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The Bulwark is disappointed in Jeb
J V Last has an article about Jeb Bush’s endorsement of DeSantis. It’s behind a paywall, but he tweeted out what I assume to be his salient points:
If Ron DeSantis’s governorship has been good for Florida, then why didn’t Jeb pass a “Don’t Say Gay” bill when he was governor? Why didn’t Jeb take over the New College of Florida to push a conservative agenda? Why didn’t Jeb offer a bill to outlaw the teaching of “theories” in undergraduate courses? Why didn’t Jeb spend taxpayer money to ship refugees to Martha’s Vineyard? Why didn’t Jeb move to take away Disney’s special zoning arrangement? Why didn’t Jeb appoint a vaccine skeptic as his state surgeon general?
After all, if these are good policies for the people of Florida, Governor Bush had the opportunity to enact them himself. Why didn’t he?
Piquant points! Let’s take them one by one.
Why didn’t Jeb pass a “Don’t Say Gay” bill when he was governor?
This is somewhat confusing, since DeSantis didn’t pass a “Don’t Say Gay” bill either. The only relevant part of the bill that has to do with any of this:
Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age- appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.
This really, really bothers some people.
Most of the bill concerns the rights of parents, which really, really bothers some people, too.
Why didn’t Jeb take over the New College of Florida to push a conservative agenda?
Because he’s an old-style moderate Republican who has an antique notion of college as a place where the values of our civilization are handed down to the young. Oh, sure, they’re full of liberals, but you know, kids figure it out. We all go through that phase.
Also, there’s something a bit untoward about actually teaching history and politics from a conservative point of view. It’s a bit much. You want kids to get all sides. So the liberal faculty teaches both sides with cool impartiality, giving equal weight to all competing ideas, but conservative faculties ram through an agenda? Well the professors you get for a school like that are rather . . . ideological. It’s one thing to believe these things, but these guys, they really believe it. I mean, we’re talking Gadsden flag bumper stickers.
Why didn’t Jeb offer a bill to outlaw the teaching of “theories” in undergraduate courses?
Here we see the true anti-intellectualism of DeSantis blaring to the fore: the man is opposed to theories. Why, the entirety of intellectual inquiry is based on theories, and the man wants to ban them with a stroke of a pen. Sensible Jeb would not ban theories, lest it cripple the ability of students to understand gravity.
DeFenders of DeSantis would make tiresome objections to this, noting that the “theories” were in fact doctrines of racial essentialism based in a creed that regards every institution in the country as fatally tainted by racism and incapable of reform, but they would, wouldn’t they? What they really want is a sugar-soaked curriculum full of noble Pilgrims, Founding Fathers, then some handwaving about the early 19th century, then the whole white-savior narrative about the Civil War, and then it’s on to pushing out the savage Redman so the Rotarians and other God-fearing men can bust the sod and conjure cities out of the dirt while Jesus floats over the nation, nodding in approval. Black history shall not be taught, except in a lesson about how the Harlem Globetrotters solved a mystery with the Scooby-Doo gang once.
It’s possible Jeb would have urged legislation to ban teaching of “theories” that advanced racial essentialism, if such a thing was happening in his tenure, but these theories were, at the time, in larval state in higher education. Which of course was an utterly neutral medium in which they found no particular nutriments.
Why didn’t Jeb spend taxpayer money to ship refugees to Martha’s Vineyard?
Because Jeb has friends there, and wouldn’t like to see them troubled by the logical conclusion of their political viewpoints? It’s possible.
Why didn’t Jeb move to take away Disney’s special zoning arrangement?
I don’t know. I’m not a TrueCon who is conserving conservatism so the whole thing about fellating the satraps of corporate city-states doesn’t come naturally to me.
Why didn’t Jeb appoint a vaccine skeptic as his state surgeon general?
Maybe he’s an anti-immigrant racist who hates poor people?
Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD, is the State Surgeon General of Florida. He also serves as Professor of Medicine at the University of Florida, where his research examines behavioral economic strategies to reduce cardiovascular risk in low-income and disadvantaged populations.
Born in Nigeria, Dr. Ladapo received his medical degree from Harvard and PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he received the Harvard Medical School Class of 2012 Resident Teaching Award and the Daniel E. Ford Award in Health Services and Outcomes Research from John Hopkins University.
Also – and this seems so obvious I suspect I am missing Last’s point entirely – Jeb did not have to deal with a pandemic during his tenancy.
In fact, he didn’t have to deal with a lot of things that now sluice through modern politics, but one suspects he wouldn’t have done much if these issues had presented themselves. He was a fundamentally decent man, and fundamentally decent men do not object to middle-school trans awareness pageants. But having seen what DeSantis does, he is apparently impressed, and endorses DeSantis’ pro-active, bully-pulpit, happy-warrior approach.
The Bulwarkians, understandably dismayed, sigh, and draw a line through his name on the sheet of paper that contains the Names of the Good.
