I saw a startling piece of fantasy this weekend; terrifying yet hopeful, startlingly depressing in it's insights, bizarre in it's vision yet somehow spookily believable. I'm talking about 'What Would Jeb Do', the brand new op-ed by S. V. Date, author of  'Jeb: America's Next Bush'.

'Jeb!' (as we shall call it for short), was released on January 15th, and has already dashed up to number 111,168 on Amazon's sales rankings. Perhaps that is reflective of just how little room there is in anyone's fantasy world to even consider the possibility of a third President Bush.

It's not our fault that we don't want to know about the childhood of Jeb, his school years, and how he bravely dealt with losing the Florida governorship in 1994. No, and it's not Jeb's fault either, as Date recounts in the oft-repeated tale of how Jeb was supposed to be the one to avenge his father, dammit, and how George just snuck in like mildew on a toilet lid.

[And excuse me, since I have heard this story a thousand times, where did the idea of avenging Pop Bush come from in the first place? Did Bush Senior teach his kids that this day might one day come? Is it ever appropriate to seek vengeance for being denied a second presidential term? Just asking...]

So, returning to the op-ed, it looks to me like you've got all of the book that's of any possible interest right here in my seven hundred words.

First, do you wonder what it would be like if it was President Jeb Bush giving his sixth State of the Union address tomorrow night? Wonder no more: it would be fabulous!  The economy would be plush, because his record tax cuts would have grown "the economy to greater heights; a revolutionary school-vouchers program for the first time granting low-income parents real education choices; and, five years after the capture of Osama bin Laden, the final 20,000 U.S. troops returning home from Iraq."

Plus, their would be no need to even mention  New Orleans, because under President Jeb, the Katrina disaster would never have happened. (I'm sure there's a lot more swell things, but I'm not shelling out the $26.95 to find out.)

But I did learn about Jeb's future, and it appears to be a bright one indeed. Maybe not in two years, but in six years or ten years, surely "the United States will face the prospect of yet another Bush in the White House." Whether we like it or not, I suppose, because the American people have no memory and we're all as dumb as a box of rocks.

I do feel a bit sorry for the author, Mr. Date. He's been covering Jeb for a decade, and I can visualize him starting to lay the groundwork for this opus at least three years ago.

"It's going to be a monster", he thinks, as W pulls out another victory in 2004. "I'll have this sucker ready to go by the kickoff of the campaign season, and I can quit my day job at the Palm Beach Post."


2007, Mark Hoback