Sunday, January 29, 2012


Jeb Bush and his father visited President Obama at the White House last night -- I have no idea why. I mean, I guess I understand why Poppy Bush would show up -- the Bushes were in D.C. for the Alfalfa Club dinner, and Poppy, however mean and nasty he might have been whenever he was campaigning against a Democrat, seems to be the kind of guy who likes to leave the real nastiness behind once the campaigning is over. But Poppy can afford to be that kind of Republican -- he's retired. What's Jeb thinking?

Well, Jeb was one of the people who tried to rebrand the GOP in early 2009 as a post-Palin, less threatening party -- remember the pizza summit? The timing of that effort was spectacularly bad, because it happened just as the tea party (along with its media wing, Fox News) was taking the GOP even further to the right.

But maybe Jeb thinks the party is going to go too far to the right this year, and in the next four years as well; maybe he thinks Obama's going to win handily this year, and the GOP will need to be rebranded in 2016. It's not as if Jeb's a moderate -- recall his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, which praised Paul Ryan and damned the current crowd in D.C. as a bunch of big-government crushers of the entrepreneurial spirit -- but he may think the time will be right for a Republican who seeks to "disagree without being disagreeable," as the saying goes (or who at least pretends to want to do that).

If so, I think he's nuts. Either Romney's going to win this year or his loss is going to be blamed by the GOP on his lack of extreme conservatism. (We lost with Romney, McCain, and Dole! We won with George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan! True conservatives always win!) Either way, Jeb can't be nominated four years from now -- if Romney isn't running for reelection, a Jeb who's seen as too much of an appeasenik can't possibly be the nominee. The crazy base will never accept that they're the problem, even if their party loses the presidency for the fourth time this year in the six most recent contests (and loses the popular vote for the fifth time out of six). So give it up, Jeb. It would take years, and massive losses, to purge the insanity and lust for combat from your party. Stick to being a partisan attack dog -- your fellow pizza summiteer Eric Cantor has done that, as has another summiteer, Romney. You're never going to get anywhere in your party by being gracious to Democrats.


c u n d gulag said...

The demographics may well be against them in the long run, but it'll be a long time before that long run runs out.

If you look at the younger, newer lunatics, like Ryan and Cantor, there's no shortage of crazy, cruelty, and anger, in their KKKiddy Korps.

And take a new look at their farm system with the College Republicans: Scary AND stupid!

So I agree with you in wondering what Jeb was thinking about when he went to visit The Great Nigra Satan?
Did he point a finger at him, or bitch-slap him?
That's about the only way to mitigate the damage he just did.

BH said...

A pity, too. There have been some noises about Jeb getting subbed in for Mitty in case the big elephants conclude at some point pre-convention that Mitty's not a good bet to win; personally, I welcomed the prospect of a 3rd Bush as the opposition. But, whatever substance there may have been to talk of a Jeb candidacy, an apparently drama-free visit with O should put paid to that notion for '12, at the least. Ah well.

Ten Bears said...

I would not be the least bit surprised were Jeb to somehow head-line this year's ticket. And I'd venture he'd stand a good chance of winning.

Never say never.