But first they dip the quill in the inkwell, so the line may be strong from start to finish.Published in General
Don’t forget when they visited Gilligan’s Island!
I remember when he was the milquetoast of the town.
This doesn’t eliminate that still being true. DeSantis is still seen as the alternative to Trump. I don’t know how long that will last for Jeb or in general, because of the push to paint him as being just like Trump.
I think you forgot the ¡
So it sounds like the Bulwark would endorse Jeb if he ran for president. Or… Would they end up trashing him anyway if he ran?
Moderator Note:Redacted for being off the topic of the post.
Another great post by James. Damn, I love reading him.
I like JVL a lot. I have corresponded with him. I listen to the Daily Bulwark Podcast (which is free), while I also listen to Ricochet, Dispatch and NR Podcasts. (I stopped listen to the Lincoln Project Podcasts two years ago when their scandal broke.) See https://ricochet.com/1314872/national-review-vs-the-dispatch-vs-the-bulwark-vs-the-lincoln-project/.
The Bulwark is pretty resolutely NeverTrump, and for that they have been really savagely attacked here and elsewhere.
I am caught in a quandary. Who I want is a repeat of Ronald Reagan who was tough when he had to be but is temperamentally optimistic. This is how I call the race at this point.
I love Liz Cheney, but that is not going to happen in this universe.
I would also love Mitt Romney (or any Senator who voted to convict Trump in either impeachment), but he is clearly not running.
I admire and respect Larry Hogan, but I don’t think that he will have a chance, even though he is the most successful Republican in Maryland history.
Of the people who will have a chance, I like Glenn Youngkin, Chris Sununu, Nikki Haley and Tim Scott a lot. They are plenty tough, but share Reagan’s sunny disposition.
I could be very happy with a number of Republican Governors like Doug Ducey, and Brian Kemp, even though they don’t have Reagan’s sunny disposition. (Note: By June 2021, Arizona, Florida and Texas threw off COVID restrictions for the last time. However, Arizona’s Doug Ducey has not gotten the positive attention that Florida’s DeSantis and Texas’ Abbott have received. Ducey was a quiet but very good governor.)
This demonstrates the utter bankruptcy of the Bulwark. They are people who don’t want real change. They are happy to let the left win thr culture wars.
It is very clear, and I think you hit on it James with the idea that DeSantis is not one of them. That is it in a nutshell.
Anyone who thinks Jeb! would be a better president than DeSantis is not a friend of conservative America.
You raise what might be the essential question of our times for ideological conservatives.
So, I would very much like to read, and even engage in, a dialog on it on an Internet forum with others who have the same interest.
I say that just to affirm you for raising the question here, on what is unquestionably an Internet forum, whatever else one might say about it.
[TAGS: Social Satire, Light-Hearted and As Always, Perfectly Incomprehensible]
That’s it right there.
These things would be “acts of love” just like illegal immigration.
Didn’t the Bulwark support McAuliffe over Glenn Youngkin for VA gov?
The key issue of that election was about Teacher’s unions/PTA vs parents.
The Bulwark is for the permanent bureaucracy vs the citizen.
Kristol membership of Hamilton 68 tells you all you need to know.
Last is such a pompous prig. I used to subscribe to the Sub(space)Beacon podcast for $1. One dollar for Victorino Matus. His contributions overcame Last’s descent into madness. When I started with the Substandard podcast Last was reasonable. Vic left at the end of the year which made unsubscribing easy.
After the 2020 Coup, Last had the audacity to say that he was back from saving America. How revolting. Trump implemented the policies Last once claimed to be for. Like the Democrats claiming to be conservatives here on Ricochet, is he lying now or was he lying then? It’s obvious he will say whatever his employer wants him to say.
Newsflash (to me). The Bulwark still exists.
you can Vic via Mary Katherine Ham’s podcast – its good
What is Ironic is Biden has all of the characteristics that he complains about Trump
– the constant lies
– the corrupt family
– he is a demagogue
Plus all of the horrible policies he pushed.
I recall Bob Michel, who I met and liked when he was the minority leader of the House. However, Newt pushed him aside in a much-needed revolution. The knock on the “go along, get along” House GOP was that they stood for and stood up for nothing and 50 years in the minority had made them passive.
In a limited, qualified defense, I point out that RINO leadership arose in an era in which (a) the ideological difference between the parties was nowhere near as large as today (b) the Democrats’ majority was still broad and deep even if its coalition was tenuous (c) there were still conservatives and liberals in both parties so cross-partisan deals were possible and (d) interactions were more respectful.
That entire culture is gone.
To be a RINO now is to be voluntary punching bag, bowing and apologizing to people who think dialog, decency, and compromise are evil relics of our culture’s tainted past. The Bulwark is founded on the delusion that the country wants the drift to the left to be managed by message-free mushy nominally republican white guys rather than overt commies and certainly not run by guys who oppose the drift and thus force everybody to take sides. The clarity imposed by openly conservative candidates or even by conflict-loving performers like Trump is exactly what the Bulwark guys hate.
