban exiles convicted of terrorist offenses. Jeb advocated for these releases as well.

***

Jeb has been carefully laying a scenario in which he could indeed run—and could be very well received. He’s traveled the country extensively as a kind of elder statesman. And recently he criticized the GOP presidential candidates’ behavior:

“I watch these debates and.. it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that’s kind of where we are…I think it changes when we get to the general election. I hope.”

In an interview with CBS News after the event, Bush added, “I think it’s important for the candidates to recognize they have to appeal to primary voters, and not turn off independent voters that will be part of a winning coalition.”

This “bring us together” appeal would allow him to jump in, should he be needed, in 2012, and, run or not, win or lose, would position him seriously for 2016.

That we are not already paying enough attention to this prospect is telling about the state of the American media – and electorate—today.

Our lack of collective memory, our failure to examine deeper forces and patterns in this country, our perpetual rush to “move on” and our staunch resistance to possible insights and lessons from the past,  will come back to haunt us.

**

My hunch is that the Bushes and the real establishment (that’s not the Tea Party, not the Santoriacs or the Gingrichites, folks) just love how bad the GOP field is. Obama is almost certain to be reelected. Which is just fine. Like Clinton, he’s played ball on all the big issues that really matter to the One Percent of One Percent—foreign intervention, oil, Wall Street bailouts. They figure he won’t do anything more radical in his second term, while, like another young president (Bill Clinton), looking forward to cashing out to an extremely comfortable life after the White House. And they figure as long as Obama does not make Hillary his veep, that the electorate will tire of the Democrats in 2016 and be ready for….another Bush.

Small wonder these Democratic and Republican administrations are all kissing cousins now. Competitive democracy? Bah—that’s language for columnists. These guys all have it made—and as ever, they’re busy divvying up the pie.

For more on the Bush family’s unknown past and the full gamut of its network with the wealthiest interests in the US and around the world, see Russ Baker’s book, Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years. For details on Jeb Bush’s relationship with the Cuban exile community, see Ann Louise Bardach’s Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana.

 

 

GRAPHIC: http://static01.mediaite.com/med/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/jeb.jpg


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  • Rpt62960

    A fantastic and informative read until the very end. Have you not heard about American Elect 2012 and all the Bush stawlarts that are making it happen. The story of the decade is staring you in the face. Jeb Bush/John Kerry will lead American Elect 2012 to the White House. The non-violent revolution of the radical middle in underway.
    http://www.rpt62960.blogspot.com

    • Russ

      Advice to readers: stuff at this link makes no sense, and the supposed site mentioned does not appear to exist. 

      • gratitude

        Unclear what it is specifically you think makes no sense,  but Americans Elect does exist. And in that regard, RPT may be on to something.  Could Jeb ‘show up’ before 2016?

        http://www.democraticunderground.com/1091112

        • Rpt62960

          He already showed up. Speeches, columns for the NYTimes & Wash Post. Witheld Romney’s endorsement. He could run as a Repub now and force brokered convention..but alas..his services are already promised to AE2012. Review Meet the Press in Sept 2011..Mark McKinnon with his side kick Thomas Freidman…tipping the world to the real story of 2012…time for the 99% to get a clue..corporate America plays for the win!

        • Mark

          Jeb is not running untill 2016 than he will win. The fix is in, He meet a month ago and 5 months ago with Obama, the real people who are running goverment wants Obama to win in 2012 than for jeb to win in 2016, thats why Jeb bush will not back any of the clowns running against Obama. He cant win in 2016 if one of the clowns wins. Obama, Jeb and old Man Bush meet together a month ago and the deal was made, Jeb will not run in 2012. Mark my word.

        • Russ

           belatedly realized what you were talking about. Link at your blog didnt get to the AmericansElect site and your argument was unclear to me. Anyway, thanks for pointing it out. We may have something to say on this….

      • Rpt62960

        Link works. Site is real. I don’t blog for money.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Oso-Xiong-McBear/779968688 Oso Xiong McBear

    I think that guy was spamming his own blog…. but Americans Elect is a real site with real implications.  check it.  http://www.americanselect.org/ last time i checked, Ron Paul was on top.  Started by a former military intelligence goon, backed by the Rockefellers.  Could be some kind of presidential ballot trump card.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, went over to  http://www.americanselect.org/who-we-are as well
    and with names like “the” John Negroponte
    and:
    The Honorable William H. Webster,Former director, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency; Chairman, Homeland Security Advisory Council; Retired Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloyandDennis Blair, Former Director of National Intelligencethe spook radar starts activating…..many other high profile namesfrom all walks. Anyway, thanks Russ for keeping track of the Bushies.  It will be a sad day if Poppy Bush passes on without a true reckoning.

