Listen closely, children, for this is a story from the Distant Past: Back in 1988, George H.W. Bush, the man whose loins poured forth the johnson juice that became the future king, George W., and the newest attempt at a restoration, Jeb (or, you know, John), was in a battle for the White House with the very capable governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis. In one of their debates, in October of that election year, Bernard Shaw of CNN asked Dukakis if he would support the death penalty if his wife was raped and murdered. Dukakis answered, calmly, sensibly, "No, I don't, Bernard. And I think you know that I've opposed the death penalty during all of my life."
Obviously, if Dukakis had said, "Fuck yeah," he would have been accused of rank hypocrisy for turning his back on what he believed. Instead, he was accused of being a dispassionate man who wouldn't kill his wife's attacker with his bare hands. Bush jumped in and said, "Duh, kill that fucker" or words to that effect. It was one of the final nails in the coffin of Dukakis's campaign, some of which were self-hammered (like the tank photo) and some that were the skeevy Bush campaign's monstrous Lee Atwater's work (the Willie Horton ad).
Fast forward to the GOP Circus of Mutant Animals and Cannibalistic Clowns on Wednesday.There, another CNN reporter, Dana Bash, asked a Bush this time about his wife. Bash brought up Donald Trump's comment that because Jeb Bush's wife is from Mexico, the former governor of Florida might have a soft spot for immigrants. Bash wondered if Bush wanted an apology from Trump. Bush did, saying, "To subject my wife into the middle of a raucous political conversation was completely inappropriate and I hope you apologize for that."
Trump was having none of it. Not only did he not apologize, but he pretty much said, "And I'd also bang your wife real good."
Shockingly, Bush let it go, moving on to larger immigration policy questions the way Dukakis veered to capital punishment's effectiveness. Later, Bush went completely prone for Trump when he said his Secret Service nickname would be "Eveready" because it's so "high-energy." That should have been one of those "ha-ha," he laughs at himself moments. Instead, Trump offered his hand and Bush low-fived it, hard, a pissy little gesture.
It would be deliciously ironic if Bush's failure to fully defend his wife's honor, to come back at Trump stronger on the apology, to call Trump some kind of name, maybe, became a defining moment for him. It would be karma coming back around to bite the Bush family in the ass 27 years later. And, frankly, since Jeb Bush has all the enthusiasm of a 13 year-old told to clean his room or he can't play Xbox, it would be well-deserved.
Also, he's kind of an asshole. Let's not lose sight of that.