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Monday, March 31, 2014

After the Father and the Son Bush Presidential Trinity Has Ghost of a Chance

I know some Dems are ringing their hands about the prospects of Jeb Bush, now that Christie has, as it were, imploded, but I'm with Joan Walsh on this one:
So to summarize: Bush hasn’t run for office in 14 years; his wife, Columba, is known to be unenthusiastic about a presidential run; his own mother doesn’t think he should do it; and in a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, 50 percent of registered voters say they “definitely would not” vote for him -- but the wise men of the party want to draft him anyway. This should all work out fine... [T]hey don’t quote any “conservative leaders” from the Tea Party wing of the GOP. Instead we get Henry Kissinger praising Bush’s foreign policy bona fides. “He is someone who is experienced, moderate and thoughtful,” Kissinger says, of a man who’s never held national office or made a foreign policy decision (besides kowtowing to Florida’s right-wing Cuban exile community). It’s clear Bush is being framed as the moderate alternative to the alarming isolationism of Sen. Rand Paul and the full-tilt anti-government crazy of Sen. Ted Cruz, two Tea Party favorites. I’m not a Tea Partyer, obviously, but I have some sympathy for the GOP base, as Republican money men try to find the next Mitt Romney: a pro-business rich guy with some formerly moderate positions that could conceivably appeal to swing voters, but who is too cowed by the GOP base to actually articulate any of those positions... “Last spring, Bush hosted a dozen high-profile conservatives, including writers for the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, at a dinner at Washington’s Willard InterContinental Hotel, where he defended Common Core standards.” That’s not exactly a Tea Party rally. Still, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour gets credit for the dumbest statement in the Post piece. “The ‘Bush fatigue’ question is always there. If his name was Jeb Brown instead of Jeb Bush, he’d be the front-runner.” Um, no, Haley. If his name was Jeb Brown, he’d be selling used cars in Henderson, Nev., not dining privately with Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas as Bush did last Thursday.
Ziiiiing! Crazy as it sounds (and it does sound pretty damn crazy), I really do think Rand Paul has a better chance making it through the upcoming Killer Clown College primary, personally. If he does, he'll be framed as the moderate, of course... as compared to Ted Cruz, I suppose. (Bwahahahahaha!) He would of course lose, thereupon, in a flabbergasting rout to Hillary Clinton of historic proportions amidst histrionic contortions. I'm not sure the big money people would be entirely unhappy at such a result, given the actual alternatives on offer, not least because they hate their base and would enjoy its ritual humiliation nearly as much as everybody else will. And hence, it's easy to see why Democrats prefer to contemplate so rosy a 2016 over the brutal math of 2014... but we must resist the temptation. Tout ACA and work the GOP to a draw on the only (non-)issue they have, and then energize women, people of color, young people by foregrounding the forced pregnancy zealotry and voter disenfranchisement efforts of the Republicans and making more noises about marijuana and college affordability. Quite apart from refusing to consign Obama to a lame duck for three quarters of his Presidency if there is any chance at all to facilitate instead comprehensive immigration reform, a stimulative Jobs Bill, raising the federal minimum wage, taking another bite at the apple of common sense gun safety, raising more taxes on the rich, protecting queer folks from workplace discrimination, getting chard check through to facilitate union organizing, and pushing through more environmental regulations and investment in renewables, making efforts to outperform expectations in the mid-terms will both cause the GOP primary to be crazier in response than it otherwise will anyway and will set the table for a Congress and Statehouse map more conducive to getting things done when Hillary does find her way to the White House anyway.

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