    • Anonymous

      If  there was genuine justice in this country,  George H.W. Bush would have been tried, convicted,  hooded, and hung in a military prison yard beside the Potomac River for his complicity in the assassination of President Kennedy.  The scene would mirror the archival photos of the execution of the Lincoln conspirators.

      • Anonymous

        If it really was true justice, Prescott Bush would have been imprisoned during WWll for being the Nazi’s stock broker instead of Senator from CT and that would have prevented his son and grandsons from becoming the monsters they are today.
        As Baker says, this family runs deep. Back as far as you can trace (and since they have lineage back into ancient English nobility, they can be traced back for centuries), these guys have been the executives of the privileged, doing the dirty work for their class.

  • Peter Dale Scott

    Three times a President Bush!

    There’s a precedent (buried in the clues for today’s NYT Crossword).

    Three times a President Peron!!!

    Ole!

  • Anonymous

    I would love to have Jebadiah Bush as Pretzeldent.

    But only if I could be Secretary of State.

    • Anonymous

      i thought you were in prison for bribe taking. the last amerikan pol. ever to be jailed for that crime lol

  • Anonymous

    the bush family is international now, they no longer need to fill the junior position of potus. they have people like o’bama or romney for this flunky job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gretchen-Hoekelman-McNealus/1046134370 Gretchen Hoekelman McNealus

    He already knows how to steal an election, too.

  • http://www.911Blogger.com/ Orangutan.

    The Bush Crime Family did and got away with 9/11 so I’m pretty sure their CIA asses can get away with about anything.  Jeb in the Presidency?  If they want to steal the election…  Anthrax to anyone who disagrees.

  • Keithlb28

    Hw Bush = loser
    W = War Criminal 
    Nuff Said

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  • neo-realist

    I’m surprised the head of ES&S/Diebold didn’t show up for the meeting with the Bushies and Obama:).

  • neo-realist

    I’m surprised the head of ES&S/Diebold didn’t show up for the meeting with the Bushies and Obama:).

  • Hotmodelguy2001

    An excellently substantive article of a kind rarely written anymore. Kudos.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Great article, full of deep insights. Fabulous that Alternet gave it star billing.For those who really want to know how the USA operates, read Russ Baker’s “Family of Secrets”.If you only read one book in 2012 make sure it’s this one & read it before November, 2012.

  • Mpvrb

    I’ve been dreading this moment for quite a while.  The Bushes have made it pretty clear that Jebwould be up at bat next.  Unbelievable that the USA will even consider electing another Bush.  Where do these people live?  I mean I live in Massachusetts, and you have to look long and hard to find a Bush supporter.  Thank heavens.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G7ZZCYBIVKFR4LQEVUNPRZ6NTY Suzanne.

    If anyone but the one of the current four contenders ends up being somehow brokered and shoe-horned into being the Republican nominee, the voters will not be dissed and will bail out of the party.  It will destroy the Republican party.  

    • Pelu Maad

      Nominating one of that four will be pretty destructive.

  • Sandra Junw Williams

    The suppressed Nazi history on the Bush family is now on the Internet and written about in major books by brave authors such as yourself, Jim Marrs, and many others. They are a CRIME family! Senator Prescott Bush, George BushI’s father, was charged with “Trading with the Enemy”, Nazi Germany during WWII by FDR. Bush opened a European bank (Union Bank) specifically to expedite the transferring of U.S. money to keep the Nazi’s financially secure. His grandfather Walker helped take over North American operations of Hamburg-Amerika Line, a shipping line and cover for I. G. Farben’s Nazi espionage unit in the U. S.. Hamburg-Amerika smuggled in German agents, and brought in money for bribing American politicians to support Hitler. A 1934 congressional investigation showed Hamburg-Amerika subsidized Nazi propaganda efforts in the U. S.

    Prescott was also a key player in a plot to assassinate FDR and bring in a corporate fascist regime along with other major American Corporations. They sought the help of war hero, Smedley Butler, the most decorated Marine in history, to coordinate the assassination. Fortunately, he blew the whistle since he became  rabidly against ALL wars since they were all for the benefit of Wall Street. He wrote a book, “War is a Rackett” and gave lectures throughout the country.
    George the II’s disastrous presidency, by allowing the great crash of 2007  to occur with unprecedented fraud and illegal foreclosures yet no one has been put in jail. The worst is the legacy he and his administration set for our children and people–it’s o.k. to lie, cheat, steal, torture, be greedy–in essence, the 7 deadly sins. The family has poisoned this once great republic. Someone once said it is easy to remove evil in a good society, but almost impossible to remove evil when it overtakes a good society. Always keep your integrity and moral base in this degenerate reality they have created for it to shall pass.

    AAAA

    • Anonymous

      aach, ja, and old pressy bush’s penalty for union bank was a senate seat from connecticut, and a chance to send his carpet-baggage brat hw south to texas to scheme anew.  small wonder
      hw doesn’t remember november 1963 in dallas.

