Saturday, March 14, 2015


Look, I understand -- GOP voters are stupid children. But you're not supposed to say that to them if you want their votes. And that's what Jeb appears to be saying:
HUDSON, N.H. -- Jeb Bush said he would be open to allowing illegal immigrants a path to citizenship and said his position on immigration is “the grown-up plan.”

The former Florida governor, a vocal supporter of granting legal status to some undocumented immigrants as part of a broader immigration overhaul, offered a robust defense of his immigration policy during a discussion with local business leaders here.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Well, anything you propose is amnesty,’ but that’s not a plan,” Mr. Bush said during a discussion with local business leaders here. “That’s a sentiment, that’s not a plan. I think the best plan, the most realistic plan, the grown up plan, if you will, is once you control the border and you’re confident it’s not going to be another magnet, is to say, ‘Let’s let these folks achieve earned legal status where they work, where they come out of the shadows.’”

Later, during a brief exchange with reporters, Mr. Bush said he could also be supportive of a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally -- as he did at one time -- but said there currently isn’t sufficient political support for it.

“If you could get a consensus done, where you could have a bill done and it was 15 years [to achieve citizenship] as the Senate Gang of Eight did, I’d be supportive of that,” Mr. Bush said....
When you describe a position of yours that's unpopular with the voters as "the grown-up choice," what you're saying is that those who disagree with you are children.

I suspect primary voters won't forget that Jeb said this. I also suspect that Jeb will keep saying it. That's the thing about him: He's low-key about it, but he seems to enjoy lecturing people. He's doing it again when he says, “It’s easy to say, 'Well, anything you propose is amnesty,’ but that’s not a plan.” In other words: Well, at least I have a plan. Do you?

I know that, as a rule, Republicans have hot one-night stands with presidential primary firebrands and then go on to marry the Establishment choice. But the Establishment choices who've won the nomination have won in large part because they emphasize hot-button issues on which they're in sync with the voters. A lot of GOP voters distrusted John McCain, but the Bush foreign policy was the big rallying point for Republicans in 2008, and McCain defended that policy passionately and sincerely. In 2012, Obamacare was what GOP voters hated most, and Mitt Romney had even me convinced that he despised it with every fiber of his being.

Jeb's not campaigning this way. He's campaigning as if he wants to force the voters to eat their vegetables. He's campaigning as if forcing voters to eat their vegetables is the reason he wants to run. To some extent, I think that really is the point of his campaign: He thinks the GOP can be the majority party if it will stop being so extreme on certain issues -- or at least on one issue, immigration. But is he going to get through the primaries, even with all his Establishment money, by telling voters that they're misbehaving brats? Maybe, but I have serious doubts.


Victor said...

No, you can't ever tell a conservative what to do.

They feel they're right!
They know they're right!!

And if you try to sway them from what they feel they know is right, then that's an insult to whatever limited intelligence they have.

Too many conservative people, and conservative media outlets, have drummed-up the hate on any number of different issues.

But now, since racism is being called out more and more - even the dog-whistling variety - hatred for "furriner's" - especially brown ones - is still, conservatives feel, safe turf.

Jeb's not helping himself.
And, after saying what he just did, it'll be hard for him to run away fast and far enough from it!

Tien said...

I think it was interesting that he said, “If you could get a consensus done, where you could have a bill done..." The operative word is 'you'. He didn't say 'we'. We could get a consensus. A leader says We. He must not have been paying attention the last few years. Failing to secure the cooperation of Congress is always laid at the President's doorstep. He seems to think the responsibility for creating a consensus belongs to someone else.

I do have to say that he said one thing I liked, though: “It’s easy to say, ‘Well, anything you propose is amnesty,’ but that’s not a plan,” Mr. Bush said during a discussion with local business leaders here. “That’s a sentiment, that’s not a plan." I like how that was framed. It was actually adult, and I'm so totally stealing it.

oc democrat said...

"When you describe a position of yours that's unpopular with the voters as "the grown-up choice,"

From 2004: Why does George Bush always talk to his audience AT his rallies like they are a bunch of 6th graders?

BECAUSE, that is the way King George's advisers explain it to him!


And JEB is talking Grown UP?

Anonymous said...

