By Elaine Magliaro
Jeb Bush announced recently that he planned to “actively”explore a 2016 presidential run. The Boston Globe reported that Bush posted a holiday message on his Facebook page and Twitter account, in which he said that he had discussed the ‘‘future of our nation’’ and a possible bid for the White House with members of his family over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Bush wrote: ‘‘As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States.” He added, ‘‘In the coming months, I hope to visit with many of you and have a conversation about restoring the promise of America.’’
The former governor of Florida promised to focus on “ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.” Josh Israel (ThinkProgress) noted that Bush didn’t make mention “of his most controversial act during his two terms in office: his attempts to take custody of Terri Schiavo and overrule her husband Michael’s decision to remove her feeding tube, fifteen years after cardiac arrest had left her in a vegetative state.”
Israel said that ThinkProgress spoke with Michael Schiavo and George Felos, the attorney who represented him in the matter about Bush’s potential run for the presidency. Both Schiavo and Felos “expressed concern that Bush’s record was one of government interference and opposing individual liberty.” Schiavo told ThinkProgress, “If you want a government that’s gonna intrude on your life, enforce their personal views on you, then I guess Jeb Bush is your man.” He added, “We really don’t need another Bush in office.”
Israel said that Felos described Bush’s interference in the Schiavo case as, “An egregious example of the fat hand of government inserting itself into a family’s medical decision and the obtrusive hand of government trying to override their decision.”
Despite the fact that Michael Schiavo got a court order in 2002 to remove his wife’s feeding tube…Jeb Bush intervened. The Florida governor pushed “the state legislature to pass an unconstitutional bill in a special session giving him authority to order the feeding tube reinserted.” Felos said that when a state judge ordered the tube removed again, Bush “manipulated the organs of state government in order to try to evade the court order.”
On Tuesday, Charles Pierce posted an article titled A WOMAN DIES ON BEECH STREET: REVISITING THE TERRI SCHIAVO CASE for his Politics Blog at Esquire:
The one abiding characteristic of the two generations of the Bush family that have gifted the nation with their political leadership is a reckless, selfish brand of political ambition. Quite simply, in the calculations of the Bush family, there are two kinds of people: Us and Everybody Else. And they don’t care how many of the latter get ground up as long as the Bush family gets what it wants. They are like the Russian mob of politics; they’ll do business with anybody. They have a steel-reinforced steamer trunk in which they can park the family’s collective conscience when one of them sees even a scrap of power that belongs to someone else. This was how patriarch Prescott worked with the Nazis. This is how Poppy Bush put the now-deceased ratfcker Lee Atwater to work, slandering and race-baiting Poppy’s way to the White House. (Not for nothing did Richard Ben Cramer title his sweeping account of the relatively petty 1988 presidential campaign, What It Takes.) Son George was masterminded into a position to screw up the world by Karl Rove, who learned his trade from Atwater, but who was so foul a presence that he even turned Poppy’s cast-iron stomach. If it meant getting what they wanted, and what they in their bones know they deserved, the Bush family would have kissed Carlo Gambino’s ass in Nieman Marcus’s window at high noon on Christmas Eve.
Now comes son Jeb (!), and he has this family trait in spades, even though a lot of people are working hard through the holidays to re-cast him as the reasonable candidate of the “Republican Establishment.” However, back when his dim sibling was in the White House, Jeb (!) was governor of Florida and, as such, he helped put some wonderful people doing god’s own thankless work through a personal kind of hell just because Jeb (!) thought there would be a political advantage to be gained by doing so, both for himself and for his dim brother. He allied himself with vandals, trespassers, and people who put bounties on other people’s heads. He put the power of his office behind the efforts of people who call in bomb threats to elementary schools just because they happen to be down the road. He threw in his lot with the people who phone in death threats to federal judges. For his own pathetic political aggrandizement, he helped an organized brigade of dangerous, god-bothering lunatics to threaten and to torment some people whose shoes he is not fit to shine.
In his book Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free (Doubleday, 2009), Pierce devoted an entire chapter to the Terri Schiavo case. He has posted the chapter on Politics Blog.
Excerpt from the Pierce’s chapter about the Terri Schiavo case:
On October 21, 2003, at the encouragement of Governor Jeb Bush, the Florida state legislature passed “Terri’s Law,” a measure specifically giving Bush the unilateral power to replace Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube, which had been removed, for the second time during the endless litigation, six days earlier. The law was nakedly, almost hilariously, unconstitutional, in part because it directly contradicted a law the legislature had passed during a less frenzied time several years earlier.
It seemed to Annie Santa-Maria that she had become hostage to a situation detached from any familiar reality. She knew the issues involved in the actual debate, knew them backward and forward. Hell, she’d helped develop the procedures going all the way back to her volunteer days with AIDS patients. But, now, in this one case, it seemed that her life and her work were following a script written by someone else. This was the way she remembered living in Cuba.
“I was watching this”—Annie laughs—”and I’m thinking, ‘Surely, they’re not going to pass this. They’re going to overturn the self-determination act they passed years ago.’ And they did. They created a law that was so narrow, that was just for this case, that it was unconstitutional. And when that didn’t work, they went to the Florida Supreme Court, and then to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Click here to read A Woman Dies on Beech Street by Charles Pierce.
Jeb Bush plans to ‘actively explore’ run for president (Boston Globe)
Courts Say No; Governor Bush in Schiavo Bid (New York Times)