  • Penzman

    The average american voter is too busy watching pro sports or dancing with the stars and they’ll answer the door and let Jeb Bush walk right in when he knocks.

  • Pelu Maad

    JEB is just a younger Romney…an out of touch elitist snob with the burden of his family name. Ironic that he is humanized a bit by having a daughter with drug problems. It’ll be interesting to see him deal with Catholic dogma.

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  • Wdeenmil

    This article is brilliant, as was ‘Family of Secrets’.  Much of the information regarding HW and the Kennedy assassination is also available in ‘JFK and the Unspeakable.  Why he died and why it matters’ by James Douglas. 
    There is more afoot here than just positioning Jeb for 2016 although that is certainly happening.  Since 1980 when the Republican party made its unholy alliance with the religious right the ‘Jesus’ faction has grown in importance to the party.  In fact, it could be well argued that without the religious right there would be no Republican party base.  If you want proof just look at this years contenders and listen to the culture war rhetoric that abounds in the debates.  Romney, who never, ever mentions his religion and Gingrich who isn’t a Bible thumper but plays one on TV are trying in vain to contend with the real thing in Rick Santorum and in the process are destroying the Republican ‘brand’ as it is now called.  No, Jeb is not going to wade into this poisoned swamp and get his feet dirty.  But what is happening can be seen in the recent appearance of the dowager Babs expressing her dismay at the ‘tone’ of this debate.  So, the Bushes will have the compliant Obama for the next 4 years while the pundits decry the decimation and decline of the Republican ‘brand’.  Enter Jebby, the White Knight weilding the sword of reform and regeneration. THEN he will run and prevail.  The Deomcrats have destroyed their party’s credibility by grovelling further and further to the right and in the process they effectually abandoned their natural base otherwise known as the 99%.  With no one to represent the majority, they, lacking the wherewithal to effectively battle the hordes of dollars allowed by the Citizens United ruling will sink in importance until government of, for and by the people will fade and the new Facist Amerika will emerge.
    Count on it, for it will represent the culmination of the Bush family’s rise.

  • Anonymous

    more years of shrubbish in the white house would be disastrous, with the potted plants giving away the store in ‘expedited tax refunds’ and contracts to kbr.  

  • Neil Fabricant

    There’s no doubt in my mind that what you’ve written is right on the money, both as to the past and their plan for the future. You probaby know that Jeb Bush and Henry Paulson are directors of Bloomberg’s  foundation.   Given the opportunity, these people will step forward and present themselves as saviors of our democratic system, put a billion dollars to work, or whatever it takes, secure testimonials from black and Hispanic “leaders,” and position themselves as the mainstream alternatives to the radical socialist and the slick financial operator that no Reagan Democrat/tea partier/gun toting true Christian should ever vote for. And if they have to tinker a bit with the computers in a close race, well, you do whattya gotta do to save Democracy. And the New York Times will applaud.

    • Rpt62960

      You nailed it. Mark McKinnon’s  one slick guy…with Thomas Freidman as his sidekick. Have we analyzed the Electoral college in a 3 way race? …Romney and Obama are woeful in the south..Jeb Bush and American Elect 2012 will carry Florida,Texas….if Jeb Bush carry’s Ohio he can have the largest slice of delegates…thinking that makes him the next President.

      • Michael

        I wouldn’t want Jeb Bush to become America’s 45th President because he can’t respect minorities or democracy based on Florida in 2000.

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  • http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/ Joyce

    The thought of Jeb Bush for president makes me gag.

  • Gaspi Rock

    would you believe it, Sorcha Faal mentioned this about Jeb Bush
    taking over the presidency, on January 18th, in whatdoesitmean.com/index1555.htm. In fact, according to this article, it is Kissinger who made that promise to the Chinese after Jeb Bush had met with Xi Jinping in february.

  • Gaspi Rock

    correction on my comment: Jeb met Xi Jinping in January, not february

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  • Toronto Bill

    George should run and then be VP.

  • Gaston

    do you remember the so-called KENNEDY dynasty? Don’t start that horror again!

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  • Jeff Grotke

    the spin on George W Bush has already begun. Now we are getting this implausible story that his self-portraits were hacked and, surprise, they portray a picture of gentle, doddering old man, whose soul is sweet, who paints and contemplates life….this is all to try to make us forget that he was the worst president ever and that the country was literally imploding for the middle class when he left. And bet a million dollars, btw, he didnt paint the paintings. I’ve heard some bitter critics say they suck. They don’t They are pretty good. Too good.

    • 1autumn

      Old Bush, partner with Brown, was connected to some shenanigans vis Germany during WW2. Bushes – cats paws or worse?

  • a_hick_in_hixville

    Won’t happen. Jeb can forget it. The Bush family money is on George P. in the more distant future.

  • 1autumn

    Penultimate NWOs, no question about that.