In a Sunday interview with CBS’ Bob Schieffer, GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush credited his brother George W. Bush with keeping America safe and “protecting the homeland”. Jeb said he learned from his brother’s ”success” at protecting the homeland.
What do you think you learned from him, successes and mistakes?
Well, the successes clearly are protecting the homeland. We were under attack, and he brought — he unified the country and he showed dogged determination. And he kept us safe.
Of course in arguing that his brother kept America safe, Jeb is rather conveniently glossing over the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Rather than protecting the homeland, George W. Bush presided over the worst terrorist attacks in history on U.S. soil. However, instead of acknowledging that intelligence failures while his brother was in the White House made America less safe, Jeb instead tries to pretend that his brother’s presidency began on September 12, 2001. This way he can argue that George W. Bush heroically rescued America from the terrorists and made us safe, while ignoring that it was the Bush White House that was in charge when the twin towers and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists.
Republican revisionists have long tried to argue that George W. Bush kept America safe, by conveniently ignoring the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. For example, in January 2010, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani astonishingly claimed that America “had no domestic attacks” under President George W. Bush. Somehow Mayor Giuliani’s partisan amnesia made him completely forget that terrorists had launched an attack on his city, under George W. Bush’s watch, killing nearly 3,000 people and knocking down the twin towers of the iconic World Trade Center. Giuliani was the mayor of New York City at the time. He probably should have remembered that day, but apparently it slipped his mind, while he was comparing Bush’s record to Obama’s record on preventing terrorism.
Republicans are in such deep denial about the failures of the George W. Bush administration, that they have created a mythology surrounding the former president, recasting him as a courageous hero who protected the homeland from all acts of terrorism. The myth is so deeply internalized that Republicans choose not to even remember 9/11 as occurring during those Bush years. If Jeb Bush thinks George W. Bush’s greatest success is protecting Americans from terrorism, he has set the bar very low. In that case, Jeb Bush, like his brother, is not fit to be President of the United States.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.