Man Bites Dog: That Rare Event: Republican Leader Talks Sense


Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush did something highly refreshing to a confused, battered, already tired, and completely polarized electorate this past week. He talked sense, and told the truth.

“I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I’m wondering,” said Bush, “I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that’s kind of where we are.“

Jeb Bush was speaking to an audience in a speech in Dallas, Texas last Thursday as Republican Governors had gathered in Washington to discuss issues across the aisle that affect the States whether governed by a Republican or Democrat.

Of course the brother to one president and the son to yet another was positioning himself for a possible 2016 run himself, and perhaps even to offer himself as the reasonable alternative to the lunacy that has become the Republican Presidential nominating process. Jeb Bush may even be signaling he is out there at a Republican Convention that might be brokered by political insiders to select a candidate that, well, is electable and won’t be a disaster once in office. Struggles for Justice does not fault Jeb Bush for playing politics with his against the grain comments this week. We applaud him. If he’s thinking of a run for high office he needs to show he’s politically adept and can speak to a wide part of the electorate. Even Abraham Lincoln played politics to the hilt. Though we would oppose his candidacy for President, someone talking sense and telling the truth as President Obama has for Democrats, is just what the nation, and not just Republicans, need. Furthermore, Jeb Bush is a first-tier Republican candidate when everybody that’s been in the race at one time or another this year is distinctly second or third rate. You only have to contrast Florida’s present Governor Rick Scott with the latest shrub from the Bush family and you get the picture immediately.

Republicans have done nothing but appeal to people’s anger, fear, and prejudices in campaigning for the nation’s highest office or legislating in Congress. It’s nice that Jeb Bush finally, at long last, noticed this.

Meanwhile, Republican governors have been taking time in Washington, D.C. at the policy wonkish, and non-partisan National Governor’s Association to express their views on their party’s presidential nomination process. Republican Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana, himself once considered a potential candidate in the 2012 presidential Republican scrum said “The problem I would worry about, and have all along, is that our side might not offer a bold enough and specific enough and constructive enough and, I would say inclusive enough alternative to America.” That last qualifier speaks volumes: “inclusive enough.”

The Republican Party moved so far to the right to accommodate its fringe elements in the newly constructed Tea Party the past couple of years, that they risk failing to appeal to anyone beyond about a third of the electorate which is the most conservative, even reactionary portion of the American electorate and is in fact the Republican base itself these days. Presidents might have to interact, once in office, with the other two thirds of the American people. And the other two thirds of the electorate are able and likely to vote this November. This has been the Republican dilemma all along. Their party is too conservative not only for the rest of us, but it is not good for the nation and its future well-being either.

In Jeb Bush’s surprisingly truth-telling and candid statement, he says “I used to be a conservative.”Even he no longer recognizes his own party: it has abandoned him in some sense and moved further to the right where he and even Mitch Daniels want a more inclusive party to not only be electable but be more representative of our fine country and its great people of all political views and parties.

Struggles for Justice has done nothing but bash Republicans and our staunch conservative readers have suffered mightily for it, while being educated as to reality and truth and justice for our world. The refreshing air of truth and common horse sense was so nice to hear this week from Jeb Bush that we could not resist giddily speaking of it. This speech in Dallas by Jeb Bush was in fact a case of Man bites dog, the classic journalistic definition of news. Those of us trained as journalists were all taught that when a dog bites a man that’s not news. But when a man bites a dog: that’s news!

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