Permalink to What Jeb Bush Can Learn from Dave Carter

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.

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Members have made 44 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Mel Foil Inactive

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

    • #1
    • June 11, 2012 at 10:56 am
  2. Profile photo of kylez Member

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

    • #2
    • June 11, 2012 at 10:59 am
  3. Profile photo of Lady Bertrum Inactive

    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.

    • #3
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:05 am
  4. Profile photo of Barkha Herman Member

    Does Jeb Bush know that Mitt Romney got nominated?

    • #4
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:06 am
  5. Profile photo of Cylon Inactive

    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.

    • #5
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:06 am
  6. Profile photo of Lady Bertrum Inactive
    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.

    • #6
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:14 am
  7. Profile photo of The New Clear Option Inactive

    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)

    • #7
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:15 am
  8. Profile photo of Tennessee Patriot Member

    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.

    • #8
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:18 am
  9. Profile photo of Israel P. Member
    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.”

    • #9
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:24 am
  10. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher

    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.

    • #10
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:26 am
  11. Profile photo of HeartofAmerica Member
    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.

    • #11
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:28 am
  12. Profile photo of Israel P. Member

    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.

    • #12
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:32 am
  13. Profile photo of George Savage Admin
    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.”

    • #13
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:37 am
  14. Profile photo of Joseph Eagar Member

    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.

    • #14
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:42 am
  15. Profile photo of dittoheadadt Member
    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.

    • #15
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:47 am
  16. Profile photo of SteveS Inactive

    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.

    • #16
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:49 am
  17. Profile photo of Dave Carter Contributor

    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.

    • #17
    • June 11, 2012 at 11:51 am
  18. Profile photo of BD Member
    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.

    • #18
    • June 12, 2012 at 1:06 am
  19. Profile photo of Franco Member

    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. 

    • #19
    • June 12, 2012 at 1:22 am
  20. Profile photo of Franco Member

    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.

    • #20
    • June 12, 2012 at 1:50 am
  21. Profile photo of HVTs Inactive
    Cylon

    In Illinois where I live … (t)his purist garbage is a loser.

    Excellent argument for relocating . . . as if one needed one more argument to abandon The Land of Obamacrats.

    • #21
    • June 12, 2012 at 1:50 am
  22. Profile photo of Leporello Inactive

    The Bush family may lean rightward in certain respects, but they have proven themselves unreliable as conservatives, to say the least. It’s good of Jeb Bush to warn us now so we don’t make the mistake of nominating him later.

    • #22
    • June 12, 2012 at 1:53 am
  23. Profile photo of Fricosis Guy Coolidge

    Agreed…I think folks are reacting to the headline and messenger as much as anything that Jeb actually said. 

    Duane Oyen: Good grief, the hyperbolic reaction here is about two steps beyond what Jeb said, as are some responses to Cylon’s comment.

    Jeb was overemphasizing a little bit, clearly to make a point-and his words were not wrong. If Reagan were here today, but his name was given as Eric Cantor, etc. (pick your poison) rather than the saint-in-hindsight that he properly is, and he proposed the exact policies he executed (SS tax increases, TEFRA, immigration amnesty, etc.), or he was judged solely based on his record in California, he would have a hard time being nominated. 

    • #23
    • June 12, 2012 at 2:00 am
  24. Profile photo of MBF Member
    MBF
    Cylon
    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. · 45 minutes ago

    You evidently don’t understand the strategy Walker used. It involved stopping well short of the deep reform most tea partiers want, because he knew he didn’t have enough political support to achieve that.

    In no way were the Walker reforms viewed as politically possible prior to his election in 2010. He exempted police and fire, which turned out to be a brilliant tactical decision, but that can’t credibly be described as some sort of middle ground with Democrats and Labor Unions. It is more like a scenario in which abortion on demand becomes illegal, with exceptions made for rape victims. Even extremely principled pro-lifers would view that as an incredible victory.