I meant to subscribe and didn’t right away. Thank you for the reminder. Subscribing now.
All pointed out during the campaign and willfully ignored by people so blinded by hatred for Trump, they were willing to destroy the country rather than let someone so gauche get credit for making it prosper.
Last talks up being a great Catholic but I’m sure he’s twisted himself into some knot to support Biden’s love of abortion.
This expresses my sentiments on Mr. Last’s commentary. I’ve visited Florida about five times over the last twenty years, and I’ve always been impressed by its leadership. There’s a positive energy in Florida that I wish could be bottled. I love Miami and Orlando.
Such greatness is not built overnight. It has truly been both of them, Bush and DeSantis, who deserve the credit. The challenges Bush faced were different from those that DeSantis has faced. Bush oversaw tremendous rapid growth in his state [partly due to the success of the Reagan administration’s real estate investment trusts (REITs)], and DeSantis has overseen the complex legal issues that resulted from that growth. How do you make growth happen (Bush) and manage the result (DeSantis)?
I think our country would have prospered under Jeb Bush. I would have loved to have seen twenty more Orlandos and Miamis across this country. And no state personal income taxes. Wow. That alone induces citizen happiness and optimism, both of which are required for prosperity. Prosperity takes care of a lot of social problems just by itself.
The first time I visited the state, I think it was about twenty years ago, I ended up going on quite a few historical tours. What I got out of those tours was a sense of how new the state is. Modern Florida is truly an American achievement. The citizens of Florida have built something wonderful where there was nothing but sand and marshes. It is a stunning achievement.
Jeb Bush won me over during the Terri Schiavo case. I was, and still am, grateful for the strength he showed in standing up to the pro-euthanasia movement. And he also earned my respect for how well he managed the devastation and the subsequent rebuilding from the back-to-back hurricanes in 2005. He has enviable executive skills.
Ours is a great country to have produced both leaders.
Since the Bulwark is primarily a grift for the left I suspect they would only endorse a person for president if he had absolutely no chance of defeating a democrat. They want the republicans to nominate a lose with honor type of guy.
More accurately, the Bulwark will be endorsing the Democrat candidate no matter who the Republican candidate is. The Bulwark is not conservative or Republican in any sense. Those labels are merely a costume they wear to fool the donor class. They are a Democrat blog.
James, great post.
While we’re contemplating theories, I have one. It started out as a hypothesis, but maybe I’ve seen enough evidence to conclude that it’s a theory. I didn’t come up with this entirely on my own. My principal source is Christopher Caldwell, buttressed by Patrick Deneen.
My theory is that there are a bunch of people who think of themselves as Republicans and even as vaguely conservative, while they are actually Leftists. They seem to have an almost entirely Left-wing world view. This group seems to be principally comprised of:
There’s probably quite a bit of overlap between these groups. Libertarians seem, to me, to be anarchists who lack the courage of their convictions. Conservatarians seem to be Libertarians who likewise lack the courage of their convictions.
I realize that this may be a bit too harsh. Maybe they’re just stuck in their expectation, or demand, for a system of morality and law based on pure reason. There ain’t no such thing, but their faith in the goddess of Reason springs eternal. They don’t seem to realize that they’re fundamentally Jacobins. Many of them probably don’t know what a Jacobin might be.
So we end up with one party, the Democrats, who are entirely in the grip of the Left and who drift ever further Leftward. We have another party, the Republicans, about half of whom are Leftists who don’t even know it.
I used to listen to the Sub-Beacon (Sub-Standard) back during the Obama years. I used to read JVL, but had dropped off by the time I was listening to the Sub-Beacon. One thing that struck me about Mr. Last was that he seemed increasingly bitter and frustrated over the state of DC and his life. He was pretty good with the self-deprecating comments, but one could sense all during that time he was getting increasingly unhappy and ever closer to the edge. His compatriots were all strong personalities who continually reeled him back. It appears that the WFB’s contretemps over Trump finished the job.
The only thing that ever draws me to the Bulwark is Sonny Bunch. I have always liked his culture entertainment commentary. He is very good.
I have zero interest in their take on anything else. They may be a stopped clock, but I’m not interested in their time of day.
How many “I”‘s are in your post? Damning.
As does Jeb!
Doesn’t matter much anymore: Top GOP Donors to Meet with GOP Candidates for President But President Trump Is Not Invited | The Gateway Pundit
Nothing like a good, old-fashioned Fisking. Wonderful post!
I own what I say instead of saying that others agree with me. I try to speak for myself and not for others.
This is a good thing. Trump lost because a significant percentage of Republicans voted for Biden. However after January 6, 2021, I predict that number has tripled.
In Arizona, the top four statewide nominated Republicans had been endorsed by Trump in our primary. All of them lost in the 2022 general election. Other Republicans told me that they deliberately refused to vote for the Trump endorsed candidates, and instead voted for the Democrat candidates.
We are bound and determined to take our party back.