Jeb Bush, dynasties, and the multiple photocopy theory

jeb-bush-george-bushMy son, who is taking a general science class, explained to me why I’m aging.  “Mom,” he said.  “Your cells keep reproducing over and over again, but they’re like a bad photocopy of the original.  You see, the original was good, but if you make a photocopy of that, the photocopy isn’t quite as good.  And if you photocopy the photocopy, the new photocopy is going to be even less good.  [I hope all of you are with me here.]  So, by the time you’re old, all your cells have been copied too often, so they’re really bad quality, and that’s why you go gray and get wrinkles.”

I have to say, that strikes me as a damn fine articulation of the problem the mirror reveals to me every day.  It’s still me, but the copy quality is increasingly abysmal as the years go by.

The failed copy problem plagues things other than cells.  Monarchies, for example, often have the failed copy problem.   In century after century and nation after nation, one sees a tolerably decent monarch (at least decent enough to acquire and hang onto the throne) succeeded by increasingly inept heirs who often lost both throne and life (e.g., Louis XIV, Louis V, and Louis XVI; or Russia’s Nicholas’s).

England, the country about which I’m most knowledgeable, had a couple of miserable dynasties.  James I, who inherited from Elizabeth I, was a personally revolting man (he never bathed), but a fairly astute politician.  His son, Charles I, was such an arrogant pipsqueak, he sparked a civil war that saw him lose, first, his throne and, second, his head.  Charles II was an understandably cynical man who did whatever was necessary to hold onto both throne and head so that he could die in his own bed.  His brother, James II, didn’t even have that kind of sense, and managed to lose the throne a second time, which is really unforgivable for a single dynasty.

That was the 17th century in England.  The 18th century brought its own miserable collection of dynastic disasters, all named George, the first who was stolid and completely Germanic George I; the second who was a nonentity, the third who was a pathetic madman who lost America, and finally the fourth, who was a much-loathed, reprehensible rake.  And don’t get me started about Elizabeth II (dignified, if nothing else) and her son, Charles, an unprincipled fruit loop who is known to worship at the global warming altar and who may well be a Muslim convert.

America’s political dynasties have the same problem.  Take the Kennedys, for example.  The political dynasty started with John, who was all shiny and pretty and polished.  It then devolved to Teddy Kennedy, a man even his most devoted fans couldn’t deny was alcoholic, had the obesity of the dissolute, and was generally morally corrupt.  The current generation of Kennedy’s has all of Teddy’s vices without his old-generation cachet.  They’re drug addicts, alcoholics, depressives, and otherwise troubled, defective people.

The Bush’s aren’t much better.  We started with George Sr., a very good and brave and accomplished man who was, nevertheless, a merely decent politician and then worked our way to George Jr., a very good and principled man who really tried to break conservativism’s back with that “compassionate” stuff (which just turned it into mushy Leftism).

The true devolution is appearing in Jeb Bush, the third iteration in that political clan.  He’s proving to be such a blurry, failed copy that we may as well head this photocopy directly to the recycling bin.  How else to explain his no-borders support for illegal immigration on the ground that it’s an “act of love,” because it’s about family, and not really a crime at all?  Funnily enough, I never hear “love” advanced as a defense for the guy who forgoes a job in favor of robbery as a means of putting food on the table.

Paul Mirengoff correctly notes that some illegal aliens, unlike most other criminals, do contribute to society.  That, however, is not an argument for excusing blatant law-breaking on “love” grounds.  The only real “love” we’re seeing here is Jeb’s love for power, as he hopes to become the third Bush in office.

My Leftist friends are shrieking in horror at the thought of another Bush in office.  I have to agree with them.  Now if only I can convince them that Hillary Clinton, too, is nothing but a pathetic, failed photocopy of their beloved Bill.


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  • jj

    Well, your Leftist friends probably think that another Clinton would be just fine, so until they show some evidence of live brain cells, I think it’s safe to ignore them.

  • Ymarsakar

    Bush II was a lot better than “read my lips no new taxes” and Mr. let the Iraqis get bombed Bush I.
    You also forgot the rapist and murderer thing with the Kennedies.

  • Charles Martel

    I’m not buying Jeb at all. He’s the Whore Media’s current pick, so I won’t waste my time considering him. The kiss of the WM is the kiss of death as far as I’m concerned.

  • Ymarsakar

    It’s almost like you don’t like your media boss’s mind rape, Martel. Have you entered the reconditioning center lately?
    If you have not, we will be forced to report you for delinquency.
    As for genetics, that had better be a metaphor. Not understanding the fundamentals and merely believing in stories told by teachers induces brain zombie, The Condition tm.
    The DNA strand is a helix (usually), based upon spiral power. While it can hold numerous combinations within, at the very tips there are ends that get eroded over time as cells reproduce. Each cell has a blueprint copy of the DNA, but once the DNA helix is corrupted enough, the cells are reproduced with errors. However, that’s based on the rate of reproduction and some cells aren’t replaced as often as others. Telomeres, I believe they are called, ensure that the data in DNA isn’t corrupted.
    The problem with a closer detail vs the metaphor, is that the metaphor doesn’t allow you to think of a way to reverse aging. Which doesn’t solve the problem. There are many life rejuvenation techniques that work, yet it’s difficult to say at this time how it relates to the DNA fidelity.

