Bushleaguer

Evidently, Jeb Bush is no longer on speaking terms with his father and brother.

The former Florida governor and (God help us) would-be GOP presidential candidate still insists that there’s room for skepticism on the issue of climate change. As Grist’s Ben Adler observes:

…Bush [simply] doesn’t believe in [human-caused] climate change! In a 2011 interview with Fox News, Bush said, ‘It is not unanimous among scientists that [climate change] is disproportionately manmade. … What I think on the left I get a little tired of is the sanctimonious idea that somehow ‘science’ has decided all this so therefore you can’t have a view.’

…[Y]ou could expect a Jeb Bush presidency to be a lot like his brother’s on climate change, only worse. Bush is even starting out this campaign to the right of where Mitt Romney was on climate science at this point in the last cycle. In 2011, Romney was chastised by the right-wing media for accepting climate science, even though he didn’t propose to do anything about the problem. Rush Limbaugh said that stance meant ‘bye-bye nomination,’ but Romney still won it, in part by later disavowing climate science.

History shows us three things about Jeb Bush: He is no moderate, he is not too moderate to win the nomination, and the Republican primaries will drag him further rightward.

Neither George H. W. Bush nor George W. Bush governed as climate hawks during their administrations; the former had a radical climate-change denier, John Sununu, as his chief of staff for the first three years of his administration, while the latter infamously censored and edited climate science reports to appease the fossil fuel industry (the late whistleblower Rick Piltz exposed Bush’s machinations in 2005). Still, Bush 41 and Bush 43 at least publicly acknowledged that human-caused climate change was real and a potential problem.

By denying human-caused climate change, Jeb Bush is, in essence, calling his father and brother liars. Is this really the sort of message he wants to send to the public?

Jeb Bush insists that he is a pro-lifer; this is supposedly why he stuck his nose into the Terri Schiavo case years ago. However, his continued refusal to recognize the reality and risk of climate change—which will take lives if carbon pollution is not addressed—exposes him as a complete fraud and someone unworthy of even being a presidential candidate, much less President. I know she’s not perfect, but if a denialist demagogue like Jeb is her opponent on November 8, 2016, then I’m absolutely ready for Hillary.

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D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.