That doesn’t mean throwing his father and brother under the bus; an objective view of presidents 41 and 43 can include many positives. But it would require from Jeb Bush a clear-eyed assessment of how he would be a better bus driver. What went wrong in Iraq and why? Why is U.S. intelligence often so wrong and so easily distorted? When is a brutal dictator better than a dangerous vacuum? Can the United States rebuild nations in its image? Should it? What, if any, freedoms are worth sacrificing for more security? How do we fight Islamic extremists without demonizing a religion?
Jeb Bush could have argued that the person best suited to tackle those and other existential questions is somebody who has watched, up close and personal, as American leaders tried hard to find the answers and failed.
Instead, he tried to distance himself from his brother—never a reasonable goal. In those five days in May, which set the tone for a sour and soulless campaign, Jeb Bush first gave a muddied expression of support for the war. He then called the question hypothetical, reluctantly conceded he would have done things differently in Iraq, and finally said, “I would not have gone into Iraq.”