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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.