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Memo to Jeb Bush, Allen West, and Jackson Defenders: YOU ARE DUMB.

Today's recurring theme for SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY is former politicians. Three of them, in fact. One of fairly recent vintage, one from about a decade ago trying to get back up on the old horse, and one from previous centuries. Oh, they're also all horrible people and have horrible people defending them, but that's a given, really.

First and foremost, an update on the rapidly shifting Jeb Bush Iraq clusterfuck, which is very different from the slow-shifting George W. Bush Iraq clusterfuck. When last we left Jeb, he'd tried explaining how hypothetical answers to hypothetical questions about his hypothetical invasion of Iraq given current knowledge was in fact a gross insult and denigration of all the troops who served there.

Yesterday, Jeb Bush decided he loved his career more than he loves the troops, and denigrated the shit out of them by agreeing with the weird new Republican orthodoxy that invading Iraq was a horrible mistake now that we know there weren't any WMDs there. It's weird because not only is it correct (well, mostly), but also because a couple of years ago, nobody was saying it. For fuck's sake, Marco Rubio was saying Iraq was worth it two months ago. Now, not so much. So Jeb's on the right side of history, and it only took him four fumbling days to get there!


Let's check in with Allen West, everyone's favorite prisoner-abusing ex-Congresscritter. What's he up to these days? Apparently saving us all from Sharia law by reading nametags at Wal-Mart. On Monday, West claimed to be in a line at Wal-Mart, because let's face it, he's not earning Target-level speaking fees these days. Anyway, the lane he was in had a sign saying you couldn't buy alcohol in that lane, and because the employee's nametag was, in West's words, "not Steve", he assumed the guy was a Muslim refusing to sell alcohol. Sharia law! Christians don't get to do that! Unfair!

Of course, like every other decision he's made in his life, West was wrong. The clerk couldn't legally sell alcohol because he was underage. His possible Muslim faith based on his foreign-sounding name had nothing to do with it. When he found this out, West immediately retracted the post, apologized for making an unfair and stupid assumption, and realized that maybe his warped worldview wasn't so valid after all. Oh, wait, no, he just buried his mistake in other alleged examples of Christian persecution because he's a fucking coward.


And finally, an online vote selected Harriet Tubman as the top vote-getter in a list of women who could replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. The poll was non-binding, and no plans are in place to change the $20, but reaction the news story provides a very useful litmus test, because the list of people more deserving to be on the $20 than Jackson is a very large subset of "damn near everyone".

The only reason Jackson's on the $20 in the first place is that when we put him on the bill in the 1920s, we were a lot more comfortable with genocide than we are now. But Jackson wasn't just awful to Native Americans. He was awful across the board. Objections to replacing him stem from a knee-jerk reaction to anything hinting at diversity, "the left", or a break from tradition. You can safely disregard anything anyone defending the Andrew Jackson $20 has to say in the future.

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