It's hard to be a Bush these days. Liberals still condemn the most recent President Bush for "lying us into war" in Iraq. Even if you credit George W. Bush with benign intentions, his record is undeniably grim. In foreign policy, fiscal policy and much else — including its catastrophic inattention to the aims and capabilities of Osama bin Laden and to the desperate pleas of a drowning city — his administration was mostly a disaster.
Jeb Bush, meanwhile, is easily mocked. He raised an enormous sum in pursuit of the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The famed "Bush family network" was activated. Yet the candidate was flat-footed and outmatched in debate against an opponent who proved spectacularly ignorant of public issues and whose most sophisticated techniques amounted to playground taunts. Bush's remarkable fundraising and unquestioned expertise got him nowhere.
Then there's Poppy. George H.W. Bush is 92 now, a remnant of a political era long passed. The news — occasioned by an indiscreet Kennedy no less — that he intends to vote for Hillary Clinton rather than his party's nominee is likely welcome in Donald Trump's camp. An old, out-of-touch blue blood who summers in Kennebunkport and embodies the ethos of an internationalist corporate and diplomatic elite is a perfect foil for Trump's crude aggression.