Jeb Bush also seeking the Grownup Party nomination

In a headline today, The Washington Post posed the question, “Can Jeb Bush win the GOP nomination . . . by praising President Obama?

Here’s what they’re referring to:

Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush supports President Obama’s trade deal, praises his management of the National Security Agency and agrees that Congress should have moved faster to hold a vote on new attorney general Loretta Lynch.

And that’s all since last week.

It’s an unusual approach for Bush to take in seeking the nomination of a conservative party that mostly loathes the current president. The former Florida governor has gone out of his way at times to chime in on issues where he agrees with Obama — bolstering his attempt to be a softer-toned kind of Republican focused on winning a majority of the vote in a general election.

But the strategy also carries grave risks for a likely candidate who is already viewed with deep suspicion by conservatives, many of whom have little desire to find common ground with Democrats. Tea party leaders are already warning that Bush, the son and brother of former presidents, is alienating conservatives….

There’s a flaw in the headline. He’s not praising the president. What he’s doing is addressing issues according to their merits, not according to who favors or opposes them.

Which means he’s thinking and acting like a grownup, rather than like a choleric child.

Too many in both parties, and particularly in the Tea Party fringe of the GOP, demand that candidates speak and act childishly. And if they don’t get what they demand, they throw tantrums.

In the GOP, those people call themselves “conservatives.” They are anything but. In this situation, Bush is the conservative, the person speaking thoughtfully and carefully about issues, with respect for the political institutions we have inherited from our forebears, rather than engaging in a competition to see who can denounce the other side more vehemently.

If, because of the tantrum-throwers, Bush fails to get the Republican nomination, I might have to give him the nod from my Grownup Party. But he’ll have to get past Lindsey Graham first…

13 thoughts on “Jeb Bush also seeking the Grownup Party nomination

  1. Doug Ross

    So there is only one side to each of the issues you mentioned? and taking the opposing side is childish? (or, more likely, because Obama is black)?

    Even Obama’s own party members are complaining about the trade deal to the point where Obama had to say Elizabeth Warren was wrong.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      You’re not reading what I said.

      I’m not even addressing the merits of the issues. I’m addressing two ways of approaching them: First there’s the childish way, which consists of looking to see which side Obama is on and automatically taking the other side.

      Then there’s the grownup way (the intellectually honest way), which is to consider the issue on its merits and then take your position without regard to whether Obama agrees with you or not.

      You say, “even Obama’s own party members are complaining about the trade deal…” What do you mean, “even?” Of COURSE they’re raising Cain about it. They’re Democrats. Democrats are normally against such deals.

      And normally, Republicans are for such deals. Obama is taking the GOP position. So if you’re a Republican who disagrees with a position just because Obama is for it, even when he’s taking the usual Republican position, you’re being childish and irresponsible.

      But if you’re being consistent in being for such deals, and don’t care whether that means agreeing with Obama or not, you’re being mature and honest and thoughtful.

      You see what I’m saying?

      1. Doug Ross

        You assume that Jeb Bush is pure in his intent and not trying to pick issues where he can garner some middle of the road support. You assume that there is no consultant telling him “these are the trivial issues where you can look like you’re not partisan”.

        If Jeb Bush is what we need, we’re screwed. Same for Hillary. I don’t think I could take four more years of their b.s.

        1. bud

          Who do you support Doug? I’d like to see Elizabeth Warren run but apparently that’s not going to happen. The GOP candidates are the usual Koch Brothers/Sheldon Adelson trained seals who will jump through hoops of fire to please their plutocrat masters. Hillary Clinton may be beholden to certain big money interests but at least with a Democrat in the White House the odds of a continued economic recovery are good. Any GOP POTUS will lead us into yet another recession.

          1. Doug Ross

            What specific actions did Obama and Democrats do to improve the economy?

            Sequestration? Government shutdown? Gridlock?

              1. Bryan Caskey

                Sorry I’m late to this discussion. I was attending the monthly meeting of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, and you know how meetings go. Jeez, the Koch brothers just won’t stop talking. Meetings are the worst.

            1. Doug Ross

              I have no candidate at this point. I won’t decide until I’ve heard them speak on the issues. It would likely be Paul unless he tries too hard to court war mongers. It could be Walker once I learn more about his positions. And if necessary, I’ll vote third party.

              It WON’T be Hillary or Bush… that’s a 100% certainty. I don’t compromise on the least worst candidate like many do.

            2. Doug Ross

              As for saying something positive about someone, I do when they do something worthy of it. I can’t think of much to say about Obama that would be positive. He’s been an ineffective President in my opinion. His most ambitious program – Obamacare – was a disaster and will get worse over time. Other than that, he’s been mostly George Bush’s 3rd and 4th term.

              1. Bryan Caskey

                Doug, here’s a candidate that I think you could support. I think you’ll like this candidate’s position on term limits, as I believe this candidate has already indicated that it will not seek a second term – one is all that is required.


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