Tuesday, December 16, 2014


There are a lot of why-Jeb-sucks lists on right-wing sites right now, but item #8 on this list reminds me of a rarely discussed fact: that Jeb Bush is on the board of directors of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and has been praised by Mike Bloomberg himself for his work on education when he was Florida's governor. (Bloomberg and Bush coauthored a 2006 Washington Post op-ed on accountability and standards in education.)

The right hates Mike Bloomberg, primarily for his anti-gun activism, and secondarily for his attempt to restrict the sale of large sodas in New York City. (Sarah Palin has greatly enjoyed mocking that.)

Some of the work of Bloomberg Philanthropies does focus on obesity prevention, but the group doesn't focus on guns. However, it does focus on this:

If it's an old-fashioned energy source that generates significant pollution, members of the Republican base are all for it. So this is not good for Jeb.

Now, maybe this won't be an issue for him -- after all, Mitch McConnell successfully ran for reelection to his Kentucky Senate seat this year depite the fact that his wife, Elaine Chao, is also a member of the Bloomberg Philanthropies board of directors. When McConnell's Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, put out an attack ad citing Chao's affiliation with Bloomberg Philanthropies and Wells Fargo, which stopped extending credit to companies engaged in mountaintop removal, the ad backfired, winning four Pinocchios from a Washington Post fact-checker. Still, I think Bloomberg is enough of a bogeyman on the right that Jeb was crazy not to resign from the board if he wanted to run for president as a Republican. Someone's going to use this against him.


But what I keep thinking about Jeb is that he actually believes what the mainstream media says about the GOP: that it's just fine, really, that it hasn't gone stark raving mad, and that its rank and file are capable of listening to reason. Ben Shapiro reminds us that Jeb really thinks the base has a high tolerance for moderation:
Jeb has refused to sign the Americans for Tax Reform pledge not to raise taxes. In 2012, Bush was asked by the House Budget Committee whether he would trade $1 in tax increases for $10 in spending cuts. He replied that he would.
And bipartisanship:
... last year, Jeb gave an award to [Hillary] Clinton, stating, "We recognize the commitment of someone who has devoted her life to public service," and handed her the 2013 Liberty Medal for "her ongoing efforts to advocate for the rights of women and girls worldwide." Hillary returned the love:
Today, Jeb and I are not just renewing an American tradition of bipartisanship, we're keeping up a family tradition as well. We also share something that is far more important than any of our political differences. We both love this country and we believe in the wisdom of our founders and the constitution.
How does that strike the typical wingnut? Just read what Shapiro writes next:
The event fell one day before the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed the American ambassador.
Good luck with your quest, Jeb. You'll need it.


Joseph Nobles said...

Wow. Nice find on the Shapiro quote. It does seem like the True Republicans and the Real Conservatives are going to demand their pound of nomination this time around. I can't shake this feeling it's going to be Scott Walker getting the GOP roses in 2016.

Ten Bears said...

So, no difference twixt Jeb and Hillary.

petrilli said...

Christie's pugnacious "joisey" act will wear thin in primaries down south. Walker vs Jeb would be an easy call but for the fact that Jeb probably doesn't have the rutting pathological rage for the presidency that Scott W. has. Considering their respective crime family support, I would put my money on Baker Botts-Carlysle-KBR-Halliburton over Walker's Koch-Alec money. At the end of the day, Jeb will win if he puts his heart into it. Then, he'll likley beat Hillary in a close one because she sucks as a candidate in almost every domain that matters. Maybe she'll have a Campaign manager who knows how to count deligates this time. In any case, it won't be enough to get this Emo-prog purity troll to support her. The eschaton, she will be immanentized.