Time to Stop Beating Around the Bush

They didn't support the party's nominee, so they forfeit the right to tell the party what to do

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Jeb Bush offers advice for the GOP, titled “Where Republicans Go From Here.”


This type of muddled thinking is yet another classic example of the quality of leadership the GOP received from the Bushes between 1989 and 2008.

In the first place, the primaries proved beyond any doubt that the former Florida governor has virtually no support inside the GOP. So why would anyone care what he thinks?

Second, Jeb forfeited any right to speak for the “Republicans” when he refused to support the Republican nominee for president. He should be writing columns about where the Clintons and the Bushes go from here, because he has proven that’s where his true loyalty lies.

In the third place, the idea that the GOP should waste its energies by convening a Constitutional Convention is so bad it makes my head hurt. If members of the GOP wants to send power back to the states, they can use the power they have in Congress and the White House to do so. After all, unlike Jeb Bush, the GOP has a country to govern. The last thing Republicans need is a constitutional sideshow where people like Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton can argue over constitutional amendments.

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In the fourth place, Jeb is still pushing the notion that “Republicans can’t expect to be trusted to lead unless we help restore American leadership in the world.” He and Donald Trump debated this exact issue in the primaries, and Trump crushed him on this very point. Trump argued, and GOP voters overwhelmingly agreed, that we can’t do anything to help the rest of the world unless things get better here at home. Rather than learn from his defeat, Jeb now insists that Trump adopt the very policies the GOP voters rejected.

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In the fifth place, Jeb starts off by saying that “the GOP has no excuse for failure. We [We?!] are in charge of both the executive and legislative branches in Washington.” He ends by saying that he hopes Trump will work “across the aisle.” Which is it? Should the GOP do what it wants, or should it work across the aisle? Jeb never says. This type of muddled thinking is yet another classic example of the quality of leadership the GOP received from the Bushes between 1989 and 2008.

Thankfully, the Bush era is behind us, and if we are fortunate, we will never have to deal with the Bushes again. I have no doubt that Jeb would love to mount a primary challenge to Donald Trump in 2020. If anyone is tempted to support such a challenge, they should read this embarrassing display of sloppy thinking, warmed-over clichés, and determination to care more about what the Left thinks than what GOP voters want. And then they will know why GOP voters were so anxious to be rid of Jeb Bush once and for all.

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