    • #24
    • June 12, 2012 at 2:00 am
  25. Profile photo of Frozen Chosen Thatcher

    I’m guessing Mitt crossed him off the VP list and Jeb saw his POTUS chances evaporate knowing how tough the competition will be in 2020.

    Maybe he sees himself as irrelevant in the age of the Tea Party but doesn’t he know who just got nominated? Very strange…

    • #25
    • June 12, 2012 at 2:22 am
  26. Profile photo of HVTs Inactive
    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.

    Actually, what is possible is a function of leadership; what is thought acceptable or proper at any given moment is “established by the culture at large.” [The ongoing culture war is about moving the needle on what’s deemed proper, but that’s for another time.]

    This distinction is important. Our culture does not sanction a $16 Trillion debt as an acceptable bequeathal to our grandchildren. Culturally, it’s shameful. Our bipartisan political leadership, however, found it entirely possible to do so, and so it has. Two-thirds of that debt was spent this century, so we know more or less precisely who to blame.

    And it’s those members of the Party of Washington DC to whom, evidently, Jeb Bush thinks we owe more deference. Sorry, Governor … that’s just not a very useful or satisfying response to the shameful generational abuse we are inflicting upon young and even unborn citizens.

    Of course, the most horrifying aspect of this whole debacle is that absolutely no one responsible for it feels any shame whatsoever.

    • #26
    • June 12, 2012 at 2:32 am
  27. Profile photo of Jerry Carroll Inactive

    Like most people, I’ve had it with dynastic politics. Whatever the Bushes and Kennedys think, this isn’t a banana republic ruled by hereditary oligarchs — or at least not yet. Back to the country club, Jeb.

    • #27
    • June 12, 2012 at 2:57 am
  28. Profile photo of Redneck Desi Inactive

    Jeb has gone native.

    • #28
    • June 12, 2012 at 4:00 am
  29. Profile photo of Chris Johnson Member

    JEB has gone nowhere, and that is why I have always cringed when people have mentioned him, and conservative, in the same breath. Pragmatic, yes, conservative, never.

    Yes, it is a matter of time and place.  Today,Reagan could have reached further. In Florida, JEB grew government. Place is important. If you want to see conservatism, in FL, then look at the administration of Democrat, Lawton Chiles, before JEB.

    Chiles had also been governor, decades before, and when he won again, he was stunned at what he found in Tallahassee. Lawton Chiles got rid of some of our worst people in state government, by pawning them off on Clinton, (the latter having appointed the awful Janet Reno as Attorney General and the communist Carol Browner as the EPA adminstrator).

    For political/environmental junkies, please check out what Lawton Chiles did to smash Carol Browner’s fiefdom, the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. Dig up the story of Lawton’s Cook Shack.

    Bush inherited a better place, after Chiles. Bush was almost always the first to find a government solution for any problem, then Crist just cemented at least my frustration with GOP gubernatorial nominees.

    JEB grew FL government.

    • #29
    • June 12, 2012 at 5:15 am
  30. Profile photo of Franco Member
    HVTs
    Cylon: 

    You are projecting as all liberals and almost all so-called moderates are wont to do. You are the ones obsessed with race-by-race wins and losses. Basically, you are Stage One thinkers. Tea partiers figured out that with your ilk the Republic loses regardless of which Incumbency Party faction (Republican or Democrat) is actually in power.

     In Stage One wemightbe worse off, but that just doesn’t matter. We are able to see past it to Stage Two. 

    Well said, HVTs. Cylon may not know how many years some of us have dutifully voted for the moderate only to have the leftist agenda advanced and then the results blamed on the Republican, while said Republican goes around the media giving support to lefties about those evil and stupid conservatives. This situation didn’t happen overnight. And the “purists” and “ideologues” are in the moderate wing, since they sabotage conservative candidates when they don’t get their way, while the reverse is not true (yet).

    • #30
    • June 12, 2012 at 5:15 am
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