It has now been two days since Fox News aired the clip where GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush shamelessly tries to make Hillary Clinton share his own idiocy and stupidity -- conservative radio host Laura Ingraham's characterization, which I will reluctantly accept -- and we have not heard from Hillary.
In the full interview with Megyn Kelly on Monday night, we once again hear Bush, when asked by Kelly whether "knowing what we know now would you have authorized the invasion [of Iraq in 2013]", answer without blinking an eye, "I would have."
Without taking another breath and without missing a beat Bush immediately tries to make Hillary Clinton complicit by gushing, "and so would have Hillary Clinton..."
Clinton's foes have made it abundantly clear that, as a Senator, Clinton voted in 2002 for the resolution authorizing the Iraq War, as did other Democrats. She and the others did so based on faulty intelligence, exaggerated and even false information fed to them by the Bush administration.
Referring to Jeb Bush's additional lie, "The intelligence that everybody saw, that the world saw, not just the United States, was, um, was faulty," Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast perhaps says it best: "This is just a monstrous falsehood that has been repeated many times by a range of neoconservatives, some with blood on their hands and others not, but it has to be slapped down." And he does so here.
Clinton has admitted that, based on what she knew then, she did indeed vote for the resolution. She has paid a steep political price for doing so with Democrats.
But she has also made it abundantly clear that knowing what we know now, she would not have voted for the resolution.
In her 2014 book Hard Choices, Clinton apologizes for her vote to authorize the use of force.
In it she writes, "I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn't alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple."
On a more personal level, she writes in her book:
Many Senators came to wish they had voted against the resolution [authorizing the Iraq War in 2002]. I was one of them. As the war dragged on, with every letter I sent to a family in New York who had lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, my mistake became more painful.
Even Laura Ingraham comes to Hillary's defense on her radio show on Monday. "No Hillary wouldn't! ...Hillary wouldn't authorize the war now, if she knew what she knows now."
It is thus plain and simple that Jeb Bush, in his precarious balancing act to distance himself from his brother, George W. Bush, only to embrace him when it is convenient, is losing his rhythm and finesse and, this time, has made a monumental error. But we fully expect a retraction, explanation or the now-famous "taken out-of-context by the mean media" excuse -- if not a new one, "But I misheard the question."
Many conservatives are confused, if not exasperated, by Bush's antics.
Specifically on his Iraq War comment, Byron York at the Washington Examiner writes in his "Jeb Bush's disastrous defense of the Iraq War":
If Jeb Bush sticks to his position -- that he would still authorize war knowing what we know today -- it will represent a step backward for the Republican Party. Other candidates before Jeb have grappled with the issue and changed their position. Look at the evolution of the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
Referring to Jeb Bush's perceived obligation "to defend and rehabilitate his brother's presidency" and to his response to Kelly's question, Noah Rothman at Hot Air writes, "That condition will repeat itself over the course of the 2016 campaign as the press seeks to re-litigate the lingering grievances against the George W. Bush administration."
Again Laura Ingraham according to TalkingPointsMemo:
At one point [Ingraham] began laughing, and doubted that Bush was "his own person" capable of breaking with his brother, President George W. Bush.
"That's just a fun hypothetical, but you have to say no to that!" she said.
The radio host said the exchange did not bode well for Bush if he were to secure the GOP nomination and face off against Clinton and the press.
"You have to have someone who says, look, I'm a Republican but I'm not an idiot! I'm not stupid!" she said. "I learn from the past and I improve myself."
We have not heard from Hillary Clinton herself.
The press is complaining, "Clinton is still not talking to reporters."
My gut feel is that, on this one, she will -- soon.