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Jeb Bush: True Conservative?

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The first take-away from a recent Politico Magazine item: Reinventing Jeb Bush How America misremembers the family’s true conservative, is that as is appropriately disclosed at bottom, the author is S.V. Dáte, the author of “Jeb: America’s Next Bush” and “an editor on NPR’s Washington desk” who writes for NPR’s politics blog.

Yes! Because nothing says true conservative quite like NPR and an inherent conflict of interest in would be journalism, however well and appropriately disclosed … at bottom. One’s all but left wondering if they should actually ask how much Bush.3.whatever paid to publish the thing.

And so it begins:

Jeb Bush. Not conservative enough. Try as I might, it remains impossible to see these two concepts as even remotely related. John Ellis Bush, the second son of George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Bush, who during his first run for Florida governor in 1994 cheerfully called himself a head-banging conservative, a hang-’em-by-the-neck conservative … who during his second run for Florida governor in 1998 had to craft for himself a more compassionate persona so as not to scare off independent voters … that Jeb Bush has come to be viewed with suspicion by the uber-conservative, Tea Party wing of his Republican Party?

Yes, well, perhaps it was all that Jeb head banging that done him in. Although, to be fair, it sounds as though NPR’s Date has done quite a bit of head banging in his time, too. Or, he’s at the very least weakly and foolishly attempting to head bang American conservatives on behalf of Jeb Bush … and, or his own publishing contract, now.

And so it goes….

Admittedly, there are his heresies on Common Core and immigration, the two hottest-button issues of the day in that world–but that’s enough to make Jeb a moderate? Really?

Oh, of course not. Head banging conservatives are routinely on the wrong side of the two most important issues to conservatives on any given day in American politics. What on Earth was I thinking? Actually, at this point, I was beginning to think Date’s piece might not survive editorial scrutiny at Rolling Stone … and we all know how difficult that is….

Certainly, one should read the entire piece and consider the implications of Jeb’s tenure as Florida Gov – and what that may, or may not say about yet one more Bush White House … which in itself, may say more than America, let alone American conservatives, want to hear about 2016 right now. However, this may also be a telling anecdote.

There was a poignant moment 16 years ago at the Republican Governors Association meeting in New Orleans. George W. had just been reelected governor of Texas, and Jeb had won Florida on his second try. At a news conference, someone asked George about running for president in two years.

George W. tried dodging the question, and finally answered: “Listen, I didn’t grow up wanting to be president of the United States.”

And Jeb chimed in: “I did.”

To which George W. answered, “Yeah, you did.”

One of the great selling points of America has always been that it’s a place where every boy, and hopefully now girl, can grow up wanting to be president and perhaps even realize that dream one day. What may be harder to fathom is why one family feels so entitled to have three of those boys across only two generations enjoy the inside track to the office thanks to one of America’s two major parties.

In reality, another Bush ascendancy within the GOP just now might do more to convince American conservatives of the real need for a viable third party, than it would accomplish anything else for Republicans these days.


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