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How Jeb Bush Triggered an Iraq War Watershed

I mentioned a couple days ago that this might be happening. And now I think we're seeing that it is. Improbably, Jeb Bush's run for president and painful bumbling have triggered, though by no means caused, a watershed moment in the country's reckoning with the strategic blunder - and let's just say it - self-inflicted catastrophe of the Iraq War.

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Cleavage and Confrontation

This has not been a good few days for Jeb Bush. But I want to highlight one issue this is bringing to the fore about his campaign and the entire 2016 primary process. Through all this clumsy fumbling over "would you invade Iraq" what's most conspicuous is the dog that is not barking. It is very hard to find any Republican partisans that are lifting a finger to defend him. Laura Ingraham kicked things off ridiculing him. Byron York wrote a merciless column lambasting Bush both for the substance of his remarks and their optics. But it goes well beyond these Republican commentator-elites.

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'The Woman'

It's just a cringefest in this statement put out by Missouri's Republican speaker of the House apologizing for, well, he doesn't actually come out and say for what, but presumably sexting with an intern. But this line takes the cake: "I also regret that the woman has been dragged into this situation." The woman.

Jeb's Fun Moment in Reno

Governor Bush has a fun moment in Reno ...

“Your brother created ISIS,” the young woman told Jeb Bush. And with that, Ivy Ziedrich, a 19-year-old college student, created the kind of confrontational moment here on Wednesday morning that presidential candidates dread.

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BooYah

We've got some fascinating polling data looking at the GOP primary race through the prism of the federal military takeover of Texas, separating out "takeover" voters (who believe the federal government is trying to take over Texas) and "squishes" (who are taking the Pentagon's word for it that the takeover isn't happening). Among "Takeover" voters the top choice is Scott Walker. For "Squishes", it's Jeb Bush.

The two candidates with the highest percentage of takeover voters are Rick Perry (76%) and Ted Cruz (56%). That's the percentage of their supporters who are "takeover" voters.

More On That Montana Political Science Project Gone So Wrong

You'll remember back in the fall we reported on three political scientists from Stanford and Dartmouth who stumbled and bumbled their way into all kinds of controversy in Montana with a research project pegged to state Supreme Court elections. Now the state's commissioner of political practices has released his report on the fiasco, and found that Stanford and Dartmouth are on the hook for violating state elections laws. Here's our complete report on his decision, including the backstory on the research project for those who missed this back in the fall.

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