There Is a Potentially-Important Piece to Be Written About ECI-Wage and Salary Divergence

Live from Peet's Coffee: Digby: The scariest words you will hear all week: "I wrote about them for Salon today:

With these thirteen simple words GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush struck terror into the entire world yesterday. He said, 

If you want to know who I listen to for advice, it’s him. 

To whom was he referring? As hard as it is to believe, he was talking about his brother, George W. Bush. 

Now it’s true that the question referred to Israel and the Middle East specifically, but it doesn’t really matter.

There isn’t any area of policy or interest in which it would be smart to make such an admission.

After all, it was during George W. Bush’s tenure that we had the nation’s most catastrophic terrorist attack, that we made the most notorious foreign policy blunder in American history, and that we suffered the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression. Indeed, when you look at it that way, you have to give Jeb points for chutzpah, for daring to run at all. It’s only been 7 years since his brother left office with a 34 percent approval rating — which was actually quite an improvement from where he’d been mired for his final year in office. But for Jeb to actually suggest that he would listen to his brother or ask him for advice seems rather reckless.

Read on. It's actually about the rock and a hard place Bush is in between his brother's feckless neocon record (and his own past association), his father's history of hostility to Israel and the need to appease certain donors like Sheldon Adelson. All Republicans are going to have to answer for the GOP's hawkish foreign policy in light of W's epic failures of the last decade and try to finesse the division between the bloodthirsty base and the war-weary general public, but Jeb's got a more complicated course than most.

Me? I think this is more blowback from Citizens United, and more evidence that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is an agent of influence whose effect will be to weaken the Republican Party by putting it into a very strange form of S&M bondage to plutocrats tipping over the edge into senility. It is something Jeb Bush feels he has to say to win the money pre-primary. And it is general election poison of an extraordinarily high degree.

Digby: Jeb Bush’s terrifying W. strategy: How he’s sucking up to extremist billionaires—with the help of the worst president ever: "why would Jeb say such a thing?...

...Up until now he’s been scrupulous to avoid it saying things like, ‘I love my brother but I’m my own man’... working overtime to create a space for himself as the Bush who won’t make a hash of everything.... But he found himself in a bind: He foolishly named his father’s former consigliere James Baker as an advisor, and all hell broke loose.... Poppy... was often openly contemptuous of what he called ‘the Jewish lobby,’ and Baker even more so.... As Secretary of State, Baker made no bones about his challenges in dealing with Israel. In 1991, he appeared before Congress and said something that would be unimaginable coming from a Republican today:

Nothing has made my job of trying to find Arab and Palestinian partners for Israel more difficult than being greeted by a new settlement every time I arrive. I don’t think that there is any bigger obstacle to peace than the settlement activity that continues not only unabated but at an enhanced pace....

What’s this really all about?... It’s about winning the donor primary.... Baker recently made a speech mildly criticizing the Israeli Prime Minister, [and] megabucks donor Sheldon Adelson had a fit... sent word that the move cost the Florida governor ‘a lot of money.’...

Considering how unpopular his brother remains with the public, it’s a testament to just how important winning the donor primary is that he would evoke his name in any gathering other than George or Barbara’s birthday parties...