  • JohnC

    It is my belief that running Jeb Bush will be a sign that the GOP is either truly delusional or wants to lose in 2016. Nobody is going to vote for Jeb Bush. And I mean nobody.
    If the GOP runs him for president it will mean a deal has been struck with the Dems. “Okay. You guys take the White House this time, we’ll take Congress. Maybe we can finally get rid of these damn Tea Party flies in our ointment.”
    I honestly believe the GOP may be willing to take a dive in 2016 if it means finally breaking the back of the Tea Party. That’s who they’re threatened by, not the Dems. To the GOP the Dems are just the opposition while the Tea Party is the enemy.

    • Caped Crusader

      It may be the GOP faulty reasoning, swan song, and death wish for it will only make the tea party stronger; cause it “Ain’t goin’ away!”. After such a fiasco it’s freedom or a dictatorship left as the only choices.

    • Libby

      You’re absolutely right: the Tea Party is the enemy.
      DC is really not a big town, and the Senate & House of Representatives are like exclusive clubs. Add to that that a lot of their spouses work in related fields (lobbyists, federal government, media, etc.) and that they are constantly socializing with each other, whether it’s job-related events, as neighbors, at their kid’s school, and so on. They have much stronger bonds with each other than their constituents, especially the ones who have been in DC for decades. John McCain is a perfect example of that, being close friends with so-called “opposition party” members like Ted Kennedy. These Republicans would much rather work out their differences with their “esteemed colleagues” in DC than uppity citizens who aren’t in the club, who have no standing in the DC community, and who certainly have nothing to offer them in exchange for their vote (since so many votes are determined via trades with other Senate/House members).

  • David Foster

    One of the reason digital systems are so powerful is that they overcome the multiple-photocopy problem: basically, by circuitry that takes a signal anywhere near a “1” and forces it all the way to a “1”, and takes a signal anywhere near a “0” and forces it all the way to a “0”.
    I wonder if there is an analogy for dynasties and human organizations in general?

  • Charles Martel

    “To the GOP the Dems are just the opposition while the Tea Party is the enemy.”
    Amen, JohnC. Well said.

  • Ymarsakar

    The politicians at DC work along side each other, their children go to the same schools. Expecting them to accept the Tea Party people as one of their own is pushing it. Aristocrats aren’t known to treat slaves and peasants as equals.

  • lee

    I find it odd, ironic, funny, the way so many people seem to get into “dynasties.” Aren’t we SUPPOSED to be somewhat anti-monarchical, as a country?
    As an aside, you know what is interesting in the Bible? NONE of the major men were the eldest son. Isaac was younger than Ishmael, Jacob was younger than Esau, Jospeh and Benjamin were the favorites of Jacob–and his youngest two; David was the baby brother of his family, Aaron was Moses’s OLDER brother…

    • Ymarsakar

      Those who have never consciously studied aristocracy, tend to see it in nostalgic or fantasy terms.
      A society based upon meritocracy or voting, is the most susceptible to aristocratic or monarchic charms and PR. Since that society has never consciously analyzed the benefits and detriments of centralized rule, the people can only aspire and desire the exotic. They were never educated to think straight on such things, so they don’t.

  • Libby

    I like your son’s photocopy analogy for aging!
    I really don’t like political dynasties. Not only the ones you mentioned (well, especially the ones you mentioned), but also instances with spouses take over, such as Hillary Clinton, Jean Carnahan and Mary Bono. In what other profession does that happen?
    When I lived in MA there were all sorts of stories/rumors floating around about the various Kennedy spawn. My BIL worked for one of them, and the guy regularly came in to work drunk (like, with his shirt half-tucked in, weaving, messy drunk). He was eventually caught up in a Kennedyesque scandal that involved substance abuse, an affair, an underage babysitter (daughter of a good friend, naturally), and stalking. I think it would behoove us all to bar Kennedys from serving in office for a few generations.

