This is the new Global Eye column for the June 3 edition of The Moscow Times.
Last month, we reported here about Jeb Bush's courtroom efforts to crush the life of an abused, poverty-stricken six-year-old girl in his gubernatorial satrapy of Florida. Later, against all odds, a jury of ordinary citizens thwarted the dynast's brutal will. But as befits a scion of the ruling family, Bush is now brushing aside this interference from the rabble and pressing ahead with his plans to strip the little girl of all public assistance.
Bush's minions went to court earlier this year in a bid to cut off medical aid to Marissa Amora, who, at the age of 2, had been abandoned by Jeb's "Department of Children and Families" despite overwhelming evidence of horrific past abuse – and the imminent danger of more to come. More came: within weeks she was beaten almost to death – and then Jeb's agents tried to stop her medical treatment and let her die. She survived their malign intervention and is now thriving with a new family – but still suffers from permanent, catastrophic damage caused by the entirely predictable beating she received after the DCF cast her aside.
But late last month, the jury in the case issued a stern rebuke to these perverted Bush Family values: they awarded Marissa $35 million in damages for institutional neglect and for her future medical care, with the DCF ordered to pay the bulk of the costs. So, a happy ending, right?
Don't be silly: we're dealing with the Bush-Walker gang here. And for almost 100 years, from their ammo-dealing days in World War I to their heavy investments in Nazi Germany to their profitable hook-ups with Arab oil tyrants to their back-door buttressing of Saddam Hussein to their present-day bonanza of blood money gushing from the slaughter in Iraq, this clan of wing-tipped thugs has always built its fortune on the backs – and the bones – of the poor. And no self-respecting Bush clansman would ever let some uppity little black girl and her foster mother make him look bad, no matter how egregious his failures.
Jeb had three choices after the verdict. He could have simply accepted responsibility for his agency's horrible neglect and paid the full amount. Or he could have accepted responsibility but asked that the large award be reduced, as often happens in such cases, which would still leave Marissa with enough money to afford the extensive and costly health care she will need for the rest of her life. The first course would have been just and honorable; the second, pragmatic yet not inherently cruel. But honor, justice and responsibility have no place in the Bush clan's ruthless operations. So Jeb picked the third choice, the "nuclear option": he has asked an appeals court to throw out the entire award – even the damages levied against other, non-state parties in the case – leaving Marissa with absolutely nothing, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Filing for dismissal, Bush's lawyers blasted the jury for being too stupid to process the complex documentation of the case and acting instead on "prejudice and sympathy." While any "prejudice" in the case would seem to lie with the lily-white governor's attempt to grind a black child under his heel, it's true that the jury probably did have some measure of sympathy for a six-year-old girl who will have to be kept alive through a feeding tube for the rest of her days because Bush's bureaucrats failed to protect her from well-documented abuse. But sympathy is for "girlie-men" in the demented moral universe of the Bushist faction. Or as one of the Bush Family's old business partners once said, just before he launched an unprovoked war of aggression against Poland based on lies, propaganda and manipulated intelligence about a bogus threat to the nation: "Close your hearts to pity. The stronger man is right. Be steeled against all signs of compassion." Power is everything; people are nothing; the weakest go to the wall: that's the Kennebunkport Code.
But of course you have to dress up your blood-and-iron philosophy with the prevailing pieties of the day if you want to snow the hoi polloi and weasel your way into power. And Jeb is one of the great whited sepulchres of our time, a master of the hypocritical arts, ever eager to hog the nearest camera and blubber teary platitudes about the "culture of life" – even as he feverishly signs death warrants in an apparent bid to surpass his older brother's record as the most bloodthirsty executioner in modern American history. If Marissa were, say, a nice white woman in a vegetative state whose case had been taken up by powerful financial and political interests then ballyhooed into a national media carnival, then doubtless Jeb would even now be dabbing his eyes as he knelt for a photo-op at her bedside.
But because Marissa is "nobody" – one of the poor, the powerless, the "insulted and injured," in Dostoevsky's phrase – she can be flushed down the toilet and no one will notice. For the aim of Bush's legal maneuvering is clear: he wants to "run out the clock" on Marissa, litigating the case quite literally to death, until her family sinks beneath the overwhelming financial and physical burden of keeping her alive and at some point her makeshift, overstrained support system suffers the inevitable breakdown.
It's a despicable strategy, a wicked strategy, but entirely in keeping with the Ruling Family's ethos, which has given the world a terror-spawning quagmire of murder and atrocity in Iraq – 10,000 Marissa Amoras, dead, mangled, orphaned, abandoned, abused, forgotten. And for what? For power. For money. For the Code.