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What Jeb Bush Can Learn from Dave Carter

Here’s our own Dave Carter, from his masterful essay this weekend, which can’t be quoted enough:

The hour is late, minor course corrections are not enough, and a blithe acceptance of the terms of debate as dictated by our opponents will undermine liberty itself.

Now here’s Buzzfeed’s report on former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s hand-wringing about the state of the modern Republican Party:jebbush.jpg

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said today that both Ronald Reagan and his father George H. W. Bush would have had a difficult time getting nominated by today’s ultra-conservative Republican Party.

“Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground,” Bush said, adding that he views the hyper-partisan moment as “temporary.”

If this isn’t “a blithe acceptance of the terms of debate as dictated by our opponents,” then I don’t know what is. And it’s doubly damaging coming from Jeb, one of the most talented governors of the past decade and someone who’s a surname away from the presidency.

Look, is there a more activist conservative base now than their has been in years past, and one that’s less willing to give elected Republicans wiggle room? Yes, and that stems from the fact that they spent the 15 years between the beginning of the Republican Revolution and the end of the George W. Bush Administration learning that giving GOP elected officials a long leash only made them more likely to break it.

But let’s not break out the hair shirts over the intolerance of our nominating process quite yet. As I recall, our last presidential nominee was John McCain, the baton major in every bipartisan parade that marched through the United States Senate for a decade. And this time around it’s Mitt Romney — not exactly the second coming of Barry Goldwater.

It’s bad enough when this message comes in the form of concern trolling from the left. But at least they have the excuse of being insincere. A party leader as savvy as Governor Bush should have known better.

  1. Mel Foil

    It’s quite a shock to learn that between GW, and Jeb, GW is the much wiser one.

  2. kylez

    That’s how the Bush’s tend to think.

  3. Lady Bertrum

    The Blue Blazer Republicans resent the populist right.  We’re mean and we make them do things they’d rather not.  They’re lucid and thoughtful and capable of compromise – just ask them.  We’re blustering and irrational – just ask them.  It doesn’t bother me too much when Jeb or John McCain or like make this type of compliant.  They can either dance with the ones who brung ‘um or go home.  Of course, Jeb didn’t get invited to the dance, so that may explain his sour grapes.

  4. Barkha Herman

    Does Jeb Bush know that Mitt Romney got nominated?

  5. Cylon

    I think Bush is right. I’m tired of being lectured to about the constitution by people who have too much time and their hands and spend their days listening to Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and reading the most hyper-demogogic columns and editorials they can find. In the end politics is the art of the possible and what is possible  is established by the culture at large, not our political leaders. The “true conservatives” need to spend their time affecting our culture, and less time threatening our politicians.

  6. Lady Bertrum
    Cylon:  The “true conservatives” need to spend their time affecting our culture, and less time threatening our politicians. · 2 minutes ago

    I don’t believe our politicians are threatened (electorally, not physically) enough. I would prefer they live in a constant state of heart palpitating, night terrors. Nothing clarifies the brain like pants wetting fear.

  7. The New Clear Option

    Reminds me of the end of the 1958 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Embedding’s disabled, but replace the name “Becky” with “Jeb,” and you get the picture. (0:00-1:12)

  8. Tennessee Patriot

    I may feel Bush’s pain if he could point to positive results from the back-slapping, get-alongers he admires. Unsustainable spending, human misery and the loss of liberty (that other – better – people gave or risked their lives for) has been the result of Bush’s way. Up his.

  9. Israel P.
    Troy Senik, Ed.

    Look, is there a more activist conservative base now than their has been in years past, and one that’s less willing to give elected Republicans wiggle room? Yes, and that stems from the fact that they spent the 15 years between the beginning of the Republican Revolution and the end of the George W. Bush Administration learning that giving GOP elected officials a long leash only made them more likely to break it.

    That, folks, is the money quote. When you abuse trust, don’t expect more.

    The Hebrew expression is roughly “scalded with boiling [water], careful with cool.”

  10. Percival

    I voted for Jeb’s father, and for his brother, every time they ran for president.  I wasn’t always happy about that.  There was no question when they left that it was time.

    Now Jeb appears to be tentatively stepping out on the national stage, and I’m already looking at my watch.