  • Spartacus

    Mr. Foster:
    Darned interesting question.  The best I can come up with is the combination of rule of law, separation of powers, and checks and balances.  Used to be that Congress wouldn’t suffer its 1.00 to be downgraded to a 0.91, and ditto for the others, and therein you had the mechanism to keep (more or less) the 0’s and 1’s separate.
    Jemmy Madison & Co. really did an amazing coding job — lots of Mountain Dew, no doubt — and the program ran much longer than anyone expected.  They built in safeguards against infinite loops, Trojan Horses, code injection attacks, and all that.  But now the onboard memory is starting to fail.  The original source code is still available, in pristine condition, along with that of the 27 service packs and countless hotfixes (some fixing more bugs than they created, some vice-versa), and it still compiles and runs.  Heck, even the processor still works, which is pretty amazing.  But with corrupted memory, even though the original definitions file is intact, looking at it in memory shows all sorts of missing bytes and invalid cast exceptions; lots of 0’s and 1’s have switched sides and don’t mean what they used to.  Not helping the situation are scalability issues caused by a tendency for the current crop of network admins to ignore the wide network of servers (50 of them) available and load everything onto the one central server, instead of reserving it mainly to manage network traffic between the other servers.  Moreover, because of the faulty memory, the processor is trying to allocate more resources than are actually available in the system.  Oh, and there are now all kinds of users who don’t practice any sort of “netiquette” and are actively trying to hack the system.
    My two cents, your question really is the Holy Grail of human organization.  There’s “more stable” and “less stable,” but humans are remarkably resourceful in their ability to disrupt things.

    • Ymarsakar

      I think you just exposed your source code, Spartacus.

  • jj

    I don’t know about Jeb.  There’s a lot of family in Florida, and I have spent a fair amount of time there my entire life – in fact I’m not sure to this day how I ended up in WA instead of there.  Far more witless liberals here.  (They are both more witless and there are more of them: I meant it both ways.)   And he was a pretty good governor.  FL and CA have a lot in common, but Jeb did a much better job than anyone in CA has since Reagan left.  (Unlike Jerry Brown, Jeb croaked the high-speed rail boondoggle in FL on his second day in office.)  He was a much different bag of tricks fiscally, too, and remains the first and only republican elected governor for two terms.
    Coming from him, I understand the bit about illegal aliens and love: he’s married to what would have been an illegal alien, what’s he supposed to say?  I’d cut the poor bastard a little slack on that one, if nothing else he’s trying to preserve his home life – give him a break.  He met her outside the country, brought her back to Austin, and married her there, so it’s all fine, but he still has to live with her.  Seems to be a good solid marriage, too.  I’d give him a little air on that one.
    As the only republican elected FL governor twice, obviously he has had to leave room for compromise.  They’re coalition builders by nature, the Bushes.  His father, one of the more accomplished Americans of his generation, is a man who dislikes conflict.  Way too much of a RINO for most of us, and Jeb is undoubtedly that, but as governor of the multi-lingual cat-herd that is Florida it’s hard to see with precision where lies the line between being a RINO and a pragmatist.  I can see it, a certain amount, and I’m not too sure he stepped too far across that line.  If you are actually working for what you perceive as the overall good of the people who elected you, then to get something you see as a positive accomplished you evince a bit of willingness to flex from time to time, do you not?  You acquire allies for the greater good; that’s a piece of the job.  He was certainly an effective fiscal manager for FL, and a fair amount of stuff widely thought to be out of reach got done under him.  And there are almost as many people in FL now who don’t like him as there are in Alaska who don’t like Sarah Palin: that’s probably a recommendation from those who know him best.
    I don’t know.  I take a back seat to no one in my disgust with the RINO wing; the Doles, McCains, Romneys, and Bushes we’ve thus far experienced, but I don’t know.  I don’t know that much about Jeb really, though I do know he’s a boatload brighter than W, but (I do regret to say) that isn’t that hard.  What I do know about him isn’t that bad, and I don’t think he’s anywhere near as full of shit as Christie.  I am beyond fed up with the idea of the republican power structure that the real enemy is the Tea Party, and I have let them know that.  (I just got a fund-raiser letter beginning: “we’re sorry you left us.”  You’ll be sorrier when you open the envelope and read my response to that one, Rheince.)
    I’m not saying he’s a good guy; I’m as fed up as anyone with the usual republican limp-d**ks up with which we come; and I’m beyond sick of continuing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  But I also recognize we can’t keep nominating people with only one thing to recommend them: they’re as right as we are.  They need to be more than that.   We can’t keep ending up with Jean Carnahans.  Tea Party credentials can’t be the only criteria.  And if we nominate someone who may not be as perfect as Ted Cruz, we can’t stay home in a snit, either – which we tend to do.  I think we could work with a Bush.  I even think we could work with a Christie.  There’s no chance at all we can work with the Clinton bitch.  None.   

  • David Foster

    Even if Jeb Bush were *perfect* from a policy standpoint, there are still major concerns about his electability. If the Dem candidate is Hillary—as seems about 80% likely—then quite a few Americans are going to have negative feelings about the establishment of a Clinton dynasty. If the Republican candidate is Jeb, then this potential Dem disadvantage is neutralized.
    I’d like to see a candidate who isn’t part of a dynasty, who has business experience but NOT primarily in finance, and who avoids saying weird things about sex.

    • Ymarsakar

      Americans don’t deserve that kind of candidate. The last few they already dumped and abused.

    • Bookworm

      David, I fear that your short list is more than the GOP establishment can handle.