I enjoyed the posts on Jeb by Rich and Mark, and think both of those posts make good points. I have a couple of points to make myself. They will not be popular, on the right. Good thing I’m not running for office! Or anything else.
Rich calls Jeb a pre-Obama conservative. One thing about conservatism, it has a certain timelessness, transcending phases, trends, and passions.
Mark says that Jeb is not a national stager — maybe a state-policy guy. He reminds us, “. . . the Republican platform of 1980 called for the abolition of the Department of Education just two months after the department came into being.”
Yeah, and we elected a Republican president that November, who proceeded not only to maintain the Department of Education, but to beef it up. Who was that RINO? What was he doing on the national stage? Can we find his grave and spit on it?
Mark also writes, “Even if his name weren’t Bush, Jeb would not be an appropriate standard-bearer for the national GOP in 2016.”
That may be so. But the thing is, we have elections now — primary elections. It used to be, party nominees were determined by party bosses in smoke-filled rooms. There is an argument to be made for the old system. I’m kind of soft on it. But there came a time when it was thought not democratic enough — so we vote.
And the voters, damn them, or bless them, determine who is the “appropriate” nominee.
Of course, if Jeb wins, people will say that the fix was in. The vote was rigged. Karl Rove and his pals at the Chamber of Commerce subverted democracy.
If the guy we favor wins, everything was hunky-dory. If the guy we disfavor wins, it was a swindle.
Obviously, Jeb Bush is in bad odor on the right today. When he was in office, he was beloved. I remember it well. He was thought in particular to be a guru on education. Then one day, I woke up and heard that Jeb was a Commie on education — Common Corey? — or at least a dunce. That was weird.
You never really know with the Right, or a segment of it. One day a guy’s up; the next day he’s down, down, down. Marco Rubio was a huge favorite — the golden boy, a savior. Then he was a RINO Commie squish. Paul Ryan was a huge favorite, a golden boy.
I remember when Mitt Romney was in the process of picking his vice-presidential nominee. The Torquemadas of the Right — the ones who think they decide who’s conservative and who isn’t — said that if he picked anyone but Ryan, that was proof of his RINO Commie squishdom. He picked Ryan. That gave him a reprieve for about two seconds. Soon, Ryan was on the bad list — “Paul Ryano,” people said.
The late Gene Genovese had a standard answer when asked why he was kicked out of the Communist party (at age 20): “I zigged when I should have zagged.” There is some of that on the right, too.
I’m a Cruz man, long have been — going on 15 years. (Ted and Penelope both, come to think of it.) But I’ll tell you this: A conservative movement that reads out Jeb Bush is a movement too stupid to live.
I didn’t want y’all to be too bored on New Year’s Eve Day Eve!