  11. HeartofAmerica
    Lady Bertrum: The Blue Blazer Republicans resent the populist right.  We’re mean and we make them do things they’d rather not.  They’re lucid and thoughtful and capable of compromise – just ask them.  We’re blustering and irrational – just ask them.  It doesn’t bother me too much when Jeb or John McCain or like make this type of compliant.  They can either dance with the ones who brung ‘um or go home.  Of course, Jeb didn’t get invited to the dance, so that may explain his sour grapes. · 19 minutes ago

    Loving this post. Exactly what I was thinking but you captured it brilliantly.

  12. Israel P.

    I just realized. You know what this is? It’s  reminding the politicians that we are the parents and they are the teenagers. We will tolerate a bit of rule-breaking, but when there is too much, we will tighten both the rules and the enforcement.

    Too many of the politicians think they are the parents and we are the kids.

  13. George Savage
    Cylon: . . . In the end politics is the art of the possible and what is possible  is established by the culture at large, not our political leaders. The “true conservatives” need to spend their time affecting our culture, and less time threatening our politicians. · 14 minutes ago

    But Cylon, isn’t political leadership at some level about moving the culture at large, changing what is politically possible?  Didn’t Scott Walker accomplish exactly this in Wisconsin?

    Moving the ball 10 yards downfield is preferable to no chance of a 40 yard gain.  But the crucial question for consititutional conservatives is, “Who is on offense?”  The winning strategy on the left is to constantly advance truly radical proposals–single-payer healthcare!–then fall back to marginally less radical legislation as the sensible compromise position, hoping that some Bush Republicans will reach across the aisle, thereby dispiriting believers in limited government everywhere.

    I’d like our friends on the left to be the ones reaching across the aisle for a change.  To effect this behavior change we must first defeat them and their ideas this November, not spend the intervening months “finding some common ground.”

  14. Joseph Eagar

    Oh come on, Jeb.  What annoys you is that elite political opinion isn’t being heeded.  George Bush and Karl Rove were much more extreme than the GOP is today; the only difference is that Bush was more sensitive to elite opinion than the Tea Party is.

  15. dittoheadadt
    Cylon: In the end politics is the art of the possible and what is possible  is established by the culture at large, not our political leaders.

    Yeah?  Tell that to Scott Walker.

  16. SteveS

    Remembering back to the comedy classic, Caddyshack the Republican establishment has the same distain for the Tea Party and constitutional conservatives as the Bushwood members (how fitting a name,huh?) displayed toward the caddies taking over the pool at their designated swim time.

    Well Jeb, it’s our turn in the pool and you can squawk all you like, cause it ain’t gonna matter. As in the movie, you can overreact later (if we ever get out of the water that is) as they did, and have the whole party disinfected, since you’ll certainly feel as they did, that we made a doody mess that needed to be dealt with. 

    If Andrew Breitbart, rest his soul, was still with us, he’d be Bill Murray eating the Baby Ruth right in front of you.

  17. Dave Carter
    C

    Troy, you’re too kind, sir.  Thank you very much indeed.   In my letter I tried to make common cause with our candidate and pass along what information I could.  In essence, I extended a hand.   Jeb Bush seems to have extended only a single digit,…oddly enough in the name of compromise.   It’s a unique approach to making common cause, I’ll grant that much at least.  But I don’t think it is particularly unifying.  

  18. BD

    Supporters of more immigration amnesty are not some marginalized group that has been on the losing end of policy decisions again and again. On the contrary, they have gotten their way for decades. Now that there is a chance that the law might be enforced to a greater degree, the GOP is too dogmatic? Stop it.

  19. Franco

    I’m confused. You mean,  if the line  ”read my lips, no new taxes” hadn’t been deployed already? 

    It gets pretty tricky going back into time and pretending nothing has changed. Reagan is magically transported to today, but as his 1980 self, and Jeb has him running against 2012 Democrats in today’s economy and world situation, as though they haven’t changed at all in 32 years.

    This is quite a fantasy Jeb has going on. 

      I don’t think George Washington would be elected today. Guys who ride around on horseback shooting muskets and wearing wigs would have a difficult time getting the nomination. 

    Abe Lincoln would have lost because he wore funny hats and  didn’t have a website.

    While we are fantasizing, if we hadn’t already had two Bushes as President, I bet Jeb could have been a President as long as everything else somehow stayed the same. 

  20. Franco

    Here’s Jeb’s dad the ultraconservative, getting the GOP nomination.

    Oh, now we know that was fiction. With these Bush’s, I’m getting so confused.

    Jeb’s dad wouldn’t get nominated today.

    Why,  because this time he’d tell the truth? 

    I’m confused Jeb. Help me out here.