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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Jeb! ....and the demise of the Bush era

"Jeb Bush has finally admitted what's been obvious for months: Republican voters don't want him to be their presidential nominee," quote from VOX Policy and Politics blog.

Jeb! Bush, the favorite to win the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination, is now out of the race completely. Obviously, the exclamation mark in his campaign logo didn't work out. Republicans and the American public are clearly "Bush fatigued". With the Jeb! loss in South Carolina on February 20, the Bush leadership era is now history.

Image result for phoenix from the ashes
Jeb! should lead a rebirth of compassionate conservatism.
Is it possible for the GOP to find a Phoenix in the political ashes?

Unfortunately, Jeb! missed a rare opportunity to reclaim a fresh momentum during his concession speech when his campaign lost to Donald Trump, Raphael "Ted" Cruz (aka "Cruz to loose") and Senator Marco Rubio (aka Blinkie bottle Rubio).  

Rather than giving a tearful "gosh-darn" speech to supporters in Charleston, SC, Jeb! should have roused his followers and the establishment Republicans with a "new world order" type of speech. In fact, Jeb! should have declared the Grand Old Party to be too old to continue and, instead, announced the formation of a Great Onward Party.  Of course, this moment in the spotlight was wistful rather than rousing and the opportunity for announcing change was missed.

Although Jeb! is a good person, he was a terrible presidential candidate. Politically, Jeb! never overcame the shadow of his family's leadership failures. George Bush 41, pledged "no new taxes", but he raised them because he had to do it for the greater good. Republicans, who sincerely don't seem to care about the greater good, never forgave Bush 41, for raising taxes. George Bush 43, invaded Iraq, when Osama Bin Laden wasn't there and no weapons of mass destruction were ever found. As a result, the entire Middle East has been in tumultuous upheaval, ever since. Moreover, it was George Bush 43, who was president when the disastrous Great Recession of 2007 hit the nation caused primarily because of shabby regulatory oversight of the housing markets.

So, now the establishment Republican party is in decline and a new "Trumponian" movement has replaced moderate conservatism with a mob mentality, whereby the political rules are changed forever. Donald Trump is a bully who has marginalized political reason to such an extreme that the Republican party will never again pretend to be "grand".  

Jeb! still has a chance to recover moderate conservatism by forming a new political party, based on reason and tolerance, but maybe he will have to wait to become the Phoenix from the ashes. Many Republicans would certainly welcome the return of their party's compassionate conservatism.

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