To tie this post and the last one together:

I was assuming that Rubio's candidacy was dead on arrival

It is DOA. This is fluffing the donors. Back in 2013 when Rubio was last a thing, he was fluffing the donors and they were fluffing him and then he tried to push an immigration bill and blew himself up. He's carrying water at this point, although I wonder if he realizes he himself is dead meat. Likely not.

But is he going to get through the primaries, even with all his Establishment money, by telling voters that they're misbehaving brats? Maybe, but I have serious doubts.

The thing is, the rich donors that want a pony for president are going to go with Jeb. He effectively blocks out all the establishment suckups, including manhandling Romney right out of the race. (Otherwise, Romney would be in right now.)

That wasn't going to be the case earlier but they have done worked the phones and twisted the arms, and kept Romney out. (Christie is toast and toast he will remain, regardless of his scheduled boomlet.)

Basically the rich fucks have signaled that they demand a victory and they like the Bushes anyways. Last nail in the coffin was securing the warmonger endorsement and he did that by picking up the ones from the previous administration. (Those three things together altered the configuration enough to plow a road for Jeb.)

The rest of this stuff is tire-kicking, reassurance, base appeasement/surpression. There will inevitably be a bunch of micro-revolts, but Ben Carson is going to get gut-punched as soon he gets any real traction, and Jeb now possesses all of Mitt's artillery and a whole bunch extra. And if he gets into trouble he can call in Daddy and brother.

['Press is going to get bored. That'll be a problem. But they're already in with Jeb, so that's that too.']

Steve M. said...

I respect your cynicism, Max, but I have to disagree, at least, with the notion that the press is "already in with Jeb."

I think the mainstream press is hankering to persuade itself that just about any Republican is the new "reasonable" face of the GOP. Look at how the press swooned over Paul Ryan's phony concern for the poor, or Rubio's, or Rand Paul's. They'd like Kasich or Portman or Pence to seemingly be the new reasonable guy. They're well disposed toward Bush, but they're sure any number of these guys could be The One. Hell, they're still waiting for that well-educated, wonkish Bobby Jindal to stop with this rabble-rousing nonsense and be the moderate they just know he is.

They can see Cruz is crazy, and it's dawning on them that Walker and Carson are, too. But as for the rest, they're eager to see them through rose-colored glasses, as moderates who are just pretending to be wingnuts and Kochites. The only question is whether the primary winner will have to talk like Walker in order to win

sdhays said...

I have never believed that Mitt Romney despised anything except the fact that he wasn't President. I have no doubt that he was perfectly willing to gut ObamaCare had he become President, but I think he was equally willing to forget about it depending on whatever way the wind happened to blow that week. I doubt that there has ever been a major party Presidential candidate in the history of the Republic who had so few true principles as Mitt Romney. McCain ranks closely, but he sincerely believes in war, war, and more war. Mitt doesn't even have that. The only thing Mitt ever believed in is Mitt.

And that's why he was acceptable to the base of the Republican Party. He made it clear that he had no principles of his own, so if the base demanded something, he would provide it. I think it was Grover Norquist who said he didn't care who became President as long as that person would sign bills coming out of the Republican Congress. Mitt fit that description perfectly.

If you want to be charitable, I think you could say that Jeb is making the calculation that winning the primary doesn't win you anything if you don't have a chance at winning the general election, and he believes that he MUST shave off some of the Latino vote from the Democratic candidate's totals in order to have any kind of chance at all. That's some sound reasoning, but based on these quotes, you have to wonder if Jeb has the charismatic dexterity to pull this off. Like Rand Paul, he seems to have some idea that there's a problem that has to be solved, but also like Rand, he doesn't seem to be particularly well equipped to deal with it. I guess we'll see.

Regarding Rubio, I put my money on him a year ago, and then he completely embarrassed himself and showed himself to be a silly joke of candidate. I would not be surprised at all if there's a small boomlet for Rubio sometime this year, but I have no confidence in his staying power. He's as inept as Walker or Rand Paul or Rick Perry.

The problem with prognosticating the Republican 2016 Presidential race is that it is truly a clown car. They are ALL clowns, including "adult" clown Jeb. They are all completely inept in their own special way, and Republican primary voters are lunatics. I was a bit concerned about Walker since I saw some potential there, but I'm much less worried now. I don't think he has the charisma, management capabilities, or mental discipline to run a successful Presidential campaign, even for the primary. When all possibilities seem to have fatal flaws, how can you predict who will win?