Election 2020

Does Jeb Bush's Word Mean Anything? Apparently Not

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

Like father, like son: Poppy Bush looked the American people square in the eye and said, “Read my lips: no new taxes.” Of course, the former director of Central Intelligence welshed, because lying is what he did for a living. Now comes his son Jeb, who raised his hand and pledged to support the eventual nominee of the Republican Party in the race for president, back when he thought he had a chance. Naturally, the chip off the old block has reneged.

In a Facebook post, Bush announced that he could not in good conscience vote for Donald Trump, saying Trump has not demonstrated the “temperament or strength of character” needed to lead the United States. In doing so, Bush became the latest member of his family to publicly refuse to back the real estate magnate. He also is the second former presidential candidate, along with Lindsey Graham, to break the pledge all the candidates made, back in the fall of 2015, to support the eventual nominee. The pledge, of course, was designed to keep Trump from bolting the GOP and launching a third-party bid, which the RNC feared would scuttle the GOP’s chances of winning the general election. So far, no one seems too concerned that a Bush/Graham third-party ticket could do the same.

In Sam Peckinpah’s masterpiece, The Wild Bunch, two outlaws played by William Holden and Ernest Borgnine have a brief but telling exchange about a man’s word and what it means. Hardly surprising that there was more honor in this rum crew of dead-end bandits than there is in the entire Bush family. If Trump does nothing else, destroying the unaccountable hold the Bushes have had on the GOP and the country should earn him the thanks of a grateful nation. And if he can destroy the Clintons, too… bonus.