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Bush Gaffes, the Series

Jeb put his foot in his mouth again, saying “stuff happens” in regards to this latest mass school shooting in Oregon. He’s since complained that those dang liberal Democrats and their allies in the media went and twisted his words, took them out of context, etc. etc. To a certain extent, I think this misunderstands the substance of the criticism he’s gotten so far.

I wouldn’t accuse Bush of saying “shit happens” in the sense of “IDGAF,” since even he didn’t, he wouldn’t be so foolish as to say so openly. I’m willing to accept the interpretation that he’s saying there’s always going to be a new crisis, or some other horrible event to react to. Tragedy’s unavoidable in a general sense, but in this particular context, it looks like he’s saying that mass shootings in schools and everywhere else are specifically inevitable. This sentiment strikes a lot of people as offensive, repugnant, indicative of bad character, whatever. Jeb would disagree.


When a reporter asked Bush whether the remark was a mistake, he replied: “No, it wasn’t a mistake, I said exactly what I said, explain to me what I said wrong.”

“You said ‘stuff happens,’” the reporter said.

“Things happen all the time,” Bush said. “Things — is that better?”

Let’s see if anyone can detect a pattern here. In regards to the Washington Football Team’s racial slur of a name:

“I don’t think they should change it. I don’t find it offensive. It’s a sport for crying out loud. It’s a football team. Washington has a huge fan base…I’m missing something here I guess.”


About using the term “anchor babies” to describe children born to immigrants:

“You give me a better term and I’ll use it,” Bush snapped at reporters. “Give me another word.”


Jeb says something, people are offended. Jeb proves that his words were not, in fact, offensive by the infallible standard that he, personally, was not offended by them. I see genuine anger and genuine befuddlement from a man who just doesn’t get it, reduced to demanding help from the peanut gallery in making sense of this crazy world. I suppose that some of his incomprehension is just play acting, or at least a thin veil for a belligerent attitude. His anger doesn’t seem productive or performative like with Trump or Christie, more that his control is slipping and his frustration is showing. I predict more gaffes in future from this silver-tongued devil.

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